Looking to try my first Final Fantasy

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#1 Edited by joker8765 (39 posts) -

Hey everyone. I've always wanted to try out the Final Fantasy games at some point, they have such a huge amount of history and importance to the industry that I'd love to give them a shot.

I'm unsure on which one to jump into and try out first though so I'd love for any advice in that regard. The one thing is that I would prefer to start in one of the older sprite based games in the series. Thanks for any help!

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#2 Posted by Vortextk (944 posts) -

I agree with Drew's decision to play 6 (3 US release), that or 4 (2). 5 is very neat with the job system but the impact of the story and characters aren't as profound. I have little experience with the NES games but I personally don't think those are a good intro to the series for today's gaming. To me, 6 is one of the finest 2d rpgs ever; it's in that ultra class of games like chrono trigger, secret of mana, super mario rpg and phantasy star IV that made me a jrpg fan for life even if that feeling has strongly waned in the last decade.

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#3 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1631 posts) -

The best FF game is FF Tactics, after that its a bit of a toss up between 9, 4 & 6.

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#4 Posted by Belegorm (1848 posts) -


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#5 Posted by Teddie (2157 posts) -

If I've learned anything about FF games, it's that everyone has their favourite and it's a complete crapshoot which one to recommend to someone (unless you know them really well, but even then...). You might want to start with the popular choices for "the best", namely 6, 7, 9, or 10.

Just don't play 2. 2 is nobody's favourite.

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#6 Edited by avantegardener (2381 posts) -

Honestly, why not just hang on for 15? The game series is pretty standalone, and the connecting tissue is essentially the turn based combat, spells, enemies and themes.

I think peoples differing favorites are often informed by the 1st one they played. 7 was the 1st one I did, and its something of the populist choice. I quite dug 8, which is less so, but I'm a sucker for a collectible card mini game.

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#7 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2101 posts) -

Jump straight into the deep end with 14.

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#8 Edited by liquiddragon (3526 posts) -

Just pick the one that interests you most. This question has been asked a million times and for the most part, people's preference comes down to "what was your first FF?"

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#9 Posted by madman356647 (827 posts) -

4,6, or 7 are good ones to start.

Otherwise, 1 on the GBA is pretty good (and where I got my start).

14 is good, but it's also a MMO and different from most in that respect.

That said, I'd avoid 2, 8, or 10 for new players.

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#10 Posted by hippie_genocide (2452 posts) -

FF 6 is the perfect game to play if you want to get a taste of the series but not dive in to all the rest, because if you did you'd be constantly disappointed that they weren't as good as 6.

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#11 Posted by LawGamer (1481 posts) -

For sprite based, definitely VI. You could also try IV, which was my first Final Fantasy and got me hooked on the series.

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#12 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4499 posts) -

Just XV.

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#13 Edited by Ryuku_Ryosake (446 posts) -

They are all different enough that you can go with whatever one interests you. No game in the series can really give you any accurate impression on any other game in the series. Final Fantasy is more of an anthology series of different rpgs made by the same company.

Now I will bring up a problem with the sprite based entries you expressed interest in and others have been suggesting that has continued to urk me. The problem with your 3, 4, 5, and 6 is that they have never made a good definitive version of those games. You always losing something when you choose to play any version of these games.

Let's take FFVI as an example.

The original English SNES version is fairly censored and the translation would not pass muster by modern standards. It is also annoying that the translation messes so many names of things that are shared between the games. Also the game is glitchy and buggy as hell. An entire stat just does not function at all. If you aren't careful you could entirely glitch your game to oblivion.

Then you get the PlayStation version which fixes some of the problems with the original but adds super long load times.

The game boy advanced version is the closest thing you're going to find to the definite version. It finishes fixing about everything adds some content and restores some cut content. BUT it absolutely butchers the soundtrack and sound effects which is kind of a big deal for one of the most highly praised soundtracks in gaming. Also it was a very late GBA game and is the hardest version to find.

The PC port and mobile ports are one and the same for all the snes era games. In which they add more stuff. But they choose to 'update' the sprites to a more 'modern look' that is eye bleeding terrible and absolutely baffling. These things were coming out as the retro sprite based look was back in vogue and you have the most universally praised games of that style and you choose to toss all of that out.

All the PS and PS3/360 era games have PC versions that are more or less the same as the originals with some graphical and translation touch ups. They are easily a definite version you can point to. The PS2 (X/X-II followed by XII soon) HD remakes are even better with great graphic overhauls and the international version changes never seen stateside so they barely so any of their age outside of animation.

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#14 Posted by Marz (6095 posts) -

may as well play 15 next week, and then you can discuss it with everyone else who will probably be playing it at the same time with long time fans and non fans.

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#15 Edited by slyspider (1827 posts) -

14 is a pretty awesome MMO with ff style story. My first singleplayer one was the first one rereleased on iOS

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#16 Edited by Relkin (1214 posts) -

Try out 9. It's probably the most well rounded, in terms of quality. I would avoid the SNES era ones; they're good, but you're almost undoubtedly going to be disappointed with them. People have raised them to unreasonable heights, and none of them have the detractors that some of the others (7&8, for example) do to balance out expectations.

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#17 Posted by Monosukoi (53 posts) -

6 is probably quite approachable in the sense that it's been released on multiple formats, is sprite based and has aged quite well visually, and is almost universally liked to differing degrees by the FF community.

I'm always going to stick my head out and say that IX is my personal favourite. Visually it's not much of a looker in 2016, but has unmistakable charm and style. It's playful, melodramatic and quite simple mechanically. I honestly think there's an argument to be made that you should at least play one of the PS1 FF games to see what divides people, which I think makes them more interesting to play from an academic perspective.

In a perfect world I'd suggest you try a 2D sprite FF, a 3D PS1 FF, one of the PS2 FFs (where voice acting was introduced for the first time and had, imo, a huuuuuge impact on JRPGs as a whole. for the worse.), and, dare I say it, one of the XIII games. Then see which grabs you, and which doesn't appeal.

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#18 Posted by Kidavenger (4417 posts) -

The first one you play will always be your favourite, so be careful.

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#19 Posted by Justin258 (15689 posts) -

@werupenstein: I played XII first, then IV, then VI, then X, and VI is my favorite.

The answer to this question every time it comes up should be "play VI, VII, or X" - those are generally, though not universally, considered the best of their respective eras. Pick the one that looks most interesting to you.

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#20 Edited by AlexW00d (7572 posts) -

12 is my fave I've played and 10 is the one I think is the shittiest. Although I think 12 is only my fave cause of the layout of the game and the combat stuff, the story is mediocre and the characters shit. Dunno if I would recommend 12 out the bat tho, maybe 5.

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#21 Posted by Slag (8159 posts) -

@joker8765: How many are you interested in playing?

The reason I ask because I think if you intend to play a lot of them, it's very hard to play these out of order.

E.g. Going from 6 to 4 for instance could be a rough ride, because as the series went along they amd equality of life twekas etc along the way.

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#22 Posted by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

Play 6. It's the one everyone universally likes. Don't listen to those FF9 weirdos. That game is super slow naratively and one of the most mechanically boring in the series

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#23 Posted by Onemanarmyy (4499 posts) -

FF6 is the best starting point. If you are interested in how the series evolved, play 7,8,9,10 afterwards.

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#24 Posted by spiceninja (3286 posts) -

I'm currently playing through FFVI for the first time right now and I'm really liking it. Kefka is a great villain and all of the characters have great distinct personalities. It's odd that they did a full 3D remake for III and IV but stopped and started pushing out cheap ports because a modernized version of VI would be something special.

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#25 Posted by katpottz (511 posts) -
@vortextk said:

5 is very neat with the job system but the impact of the story and characters aren't as profound.

I'm sorry, what?
I'm sorry, what?

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#26 Posted by dagas (3667 posts) -

Everyone have their favorites. Personally I got into the series with FF7 so that will always be my favorite. I think FF10 was the last good one and since that has an HD remake I would suggest starting there.

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#27 Posted by Whitestripes09 (918 posts) -

First one I played was XIII because it was on sale and boy... I was not impressed. The next one I played was VII after I unearthed my PS1. I have to say... there is just something about VII that is still really entertaining and fun. It's a bit intimidating once it opens up, but I don't think there is much shame in following a guide for that game. I think VII is a really good starting point. Anyone who has a remote interest I think will find something enjoyable about it.

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#28 Posted by Matticus (60 posts) -

The problem is that there are as many answers as types of players. The good news is they are almost all stand alone stories. I would say:

IV or VI if you like pixel art and want a less convoluted experience, both system and story wise. The DS remake of IV is also very good, but very different.

I'm not a fan of X's story or characters really, but the gameplay was really fun. It's also one of the most beloved, so might try the HD remake.

If you like open world games, but also want to experience some of the convoluted exposition later games have become known for, XV is your game.

XII if you ever wanted to play an MMO where you can program your whole party's behavior. Also if you like any Matsuno/Sakimoto joints. Also Balthier.

I have a hard time recommending anything from the PS1 era. I'm not saying they are bad games, I just feel like they have aged the worst.

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#29 Posted by roninenix (214 posts) -

If you're okay with a game not focusing on a single character as its main character, then go with VI. You play that game as separate characters to move its story along. If you want a game that strongly focuses on a single character, then go with the other popular listed FF games people have mentioned here.