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#1 Edited by matoya (775 posts) -

Hey gang,

Just a quick one here I suppose. If you were me, which Final Fantasy game would you pick up out of the two? They both look pretty appealing, but time wise, I only have time for one.

I'm currently playing Yakuza Zero and fucking loving it, but I know I'll be done with it in a week or so. Now, I work in a school, so I have near enough six weeks off, and that's plenty of time to dig into one of these FF games.

I'll admit this- I did play a little FF12 when it came out. I got past the BASCH LIVES section, then stopped pretty soon after. I liked what I played, but I kinda got bored of the cob bat and the story got a bit dry.

I haven't touched XV at all, but I've heard mixed reviews about the game, so I'm a little hesitant to drop money on it.

Knowing what you know, which would you say is the better game for someone who's played every other numbered FF game?


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#2 Edited by liquiddragon (3322 posts) -

I think 12 is a far better game and imo one of the best ff but you're kinda saying you didn't like it already so... The story is not very good and the combat is what it is, you either like it or you don't, I don't see why you'd change your mind now unless your tastes have shifted a bit over the years, which I guess it could have. Idk, I'd suggest maybe waiting for it to lower in price before you find out if you feel differently about it.

15...is ok. The story is one of the worst in ff, if not the worst and the combat, I found, to be fun but shallow. It's kinda a forgettable game so you might be better off just playing something else but it is one of those major curiosities of gaming if you've been following the scene so I guess it's nice to have checked off your gaming history. I've seen it cheap so maybe go for that one if you really must.

Edit: You know what, I'm being a bit too harsh on 15. I had a good time with it. I guess I was happy to move on when I was done with it. Also, lol at that picture of Flash. I guess he's killing it again in the SCBW scene huh?

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#3 Edited by odinsmana (982 posts) -

This is a bit though just because they are very different games.

FFXII is still mostly FFXII. I really like the game, but it seems like it`s a fairly divise entry in the series.

The job system is a col addition that adds a lot more depth to the license board system, but it could definetly require a better tutorial. I remembered enough of FFXII to know kinda what I wanted to go for and there are some good resources online, but otherwise I think I would have been a bit confused and uncertain when choosing jobs. The upside is that the game is fairly easy for the most part and I don`t think it`s really possible to fuck yourself except maybe if you make every character a white mage or something.

The 4x speed up function is also really nice as it allows you to cut down on travel time and kinda skip the battles that are so easy they require no manual imput from you.

From a gameplay perspective the game opens up more a couple of hours after the Basch lives sequence by giving you a permanent party and unlocking espers, so that might make you like the gameplay a bit more, but if you found it boring I don`t know if the Zodiac age is going to change your mind. Story wise the game also expands a bit after that point, but it`s still fairly dry. I enjoy the story and the characters in the game a lot, but again I don`t think the Zodiac age is going to change your mind if you didn`t like it before.

FFXV has some really good parts, but they often don`t come together as well as I would have wanted them to.

I enjoyed the story of the four main characters and their relationship. I though that part of the story was mostly really well done and the main dudes really grew on me over the course of the game. The main story is kind of a fragmented mess for a lot of the game similarly to MGS V, but also like that game there are parts of the story that I tought were really good even though they don`t come together to form a strong cohesive narrative. The ending sequence especially I thought was fantastic.

Combat wise it`s ok. They do some things with the dungeons and encounters to mix things up and keep it interesting, but it`s not enough to be the main reason to play the game. They do some pretty cool stuff with exploring the world and around the sides though. The car for as restrictive as it is ended up being something I really enjoyed actually and one sequence in particular really makes good use of it. The cooking and photo mechanics were also really cool and were used in cool ways and I got way more into it then I expected.

This became really long winded, so I should probably try to answer your question. It seems like you didn`t care much for the original FFXII and I don`t know if Zodiac age will change your mind. The job system and speed up options gives the game more depth and makes part of the game smoother/less painfull, but they don`t fundamentily change the game and the story is still the same.

FFXV is a really mixed bag. It does some really cool stuff with both it`s story and gameplay, but at others times it does some pretty bad things with it`s story and gameplay. If you think Zodiac age can change your mind on FFXII check it out, but if you want to try out something really weird, but pretty flawed check out FFXV. Both are very different from any FF that came before them.

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#4 Posted by DanishingAct (414 posts) -

FFXV has to be dirt cheap now, maybe give it a go if you tried XII. Both are pretty good games.

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#5 Edited by TheRealTurk (505 posts) -

XII is still really good. I think it's worth a second look, particularly if you are now older than when you first played it. Personally I always liked the story, but I could see how you might think it was super dry and boring if you were, say, 16-17 when you first played it.

XV has it's moments, but you can definitely see the strain of its development time and the number of teams that worked on it. If you play it, you need to be able to kind of accept it for what it is - FF trying various ways of modernizing itself. Some of those experiments could be pretty successful in future entries if they refined the ideas a little bit and some of them are total disasters.

So I'd go with XII.

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#6 Posted by TobbRobb (6582 posts) -

If you are the kind of dude that walks everywhere instead of fast traveling, and likes taking screenshots of stuff or just kinda video game sighseeing. Then I really think FF15 is a quirky but fun time. If you are all about RPG mechanics and wanna make a strong party and kill big shit you should 100% get 12 instead.

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#7 Posted by thatpinguino (2847 posts) -

Trick question, you should get IX.

I joke (but not really). Of the two I think XII is going to hold up better long-term, but XV is a really impressive looking game. I'd lean XII.

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#8 Posted by Turambar (8251 posts) -

If you've already tried XII and didn't care for the combat system and story, the remake is not going to change your mind on any of that. I'd say go with XV.

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#9 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -


But I say this mostly because FFXII was the follow up to FFX (since XI was an MMO, not a singleplayer game) and in that comparison: fuck FFXII. I am still upset over it.

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#10 Posted by Do_The_Manta_Ray (1635 posts) -

I've played both, and really enjoyed my time with them. Story-wise, both are about as uninspired, though I suppose you have to give Square credit for going in a different direction with XII.

XII has fantastic combat, and some of the best art in that entire series, so that is the one I'd probably recommend if I were to try and be unbiased. However, I think XV has charm coming out of its ass. It's so stupid and so jolly that I couldn't help but grin from ear-to-ear for better part of that game. And say what you will about the story, but the characters are genuinely great, and I found myself caring deeply for each and every one of them.

So.. FFXV?

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#11 Posted by Brendan (9212 posts) -

I got bored with FFXV, and the more I thought about it the more I became disappointed with the game in hindsight so that at this point I would say I didn't like it much at all. I had a fantastic time with FFXII back in the day but if you've already had a poor time with it then it makes no sense to spend your money again giving it another go when you could have a chance with a different game.

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#12 Posted by Teddie (2137 posts) -

I'm biased but FFXII feels like a more cohesive thing than FFXV does. I'd say the only thing XV actually has going for it is the road trip atmosphere. The gameplay wants to be actiony but falls so far from the mark. It looks cool, but all you're doing is holding X and occasionally following an onscreen prompt. XII is even more simple (not really since you're constantly doing the AI gambit stuff, and if you don't overlevel, staying on top of the fights when they go sideways), but it also doesn't insult you by asking you to hold a button down and pretend like you're actually playing the game. I dunno, I just found XV's gameplay weirdly insulting (especially the boss fights), but I know people have that exact issue with XII so don't take that as gospel or anything.

Story in XV is a patchwork mess that doesn't line up and basically requires a wiki to understand anything beyond "hero fight bad man". XII has a political thing that is competent and actually makes sense if you can get invested in that kind of thing, but the lore and worldbuilding in that game is phenomenal compared to what XV tried to do. Characters aren't great in either, XV has the issue of putting all its development in content outside of the game or reserving it for paid DLC, and XII has generally flat characters, but Balthier carries the weak links.

XV has a big world that's a hassle to get around. The car is fun the first couple times, but then you never actually get to drive it (outside of, again, holding a button down and pretending you're playing), fast travel load times are miserable, and chocobos are a pain to go and get every time your rental period runs out (and you never get a permanent mount). XII has a speed-up function so even when an area outstays its welcome you can just blur through it. And that speed-up function really is an understated thing; the ease of turning it on and off makes the game way more pleasant, even for something as simple as "I need to go off the main path to get a chest, but now I need to backtrack so time to use speed-up for a few seconds".

Short version: XV is a mess, XII is not. YMMV.

@turambar said:

If you've already tried XII and didn't care for the combat system and story, the remake is not going to change your mind on any of that.

Not saying it's the case for everyone by far, but a bunch of people I follow online have had the exact opposite experience. A lot of people appreciating it for what it is, or appreciating the changes they made to the gameplay stuff, or just being older and enjoying stuff they never would have when they were teenagers the first time around. I already liked the game, but I'm having more fun with the story now that I'm not a Teen Seeking Angst.

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#13 Edited by Dixavd (2895 posts) -

I prefer 12 as returning to it has grabbed me in a way that 15 hasn't but if the thing held you back originally from 12 was a lacklustre story with limited character moments, the remaster won't fix that for you. 15 is very fun and very cinematic (though I haven't finished it yet) and I think it has more of an initially endearing cast to pull you through it. 12 has significantly long spells of only minor character or story progression.

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#14 Edited by philosyfee (169 posts) -

It will simply depends on your preference of managing AI scripts, or managing a large open world. XII reminded me of a Dragon Age-esque game, where I was micro managing all the different "Gambits" so that my companions and I could simply walk around and fight without ME having to do very much myself. XV reminded me of Xenoblade Chronicles, with it's MMO style combat and contextual AI combos, the game focuses on you and your friend navigating an open world.

I liked both games, but eventually found the Gambit system in XII leaving me a bit bored, not because the game itself is boring, but because I felt like I was barely playing. XV has it's own set of issues, the story is a bit of a mess and some of the open world aspects can be frustrating. Overall I enjoyed 15 a bit more just due to it's aesthetic and characters.

Side Note: I haven't touched 15 since initial release, so with all the updates and DLC they could have potentially fixed the issues I originally had.

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#15 Posted by GrayFox666 (151 posts) -

I would say XII no question but XV is really cheap. It's too bad the story is poor and the gameplay is meh

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#16 Edited by MaKiNbAcoN (171 posts) -

I played through Final Fantasy XII when it was originally released and in 2006 I would of said "it's an OK Final Fantasy", replaying the remastered I have a new appreciation for the game. The story is probably the most western feeling story in the series.

I really enjoyed Final Fantasy XV up to about Chapter 10, then the wheels just came off. I still think from a gameplay standpoint it's a very solid game that did a great job of bringing Final Fantasy to a modern design IMO. The speed up feature helps A LOT with grinding in FFXII, and I know they got rid of the weird zodiac spear thing. The story in XII is a much larger tale than XV, and there is more intrigue than XV, the voice acting is solid in both. The systems in XII work well as an entire end to end game.

if you got bored of the original release, it's very likely you will get bored again. Get FFXV.

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#17 Posted by GundamGuru (786 posts) -

@matoya: FFXII no contest. I'm coming up on 50+ hours nearing the ending of the story, and 12 is just the return to form I needed after 13 and 15. The autosave system, fast forward, and map overlay functions are a godsend. Personally I loved the gambit system because it meant my allies behaved exactly the way I wanted, rather than the artificial stupidity you so often see in JRPG AI. The changes to the license boards and availability of gambits early makes the game play a bit different, but if you didn't like it then there's still a decent chance it won't click for you now.

I bounced off FFXV harder than any other RPG I've tried to play, and that really says something. I've played every numbered single-player FF (beaten most), three fourths of all the Tales games, nearly every Bioware game, all the Witcher series, and every Beth game since Oblivion. There was just something about the way FFXV's pacing and size actively disrespects the player's time, and the combat system is the antithesis of what I come to Final Fantasy for. Coupled with a dude-bro boyband cast that did nothing for me, and another incomprehensible plot (I watched the movie beforehand...wtf was that), and I knew I had to bail out early.

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#18 Edited by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

I'm playing through XII for the first time now and I'm really loving it. Some bits don't hold up (e.g. some of the story minigames/sequences that aren't just you fighting stuff), but overall it's pretty good.

Fuck XV. This is a clusterfuck of a story even by any video game standards, not just the franchise. I don't know how many times I can repeat myself: it is, at best, the abridged version of a real story. If at any time you want or expect more information or substance regarding anything or anyone that matters, well...you aren't going to get it. The gameplay is whatever. I didn't like that aspect either, but meh, you might. Hard to say.

I vote for XII.

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#19 Edited by Nux (2890 posts) -

I would say pick up XII. The story gets better a bit past where you first left off and the new additions Zodiac Age brings vastly improves the game as a whole. I am someone why fell off the original XII pretty quickly when it came out but I am enjoying my time with Zodiac Age.

Plus it is a great podcast game if you need to catch up on any podcasts you might be behind on.

XV is a fine game but it really is lacking in the story department. I found myself being confused as to what was going on story wise most of the time because of how it is handled in that game. The combat is fun and I hear they added in some DLC to fill in the story gaps but it just doesn't feel like a FF game at the end of everything.

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#20 Edited by NTM (11746 posts) -

You can't really take my word for it as I played none of fifteen, well, maybe five minutes of it (my brother has played a lot of it, and I watched some of it as I was doing other things), and I've only played fifteen hours of twelve on the PS2, but in my experience, I liked twelve a lot more. Honestly, I don't know about story and characters. I only got so far as to the (what I believe is the infamous section) that has Vaan running around a town saying something like 'I am thee Basch Fon Ronsenburg!' Outside of the story and characters which I'd have to play more of the game to say, Final Fantasy XII might be my favorite Final Fantasy game. I loved the world of Ivalice in twelve as far as I've explored; the way it's set up for you to explore and pick up side activities and how it's connected. The combat is fun in my opinion as well even though it can take time with its grinding. We know that on the PS4 version though that this is somewhat alleviated. You know what I find kind of funny? On PSN, the description for twelve says 'now better, and easier than ever!' I never thought 'easier' was a selling point for many gamers, ha ha.

I just checked a guide to see if my memory served me right, but I got past that section where he says that; a little past it. I got to Ogir-Yensa Sandsea or The Tomb of Raithwall and then stopped. Another thing, I think I'm actually going to go buy twelve on PS4 today. I'd love to play it when I get it, but it's actually a birthday present for my brother. He's a bigger JRPG, Final Fantasy fan, and twelve is the only one he didn't finish and he'd like to before me.

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#21 Posted by GKabooz (46 posts) -

Get FFX. It's linear so you know the difficulty scales. It doesn't have a Gambit system of XII so you have to press a button in fights and it has spells like CURE unlike the grenades in XV.

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#22 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8861 posts) -

Buy both, a dumpster, and a whole lot of gasoline. Then you can enjoy those games the best way possible - by warming your hands over their melted plastic corpses.

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#23 Posted by Drachmalius (640 posts) -

XV was the one of those I finished, so I'd say get that. There's a lot of fun to be had on a road trip with your bros, just don't expect the best game ever.

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#24 Edited by Slag (8157 posts) -


I think it's generally always better to play a Final Fantasy game when it's new. They are usually products of their time.

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#25 Posted by shorap (421 posts) -

12 definitely. I got to about the same place when I initially played and gave up on it back in 06.

It takes itself real seriously (which I like), the license board and jobs needs a better tutorial (just Google character jobs and think about what licenses to unlock) but I've become more patient over the past decade and really am digging it.

FF15 has it's moments with the 4 friends being on a road trip but the game feels incomplete, even with all the post release updates. The story and world is half-baked, the battle system is limiting, and the camera during combat can be infuritating.

That being said, 15 is probably pretty cheap now. If you have no qualms downloading 15 or so gigs of patches, maybe try it out and get 12 when it's cheaper. Up to you.

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#26 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8861 posts) -

Also, and this is going to sound sarcastic, but check out I Am Setsuma, especially if you're like me and pretty jaded about where Square went after X. It's not a terribly great RPG compared to a lot of the best in the genre, but it's rock solid and has a really good combat system.

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#27 Edited by Shadow (5356 posts) -

I'm playing through 12 right now. It's a good JRPG. But I definitely think 15 is the better game. Not to mention far, far, far prettier

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#28 Posted by FLStyle (6633 posts) -

XII! Enjoying my experience with Zodiac Age much more than XV.

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#29 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -

I could not in good conscience recommend either of these awful games. If you have to get one no matter what, might as well get whichever is cheaper.

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#30 Posted by MajorMitch (1161 posts) -

I wouldn't say either has a strong story, or the best pacing. But I really liked the combat and customization in 12, and hated those aspects of 15 (along with most aspects of 15 to be honest). 12 also has Balthier. So I vote 12.

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#31 Edited by Vasta_Narada (750 posts) -

XII has a stronger sense of place and the stronger main story of the two. It has a more political bent, and some people derogatorily liken it to Star Wars for that reason. The characters are a bit flat, and two of the party members are irrelevant at a point. The speed-up feature makes the combat more enjoyable if you're sensitive to slow-paced combat, and I liked the tweaks to the licence board system--but it is very much still the licence board system.

XV has the better main characters, and I especially loved the writing between them and the sense of camaraderie. I never do post-game stuff in RPGs but I did in XV purely because I liked hanging out with the characters. Of the two, it has the weaker plot because the presentation of it has some glaring issues, but I still liked it and it does have some strong (emotional) moments in my opinion. I thought the villain was pretty interesting too. If you're picking up this game, you should be expecting to have a good time with characters and maybe have a good time with the story. Combat is simple to pick up, and though there is a bit of nuance, there isn't a whole lot to master. The slower-paced action combat is fun to me, though, and I ended up making some strategy/moveset videos for each of the weapon types just because digging into it was fun. I would say music and visuals are stronger here. It's got a neat medieval-meets-modern aesthetic too.

Edit: I suppose I forgot to say it: I recommend XV over XII. After IX, it's my favorite numbered FF game. XII might be my third favorite though.

Edit 2: Except for optional dungeons and a couple questlines with named NPCs, the side content in XV isn't much worth doing (hunts are fun if you end up liking the combat, though) so it's also not that big of a time commitment. Main story could take you 15 hours maybe, plus 10ish to do all the dungeons. More if you want to challenge the difficult post-game ones.

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#32 Posted by kaungo (92 posts) -

12 is a more complete game compare to 15 in term of story+side quests.

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#33 Posted by Vasta_Narada (750 posts) -
@teddie said:

Story in XV is a patchwork mess that doesn't line up and basically requires a wiki to understand anything beyond "hero fight bad man". XII has a political thing that is competent and actually makes sense if you can get invested in that kind of thing, but the lore and worldbuilding in that game is phenomenal compared to what XV tried to do. Characters aren't great in either, XV has the issue of putting all its development in content outside of the game or reserving it for paid DLC, and XII has generally flat characters, but Balthier carries the weak links.

A lot of people say this about XV and to some extent I can't disagree, but I also have to say that I have a full grasp of the happens of XV and didn't have to think too long to get my answers. Never been to the wiki; the game gives you most--though not all--of the answers, just not usually in cutscenes. Talking to NPCs or finding documents/radio broadcasts gives a surprising amount of info. I'd also say that the main characters of XV get a lot of development in-game and that while the companion anime adds to that, it's more to get a sense of the cast before you play the game since the game doesn't intro them itself. I can barely remember what happens in the anime episodes but I can, and am, writing a longer piece on the cast in the context of something else. DLC has some good stuff in it on occasion, though, which is why I can't dispute it entirely.

Also the car is capable of off-roading now, so they've finally addressed the issue of having to go and get a chocobo. Load times still suck, though.

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#34 Posted by TheWildCard (694 posts) -

Eh, I'm kind of like you in that I found XII kind of dull and dry the first time around but picked up the rerelease anyway. It's still pretty dry. I haven't played XV so I can't compare the two but I'd take a shot on XV. It may be a mess but you might like it.

Granted, there's probably a lot of better options than either of them.

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#35 Posted by ZombiePie (7401 posts) -

Buy the Steam version of Final Fantasy VIII. I promise you will not regret your life choices.

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#36 Posted by Vasta_Narada (750 posts) -

Buy the Steam version of Final Fantasy VIII. I promise you will not regret your life choices.

Go back to your Vienna sausages and eternal regret, you liar.

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#37 Posted by Slaps2 (638 posts) -

FFXII is secretly one of the best games ever made.