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Jeff's Ranking of Completed Final Fantasy Games

As above. Only counting games I've seen to their conclusion. Sometimes they will move.

I have played enough of XI, and have interacted with enough of its people, to know that it is a fine thing that I have no desire to play. I also have every reason to suspect I will feel the same about XIV.

List items

  • Well I've finally finished this game after touching it on and off for over half of my lifetime. From my first high school girlfriend teaching me about emulating a Super Nintendo on a Pentium 4 computer, to slapping the everliving shit out of Kefka with Ultimas and Quad Attacks. This is probably my forever favorite in the series. Not my favorite game, in fact I think there's enough warts here to maybe keep it out of a persona top five, but I don't think the top of this list will be changing much.

    Cultist Tower can pound sand though.

  • Some of my fondest memories with the series stem from playing Final Fantasy X with friends and relatives over the years. I think the game holds up exceptionally well, with some blemishes. That penultimate room wherein you must touch ten crystals while the camera slowly pans around you is one of the most excruciatingly bad sequences in the entire series. That it gets followed up by one of the best final boss fight sequences and conclusions of the series makes things significantly easier to swallow.

  • I did not encounter FFVII when it was new, and only started playing it around 2004. It's my partner's favorite game, and we're both looking forward (for different reasons perhaps) to the remake.

  • A raucous, frustrating, beautiful, broken hot mess. It was used as a blunt instrument to kill Sega's home console business. It features some of the most needlessly excessive animations in any game of its era. It has some of the best music in the series. You can break the game at the three hour mark and never look back. I love Final Fantasy VIII, and I hope there's never another game like it.

  • Believe the hype. Most of my complaints amount to "I wish the job system didn't involve so much grind" and "The encounter rate spikes are a bummer". Has the simpler, purer "fantasy" charm of the NES entries plus everything you love about SNES JRPG feel.

  • One of the best playing games Square has made in donkey's years. Looks great. Tasteful remixes. Excellent handling of some of the more fraught, sensitive parts of the original text (cross dressing sequence isn't just punching down at queer folk! hurray!). And then they made some Choices. And while I'm open to what those Choices entail, I think they backload those Choices in a way that wasn't great and will make some people VERY ANGERY. But this is a quality game.

  • A huge part of why I show up for these damn games at all is the music, and to prove it I played like a billion hours of Theatrhythm. I even plopped down cash money for a bunch of additional tunes from Chrono Trigger and the like. For real, check this thing out if you are here and have even the slightest affinity for rhythm games.

  • At long last, I have finished this game. I thought the first two disks were solid enough, but over time Zidane's sex pest with a cravat ass really started to wear me down. Amarant is one of the worst characters in this whole series. The eldritch/other world shit they added in at the end of disk three is probably my least favorite of those sorts of twists in the series. Finally, a lot of the music was really lacking compared to VIII and X around it. I think it's the weakest of the PSX games, but it's still a pretty good time for a while.

  • Somehow the folks who made Nioh 2 were able to combine the time loop story from Final Fantasy I, Frank Sinatra's "My Way", and the bones of SoulsBourne combat into a decent action game. One that says "fuck", even. Walks a line between guilty pleasure and actually being good, actually.

  • A very humble origin for the series, I find the most pleasure with FFI in trying to play the game in weird ways. My Deep Listens podcast appearances about this game had me beat it with one permanently dead party member. If I played this again, I might try an all monks run. It's mostly a game of making your numbers big while making enemy numbers small, the most rudimentary of JRPG stuff. You're not here for a plot, which boils down to "Man is bad, can time travel, must do a kill." If you can hang with that, you can probably enjoy FFI.

  • Has a few cruft-adjacent elements (useless classes, bizarre vehicle progression, crummy encounters) that keep it from outright soaring alongside later games in the series. Maybe not as impressive as Dragon Quests III and IV.

  • Does it tell the same type of epic, faux-Shakespearean tale of big grown up FFT? Not in the slightest. Are the judges occasionally frustrating? Sure. Does this game provide a ton of commute length-sized Tactics battles with interesting decisions, wrapped up in a nice presentation? You bet your ass.

  • Honestly too much of a hot mess to get very high on this ranking, but not for want of trying or lack of neat ideas. Iterates on a flawed combat system to make it Just A Bit Less Bad. Tells a story that fobs off a lot of the baggage of XIII's dogshit plot while adding a few of its own mangled ideas as well to keep things from being too straightforward. The inner core of two platonic friends having time travel adventures while a man in a body suit, scarves, and feathers screams about ending reality because he's sad about his time witch ward dying always forever is good JRPG pap. Minute to minute gameplay, not as good.

  • I can only hate a game with a Space Harrier sequence so much. You do need to wade through the most fan service-y dregs of Square's mid-aughts FFVII marketing blitz. It's just sorta mediocre, spends time doing the ST:Enterprise thing of answering questions that didn't even need to be asked. I don't care about how Vincent Valentine became a vampire/monster thing with pointy boots, and the real answer is "Nomura thought it would look cool". He was right!

  • The first "weird" game in the series. Apes some stuff from CRPGs of the era, has some literally broken systems in the Famicon release, and people aren't all the way off base about the whole "hit yourself to win" thing. Still, when you play this in a manner similar to what I outlined above for FFI, instead of looking for a "good" game with a "memorable" story, FFII is a perfectly fine 3* affair. Fuck those monster closets though.

  • Yeah, this does feel kinda low. So much of this game disappointed me. It has one of the better written, personal stories of the whole series. Too bad it's spread entirely too thin across an ultimately unsatisfying core gameplay system. The amount of content in this game is staggering, but you may safely ignore (or just miss!) half of it and still roll credits.

  • I had real high hopes for XV, and it did wind up letting me down. When it plays on the notes of friendship and reclaiming a lost throne, you can sorta get into a groove with XV. But then you have to play the fairly mindless combat, and deal with the total fart of an antagonist. And THEN you need to watch a few hours of supplemental films and OVAs to have the fullest context for the game's plot, AND THEN they sold some of the best parts of the game from mechanical and narrative perspectives as DLC, AND THEN THEY DIDN'T EVEN FINISH THOSE. But I'd be lying if I said the core cast wasn't enjoyable, and driving the car around listening to Big Bridge is a good time. Mixed bag.

  • A free advergame that I'd go redeem as soon as possible, because this thing has ephemeral written all over it. A 2D beatemup with movement mapped to the analog stick, which SUCKS. Otherwise it's fine. Does literally nothing to advance the FFXV lore beyond "Noctis had a father who read to him as a child".