Ranking of Final Fantasies

Out of the mainline series (I, VII, X-2, etc.) originally available on a home console (that means you’re out, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings) in as close to the original version as possible.

To-Do List:

  • Play Final Fantasy XIV more
  • Replay Final Fantasy V
  • Replay Final Fantasy XII
  • Don’t play Final Fantasy XI

Playthrough timeline:

Final Fantasy II (Origins)
October 5, 2020
Final Fantasy IV (PSP Remake)
September 24, 2020
Final Fantasy (Origins)
February 3, 2020
Final Fantasy III (Remake)
December 7, 2019
Final Fantasy VI
November 30, 2019
Final Fantasy VII (second completion) September 27, 2019
Final Fantasy XV March 30, 2018
Final Fantasy XIV May 8, 2017
Final Fantasy IX April 22, 2015
Final Fantasy V April 7, 2015
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (second completion) March 4, 2015
Final Fantasy XIII (second completion) October 23, 2014
Final Fantasy X-2 (second completion) September 24, 2014
Final Fantasy X (second completion) May 17, 2014
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII February 22, 2014
Final Fantasy XII November 25, 2013
Final Fantasy VIII (second completion) Mid-2013
Final Fantasy XIII-2 September 30, 2012
Final Fantasy XIII August 11, 2010
Final Fantasy X "A bit after too long ago"
Final Fantasy X-2 "Too long ago"
Final Fantasy VII "A very long time ago"
Final Fantasy VIII N/A

List items

  • The ease with which I can break this game by simply avoiding battles as much as possible while stocking up on magic (Note: I understand why people don't like this) when I get the chance to essentially make myself more powerful amazes me. Despite that, this is the only Final Fantasy game which required multiple playthroughs from me to finally finish because, well, becoming overpowered by leveling is a JRPG mechanic I've come to expect to resort to in this type of game, but in the case of FFVIII, would ultimately become my downfall as monsters leveled with me and would tear me to shreds if I didn't use the junction system properly, which was very confusing to me the first time through. This game still, to date, is probably the most unforgiving and most broken Final Fantasy I've ever played, and I love it for that.

    Last completed: Mid-2013

  • With the release of the HD Remaster version came my excitement to play this game once again, especially with the addition of features that never officially transferred over to North America until now. While I haven’t spent too much time with those particulars, what I remembered of the game is still there like the puzzle rooms (referred to as Cloisters of Trials) that apparently have been imprinted into my mind for years and triggered a sort of nostalgic trauma that led me to question my current gaming finesse and logical leaps as I resorted to FAQs to get through them as quickly as possible despite their mundane simplicity after the fact. They weren’t difficult however, but some were annoying and definitely not what I was looking forward to when I played through this.

    Other than that, the battle system remains solid and continues to be one of my favorites of the series thus far. Surfacing turn order rather than relying on bars filling up, then inputting commands as quickly as possible is something I appreciate in my clearly old-timey ways.

    Regarding a certain character’s development, my suspicions that younger me thinking that Auron was cool was surprisingly not unfounded. A world-renowned figure whose past exploits are legendary yet assists another despite his knowledge of how ultimately futile a summoner's pilgrimage is and how corrupt the religious teachings are when all of it was for a short reprieve and the loss of two close friends on his part, whom he devotes the rest of his life fulfilling their wishes. His existence being “cool” not only misses the point, but is one of immense tragedy and hopelessness despite his stoic demeanor.

    Last completed: May 17, 2014

    Previous entry:

    I ain't gonna lie, Final Fantasy X-2 was sought after before I even got this game, and I don't regret my teenage hormones one bit. While my judgement of these games may be clouded by the sheer time that has passed since last played, Final Fantasy X's intuitive battle system more than left an impression on me by becoming my most favorite of the Final Fantasy games I've played. Sure, it will probably come down to casting haste and watching your party members' turns shift up multiple times as the primary strategic mainstay, but in the end it wouldn't even matter as Tidus' dad would still wreck my shit. And that Auron guy was pretty cool, man.

    Last completed: A bit after too long ago

  • Note: Larger entry featured on Best of 2014

    While its most appealing aspect coming in is its time-restraining world-ending prophecy, the mere nature of it repelled me at the same time for making me think about how poorly I handle my own time. However, it's entirely manageable and was surprisingly the least of my worries as the combat proved to be challenging (even on easy) but very satisfying when it comes down to timing your guards and attacks in addition to the combat staple of the XIII trilogy of games, staggering your enemies as quickly as you can. While I strongly suspected that being inadequate with the battle system would be my folly, I didn't realize how much I would enjoy it as much as I did. And with the stoic delivery of opening taunts from Lightning made for some cheap laughs that I'll always remember. It was nice hearing from you again, Badass Liara.

    Last completed: February 22, 2014

  • Aside from the mandatory card game tournament you must partake in and the cheap yet polite final boss, I found my time with the game surprisingly pleasant and engrossing despite my many years of avoiding it and believing that it wouldn’t be for me. Perhaps it was due to my friend’s behest that this was the best Final Fantasy compared to what I thought was (FFVIII) or the artstyle, which, by the end, neither of which surpassed either expectation but excelled in other aspects.

    What shouldn’t come as a surprise is how black mages are portrayed in the series. Fully robed with a wizard hat atop their gifted domes comes their typically inexplicable talent in what is called black magic. Vivi’s mysterious past and development throughout the game trumps all expectations that come with a legacy such as his, offensive magic that is revered and respected but the actions conducted by others like him struck fear in the citizens of those in the world of Gaia created a sense of reality in a fantastical world. Discrimination and the acceptance of one’s origins defined Vivi’s existence in an unfair world, much like our own.

    Other than that, I found the combination of equipment and the way to learn abilities through them easy to understand and emphasized that, for a majority of the game, as long as I was accruing Ability Points to learn abilities without specific equipment equipped it didn’t matter what I was wearing in battle and so the worry of being underleveled or under-equipped never struck me as the reason for any difficulty or frustration. It did, however, feel cumbersome as it made me spend more time than usual in menus comparing abilities learned or not. Shops, in this regard, would’ve been helpful had they more information of what abilities they offered but, alas, they did not.

    Last completed: April 22, 2015

  • With the rising excitement for the upcoming remake, I couldn’t pass up on playing this beloved classic again before it releases or, well, a part of it at least. Given my tepid writeup based on my long-standing grudge against Sephiroth, this time things couldn’t be more different as I completely obliterated him much to my belated surprise. Due to my carefully planned overpreparation, the fearsome damage I expected never even had the chance to come to light, much less suffer any of the forewarned status effects at his disposal when my final team makeup was relentless in giving the business, and fast.

    Determining my party’s strength through the flexibility and simplicity of the materia system made grinding a focused effort that was fun to gauge and follow through. This freedom also made every character viable, bar one, and easy to mold depending on classic archetypes like tank, support, and damage so the only thing that set each party member apart were their limit breaks. While figuring out the best limit break is easy, that didn’t sway my choosing of Vincent and Tifa for a majority of my playthrough. A “vampire” capable of assured critical damage and a little lady who settles things with her fists were my easy go-to.

    While the overarching plot starts off small and predictably snowballs into saving the entire planet from imminent destruction, the events in the first half felt promising along with the revelatory scenes peppered in the second left the biggest impression on me. Introductions to most characters weren’t shone in the greatest of light but under oppression, captivity, self-interest, depression and so on before being swallowed up by the main character’s identity crisis. Upon realizing this, it’s not surprising why Cloud is among the more popular franchise protagonists. In any case, I’m excited to see what’s to come in the remake.

    Last completed: September 27, 2019

    Previous entry:

    Despite being regarded as the "best game ever" from people likely from my generation, I don't really remember much of it and obviously don't revere it as much as they do. I remember Sephiroth pulling some BS at the end and casting that meteor thing like 6 times on me since I was max level. Thanks, asshole.

    Last completed: A very long time ago

  • By removing the timer on the original free trial and allowing levelling and content up to a certain point, I decided to jump into my first Final Fantasy MMO. While I’ve been dismissive of ever playing either one of them in the past, I was excited to find something to casually commit to and fill up the time during the weeks leading up to Persona 5’s release. I’ve only heard good things since its re-release yet somehow I didn’t expect the quality of life improvements to make the game feel as welcoming and easy to get into as it is.

    First off, the last big MMOs I played was World of Warcraft circa 2007/2008 and Guild Wars 2 in 2015, so expecting the same thing by comparing this with those two shouldn’t be the case but, (un)fortunately, they’re my only reference points in one of my least favorite genres to play or even think about playing. From what I’ve gleaned, even with one character it seems you can be any class you want depending on whatever weapon you have equipped, which might not sound so mind-blowing to a regular player but to me I kinda couldn’t believe it. However, that novelty didn’t last for very long as I no longer have the desire to play the game.

    For the most part, the game did a good job funneling me into new areas without ever making me feel like I’m being bombarded with meaningless quests to do. However thin, there were a handful of narratives the game wanted to tell me and keep up with peppered with the usual kill and fetch quests for good measure. It helps that the world is based on Final Fantasy lore and so compared to something like Guild Wars 2, I was more invested in it thanks to the aesthetics, spell names, chocobos, etc., whereas in Guild Wars 2 I skipped every bit of story because who gives a fuck.

    All in all, it’s no surprise the game is actually considered to be doing well. It’s very easy to get into, it’s the least restrictive I’ve seen when it comes to class building. Perhaps it’s more important for those more serious into the game for dungeon raiding and the like with greater potential for specific racial traits, if that’s even what really sets the greatest from the rest. In any case, I don’t personally regard this favorably since, well, after looking back on my time with it, it was pretty boring.

    Written: May 8, 2017

  • Note: Same entry is featured on Best New Old Games of 2019

    After numerous false starts, deciding which version to play came down to convenience at the small expense of my sanity. Thanks to the PlayStation version, my greatest complaint revolves around its exclusive loading times, which may not sound like much but staring at a black screen for three seconds minimum while loading in and out of battles and menus felt like an eternity’s worth of time was lost. It’s hard not to think that that was enough to color my experience for the worse but the actual game does a great job at outweighing the bad with the good.

    While there may be a huge ensemble of characters to choose from and follow, settling on whom was best in combat seemed to favor those who could reliably output damage to multiple targets at zero cost. Otherwise, some party members’ distinct skills relied on luck to be effective thus rendering themselves useless in my eyes, however they were still appreciated even if some are merely different takes on blue mages. To put it simply, utilizing common fighting game inputs to do special attacks is just too cool of an opportunity to pass up in a Final Fantasy.

    Structurally, FFVI’s world can be split into two discrete narratives switching focus between former tools of the empire after a catastrophic event. The first half begins in generic JRPG fashion with an amnesiac character seeking a purpose before throwing out most conventions I expect from the series. There were some moments that felt more parody than not but at the same time a celebration, or possibly a farewell, to 2D Final Fantasy, which I especially felt during the ending sequence. However, one of my favorite takeaways has to be the emphasis on the origin and dangers of espers.

    How espers, or summons alternatively, are treated in this world reminds me of another time when an established series custom was foisted into the spotlight and expanded to unveil the inherent horrors of incredible power when harnessed for evil. Black mages in FFIX were written to this effect and remains as one of my favorite themes explored by the series to date. FFVI divulged experimentation and energy sources through entities called espers revealing the inumane cost for massive power.

    Last completed: November 30, 2019

  • My hopes to relive my past glory of one hundred-percenting Final Fantasy X-2 were doomed from the very beginning when I decided to use a guide to dictate my every action. Misinformation, poor instructions, and puns galore all made for a very frustrating return to what was once a beloved entry, but now one colored by my misjudged confidence in the guide’s author. Not even halfway through, I had wished I carried through with a hassle-free playthrough from the start, unshackled and free of any obligation to help everyone despite Yuna’s savant ego. Nonetheless, the guide did help me realize how much padding X-2 relied on.

    The shallow camaraderie between the members of the flying airship Celsius made for many awkward moments, intentional or not, between the multiple return trips to the locales of Spira. While the idea of a post-Final Fantasy X world was enticing, living the religious fallout after Sin’s destruction one small step at a time was anything but. Having the entire world open to exploration from the start allowed an aspect of easily accessible nonlinearity not many Final Fantasy games offer, but soon it made me realize how little consequence the rest of the world had not in the form of main quests, alternatively known as “Hotspots.”

    Areas not marked with a “Hotspots” tag were areas considered unimportant to the already paper-thin premise - is that "him"? Handing out balloons, calibrating lightning rods, and spying on friends bathing in hot springs are among the most exciting things you can do without treading on the main story, giving Dead or Alive: Paradise a run for its money on the side. The aforementioned guide was a relative godsend in this aspect as it listed items possibly worth excavating from each area until much later when every area wanted so much with the little payoff being some garment grid that was probably really good in retrospect, but damned if I cared if I had to memorize gil patterns or whatnot.

    This game's saving grace was its hectic fast-paced battle system, which is totally unlike the rest of a slog the game can be. Admittedly, ninety percent of the random encounters were beaten by holding down the X button on my end, but when shit hits the fan, it hits hard. Basic tactic is putting up defenses and letting things play out, switching dresspheres when necessary to lessen the impact of the next big attack about to be deployed and withstanding until victory. In that, the capability of delaying an enemy’s attack, not just by casting a spell, but by simply attacking has always been a sticking point on my enjoyment of the combat, even when the roles are reversed and I’m the one losing the chance to deal some damage. While that may not last long, the rigid fluidity of the combat has always amazed me.

    Last completed: September 24, 2014

    Previous entry:

    Perhaps the second game in the series I ever played, after Final Fantasy VIII, and not only that it also follows in its footsteps in being quite ridiculous, not by its story like FFVIII's, but by its presentation (now that I remember, its story was pretty stupid, too). It could just be pure nostalgia on my part and its weird girl band-parody novelty it had going, but the battle system's departure from a distinctively turn-based one to a fast-paced action-based one just clicked with me from the very beginning to the very end when I 100%'d this game.

    Last completed: Too long ago

  • What got me excited to get back into this game was the ability to make Serah say the dumbest shit and while doing so make the others around her suffer from her apparent inanity, but was reluctant to experience the rest of what the game offers. However, upon finishing the game proper, I had forgotten how remarkable XIII-2’s antagonist was.

    While it isn’t a new concept in any regard, instead of having an antagonist who is evil for the sake of being evil, but one of vague noble intentions that would lead the entire world into chaos just to save one person. Or, more specifically, one soul he would protect and care for until her timely deaths in every era, repeatedly in his arms. An act he vows to rid of by creating a world where life and death are no more.

    The outcome of which doesn’t exactly pan out in the sequel, but nonetheless doesn’t come to pass as he had foreseen and for a moment things seem alright. Like I mentioned the last time I played through this, I was surprised by the ending despite numerous warnings of what could happen might happen yet discounted them due to the repeated conditioning my playing of Final Fantasy games have taught me: there’s always a happy ending.

    Last completed: March 4, 2015

    Previous entry:

    To be honest, this game has no justifiable right in being so surprisingly good. But it was. With low expectations and disappointment coming in fresh from its prequel, retconning that game's ending only helped. The nonlinear nature of time-traveling, thus solving one of Final Fantasy XIII's problems (and in many ways that), and the inclusion of bizarre and utterly unimportant dialog choices made me feel like Square Enix recognized how popular they were in Western RPGs and implemented it half-assedly, similar to how Quantum Theory (I'm sure everyone knows about this game) implemented an active reload bar without actually, well, having an active reload mechanic, and all while straying from what I expected from them somehow gave me hope for them in return, especially with that rather surprising ending.

    Last completed: September 30, 2012

  • Note: Same entry is featured on Best of 2018

    For a large majority of the game, my time was spent exploring the beautiful world, defeating hulking enemies, and eating delicious pixels of food. However, when things got serious, I couldn't fully comprehend or care for what was going on, especially during a certain chapter, despite watching the related anime and movie over a year ago. I can't blame the game's penchant for dividing a player's attention when the choice to finally see things through becomes a walk in the park after shuffling through the massive, but rather barren, playground you're dropped into. It's a surprisingly sudden but welcome change as I felt I saw everything worth seeing before the game funnels into the ending.

    I didn’t expect much from the first truly open world Final Fantasy came up with because in a way it’s very similar to earlier entries’ reliance on the overworld for relatively quick travel between settlements. Instead of a giant avatar lunging in an overworld representing the player character running amok, a four-door sedan ferries the party across the land. It isn’t the first time a modern-looking vehicle has made an appearance in the series, though it doesn’t make it any less weirder with all the series-traditional magic and beasts roaming about but it did help foster the camaraderie between the boys.

    Driving along the highway, refueling at the nearest gas station, eating at the diner, setting up camp, deciding what food to prepare, reviewing your friend’s pictures throughout the day, rinse and repeat. It goes without saying how simple an approach could be used so effectively to display the powerful brotherhood between the four party members. Thanks to the repetitive nature of their travels, a moment I felt I only chanced upon felt the more greater considering how tragic and desperate their journey wrought upon them so to see it wrap up with a resounding bang... it’s not so hopeless after all.

    Last completed: March 30, 2018

  • Despite taking over 20 hours for the game to stop babying me, the journey was not only immensely linear up to that point but very relaxing and allowed me to, once again, revisit Persona 4 with Vinny and Jeff (which, oddly enough, was appropriate) in the background. However, once I stood before the sprawling expanse of the Archylte Steppe, I was immediately overwhelmed by the sight of it yet it was the thing I had been waiting for - something that didn't resemble the hallway outside of my door, even if it meant merely providing a short detour for myself before continuing with the story.

    Unlike my previous excursion with the game, I opted to use Japanese voice tracks with the hope to remedy what previously irked me and irrationally determined my general feelings for the game, my annoyance with Vanille’s inconsistent Australian accent. My thoughts on Vanille this time around, in short, were positively indifferent, which is technically an upgrade and never did I nod my head in disapproval whenever she opened her mouth.

    Unfortunately, that didn't make the battle system any more exciting to control. With the sequels honing and even uprooting the core team paradigm mechanic to play more like a character action game, coming back to this game meant I had to learn and stick to the very basics, for better or worse. Thus, it’s somewhat understandable in retrospect considering this is the first trilogy within a long-standing series such as this. Its approach to input simplicity to achieve hectic and cinematic battles is flawless, but it’s quickly offset by its efficiency. By relying on set patterns with little player inspection, it enforced lengthy unfulfilling battles of inevitable victory.

    What was surprising to me was how some elements of the game drew parallels to some games of the Persona series. Like I mentioned earlier, I had the Persona 4 Endurance Run playing in the background, I don't normally do this but for when I'm replaying a game, it's a godsend. Anyway, whenever a character's resolve was under duress, they are pulled into a battle with a powerful and demanding being meant to set them straight and thus strengthen their battle capacity, much like Personas with the characters in Persona 4. And with Hope, whose overplayed unpopularity has been overshadowed by my personal disdain for Vanille, also drew comparisons with one Ken Amada from Persona 3, whose relationship with someone he battles alongside with is blamed for the death of a loved one and demands eventual satisfaction.

    Last completed: October 23, 2014

    Previous entry:

    People thought Hope was annoying? How about Vanille being both annoying and her inscrutable accent?... complete later... maybe...

    Last completed: August 11, 2010

  • What is likely not going to be the last time I complain about this as I go through some of the older 2D Final Fantasy games: the combination of a high encounter rate and the fact that entering most battles are incurred randomly and unavoidable made for a very annoying experience despite my use of a save that allowed me to have every job available to me from the start and overpowered equipment in my inventory.

    However, that did not impact how intuitive and customizable the job system is. Allowing abilities learned through jobs to be able to function with other jobs made strategies seem limitless and, of course, inefficient in the long run. Finding that sweet spot for me meant utilizing a handful of beneficial spells and massive amounts of gold to take down nearly every enemy. It’s likely that I’m now a baby when it comes to difficulty in games, but a lot of enemies even within random battles could be pushovers and so in combination with the high encounter rate I mentioned earlier, it meant I would have to go into the menu to get my shit back together a lot.

    What is unfortunate about playing the PlayStation version of this game meant there would be loading screens between transitions in and out of battle and the main menu. They aren’t very long, maybe about 1-3 seconds tops, but they mount up. Just by looking at this game, you’d think it would be instantaneous, but nope, it was a disc-based game on the PlayStation and not a cartridge on the SNES. Another thing I will likely refer to should I finish my playthrough of Final Fantasy VI, which won’t be anytime soon.

    Anyway, what stood out to me, despite it not being a new concept, especially compared to newer entries in the franchise (Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII currently), was how small the playable cast was. It made for a more personal story, at times silly considering the name of the main antagonist and a death scene that seems more parody than reality, and made it more than the save the world trope I expected this to primarily be, which it still was, of course. The characters alone are unremarkable, but even in 2D, their camaraderie was believable yet too convenient thanks to their parentage.

    Last completed: April 7, 2015

  • From the get-go, Final Fantasy IV (FFIV) already feels like I’m in the middle of the story when subordinates are questioning the orders they’ve been given lately as they collect crystals for their king. A montage of their ruthless retrievals display last lines of defenses crumbling and surrendering these seemingly powerful treasures. Enough is enough when the main character returns to the king but his wavering loyalty is shattered when he unwittingly destroys a tranquil village thanks to the king’s destructive delivery tasked upon him. Henceforth, stopping the king from stealing the rest of the crystals is the goal as many much self-sacrifices pave the way.

    For the longest time, party members were rotating in and out without notice, sometimes never to come back, while trailing behind the king’s successful path of destruction. While it’s nice to be surprised a few times by a Final Fantasy game, I’ll admit it was annoying when I suddenly lost whatever equipment they had attached, but I digress. Having a fluctuating party melded well with the narrative considering we were constantly playing catch-up with the main foe who happened to know that out-of-combat cutscenes were the weakness to any hopeful party member.

    If memory serves me right, this is likely the first entry in the series to place any significance in the job or class of each character. In some ways, this sequel feels like a trial run of Final Fantasy VI (FFVI) where everyone has their own set of useful skills and abilities that nobody else has or can get. And like FFVI, a lot of these skills are useless though not to the extent that FFVI achieves where there may as well be five blue mages at your disposal. Anyway, rather than focus on a group of chosen ones built at the player’s discretion, FFIV ingrains the importance of each character’s upbringing and thrives because of it.

    Last completed: September 24, 2020

  • Since the original version never released outside of Japan, the remake was my only option to experience what is, up to this point in my journey to play through each Final Fantasy, the most basic, nay, most fundamental entry so far. While it’s very likely similar sentiments will come to mind when the first and second entries are still on my plate, it’s still plain to see how so many narratives of the series can easily be boiled down to FFIII’s central story elements.

    Crystals and chosen ones. That’s it. Hoping for anything more at this point was silly on my part but it did make me realize that the overarching plots aren’t where my compliments begin when it comes to the series, just the odd thematic element here and there that just sticks out or how fun the battle system is. However, like with FFVI, there is an obvious split in the narrative that literally expands the world and thus raised my brow but for a moment. Besides that, nearly every exposition dump felt oddly concise and to-the-point, enough so that that’s my greatest impression of the game: its brevity.

    Even dungeons felt short and their sudden difficulty spikes diminished the longer time is spent within while their bosses provided undue tension with luck as their greatest ally. If they chose to use their strongest attack twice in one turn, you're done for. The final dungeon itself puts the rest to shame by being unnecessarily unforgiving by disallowing manual saves once inside and demands a gauntlet-sized effort to overcome the multitude of bosses within, which I can only imagine would’ve been quite the ordeal had I the original version. All in all, a succinct experience marred only by its simplicity.

    Last completed: December 7, 2019

  • While I appreciate the game quite literally playing itself, absolutely nothing else appeals to me. The characters, story, and, most of all, its world are downright boring and the whole thing just felt like a huge slog for very little enjoyment in return. I should have taken the hint that I didn't really enjoy it when I decided not to finish my playthrough on my now near-defunct backward-compatible PS3 years ago. My return to this world through emulated means didn't help its art style either, the designs of the characters and cities felt overwrought and, in a way, clashed together to create this ugly and washed out-looking mess of a game. And what's up with that guy's accent? It's all over the goddamn place.

    Last completed: November 25, 2013

  • While the intention for this list is to record my greatest impressions of each mainline Final Fantasy in their original form, or as close to them, as possible, I didn’t realize that the Origins collection paired the remasters of the first two games until the first of many random encounters hit me. Nonetheless, I doubt it would have made much of a difference considering that there really isn’t much to talk about in terms of the basic story or characters’ backstories or development. In fact, they’re bereft of any charm or personality that I’m surprised the series has gone on for as long as it has because of the success of this entry. Then again, it was originally released in 1987 so keeping things simple was probably for the best.

    Beginning with a party consisting of a warrior, thief, white mage, and a black mage is as simple as Final Fantasy can get. However, even up to the final boss, the thief and its upgraded class ninja seemed incredibly useless. It dealt incredibly low physical damage compared to the warrior, took hits like a chump and kept my white mage on edge, had no magic inclination until much later but by then it was too weak to be effective, and its specialty in fleeing didn’t help when there were random encounters that were inescapable just because. The worst aspect of them all was that it couldn’t steal, the livelihood of all thieves/ninjers wasn’t even there.

    Aside from that injustice, my other complaints revolve around the alarmingly high encounter rate. This was definitely the worst case yet when battles can have up to nine targets to fight or flee from, damage was assured in either process so reliance on consumables was expected, in the early dungeons at least. Navigating them wasn’t too tiresome, they were usually straightforward but very punishing without maps on hand when not every room was worth stepping into and only served to test my disengaged patience.

    Last completed: February 3, 2020

  • With Final Fantasy II, my quest to complete every mainline game is finally complete. However, if I didn’t already have the momentum to carry out this monumental task, I don’t think I would’ve had the patience or fortitude to willingly obligate myself through what is certainly what I consider the worst Final Fantasy game I’ve ever played. You’d think the only direction would be up and onward from the expected bare necessities of the original but the changes regarding levelling experience fostered grinding tactics too easily abused to find any enjoyment within the world.

    Basing statistical gains through actions in battle seems sensible but when the difference in strategy between random mobs and bosses is sheer attrition, that’s when the system shows its ass. Conduct during a majority of battles can be left with normal melee attacks, which would then increase stats relevant to such rudimentary effort. That, unfortunately, meant that the growth of imperative lifelines like health and mana pools simply didn’t happen unless I constantly attacked myself enough, but not too much, or pretended to. This made for hours of meticulous menu gymnastics to reach my goal: destroy the final Final Fantasy.

    Despite its efforts, the overworld’s twisted and turned landmasses didn’t impede my dire determination. The incessant backtracking needed to confirm the destinations of my rote rebellion through encounter-riddled dungeons rife with ambushes did not phase me. No enemy, boss or otherwise, was strong enough to forgo indiscriminate brute force until the final boss. Whereas any endgame equipment would be preferred elsewhere, two weapons in particular made the main villain a complete joke. A fitting end to one hell of a game.

    Last completed: October 5, 2020