Games | Final Fantasy Series Index

It's the biggest and most franchised role-playing video game series in the world. Dragon Quest may sell better on a game-by-game basis; World of Warcraft has more subscribers; Ultima was doing pretty well until EA destroyed it. But after twenty years, Final Fantasy is still plugging away as Square Enix's primary engine of commerce.

Begging the question, of course, of how long it's going to take before the series has been whored to death. But we'll leave that one to the philosophers.

General info

Things that are not specific to a single game, like chocobos, and Cid, and too-long summon spell animations.

The Final Fantasy Trainspotter's Guide:
A compendium of names and references and recurring themes and all the other little things that make Final Fantasy, you know, Final Fantasy.

A History of Final Fantasy:
Because sometimes the hilarity of asking how it can be the "final" fantasy if there's so many of 'em wears a little thin and you have to take things at face value.

The Games

Reviews and other assorted information about the different chapters of the Final Fantasy series. Some are positive and gushing! Some are vicious excoriations. The exciting part is that you'll never know which is which until you read them.

Final Fantasy Review:
Though it was a modest epic in its day (and Nintendo tried to hype it beyond all belief), the original Final Fantasy is merely pretty OK. Mightyblue explains: is still kind of fun, but ultimately nothing great.

Final Fantasy Portmania:
That hasn't kept Square Enix from porting it to every console under the sun. Why, just this morning I used my microwave oven to heat a waffle and level up my Monk, all at the same time. Mightyblue delves into the series' history.

Final Fantasy II Review:
Nobody loves this game, not even Mightyblue. And for good reason! It is chock full of innovative but poorly-implemented ideas that did such damage to the gameplay that Square quarantined them into the SaGa series for safety.

Final Fantasy III Review:
FFIII went more than fifteen years without an English translation, making it a holy grail of sorts, once we finally got Final Fantasy V and the original hard-type version of IV and all. But as with so many late-to-be-translated games, once the thing arrived in a legitimate American version, everyone suddenly ceased to care. Oh, fickle gamers. wumpwoast chastises you!

Final Fantasy IV Review:
Preposterous melodrama, stiflingly linear gameplay, limited character skills: despite these things, Final Fantasy IV is regarded by some as the best game in the series. Torgo peers into the heart of madness, the game that established a dangerous precedent that has loomed over the games ever since.

Final Fantasy IV Advance:
With new dungeons, new roles for favorite characters and fully restored content, this would be the definitive version of Final Fantasy IV. If it didn't play like a complete piece of crap.

Final Fantasy IV Cast?:
A brief but beautiful synopsis of the melodramatis personae.

Final Fantasy V Review:
Hironobu Sakaguchi once said that this was his favorite entry in the series, which meant a lot to gamers until we realized his idea of "good thinking" meant Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

Final Fantasy VI Review:
I'm pretty sure that the only people more annoying than fanboys who think Final Fantasy VII was the first great RPG are the fanboys who think Final Fantasy VI was the last great RPG. This does not detract from the quality of the game itself, though -- not even for author bobservo.

Final Fantasy VII Review:
The seventh Final Fantasy is fraught with so much baggage that it's almost impossible to judge objectively. So, hell, I didn't even bother trying.

The Voice of the Planet:
Nicola Nomali acknowledges the futility inherent in trying to change anyone's opinion on this albatross and instead reconstructs the subject itself with a heretofore unexplored perspective on its overlooked achievements.

Advent Children Review:
Advent Children, the second Final Fantasy movie, is an interesting contrast to its predecessor The Spirits Within. Whereas the earlier film was a boring mess that had too little to do with the games, Advent Children is a hyperactive mess that is entirely too much like the games. I'm not convinced it was a trade for the better.

Before Crisis Review:
I used to think Japanese publishers created games for cell phones to taunt people in nations with poor cell game support. Games like Before Crisis prove that in fact, they do it to punish people in nations with good cellular support.

Crisis Core Review:
Barely a game, Crisis Core is better seen as a follow-up to Advent Children performed largely through machinima.

Dirge of Cerberus Review:
Barely a game, Dirge of Cerberus is better seen as a hate crime against the art of video gaming.

Final Fantasy VIII Review:
It's been nearly a decade. Do we have all the "Final Fantasy 90210" jokes out of our system now? Yes? Excellent. Now chud666 can praise -- or scorn! -- Final Fantasy VIII entirely on its own merits or failings rather than hobbling along with stale, clichéd jokes as his crutch. Bless him.

Final Fantasy IX Review:
Where the first two PlayStation Final Fantasys were daring but uneven leaps into new technology and new gameplay, Final Fantasy IX was a mild, inoffensive attempt to play it safe by relying on snuggly familiarity. No wonder it's so popular.

Fantasy Made Reality?:
Kolbe examines the themes and characters of Final Fantasy's most thematically character-driven chapter.

Final Fantasy X Review:
Currently, no review for Final Fantasy X is available. So we're just going to stand here and bellow awkward, fake laughter until people hate us. Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha!

Final Fantasy X-2 Review:
Perhaps the single most reviled entry in the Final Fantasy series to date, and to the mind of many a grim sign of the series's very literal whoredom to come. Except it's actually pretty good, you whiners.

Final Fantasy XI Review:
A bold follow-up to Final Fantasy X, the game called "XI" was a radical departure for the series, what with it being a heavily party-based MMO and all. Oh, how the fans fumed.

The FFXI DIY Guide:
Long before anyone had actually played Final Fantasy XI, we tried to assuage the fears of long-time series fans who were terrified by its sudden left turn into MMO territory by teaching them how to play XI as if it were an old-school game. I dread to imagine how utterly ineffective this guide actually is.

Final Fantasy Tactics Review:
The first major Final Fantasy spin-off and still the best, Tactics introduced gamers to the world of Ivalice, brought the Job system to America for the first time, and made us pledge our souls to our new lord Yasumi Matsuno. This game was a gift from god.

Vagrant Story Review:
Though not technically a Final Fantasy game, Vagrant Story is set in Ivalice and bears quite a few connections to the rest of the Ivalice Alliance. It's also completely brilliant. So screw you if you don't think it belongs here.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Review:
One of the most divisive chapters of a series known for divisiveness, Tactics Advance was an improvement on the original Tactics in many ways...and a horrible step back in just as many other ways, if not more. But Brandon discovered why it's ultimately pretty awesome: you play the villain. Burn, Ivalice, burn.

Final Fantasy XII Review:
Years from now, Final Fantasy XII will be regarded as being every bit the "end of an era" landmark that Final Fantasy VI was. A massive game that challenged Final Fantasy fans to look deep into their souls. This made many people angry and was generally regarded as a bad idea.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings Review:
Vaan may have technically been the main character of Final Fantasy XII, but let's be honest: he was pretty much immaterial to the plot. This, though...this is his story. Unsurprisingly, it's often goofy and ridiculous.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Review:
Hey kids, you like the turn-based tactical combat? A2 would be called "Advance 2" except for the fact that it's on DS, not Game Boy Advance, which would make that a pretty friggin' silly name. Not that A2 is any better, mind you.

Final Fantasy XIII Review:
Gamers terrified by Final Fantasy XII's cruel determination to shake up clichés and explore new ideas will find much comfort in Final Fantasy XIII's colorful techno-magical futurism, feathered hair, zippered sportswear -- and of course, a mysterious, sullen hero(ine) with an elemental name and a big ol' sword.

Final Fantasy Agito XIII Review:
Man, the only thing that could make excessive "polymorphic content" based around an unseen, untested video game better is if part of that content was based around a card battling game for cell phone. Yeeeeeah.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII Review:
No one actually knows anything about this spin-off, except that it's set in a vaguely near-future world and has a lot of totally gorgeous computer-rendered graphics. We...we don't need to see your gameplay. You can go about your business. Move along, move along.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Review:
In retrospect, Crystal Chronicles is a brilliant piece of satire. For years, Nintendo tried to sway Square to return to the N-fold; and when at last the rift was healed, Square gave them a simplified action RPG with no substantial connection to the main Final Fantasy series, designed as a hilarious mockery of Nintendo's obsession with connectivity.

Chocobo Racing Review:
Final Fantasy was one of the first gaming series to dabble in the dark realm of mascot-based kart racers. In this way, too, was the series an innovative trend-setter, firmly establishing the fact that kart racers not centered around Mario are complete crap.

Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon Review:
Only a Japanese developer would choose to use a fuzzy, adorable chicken as the main character of a roguelike dungeon hack, one of the single most brutal sub-genres ever. Next up: puppies that spit acid, and exploding babies.

Final Fantasy Dissidia Review:
Somewhere between Super Smash Bros. and the interminable summon spells from Final Fantasy VIII lies...Dissidia.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Review:
As the centerpiece of Square's curious 16-bit campaign to express contempt for Americans wherever possible, Mystic Quest is an odd duck. It is vaguely innovative, has fantastic music, and has all the challenge of punching through a wall made of wet tissue paper.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Review:
The Spirits Within is not a particularly great movie, and it's even worse now that the once-revolutionary CG is so dated. But it's an important part of the Final Fantasy legacy, because it pretty much single-handedly bankrupted Square. Awesome.

The SaGa Series?:
Hey kids, it's the sequel to Final Fantasy II. And various and sundry other sequels to that. And bizarre things that aren't quite sequels. The only thing they have in common is that they hate your stupid face.

The Mana Series?:
The Mana games legitimately began as a side-story to Final Fantasy. Over time, Square Enix has slowly spun them into their own stand-alone concern. Interestingly, the games' quality has slowly decreased, almost in tandem. Coincidence? Hm...what do you think?