25 Greatest Final Fantasy Games Of All Time, Ranked

25 Greatest Final Fantasy Games Of All Time, Ranked

The phrases “iconic” and “definitive” get tossed round so usually that they will lose their impression, however the very best video games within the Ultimate Fantasy collection handle to earn the utilization. The franchise really defines an RPG sub-genre all its personal, having solid an unbelievable legacy and popularity over three lengthy a long time within the gaming trade. From its 8-bit origins on the NES to the current launch of Ultimate Fantasy 16, the best Ultimate Fantasy video games convey fantasy worlds to vivid life and fill them with narratives, characters, and gameplay that seize the hearts of gamers worldwide.

Whereas Ultimate Fantasy’s working legacy is considered one of plain success, it will possibly hardly be claimed that each launch was simply pretty much as good because the final. Some titles within the collection bundle fascinating tales with lackluster gameplay, whereas others discover thrilling new instructions with out sticking the touchdown. Nonetheless, each sport among the many 25 finest entries within the franchise has one thing to supply followers, and the stability between acquainted beloved components and continued innovation has ensured that actually glorious Ultimate Fantasy titles proceed to return round when the whole lot comes collectively good.

Associated: 5 Ultimate Fantasy Video games To Play Subsequent If FF16 Was Your First

25 Lightning Returns: Ultimate Fantasy 13

Regardless of a really combined fan reception to Ultimate Fantasy 13, Sq. Enix dedicated to persevering with its story in two follow-up video games. Lightning Returns is the conclusion of this saga, and loads of gamers returned to see the tip to the story of one of many least annoying Ultimate Fantasy protagonists. Whereas it echoes many strengths and weaknesses alike from the primary sport, it additionally launched one key drawback of its personal – a time restrict for every save file. Granted, it is part of the story, nevertheless it’s a irritating alternative for a Ultimate Fantasy sport.

The idea of a time restrict lends a way of urgency to speeding by means of the sport, which works towards what many individuals contemplate the core Ultimate Fantasy expertise. Expansive worlds, hours of exploration, aspect quests, and secrets and techniques galore are sometimes a central attraction for the collection. Turning the entire thing right into a dash simply does not appear that enjoyable.

24 Ultimate Fantasy 13

Protagonist Lightning from Final Fantasy 13 holding a weapon while sitting on a white couch.

Regardless of being an extremely stunning trying sport packing some fascinating and enjoyable fight mechanics, Ultimate Fantasy 13 doubled down on rail-bound gameplay and plot course that appears to run counter to the spirit of the collection. Many gamers lose curiosity within the sport earlier than it ever begins to open up, as its higher options have bother sustaining hours of working by means of hallways.

The linear plot and gameplay all however robs Ultimate Fantasy 13 of the open sense of surprise that makes for a memorable Ultimate Fantasy expertise. Not the whole lot the sport has been derided for is all dangerous, because the Paradigm system’s quirks do not cease it from being fluid and entertaining, however different video games within the collection simply give the participant extra to do.

23 Ultimate Fantasy Kind-0

Action gameplay from Final Fantasy Type 0 in an urban environment.

Ultimate Fantasy Kind-0 performs extra like an experiment than the rest, and it actually does not come up brief by way of ambition. That could be what holds it again from being nice, nonetheless; It merely tries to do an excessive amount of.

Incorporating technique components in addition to persevering with the action-RPG gameplay development that many Ultimate Fantasy titles have adopted, Ultimate Fantasy Kind-0 manages to drag off an total gratifying expertise regardless of being a bit convoluted by way of each mechanics and plot. The characters, whereas distinct, do not supply an excessive amount of to recollect them by. Ultimate Fantasy Kind-0 is a sport price taking part in, however not one price calling the most effective Ultimate Fantasy video games.

22 Ultimate Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

A party ready for battle in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered.

Crystal Chronicles does what it was designed to do, delivering a stable Ultimate Fantasy title to the GameCube and pull off an entertaining multiplayer expertise. It achieves the primary aim with aplomb, though the second’s success is of a barely extra combined high quality.

The multiplayer implementation was a bit cumbersome, necessitating a system hyperlink with the Sport Boy Advance that, whereas neat and novel, was a remarkably poor and unwieldy alternative when it got here to gathering associates for a session. Consequently, it is truly extremely tough to play Crystal Chronicles because it was supposed on its unique {hardware}. The multiplayer modifications in Crystal Chronicles Remastered Version out there on fashionable {hardware} go a good distance in making this a neater title to select up and play.

21 Ultimate Fantasy 7: Disaster Core

Zack in Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core holding the hilt of a sword on his back.

By way of PSP video games, Ultimate Fantasy 7: Disaster Core affords an impressively formidable motion RPG expertise. The visuals are spectacular for the hand held, and any narrative that additional explores Ultimate Fantasy 7 goes to be welcomed with open arms. Within the context of Ultimate Fantasy video games, nonetheless, Disaster Core is a little bit of a combined bag, and the identical goes for its 2022 remaster, Disaster Core Reunion.

Whereas it succeeds in telling an excellent story by means of the eyes of playable Ultimate Fantasy 7 character Zack Honest, whose perspective was sorely missing within the Ultimate Fantasy 7 universe previous to its launch, the precise gameplay can really feel disappointingly skinny at factors. There’s not an excessive amount of customization to enter making battles extra fascinating, and fights to really feel monotonous fairly rapidly. The plot, nonetheless, is well-worth the slog.

Associated: Disaster Core Ultimate Fantasy 7 Reunion Overview: A Missed Alternative

20 Ultimate Fantasy Techniques Advance

Characters on an isometric grid in a desert environment in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

Ultimate Fantasy Techniques Advance had a tough job on its shoulders, following up an acclaimed and impressive PlayStation title on a handheld system. It succeeds on all of the fundamentals, and the important, Ogre Battle-like gameplay remains to be nicely intact.

Nonetheless, the simplified, real-world crossover narrative feels extremely awkward in comparison with the unique’s politically epic story, and it finally falls wanting the extremely excessive mark that Ultimate Fantasy Techniques had set in that regard. Ultimate Fantasy Techniques Advance is an effective sport in its personal proper, however in comparison with the unique, it is a bit of a disappointing sequel.

19 Ultimate Fantasy 2

Party facing off against the final boss Emperor in Final Fantasy 2.

Ultimate Fantasy 2 had a tricky highway to appreciation in the USA, failing to obtain a correct stateside launch till 2002. It did see just a few updates alongside the way in which, however the core sport was fairly nicely dated earlier than reaching mainstream North American audiences that had already been uncovered to later, improved titles within the franchise.

All that mentioned, this was nonetheless an important chapter for the collection. It launched Chocobos, and these massive, yellow avian creatures have turn into endearingly awkward Ultimate Fantasy staples over time. The motion and skill-based character development stays controversial, with most followers discovering it extra of a chore than something. Combined reception on this specific chapter is comprehensible.

18 Dissidia Ultimate Fantasy

Final Fantasy Dissidia Heroes lined up against a cloudy horizon.

Dissidia was one other try to interrupt Ultimate Fantasy out of the RPG field and into recent territory, this time underneath the guise of a basic preventing sport. The idea is sound – top-notch, even. Taking part in out Cloud and Sephiroth’s duel in an actual time brawl was little question a dream of many Ultimate Fantasy followers for years earlier than the sport’s launch.

In contrast to some spinoffs, Dissidia did handle to fairly ship on its potential. Whereas the plot appears slightly pressured in an effort to account for the number of fighters from completely different worlds and universes, storytelling isn’t the place preventing video games excel. Nonetheless, the Dissidia collection is certainly one of many much less well-known and fewer performed video games within the franchise for a purpose. It is a first rate fighter and a very good diversion, nevertheless it positively did not push many boundaries for its style.

17 Ultimate Fantasy

Final Fantasy Art depicting a knight in blue armor.

The unique Ultimate Fantasy is an old-fashioned fantasy RPG journey that exhibits its age lots nicely, and its dated nature prevents it from rating among the many easiest Ultimate Fantasy video games. Nonetheless, the truth that the whole lot began with this title does make it worthy of great consideration. There’s loads of credit score as a result of template set by the primary entry within the collection.

Credit score does have limits, nonetheless. Whereas Ultimate Fantasy did introduce this beloved collection to the world at massive, even the remastered variations could also be a tall order for contemporary audiences, providing up a reasonably threadbare plot and a generally irritating strategy to issue. Veterans of the franchise are likely to have extra fondness for it as one other wonderful stroll down reminiscence lane.

16 Ultimate Fantasy 3

Final Fantasy III party gathering in Cid's House.

Two completely different video games have launched as Ultimate Fantasy 3 in the USA, with Japan’s Ultimate Fantasy 6 taking up the decrease quantity for its SNES localization. The unique would not hit North America till 2006 within the type of an overhauled remake for the Nintendo DS, nevertheless it nonetheless has an essential place in context with the remainder of the collection.

Ultimate Fantasy 3 was the direct results of Sq. taking notes in the course of the growth and launch of its earlier two Ultimate Fantasy titles, and it exhibits in a great way. The vastly improved job system went over nicely, and a few key enhancements made within the remake assist this outdated title bear its age slightly extra gracefully than most.

15 Ultimate Fantasy 10-2

Yuna and Lenne performing in Final Fantasy 10-2.

Really direct sequels had been as soon as exceptional within the Ultimate Fantasy universe, however Ultimate Fantasy 10-2 was a sport prepared to interrupt the mildew. This observe as much as Ultimate Fantasy 10 stays one of many greater, extra nicely acquired efforts to that finish, and the all feminine main solid was positively a recent tackle established conference. However after all, it had problems with its personal.

Ultimate Fantasy 10-2 took a good bit of criticism for straying even additional off base from what longtime followers had come to count on from the collection. Its injection of extra action-oriented components into the battle system wasn’t for everybody, and it takes exhausting left flip right into a poppy, extra lighthearted ambiance, parting even farther from the decidedly somber themes of previous titles. Even so, its cult following has some very passionate believers.

14 Ultimate Fantasy 10

Tidus laughing loudly in Final Fantasy 10.

Ultimate Fantasy 10 marked a turning level for the collection that appeals to sure followers greater than others. It introduced a number of cool new options and development mechanics to the desk, however the easy, on-the-rails nature of the plot and gameplay normally can go away a foul style within the mouth.

Regardless of that appreciable shortcoming, sufficient depth and aspect content material are packaged into the respectable Ultimate Fantasy 10 map dimension to retain a good bit of replay worth. The character work, now that includes voice acted dialogue as a collection first, might be hit-or-miss, nicely evidenced by Tidus’ divisive snicker scene. As a staple PlayStation 2 sport, nonetheless, Ultimate Fantasy 10 stays a basic and generally beloved entry.

13 Ultimate Fantasy 5

A party fighting horned boss Twintania in Final Fantasy 5.

The primary 5 numbered Ultimate Fantasy video games are an fascinating showcase of Sq.’s expertise on the subject of innovation and enchancment, with every title maturing the collection’ hallmarks whereas bringing new concepts to the desk. Ultimate Fantasy 5 is not an exception to this rule, however its contribution appears to fall slightly wanting the earlier 4.

The sport has loads of strengths, significantly in its nice characters, just like the instantly fascinating pirate captain Faris. General, nonetheless, Ultimate Fantasy 5 stored tempo with Ultimate Fantasy 4 greater than it actually polished and pressed ahead in its total design and writing. An fascinating throwback to the job system does not solely make up for a narrative and villain that do not show extremely memorable.

12 Ultimate Fantasy 15

Noctis riding a Chocobo in Final Fantasy 15.

Ultimate Fantasy 15 is a sport with ardent defenders and detractors alike, which is not significantly shocking contemplating what number of strengths and weaknesses it has. The sport did its finest to reconcile the outdated and the brand new, advancing a extra energetic, motion oriented course whereas stepping away from the linear nature of Ultimate Fantasy 13 to convey a large, open world again to the forefront.

The centerpiece of the narrative – the bond between the 4 protagonists – makes for a regularly enjoyable and compelling highway journey with a lovable solid. Sadly, it does not at all times fairly mesh with the general scope of the narrative or the tragic underpinnings of the plot. Disappointing areas and reduce story content material additionally make the sport’s troubled manufacturing apparent. There’s lots to like in Ultimate Fantasy 15, however that zeal tends to return with a great deal of frustration on the aspect.

11 Ultimate Fantasy 16

A screenshot from Final Fantasy 16, showing a battle-scarred, distraught-looking Clive Rosfield walking away from a fire. The background is obscured by dark and smoke.

Ultimate Fantasy 16 steps away from the boy band vibes of 15 to floor the collection in a darker, medieval fantasy as soon as extra. It is one more entry with important potential to separate followers, as a targeted narrative and gameplay expertise comes at the price of among the richer RPG components that the collection is understood for.

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Though restricted customization, the shortage of a standard get together, and a disappointing array of Ultimate Fantasy 16 aspect quests could be a turn-off, the sport majorly delivers on its core components whereas retaining sufficient participant initiative to keep away from Ultimate Fantasy 13‘s pitfalls. The fight could be the franchise’s greatest motion triumph but, recalling the grandiose design and fluidity of video games like Satan Could Cry.

10 Ultimate Fantasy 12

Final Fantasy XII characters Penelo, Balthier, and Vaan in a converrsation.

Ultimate Fantasy 12 is a franchise entry with lots to unpack. This was the primary single participant, mainline title to completely abandon random encounters and discover an virtually solely new battle system, which truly labored out relatively nicely. This newer, extra three-dimensional fight system went miles so far as actually respiratory new life into the collection, and the sport’s iteration of Ivalice actually is heavy with content material.

Nevertheless, the plot does not maintain collectively significantly nicely, so deeply mired in politics that it will possibly fall slightly flat by the second half. The License Board methodology of character development feels a bit cumbersome and awkward, and the characters themselves vary from delightfully intriguing, like Balthier and Fran, to extremely annoying, just like the main man and warfare orphan Vaan.

9 Ultimate Fantasy 8

Final Fantasy 8's Squall Leonhart staring to the side while against a dusk background

Ultimate Fantasy 8 includes a surplus of excellent concepts, from the fascinating and recent tackle the fight system and summons to the eerie and deeply cerebral plot. Nevertheless, it stays one of many extra polarizing video games within the collection, with quite a lot of flaws which can be exhausting to disclaim.

The exhausting flip into a really younger grownup themed narrative, sudden embrace of realistically rendered characters and locales, and awkward magic system do little to fend off criticism. The massive concern, actually, in all probability stands in its proximity to Ultimate Fantasy 7. It looks like FF8 tried actually exhausting to capitalize on the success of its massive brother’s stylistic course, and conversely, resulted in a number of unfair comparisons.

8 Ultimate Fantasy 7 Remake

Zack Fair carrying an unconscious Cloud Strife in a cutscene near the end of Final Fantasy 7 Remake

In contrast to the remainder of Ultimate Fantasy‘s numerous updates on older video games, Ultimate Fantasy 7 Remake manages to craft a brand new expertise that stands other than the unique sport, giving it a real declare as the most effective video games Ultimate Fantasy has to supply. FF7 Remake dives into the huge city setting of Midgar from the unique sport, bringing it to life with fashionable graphical prowess and carving out a brand new tackle a well-recognized story inside it.

One main key to Ultimate Fantasy 7 Remake‘s success is its willingness to reshuffle points of the story. It is best to enter the sport with out spoilers, however the completely different strategy that it takes helps make it a journey price taking even for gamers who’ve the unique sport memorized entrance to again. An actual-time-with-pause fight system that preserves extra basic inspiration than the messier strategy in Ultimate Fantasy 15 makes for dynamic and interesting motion.

Associated: JRPGs To Strive If FF7 Remake Was Your First

7 Ultimate Fantasy 9

Party in Final Fantasy 9 fighting a flaming red Bomb enemy.

Ultimate Fantasy 9 is without doubt one of the most charming video games within the franchise, and loads of followers will argue for its place on the very high of the lineup. It reads like a love letter to the origins of the collection whereas managing to pack in simply sufficient modernization and high quality of life enhancements to resonate with its viewers.

The return to its excessive fantasy roots, no-frills open world exploration, and refreshingly basic gear and development techniques, sprinkled with just a few fashionable twists, are specific excessive factors to be appreciated right here. Its basic familiarity could be a double-edged sword, nonetheless, feeling a bit predictable and formulaic regardless of a different and lovingly rendered solid.

6 Ultimate Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn

The winged Bahamut, Aspect of Chaos, in the sky in Final Fantasy XIV.

Ultimate Fantasy 14‘s launch was a catastrophe, and lengthy derided as an unbelievable misstep after the relative success of the collection’ preliminary MMO outing, Ultimate Fantasy 11. The sport was a damaged, buggy, and a disappointing grind fest with a horrible UI and uninspired world design on launch in 2010. The comeback story that it laid the groundwork for, nonetheless, is outstanding.

The transition to Ultimate Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn was nothing wanting masterful, tied to a number of in-game occasions and updates that culminated in an apocalyptic occasion referred to as a Calamity. What emerged from the ashes was, for lack of higher descriptors, a a lot better sport. New and revamped development mechanics, a vibrantly redesigned world, and new content material barely scratch the floor by way of the steps taken to make sure that Ultimate Fantasy 14 was, really, A Realm Reborn.

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