Rankings of Final Fantasy games

#51
Didn't think this warranted a new thread so I thought this would be the best place to put it. WatchMojo.com made their own list ranking the Final Fantasy series (though they included spin-offs and sequels/prequels as long they contained the name Final Fantasy in them) which was created through voting of their staff (I believe that's who voted).



This was their resulting list:

1. VI (the vote was extremely close between VI and VII)
2. VII
3. X
4. IX
5. Tactics
6. VIII
7. XII
8. IV
9. III
10. XIII
With their honorable mentions including Crisis Core, XIV: A Realm Reborn, Dissidia, and V.
I thought their list reflected current general American internet attitudes about the series' games presently pretty accurately (particularly the top 5).
 
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The Man

Great Old One
AKA
Aaron
#53
X is way too high and V is way too low, but other than that I'd probably only move a couple of games up or down one or two spaces.
 

Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#54
Aaron, can you (or someone else) please rename this thread to "Ranking Final Fantasy games", "Final Fantasy game rankings" or something similar? Thanks.
 
#56
Looks like I'm the dissenting voice when it comes to VI - I didn't enjoy it as much as IV. For me, there were just too many characters. I'd rather have fewer characters and get to know them better.

My list:
VII
XII
IX
IV
V
VI
X
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#58
VI really has about the same number of characters as IV does though? :huh:
Yeah, there's 13 main cast members in IV if you count Golbez. VI has 15 if you count Gogo, Umaro and Banon. Gogo and Umaro really don't figure into the plot, though, so the games are basically equal if not counting them.

I guess some folks might count Leo too, though.
 

The Man

Great Old One
AKA
Aaron
#59
Not to mention Banon isn't even a permanent party member (nor is Leo). There are only fourteen permanent party members in VI, and as you pointed out, two of those are optional characters who aren't given much development. (Mog is also optional and doesn't get much more development than Gogo or Umaro).

So yeah, eleven non-optional, permanent party members in VI versus twelve in IV (Golbez isn't permanent nor is he even controllable) - IV actually has more. To be fair, IV uses a completely different method of party member switching and you can't even select your final party in some versions of the game, but still.
 

Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#61
It just felt like there were more.
I can understand this.

IV lets you have five characters in your party at once, but you never have any choice over who they are, because most of the cast comes and goes during the main storyline. If you think of Porom and Palom, for example, you'll always remember the moment they left the party. In VI, while you can only have four characters at a time, you have up to 14 available, which often feels like too much choice. It can be easy to forget why some of them are there.

I disagree with you about IV being the better game though. :)
 

Lex

Administrator
#62
V was too low. Other than that I don't have much to add, other than I disagree with some of the list and people are always going to vote for their favourite.

I definitely feel like objectively speaking IX is the best by miles. But it's not my favourite. Opinions :monster:
 
AKA
Pinkfish, Fish
#63
I guess I'll have a go at this then, although I find my mood and the type of story I want can affect the list at any given time.

1) FFIX
The world is just so well done, and the characters are all solid bar one or two

2) FFXIV
I've clocked up more game time on this than all the others combined and love every aspect of it

3) FFT
The story and job customisation are second to none

4) FFX
The battle system was perfect, I really loved the ending but X-2 never happened

5) FFVII
My gateway FF, I still love it, it just didn't age very well.

6) FFVIII
When I was younger it was my favourite, I replayed it recently and outside of Squall & Rinoa I felt the cast was kind of one dimensional, hands down the easiest FF game to date but it has brilliant moments.

7) FFVI
I remember loving this, but sadly thats all I remember... I need to replay it.

8) FFXII
I actually feel like this has aged worst than FFX and Vann was an awful character, but I have so much love for The Leading Man and Fran. The world felt really epic to explore as well.

9) FFXIII
After holding my hand for 20 hours the game suddenly got good, really good, the battle system was awesome in the end game it's a shame the story was such a clusterfuck.

10) FFIV
I'm playing this on my Vita at the moment, I'm really enjoying it but I only really touch my Vita when I travel for work, which luckily I haven't had to do for the last couple of months.

11) FFXIII-2
What the hell did I play? What was that ending? I'm never touching the XIII series again, I can't handle it, I die a little inside every time I think about it.

12) FF Crystal Chronicles
Seriously this game was a lot of fan if you played it with three friends, as a single player it left a lot to be desired.

13)Dirge of Cerberus
The controls were awful, the story was pretty bad, but it provided good FFVII fan service. I didn't hate it, I just didn't rate it.

????) Lightning Returns
I've owned this since it's release, I haven't actually put it in the disc tray yet because FFXIII-2 trauma.

????) FFX-2
The only FF I wish I could erase from the pages of the history books.

I've not properly played FF, FFII, FFIII, FFV, FFXI, FFTA, FFTA2, Dissadia, Dissadia 2 or Crisis Core so they have been omitted from my list.
 

vaderSW1

Dark Knight of the Red Wings
#64
My rankings list changes day to day. In fact, it will likely change a bit as I go back through and play these games again for the podcast. Here is my list of the main series games as I would do it today:

1. VI
I'm not sure that I have the words to properly describe all the ways that this game is great. The score is beautiful. I absolutely love Terra's theme. I love the Opera scene and music that accompanies it. For me, the score to this game might be Nobuo Uematsu's masterpiece. While this game was developed for the 16-bit SNES, I still feel like Square really pushes the SNES hardware to its limits with the graphics. The way they could get the sprites to show emotions. Those subtle movements were things I had not seen in a game before. The story is beautifully told. There is no real main character in the story but most of the main characters get their own well-developed back stories and motivations. I love the esper/magic learning system. Kefka is one of the most unforgettable villains of all time. There is a certain magic that goes along with this game that I cannot explain. It's perfect.
2. VII
I know some of you are looking at this and thinking "Blasphemy"!. As I stated above, my list tends to change from day to day. Sometimes VII is number 1. Sometimes it is number 2. I have played FF VII more times than any other game in the series. I will never forget the advertising campaign that Square ran for this game in 1997. Those commercials are burned into my memory. I could fawn over this game all day long. The materia system is perfection. Nobuo Uematsu's score is beautiful and, at times, haunting. The characters are extremely memorable (with very few exceptions). The story is well told but complicated. Who could forget the first time they watched a FMV from this game? Or the first time they witnessed a summon? This game is a masterpiece.
3. IV
Words cannot describe the feelings I experienced the first time I played this game. The opening sequence with the terrific score playing over the top of it. Cecil was the most complicated and, therefore, most real character I had ever played as in a game up to that point in time. I still hold a soft place in my heart for characters like Kain, Rosa, and Rydia. The story was memorable and terrific. The score was top notch. This game is damn near perfection.
4. IX
In my opinion, this is the last truly great Final Fantasy. Memorable characters. Terrific score. Beautiful art direction. Pretty good (albeit at times convoluted) story. I love the ability system in this game. It's quite reminiscent of Final Fantasy VI's system of learning spells from Espers. This is a love letter to all things that made the Final Fantasy series great.
5. V
For me, this is where Square perfected the job system. It is for this very simple reason that I enjoy Final Fantasy V so much. The story is weak and, for the most part, the characters are pretty uninteresting. The job system, however, made this game so much fun. Every time I play this game I have every character max out every job. Is it too much level grinding? Not at all.
6. X
Sometimes this game gets ranked lower on my list. I know that the overall community loves FF X but there are some things about this game that really annoy me. I dislike the orb leveling system so much. I like leveling systems to be simple. What the hell is so wrong with the way your characters leveled up in Final Fantasy I - VII and IX? *sigh* There are things that I very much enjoy about the game. I think the story is very good. The score is a big highlight. The game has memorable characters. I can see why so many like it as well as they do. My grievances with the game keep me from ranking it higher though.
7. XII
I think FF XII gets bashed unfairly sometimes. When I first played this game, I was so impressed with the look and feel of the game. I enjoyed the gambit system (to a degree) and the battle system. I liked the fact that there were not random encounters, instead, you just came up on the creatures and basically picked a fight. The license board, for me, was a pain in the ass. I felt like making gil was overly difficult too. The worst part of the game, and this is the reason why it isn't ranked higher on my list, is the damn limit break system. It is such a pain in the ass and is so random. It makes some of the boss fights and hunts/marks so painful and overly difficult.
8. XIII
This game seems like it is pretty polarizing as far as the Final Fantasy fan base is concerned. Some liked it, some didn't. There are elements of this game that, for me, were a great deal of fun. I loved the battle system. I liked the score (especially the battle themes). I disliked the confusing story, the majority of the characters, and the overall linearity of the game.
9. VIII
Some would consider this game to be among the best in the series. I respectfully disagree. It definitely has its high points graphically and in its art direction. However, I feel like the story is confusing and overly convoluted. The draw system sucks. The junction system sucks and is easily exploited. I hate the level up system and, as a result, the fact that the monsters level with you. The score, in my opinion, is pretty forgettable except for the song that plays during the opening FMV.
10. III
This early foray into doing the job system was fun but, at times, difficult. The story is weak and I don't really find myself caring of the characters.
11. I
Despite its ranking on my list, I actually very much enjoy the original Final Fantasy. The weakness of the story is really what keeps me from ranking it much higher.
12. II
I hate the level up system in this game so much. Yes, it is easily exploitable but it is a complete pain in the ass. I really hate that Ultima does damage depending upon not only its level but also the levels of the rest of the magic you have. Grrrr.
13. XI
No Final Fantasy MMO should ever have been part of the main series. In the limited time I have spent with Final Fantasy XI, I have found myself disgusted more often than not. I think the game, graphically, is dull and boring. I find the combat to be tedious and boring. I find the score to be probably the weakest of all of Uematsu's scores. I think, most of all, I disliked the fact that this is a damn MMO. I have found a lot of the more experienced players to be very disagreeable and cold to new players. It's not a very welcoming environment. To me, the Final Fantasy series should always be the single player story-driven experiences that the previous 10 games in the series were. This should have been called Final Fantasy Online.
 

vaderSW1

Dark Knight of the Red Wings
#66
Have you played XIV? It the closest thing to an old school FF since IX in my books.
I have not played it yet. I dislike MMO's in the Final Fantasy series (as I noted about FF XI). I do own the game and I am going to give it a shot as soon as I get some time.

Lex has told me that the game feels like a love letter to the Final Fantasy series so that does give me some hope.
 

Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#67
I will never forget the advertising campaign that Square ran for this game in 1997. Those commercials are burned into my memory.
I think the song from this particular trailer deserves a place on the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack (even though it's by a composer called Steve Baker, not Nobuo Uematsu):

Is that one of the commercials burned into your memory?

Re: XIV. I admit I haven't played it, but I'm a bit cynical about the "love letter" claims. A lot of the homages to previous Final Fantasy games were added in A Realm Reborn, which felt like Square Enix panicked at how badly the game's initial launch had gone and decided to add things they knew people would appreciate. That's fine every once in a while, but one reason the series has stagnated is that it hasn't produced enough new content recently. Imagine if we'd already had two more single-player games in the main series instead of XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, wouldn't that be great? Rather than trying to capture our imaginations from scratch, which can be difficult, Square Enix have been playing it safe. That doesn't mean XIV isn't a fun game - it might even be a brilliant game - but I'll never feel like it belongs in the main series. Same with XI.
 
AKA
Pinkfish, Fish
#68
I think the song from this particular trailer deserves a place on the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack (even though it's by a composer called Steve Baker, not Nobuo Uematsu):

Is that one of the commercials burned into your memory?

Re: XIV. I admit I haven't played it, but I'm a bit cynical about the "love letter" claims. A lot of the homages to previous Final Fantasy games were added in A Realm Reborn, which felt like Square Enix panicked at how badly the game's initial launch had gone and decided to add things they knew people would appreciate. That's fine every once in a while, but one reason the series has stagnated is that it hasn't produced enough new content recently. Imagine if we'd already had two more single-player games in the main series instead of XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, wouldn't that be great? Rather than trying to capture our imaginations from scratch, which can be difficult, Square Enix have been playing it safe. That doesn't mean XIV isn't a fun game - it might even be a brilliant game - but I'll never feel like it belongs in the main series. Same with XI.
Trust me when you play it, the whole world feels like a Final Fantasy, the story feels like a mix of FFT and FFXII, if you ignore the multiplayer elements it is the closest thing to a FF game since the PS3 era. I really couldn't care about the little homages to previous FF's the world in it's self is it's own FF to me.
 

vaderSW1

Dark Knight of the Red Wings
#69
I think the song from this particular trailer deserves a place on the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack (even though it's by a composer called Steve Baker, not Nobuo Uematsu):

Is that one of the commercials burned into your memory?
Yes. I love that trailer so much. I agree with you, that song belongs on the official Final Fantasy VII OST. Is there an official release of the song anywhere else?

Re: XIV. I admit I haven't played it, but I'm a bit cynical about the "love letter" claims. A lot of the homages to previous Final Fantasy games were added in A Realm Reborn, which felt like Square Enix panicked at how badly the game's initial launch had gone and decided to add things they knew people would appreciate. That's fine every once in a while, but one reason the series has stagnated is that it hasn't produced enough new content recently. Imagine if we'd already had two more single-player games in the main series instead of XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, wouldn't that be great? Rather than trying to capture our imaginations from scratch, which can be difficult, Square Enix have been playing it safe. That doesn't mean XIV isn't a fun game - it might even be a brilliant game - but I'll never feel like it belongs in the main series. Same with XI.
Yeah, to be perfectly frank, I hate the idea that Square Enix even put these MMO games into the main Final Fantasy series. The Final Fantasy series works so well for me because they are solo games and I can play them on my own time. I can't do this with XI or XIV. I have to rely on partying up with other players. I have to hope that the other players are going to welcome in a newbie and not be douche bags.

I do agree that it feels like Square Enix has been appealing too much to our sense of nostalgia of late. The Dissidia games, the Theatrhythm games, Record Keeper, and the forthcoming Explorers all are meant to appeal to our nostalgia for the old games. I don't know that this is because they have ran out of ideas more than it is that they are just scared. So they keep going back to what they know the fans love. I also believe that the development of Final Fantasy XV has been so slow because Square Enix is so scared to fail with the fans. They want to make the game the best it can possibly be. Hence, why they are taking the unprecedented step of doing a patch on the Episode Duscae demo.

I want to give FF XIV a chance simply because I own it. However, my expectations are very low. Especially after my experience with playing FF XI.
 
AKA
Pinkfish, Fish
#70
I can't really say much more than you have to try it to see it, but I used to have the same stance as both of you, that was until I played FFXIV. A lot of it really feels like a true FF to me and I have been playing these games for 17 years now. I can't really spoil the story for you either, but it is really good, better than a few of the lesser FF's.
To help show you, here is one of the fights with Ifrit

 

Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#71
Vader, I'm looking forward to having discussions like this one on the podcast. But as we said before, we're definitely going to need someone who plays XIV regularly to appear as well to balance the debate. :P

To help show you, here is one of the fights with Ifrit

I have no idea what is going on in that video. I mean, besides that it shows a bunch of people fighting Ifrit.

I've never been able to watch MMOs. There's just too much going on at once for me to follow them coherently. Probably because I've never really played one myself.

Bring back Conditional Turn-Based Battle!
 

vaderSW1

Dark Knight of the Red Wings
#72
Vader, I'm looking forward to having discussions like this one on the podcast. But as we said before, we're definitely going to need someone who plays XIV regularly to appear as well to balance the debate. :P
Yeah, I think having some intelligently debated conversation centered around the FF MMO's will be a blast. I do think I need to have a more informed opinion about FF XIV before I try to debate it though. Maybe I'll try to give it a shot here over the next few weeks.
 

Lex

Administrator
#73
I think the song from this particular trailer deserves a place on the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack (even though it's by a composer called Steve Baker, not Nobuo Uematsu):

Is that one of the commercials burned into your memory?

Re: XIV. I admit I haven't played it, but I'm a bit cynical about the "love letter" claims. A lot of the homages to previous Final Fantasy games were added in A Realm Reborn, which felt like Square Enix panicked at how badly the game's initial launch had gone and decided to add things they knew people would appreciate. That's fine every once in a while, but one reason the series has stagnated is that it hasn't produced enough new content recently. Imagine if we'd already had two more single-player games in the main series instead of XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, wouldn't that be great? Rather than trying to capture our imaginations from scratch, which can be difficult, Square Enix have been playing it safe. That doesn't mean XIV isn't a fun game - it might even be a brilliant game - but I'll never feel like it belongs in the main series. Same with XI.
Not feeling like it belongs in the main series is fine, but I think you're showing your ignorance a bit when it comes to how ARR was developed. Naoki Yoshida is the dude we have to thank for the awesome game it is today, and the original had the aforementioned FF elements already. It was the game design and structure that was reworked, not the content. Some new stuff was added in sure, but the original primal fights (Ifrit, Titan, Garuda) existed in 1.0. As a story and world, it's very original.

The "love letter" thing just comes from the fact that it feels like a FF game. In the sense that FF staples are everywhere. Nobody would bat an eye at them if they hadn't been almost completely absent from the games since X. The only thing that could kind of be construed as throwing nostalgia stuff in for the sake of it is the Gold Saucer (and all therein, triple triad, Mt. Corel, Chocobo Racing), but that was all added in patch 2.45 which was after the game had achieved 4 million subscriptions, not before XD.

EDIT: Also, I see your point about how we've not had enough "new" content, but I don't know if that's necessarily the right way to look at it. Because if you think about it, the problem with XIII is that it was too new for some people, the same way XII was. There are people who think there hasn't been a "real" FF since IX/X, and that's because Square were fairly consistent with the FF series up until X-2. Every main entry prior to that was kind of just more of the same, reskinned and re-worked with new elements (and we all loved it). "New" is something they're not particularly good at. We certainly won't be seeing anything like XIII again, but if there's one step they could take to win back the fans they lost with XIII, it would be to completely re-tread old ground and do a IX-like re-imagining of the classics, rather than going for "new".
 
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Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#74
EDIT: Also, I see your point about how we've not had enough "new" content, but I don't know if that's necessarily the right way to look at it. Because if you think about it, the problem with XIII is that it was too new for some people, the same way XII was. There are people who think there hasn't been a "real" FF since IX/X, and that's because Square were fairly consistent with the FF series up until X-2. Every main entry prior to that was kind of just more of the same, reskinned and re-worked with new elements (and we all loved it). "New" is something they're not particularly good at. We certainly won't be seeing anything like XIII again, but if there's one step they could take to win back the fans they lost with XIII, it would be to completely re-tread old ground and do a IX-like re-imagining of the classics, rather than going for "new".
You're talking about new gameplay, I'm talking about new ideas: new characters, new locations, new artwork, new stories. Something to capture fans' imagination again. Those reskins and reworked elements that we loved were actually very different from game to game, from VI's castles to VII's grimy urban atmosphere to VIII's realism to IX's steampunk, for example. The underlying game mechanics remained more or less the same but everything on top was different. Now we've got the reverse: no two games have even had the same battle same system since VIII and IX, but every game has gone for realist character designs, fairly modern societies, and so on. I'd be happy to see a "classic" Final Fantasy in gameplay but I don't want it to just be a rehash of old ideas.

As for XIV, I recall things like Magitek armor being added specifically for ARR (because I covered it in the roundups). Before writing that comment, I looked at this list of allusions on the Final Fantasy Wikia and found quite a few other things. The process is still ongoing; you yourself mentioned that Blitzball might be added to the game. :P
 
#75
People always say that about all the FFs since IX being modern/sci-fi and it's simply...not true. X is more or less medieval - just more Southest Asian themed than European - it has things like cameras and guns, but they're magic-based or steampunk and that's no more modern than FF6. Machina is basically magitek. 11 is medieval. 12 is medieval, 13 is futuristic, 14 is medieval, 15 is modern.
 
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