4. Final Fantasy V Exdeath was the original Xanatos/Heath Ledger Joker, always planning one step ahead using all his resources at his disposal, really setting up the tone and pace of Final Fantasy V, making it an exhilarating experience. It’s like Shakespeare’s class with an action film’s fun- knights, Crystals, princesses and royalty; adventurous adolescents and children achieving rewards. It seemed to learn from IV’s lesson of not actually killing off characters. What else could use use to defeat Exdeath other than a Japanese superhero-like array of job class weapons.
3. Final Fantasy VII is not the most difficult game, but it remains very fun. Remakes should add additional creature for increased difficulty. I love the cinematic quality of the game, watching all the videos on AOL’s Antagonist Inc forums when I was younger.
There remains a lot of character depth because of its main protagonist. It is sort of like a better version of the Dark Knight Rises. The theme of this game and possibly even the franchise is dealing with loss. (SPOILERS) Cloud has to deal with losing his memories and suffering an existential crisis. Oh and losing Aerith broke some hearts as well.
Sort of like a precursor to a Bioware game, there’s a lot of choices made in the game, (even though it was sort of a convoluted form of a dating sim.)
There are references to Cyberpunk and horror in this game and it mixes the genre well. Albeit the game’s story may concentrate too much on Cloud, he is a good central character to build the others, an entire game- your alternate in-game personality around.
2. Final Fantasy IX, contrast to Final Fantasy VII, has Vivi, the iconic spin off the Final Fantasy 1 Black Mage and Cloud, a character missing his memory avenging himself for what he has done. The Black Mages are homages to SOLDIER. Freya also takes a bit of her great storyline pursuing a long lost love who’s lost his memory. Although Zidane is a bit of a disappointment in character development, he is a homage to FF6’s Locke and FF5’s Bartz.
1. Final Fantasy II:
If Super Mario Bros 3 and Ninja Gaiden did not come out that year, it would have won game of the year in 1988. (Duh!) I cannot think off the top of my head character development that contrasted this game, at the time. I cannot think of RPG gameplay that was so strategic, so unordinary at the time. (How was this even a sequel to the original Final Fantasy?) It took a lot of risk, even having some betrayals in a game. Imagine fans going “What is this story you speak you speak of? I want to get to the g- d- gameplay!” It is a classic retake on Star Wars space opera storyline. This Final Fantasy is a true innovation in both storytelling in gameplay, a feature every Final Fantasy should have.
(Note: No Final Fantasy VI on this list? This is bulls***!)
5. Final Fantasy VI
It’s a selfish list, but also a list that I think encompasses all one wants to know about Final Fantasy, like Roger Ebert’s 2012 Sight and Sound choices. I felt a lot that I had to say I said in the Final Fantasy VII review. Terra has some of both Luke and Anakin Skywalker in her as does Celes. Finally a women leading Final Fantasy eh FFXIII? Or does it not have a main character like Final Fantasy I and III? I understand that Kefka is not supposed to be some sort of grand villain, just some lucky punk; it still does not captivate me unfortunately. The Magitek Armor is a nice precursor to Xenogears.
What are your top 5 Final Fantasies?