final fantasy games!

I really want to get into FF games. I just bought a ps2, and one of the games i got was FFx. We also have crystal chronicles for the gamecube. Ive played neither yet. We have both kingdom hearts games, and i know theres FF stuff in those too, I havent played them yet either.

I was lookin FF up on the handy dandy interwebs, and realize there is just a shitload of FF stuff. So, I’m asking you, RPGC peoples:

What FF games should I get?

I have a gameboy advance sp, DS lite, gamecube, Wii, N64, ps, ps2, I dont really know what systems they’re on. Any other games suggestion are welcome too, in case this gets off topic :slight_smile:

BTW, I really like handhelds. I get to play them more than my console ones.

Find FFIII(US)/VI (JAPAN) for the SNES and download it. Play it on ZSNES. Don’t bother with the rest of them, they’re either rubbish or hard to find.

Start with 4 and play them in order. The first 3 aren’t worth your time but almost all of the other ones are. Except XI.

Your PS2 alone will handle 4-12, but you can also play 4-6 on DS if you like. Just make sure you get FFIV Advance and not FFIV DS. I would go so far as to say anyone who’s only played the DS version of IV has not played IV.

If you don’t want to pay (and you shouldn’t, some of these games are almost 20 years old now), ZSNES. In fact, if you can’t find VI on a real SNES, I’d recommend you emulate it to get the BRILLIANT original translation. Failing that, get FF Anthology for PSX. It comes with both FFV and VI.

Make sure you have a lot of time on your hands. You probably won’t spend less than 40 or 50 hours on any of the PSX-era titles your first time through.

I can’t believe you have not played a single FF. Japan is the only place on earth where it’s not like, the flagship-est series of videogames, ever. A gamer who hasn’t played FF is like a cinema buff who hasn’t seen LotR or Star Wars.

Also! Something a lot of people do with a series like this, is look at the number of titles and feel overwhelmed by amount of info they feel like they need to learn all at once. Trust me, you don’t have to worry about this. There is no continuity across games, they all stand completely on their own, so you can start with whichever one you want and there won’t be a bunch of shit you’re supposed to know, but don’t. I recommend you play them in order though, to see the progression of the series, but you definitely don’t have to. Just pick one and hack away at it. You’ll learn fast.

They’re all good. Just avoid FFX-2 like it’s a disease ridden Mexican Whore.

Final Fantasy Tactics is absolutely required for anyone into Final Fantasy, or RPGs.

Oh, no offense to anyone who is Mexican, a Whore, ridden with disease or knows anyone that is.

Note that FFVI in the anthology has limited Backwards compatibility on the PS2, but you have a PSone, so it doesnt matter.

You can get FF1+2 on a GBA cartridge. It is a much friendlier version for newcomers than the separate originals. FF1 is available on the Wii’s VC I think if you want it the old fashioned way, but FF2 isn’t. FF1 doesn’t have any story, you just go into dungeons, kill monsters, take down the boss and move on. FF2 has a story at least. Its nevertheless still a tough game. They’re not that bad if you take them for what they are. Recommended with caution. I wouldn’t put this at the top of the list unless you want an old school experience.

FFIII DS is a controversial title. It has a very strange difficulty curve. This game does not have a lot of substance to it and I wouldn’t go for it unless you are aware of what old JRPGs are like and accept what you will have to do: grind grind away. Not recommended.

FFIV: get the DS version. I believe strongly that it is the best iteration of the game yet. The story is a classic, the music is good, the new graphics are impressive for the DS and there is even decent voice acting. I especially liked the changes they did to the gameplay, it made it feel fresh. SE released a sequel to it on Wiiware called FFIV: The After. I hear it isn’t bad. Recommended.

FFV: You can get this on the GBA. Its a decent title, although the game is not as good as IV or VI. I would play other games before this one. Low priority.

FFVI: You can get that on the GBA. Its a classic and the best of the 2D FF’s. Recommended.

FFVII: not much needs to be said, it brought final fantasy to 3D and to more people than the usual RPG crowd. Its a good game. Recommended.

FFVIII: Highly controversial. The game has a very annoying combat system. Most of the game is hit or miss, making it annoying to play. It has a few things it does very well, but parts that it does very badly. Not recommended. Hades, shut up, you know I’m right.

FFIX: good JRPG. They tried to go back to the fantasy setting of the 2D FFs and they made a lot of references. It was a pretty good game and a well rounded package. They did a good job with the music, the characterization and plot development. The leveling system , unlike FF8, proved popular and was retained in future games. Recommended.

FFX: My personal favorite in the series. Recommend.

FFXII: The problem with FFXII is that Yasuno Matsuno, the genius behind other Square titles like Vagrant Story and FFT, left midway through development and it shows. The game feels half finished. You can see where it wants to go with the story, but it fails. The pacing is bad, the voice acting is lackluster. The music is not Sakimoto’s best, but its good. The world is beautiful if you DO NOT have a high definition television and I loved the combat system / gambits (though some people felt it took the life out of the game by making things too automated, its a matter of taste). FFXII is single player MMO. Go into it expecting that. Recommended with caution.

Other FFs:

FF Mystic Quest: SNES game. Was meant to be a game to introduce non JRPG players to RPGs by making it friendly and less grindy. Its not a bad game and the music is renowned. Its shallow, easy fun. Recommended.

FFTactics PSX: the gold standard of Tactical RPGs. Any new tactics game is compared to FFT. Great music, great plot. The PSP version has extras and a better script but the music quality suffers a little as a consequence. Recommended.

FF Tactics Advance: GBA FFT game. They took the Tactics Ogre engine and made an FFT game from it. One of the key games that got the whole Ivalice thing rolling. They made a nice world, but many found the gameplay slow and frustrating. It doesn’t have the depth of FFT. Its a shallow game directed at a much younger audience. Not recommended.

FFTA 2: DS FFT game. Very similar to FFTA. Directed at young players. Took a lot of hints from FFXII. Most of the game is about getting jobs at the tavern and doing them for your guild. Think of it a bit as an MMOified FFTA. The game is overall shallow, but it is pretty and the music isn’t bad. Not recommended.


handheld in order: FFIV DS, FFVI GBA, FFV GBA, FF1+2GBA/FF3 DS.

PS2: FFX or FFTactics (very different styles and gameplay), FFIX/FFXII/FFVII (light hearted fantasy vs not light hearted fantasy vs sci fi - whatever seems more interesting to you) , FFVIII.

I just can’t in good conscience recommend the GBA port of FFVI. The music is just horrid, and the brightened graphics look awful. FFVI had one of the best soundtracks the SNES could muster, besides maybe Chrono Trigger and a few others, and the GBA just isn’t up to snuff.

Square announced it would be releasing the FF games on the VC this year. So hopefully FFVI will eventually come out for download in the near future. I would honestly wait until it’s available there and skip the GBA port entirely. On the Virtual Console it’ll be called Final Fantasy III (assuming they don’t edit anything, they haven’t yet on the VC). Trust me, it’s worth it just for the better music alone, plus you’ll get to play it on a TV and not a cramped screen.

Here’s the real lowdown:

Every single person you talk to will recommend different Final Fantasies. Some appeal to some people while others to others. Some, as you’ve already noticed, will aver that one particular version of a game is the best while someone else will vehemently disagree. Despite the name, the games are all pretty different in terms of gameplay and story, so try and find out facts rather than opinions.

Basically you need to keep in mind that many of these games were designed decades ago and are quite primitive by modern standards, whether in terms of graphics, gameplay, or story. You have to think about whether you’re okay with that before playing them.

The only FF that’s universally thought of as subpar is FF2, and FF1 is pretty much acknowledged as only being good for nostalgia’s sake. The rest all have detractors and fans - including FFX-2, which I enjoy immensely while others decry it as the most terrible thing in existence, and FF Tactics, which I love but others have complained about. And there’s FF4, which many people on this board love but which I found to be barely palatable.

So… find out the facts, make your own decisions.

So which ones do YOU recommend?

Again, it’s hard for me to recommend games to someone who’s totally new to the series because I don’t know what their threshold is for dated graphics and gameplay. I can tell you which games I enjoyed the most, but that won’t necessarily translate into games that an arbitrary person will enjoy.

Assuming that dated graphics aren’t an issue, my personal favorites are:
FF Tactics: the War of the Lions
FFX-2 (though naturally one has to play FFX first)
FF7 (even I have a hard time dealing with its graphics nowadays, other than that it’d be quite higher)

Well Cid makes a good point, what makes a good FF game is kind of subjective and personal taste factors into it quite a bit. If my first post didn’t tip you off, I’m a music lover and I really dislike how FFVI sounds on the GBA. But not everyone will think that way, so I’ll just provide some examples and let you hear for yourself.

Awakening - SNES, GBA

Decisive Battle Theme - SNES, GBA

Catastrophe - SNES, GBA

Searching for Friends - SNES, GBA

To me, the difference in musical quality is harsh, and I just can’t play the GBA port of FFVI. If it doesn’t matter that much to you, then get whichever version you like.

I’d still recommend the original SNES, though, when it gets put on the VC (at least it should, according to a statement Square made earlier this year about putting the FF games on the VC in 2009) due to the brightness and color being correct, the resolution being larger, and control scheme being better with a Classic controller than the GBA.

The musical quality of FF4 and 5 Advance aren’t as harsh, as they were older SNES games that didn’t take as much advantage of the SNES sound chip than 6 did.

In the series, I recommend you start with FF9 first. It’s been one of the most replayable ones to me in terms of story and gameplay rather than “grind for an hour in order to reach the next area” slop-fest.

But yeah, FFT is a MUST. Then you can sit around one day with other people who’ve played it, crack open a beer, and tell war stories and boast about your non-special character dream team.

You’re right that FFVIII probably isn’t the best game to first expose someone to the series.

But you’re spectacularly wrong that the DS port of FFIV is good. It’s a bastardization of the highest magnitude and is not the original game. She can play it if she wants, but she won’t be playing FFIV. She’ll be playing a game that’s the equivalent of the Simpsons episode where homer enters three-space.

Trust me Kasey, play the version with good 2d graphics, not the one with bad 3d. I don’t even like FFIV, but I feel strongly about this. Don’t waste your time.

And I’d also not recommend GBA FFVI. But not just because of the music. Because of the script.

I disagree. It’s my favourite FF game and great on its own, but a part of the value is still in the throwbacks.

If you can’t stand to go far too back in time because of graphics, I’d start with FFIV DS, FFVI (SNES version. For the love of God, SNES version), FFVII and finally FFIX. The pass through VII’s techno setting should have you appreciate the “return to roots” value of IX, while the whole thing should give you a pretty solid grip of what FF is about in general.

Afterwards, I’d definitely check out X and FFT. FFT in particular is a sorta tough choice: The PSP version has a very annoying slowdown and a bit worse music quality, which in comparison makes the PSX version quite more fun to mess with, but the PSX translation was, while not Legend of Dragoon-kind of bad and still delivering the story, pretty damn awful by any standards.

I loathed FFTA with passion, XII bored me shitless, and VIII is practically a punchline for me.

Hades, I think you’re in the minority on this one. The question isn’t whether Kasey needs to play the ORIGINAL UNVARNISHED FF4 but whether she (?) would prefer to play the 3D version over the 2D version, and most opinions I’ve heard so far (including mine) have the 3D version be far more enjoyable.

I also quite liked the FF6 GBA script; it kept a lot of the best Woolseyisms while replacing or altering some of the bad ones.

The script is more than just the dialogue. Some of the weapon and ability names were raped too. I’m pretty sure some of the enemy sprites are even more censored than the SNES version as well. And of course the music. It’s a lot of little things combined. FFVI DS isn’t BAD, but it’s not the best experience you can have with the game.

Whereas FFIV DS is pretty much the worst experience you can have with any remake, ever. It’s like comparing Warcraft III to Starcraft. WC3 was 3d for the sake of being 3d. SC was 2d and had fucking FAR better graphics. This isn’t about authenticity. It’s about not playing a game that feels like it’s shitty. FFIV DS feels very conspicuously like shit if you care about atmosphere or cohesive design at all. Being part of the majority doesn’t make anyone right about anything, either. Abandon that bullshit.

Um, no, but being part of the majority means that I feel comfortable that my reasons for enjoying the game are valid, or more people would have rejected them.

You can’t possibly say that someone shouldn’t play a game because it’s “shitty” when plenty of people have played it and didn’t come across with that experience at all. You didn’t like it, perhaps, but to recommend against it to someone, when there are plenty of people who do like it, isn’t responsible.

How about you get an idea of what each game is like here: and then google them or look on youtube to get an even better idea of them? :slight_smile:

edit: Yes, Cid, I plugged your site :stuck_out_tongue:

Cid, 2/3 of the people who’ve recommended it so far are you and SE. It’s pretty much my opinion vs Sin’s right now, and I’m banking on the possibility that Sin’s advice is actually wrong for once, because in this case it logically should be.

Kasey asked which FF games she should get. FFIV DS is not FFIV. It might be a good a game, but it’s not FFIV. It’s not close to FFIV. If she wants to play FFIV, it is not a good substitute for that. It’s a poorly remade 3d clone that vaguely resembles FFIV but has none of the same gameplay, story, or atmosphere. The 3d graphics themselves are WC3-like in their presentation; 3d for the sake of being 3d, even though they’re less detailed, less fluid, and slower and clunkier than the original sprites. The monsters’ stats are all modified. Chunks of the dialogue have been thrown away or changed. The names for everything are changed, monster stats are all changed, and the atmosphere is completely different from the original game. FFIV DS is to a game what remixes are to songs. You’re perfectly entitled to like them more, but they’re not the same thing. This thread doesn’t exist so you can tell her to play what you think she should want to play. She asked what we think the best FF titles are, not what our favourite bastardizations are. You can recommend FFIV DS if you want, but don’t pass it off as a substitute for the real game. It doesn’t work, and this argument is over.

You’re being amazingly pedantic about this. None of the same gameplay or story? Tiny modifications in monster stats, slight changes to the script, or additions to the existing gameplay, don’t make it an entirely different game. You still explore exactly the same areas. The exact same scenes still play out, using the exact same characters. You have the exact same abilities and the exact same items. I completely fail to understand why you’re so dead set on insisting it’s some other game that just sort of happens to be called FF4. It makes no sense whatsoever to me.

Let’s not forget that many of the changes to the game were done by the original game designers, who felt the SNES was not powerful enough or had enough space to showcase everything they wanted to include.

As for the 3D models being “slower and clunkier”… have you played FF4?

I have a feeling you’re suffering from extreme Nostalgia-Vision here.