Final Fantasy Games

Are you interested in Japanese Sci-Fi stories or manga, or games? If yes, then this article on All Final Fantasy games is definitely going to grab your attention. Final Fantasy is a popular Japanese anthology Science Fiction franchise, including 103 games, a lot of animated films, manga, short anime series, and more. Here in this article, you will learn more about the 15 titles forming it’s core series. The main series games are properly numbered, and it goes from 1-15. Alongside this, many relevant remakes and sequels have also been added. This makes the total number of the main Final Fantasy games to be 21. So now, let’s start with the Final Fantasy games in order of their release date. Continue scrolling down!

Final Fantasy games in their order of release

This anthology series began in 1987 with the very first and original Final Fantasy solely for NES. Since then, Square Enix has been busy playing the dual role of a publisher and developer. Each of the entries re-works the core RPG elements of the game to deliver something different and fresh each time. Adding on, each of the entries comes with a completely original story, original characters, as well as original music. The contribution of the franchise as a whole to the RPG industry is completely immeasurable. Some of the best titles it has released, like the FFI, FFIII, FFVII, FFX, FFXIII, along with FFXIV, have all advanced this genre to a significant extent. A majority of the FF Games come with commercial and critical success, much more than expected. Interestingly, this series has witnessed a steady growth in sales, with the main titles currently having over 164+ million sales across the world.

Adding on to this, there are various main FF games that are best sellers in their respective years of release. This case goes right for FFVII, FFVIII, and the FFX series.

Final Fantasy 1- 1987

The very first Final Fantasy title is best defined as a Turn-based RPG game from Square. This game debuted in 1987 for NES, and since then, there have been numerous remakes for all other consoles. Say, for instance, you will find a 2021 remaster on Steam with all new graphics, audio, and 2D characters.

The story is about the Light Warriors, where each of the warriors carries one out of the 4 crystals. As the 4 elemental evil spirits have darkened the crystals, it is on the young heroes to save the world by restoring the light. The party levels up and explores various turn-based combats.

While the original game was not considered a series, it’s success, however, gave birth to the Final Fantasy Franchise. It is for this reason that Final Fantasy is reviewed as the most powerful RPG Nintendo has.

Final Fantasy II -1988

In 1988, Final Fantasy II was debuted exclusively for the Family Computer, a Japanese-only NES version. This game did not premiere anywhere other than Japan for many years. Also, The Final Fantasy IV debuted in the United States of America, and the FFII debuted in Europe only. Presently, you can find on Steam a remastered version- which is even part of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series.

The story essentially circles around the life of 4 orphans who lost their parents in the war during which the Palamecia Empire invaded their hometown. The characters later become part of a rebellion fighting this empire.

Next, the game was introduced as a staple of the series known as Chocobos- and the Easter Egg Cid. It also changed the XP leveling system for some activity-based progression, where the latter means the evolution of characters as per their skills and acquisition potential.

Final Fantasy III- 1990

The third version of Final Fantasy debuted in the year 1990 for the Family Computer. This is the first time it was released in other countries apart from Japan, and in 2006, it was in a Nintendo DS remake.

As of today, you can find it easily on Steam. Important to note that Final Fantasy III is a part of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series. The story of Final Fantasy 3 emphasizes the 4 orphans who are drawn toward a light crystal. This crystal blessed them with their powers and guided them to save the world and restore balance. This game is known for introducing a job change system meaning characters can change their classes over time.

Final Fantasy IV-1991

As Western audiences were keen to know and have a Final Fantasy version, the Final Fantasy IV was debuted as the Final Fantasy II for them. This entry in the Square Enix series debuted in 1991 for the SNES.

Numerous FFIV ports are available to other consoles, alongside a 3D remake for Nintendo DS and a usually enhanced remake. You can find it easily on Steam, just like a remaster series version. The story of this version follows a dark knight Cecil who is fighting the Golbez- a sorcerer snatching powerful crystals that he can use to destroy the world. Other members also join to help Cecil defeat this evil villain.

Final Fantasy IV also introduced the ATB or the Active Time Battle system, which is present in all other FF games. The ATB is a timer urging players to select movement before enemy attacks. The game later introduces a set of classes for each of the characters.

Final Fantasy V- 1992

It needs to say, at the very beginning that Final Fantasy V has enhanced the Job system of the series. It debuted for the Super Famicom in the year 1992- which is a Japanese-only SNES version.

There are some ports to the Game Boy, PlayStation, and other consoles. The PlayStation version, in particular, is one of the greatest hits of the console. You can find it currently on Steam.

This game follows a wanderer researcher named Bartz engaged in investigating a fallen meteor. He gets to learn about the 4 crystals possessing the power to control the elements. These crystals are even sealing the Exdeath-which is an evil sorcerer. Bartz and his party need to prevent the villain from returning to the world.

The game also introduces player customization through an expanded job system (classes). It is also the very first FF that comes with a direct sequel, even though it is not a game. The Final Fantasy 1994 anime series- Legend of the Crystals, carried on with the gaming events.

Final Fantasy VI- 1994

Final Fantasy VI made it’s debut as a Final Fantasy III in Western countries in 1992. The original title debuted in that same year for the SNES in Japan. It is also the first game that is not directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi- the actual series creator. The role of Hironobu was taken over by Yoshinori Kitase.

The story of Final Fantasy VI has a total of 14 playable characters set in an industrial revolution world. Coming to the plot, it is all related to a rebellion against a military dictatorship. In contrast to the previous game, the whole theme is dark, mature, and violent.

Also, the game enhanced the overall graphics, soundtrack, and setting by Tenfold. It is a retro-RPG watershed and part of dozens of popular game lists.

Final Fantasy VII- 1997

The 2013 PC port has numerous new features- cloud saves, micro-transactions (Character Boosters) achievements, and optimization. The 7th version of Final Fantasy is one of the best series in the RPG genre. The game debuted for PlayStation in 1997 and follows Cloud Strife- a mercenary.

He joins the Avalanche- an eco-terrorist group trying to prevent a mega-corporation from using the planet’s life force as energy. Along with a group of some endearing friends, Cloud and the Sephiroth must find out a way to protect the world. Even though the game adheres to the basic formulas of the series, it is also one of the most successful and beloved entries and has sold more than 13.3 million copies. Besides, it is also considered an influential game. It has even won numerous GoTY awards besides popularizing the RPG genre for the consoles.

Final Fantasy VIII- 1999

Final Fantasy VIII made a debut in 1999 for PlayStation. It is entirely built on the visual changes introduced earlier by the 7th version, including the pre-rendered sets and 3D graphics.

Moreover, it can be mentioned as the first Final Fantasy game to have a vocal piece as a part of the OST. Some other changes included here are dismissing the magic points for realistic proportions and spellcasting for characters.

The story is based on Squall Leonhart- a leader of the mercenary group. This group is involved in a conflict with a sorceress- Ultimecia. But, the game’s prime focus is Squall since he is found struggling with this role as a companion, leader, lover, and friend.

Final Fantasy IX- 2000

Final Fantasy IX made a debut for PlayStation in 2000. As per numerous video games, it is referred to as one of the best and most popular games to date. This game also has Easter Eggs that are allusions to the remaining half of the series. It also introduces some new interesting features such as ‘Active Time Event; cutscenes, which are otherwise referred to as ‘Quick Time Events’. There is even a very complex skill system.

The ninth entry of Final Fantasy highlights a medieval-style setting that is similar to the previous games. This game takes some influence from the very first Final Fantasy title. You will follow the thief-Zidane Tribal, who has a big plan to take down the ruler of Alexandria- Queen Brahne- who is an evil force attempting to seize the crystals of the world.

Final Fantasy X- 2001

Final Fantasy X came into existence for PlayStation 2 in 2001. There are even some HD Remasters for PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Windows. This game takes place in Spira- a fantasy world near the South Pacific countries. You will play the role of Tidus- the leader of a group of adventurous people playing with the motive to defeat Sin- The monster.

Tidus hails from another world- the real world- but he discovers that he, his father, Spira, and the monster Sin share a close-knit relationship. Final Fantasy X introduced numerous gameplay elements. Every character in particular shares a similar passive 3. These three are a huge grid, and each of the characters begins in a different position, representing a class.

With time, there are chances of the path of a character completely overlapping with another class. This game is one of the most popular ones of it’s time and happens to be the favorite of a number of players.

Final Fantasy XI-2002

This version of Final Fantasy is an MMORPG. Debuted for Windows and PlayStation 2, it was the very first MMORPG offering cross-platform play. The game evolved steadily since it’s debut, even though Square Enix is lending enough focus on FFXIV.

The game is running as well as receiving a fair player base and developer support. You can find it on the official page of Final Fantasy. But it is important to remember that the PC version is only available.

Here, you will be playing as the warrior of the Crystal in Vana’diel- which is a fantasy world. You will be undertaking a number of quests to keep progressing the plot. Last but not least, the story spins around conquering the Shadow Lord- an entity commanding a team of demons.

Final Fantasy  X-2- 2003

X-2 Final Fantasy debuted for The PlayStation 2 in 2003. This one is a cannon sequel to Final Fantasy X, which means that it is the 1st sequel in the main series of Final Fantasy. The story carries on with Yuna- the former co-protagonist, as she looks for Tidus post the last battle. The game goes ahead, adding certain character classes, a ludicrous spell system, and multiple endings.

Final Fantasy XII- 2006

Final Fantasy XII is a critical and commercial success. It has won numerous GoTY awards and sold more than six million copies. The Final Fantasy XII debuted in 2006 for PlayStation. The game is known for introducing numerous novelties, such as Open-world, a fluid-battle system, a controllable camera, and many more.

For instance, it is equipped with a Gambit System and lets the players manage and control the AI’s of the characters during the battle. There is a License system that determines the equipment and abilities of the character. The game lastly has some side quests revolving around hunting the optional bosses right in the open world setting.

This setting is a fictional, Ivalice land where the Rozarria and Archadia empires live. While there is a never-ending war between them, the Archadid ends up conquering a smaller kingdom Dalamasca. You will be playing as Ashe- who is the process leader of s resistance movement for Dalmascs against the Archadian Empire.

As of now, the FFXII- The Zodiac Age is there on Steam. This version is a PC remaster that enhances the Job system.

Final Fantasy XII- Revenant Wings- 2007

Revenant Wings Final Fantasy XII is a Nintendo DS, a sequel to the Final Fantasy XII that debuted in 2007. Here you will be playing as the former co-protagonist Vaan, a sky pirate currently on a grand treasure hunt.

Final Fantasy XIII-2009

Final Fantasy XIII introduced some fast-paced combat. It made it’s debut in 2009 for PlayStation, Windows, and Xbox 360. FFXIII is available for the Xbox Series and Xbox One via backward compatibility.

The game has changed the formula of the battle and has introduced a very fast pace combat system with some active-timer elements. Additionally, it overhauled the Crystarium, Ability System, Paradigm, or Class system. This game follows a former soldier- Lighting. He resides in the floating world of Cocoon, which is ruled by a mighty deity. Lighting, along with his allies, should save the Cocoon from The evil gods’ power when they find the rulers purging the residents.

While the hardcore series fans are often not in favor of XX13, it is one of the best-seller series even after having a weak Final Fantasy title.

Final Fantasy XIV- 2010

Final Fantasy XIV-2010 is an MMORPG that debuted for Windows but was not a very successful one on it’s release day.

Either way, this game has a setting that is known as the fictional world of Eorzea. As a player, you will be taking control of a very customizable character here, who explores the land, along with participating in a war declared against the Garlean Empire invasion. Adding on, there is also the threat of encountering the deities and Primals in combat against the Garleans. This game, unfortunately, received a negative response at its launch. Everything, including gameplay, graphics, interface, and plot, is unfinished. This is the reason why Square Enix ended its subscription fees alongside postponing the console versions for an indefinite period.

Final Fantasy XIII-2-2011

FFXIII-2 is the sequel of the FF13 released in 2011, available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Square Enix, along with Studio tri-Ace, attempted to come up with a better product than what you received before. This game heads with a time-travel-based plot. Final Fantasy XIII-2 introduces an updated gameplay mechanic that allows the protagonist i.e., Serah Farron, to travel back in time. Serah is searching for her older sister Lighting, who happens to get lost after her battle against Pulse.

Lighting Returns- Final Fantasy XIII-2013

Lighting-Serah’s sister returns in the final part of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy that debuted in the year 2012 for PlayStation 3, Windows, and Xbox 360. The game has refurbished the war gameplay. It is now an action-adventure-based game where the players need to complete some missions and also side quests within time limits.

The plot takes place 500 years from the previous title, with Lighting awakening from hibernation, which is about 13 days from the time the world is suspected of ending. Fortunately, she once again is engaged in saving the world from this dark fate.

Final Fantasy XIV- A Realm Reborn (ONLINE)-2013

This is the main Final Fantasy online game that is available and premiered for PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013. Now, you can find it for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 as well as macOS. Right after the critical and commercial failure of the first and original game, the new Square Enix Team happened to overhaul the title, which is why the 2013 version of Final Fantasy debuted instead of the 2010 premiere.

This new game happened to fix almost all the issues plaguing the MMORPG. It also includes new content, a better server, and a new game engine. The team even revamped the story, the gameplay as well as the interface. The plot, however, largely remains the same. Your avatar will join this war against the Garlean Empire. It is now one of the popular and best MMORPGs.

Final Fantasy XV-2016

Final Fantasy XV-2016 is the latest entry that you have come across in this series. In 2016, it debuted for Xbox and PlayStation 4. However, it is also available for Windows now. The game features an action-based open-world combat system, elemental magic, quick swapping of weapons, camping, and a vehicle for traveling. Also, the gameplay elements are now available via numerous DLCs like a multiplayer option.

The setting of the game is Eox, and the Niflheim empire happens to dominate a large part of the land. They even stole a very powerful and precious crystal that was with the Lucian Royal Family. You, in the meantime, will play as the Lucian Throne heir who is traveling around the world to get the crystal back to where it originally was from.

Final Fantasy VII Remake- 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake made a debut in 2020 exclusively for PlayStation 4. It is also the 7th entry of this series. However, it covers only the Midgar Chapter. Everything else is new in this game-including the story. You continue replaying all the events of this same game just like it was another timeline and also because mysterious beings are constantly pushing all the events consistently towards their actual casualties.

The game overhauled the entire war system. It is a real-time action game with RPG elements and strategy. PC and Xbox players are waiting even today for the proper ports. It made it’s debut just for PlayStation, but not much has been heard about the other versions to date. That means there is still a PlayStation 5 version- The FFVII Remake Intergrade.

Wrapping Up

Here is a checklist of the Final Fantasy Games in their Chronological Order

  • Final Fantasy I -1987
  • Final Fantasy II -1988
  • Final Fantasy III -1990
  • Final Fantasy IV -1991
  • Final Fantasy V -1992
  • Final Fantasy VI -1994
  • Final Fantasy VII – 1997
  • Final Fantasy VIII -1999
  • Final Fantasy IX – 2000
  • Final Fantasy X -2001
  • Final Fantasy XI – 2002
  • Final Fantasy X-2 – 2003
  • Final Fantasy XII – 2006
  • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings – 2007
  • Final Fantasy XIII – 2009
  • Final Fantasy XIV – 2010
  • Final Fantasy XIII – 2 – 2011
  • Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII – 2013
  • Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn – 2013
  • Final Fantasy XV – 2016
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remake – 2020

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