If you are an RPG lover, I know Final Fantasy is always on your favorite game list. Well, guess what? We have gathered the best Final Fantasy games till 2023 for you. Since its debut in 1987, the Final Fantasy series has established itself as a mainstay of the Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) subgenre.
The fact that every installment in the Final Fantasy series is a fan favorite makes it even more fascinating. There isn’t a “poor” mainline Final Fantasy game, even though some installments are more widely acclaimed than others. These books all made interesting attempts, and they all succeeded—at least in part. We have brainstormed and come up with a list of all 15 Final Fantasy titles.
Each Final Fantasy game contains challenging combat, endearing characters, a grandiose plot, and a number of fresh, innovative gameplay concepts. Just for your information, we’re only discussing the 15 best Final Fantasy games here, not the countless spinoffs and sequels. A much lengthier story would follow that. The best Final Fantasy games, the worst Final Fantasy games, and everything in between are listed in the following paragraphs.
15 Best Final Fantasy Games For A True FF Fan
The initial Final Fantasy plot centers on four young people known as the Warriors of Light. Each of them carries one of the four elemental crystals that have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends in their world. Together, they are on a mission to thwart these evil forces, bring light back to the crystals, and defend their world. You will get to know the story plot in detail as we start discussing the best Final Fantasy game one by one. Keep reading to know them.
1. Final Fantasy IX
Release Date: 7 July 2000
Final Fantasy IX has been every gamer’s favorite since its release, and that’s why it’s worth starting our best Final Fantasy game list. Since each Final Fantasy game has a different set of positives and negatives, it is difficult to choose the “greatest” one. But if we had to choose one, Final Fantasy IX would be the one that “feels” the most like Final Fantasy.
Starting off as a lovely high fantasy adventure, the game takes place in a world filled with majestic castles, swashbuckling heroes, and amazing airships. You take on the role of the intrepid thief Zidane, who reluctantly joins forces with the protected Princess Garnet, the stern knight Steiner, and the wide-eyed youthful wizard Vivi. Along the way, they encounter a villain whose reasons are far more relatable than they’d like to acknowledge, and they explore the beautiful realm of Gaia together.
FFIX exemplifies the series at its best with a well-written, touching story and polished, classic gameplay. Try it out to know why we have put it on the best Final Fantasy game list.
2. Final Fantasy IV
Release Date: 19 July 1991
The first game to possibly include nearly all of the series’ defining elements is Final Fantasy IV which is why it is on the list of best Final Fantasy games. The Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) game’s debut included graphics and music that the Nintendo Entertainment System was unable to create. It also had a memorable plot and compelling characters, which is now something to look for in every Final Fantasy game. Its durability can be inferred from the fact that this entry has undergone so many distinct remakes, both in 2D and 3D. It is among the best JRPGs you’ve ever played.
3. Final Fantasy XIV
Release Date: 30 September 2010
Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online game rather than a single-player adventure, making it the third-best Final Fantasy game. However, as you get into the game, you’ll discover that it has all the conventional trappings of a Final Fantasy adventure, from its extensive Job system to its charismatic villains to its crystal-laden tale.
While the story in the original game, A Realm Reborn, is rather predictable, things pick up steam in the first expansion, Heavensward, and only get more dramatic from there.
FFXIV is a joy to play, whether alone or with the company, because of its fast-paced combat and plethora of gameplay possibilities. You may either continue the main tale or decorate a house, participate in a card game competition, or enter a fashion show, among other things.
4. Final Fantasy VII
Release Date: 31 January 1997
In the fourth position of our best Final Fantasy game, we have Final Fantasy VII. It was the game that introduced JRPGs to the general public. No other game at the time had such detailed graphics and spectacular cutscenes. People were drawn in by the high production value, but it was the addictive gameplay mechanics, captivating plot, and relatable characters that kept them playing until the end. Characters like Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and Aerith have become well-known outside of the gaming world. The popularity of Final Fantasy VII Remake demonstrates the game’s continuing legacy. It’s an unmistakable classic.
5. Final Fantasy VI
Release Date: 2 April 1994
Although Final Fantasy VII is the most popular game in the series, many consider Final Fantasy VI to be the superior title. It has lots of significant characteristics to be added to the best Final Fantasy game list.
When producing this entry, Squaresoft managed to extract every ounce of power out of the Super Nintendo. Everything in the game was methodically constructed, including graphics, sound, music, characterization, and narrative. The fact that you got 14 playable characters, each with their own engaging plot, was unprecedented at the time and remains so today.
6. Final Fantasy X
Release Date: 19 July 2001
How can I not mention Final Fantasy X as the best Final Fantasy game? It was the first mainline game to hit the PlayStation 2, and it delivered a graphics experience unlike anything before from Square. The cutscenes were so detailed, and the in-game surroundings so beautiful that it was difficult to tell them apart.
The plot of Final Fantasy X was not universally regarded favorably, but it has its moments. Auron, a reserved guardian of summoner Yuna, acted as a mentor to the sometimes-annoying leader Tidus and formerly served with their dads.
As Tidus and Yuna become closer, we see an ill-fated love story unfold against the backdrop of Spira’s devastated landscape. Final Fantasy X is a perfect representation of the franchise’s highs and lows, from disputed mini-games like Blitzball to the notorious lightning challenge to obtain Lulu’s Celestial Weapon.
7. Final Fantasy XV
Release Date: 29 November 2016
The seventh position of the best Final Fantasy game is occupied by Final Fantasy XV. Despite its appearance, Final Fantasy XV goes all-in on the story of four friends doing their best. The fantastic soundtrack in Final Fantasy XV, alternating between pleasant ambient noises and violent battle music to accompany the tense combat, steals the show.
Its major villain, Chancellor Ardyn Izunia, is one of the franchise’s more forgettable big bad due to his complex past, but the climactic showdown between him and Noctis is one for the books. You’ll feel pushed along the main path from start to finish merely to see what happens to the cast of people that grow on you like feathers on a Chocobo.
8. Final Fantasy V
Release Date: 6 December 1992
The best Final Fantasy game list would be incomplete without Final Fantasy V. In some ways, Final Fantasy V should be at the top of our list because it is perhaps the definitive Final Fantasy game. There are four Warriors of Light to safeguard, eight crystals to guard, and 22 Job classes to try out.
While the plot of Final Fantasy XV is a touch formulaic, the characters are endearing, and there are three large areas to explore. The gameplay of FFV, on the other hand, is highly customizable. Unlike previous Final Fantasies, you can combine this game with Job talent. You can summon a White Mage who can also wield a sword and shield or a Knight who can use the white magic to heal the party.
9. Final Fantasy XII
Release Date: 16 March 2006
Final Fantasy XII has made quite a journey to be on the best Final Fantasy game list. When it was released in 2006, we were not convinced the world was ready for it. Following the ill-fated Final Fantasy XI MMORPG, XII attempted to return to the series’ roots with a big open area and numerous side quests — and it received multiple Game of the Year nominations as a result.
The results are a little weird at first, especially if you’re used to the more streamlined hallways of Final Fantasy X, but they stand up. Set in Ivalice, a frequently visited place in Final Fantasy legend, we follow Vaan, an orphan who grew up on the streets of a town beset by two warring neighbors. It’s a political game with amusing characters like Balthier and Fran, as well as Basch, Penelo, and Ashe.
If you missed it when it first came out, check out Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, a PS4 remaster of the game that replaces the License Board with a more complex Job System to make the characters feel more different.
10. Final Fantasy
Release Date: 18 December 1987
The tenth place on the best Final Fantasy game list is, of course, for the original Final Fantasy game. It is a nostalgic trip back in time when everything appeared so black and white…and occasionally crimson if you were feeling adventurous. Although the classes were simple at the time, the game’s objective was not.
Square, on its last legs, went all-in with this game, establishing the standard for JRPGs for years to come. Leveling up, equipping characters with stronger gear, grinding lower-level opponents for experience, and each lair culminating in a boss fight requiring everything you had accomplished up to that point composed that formula.
Because there were no identified heroes to go by, the original game let you name your party members whatever you wanted – perhaps friends or family, or deliciously silly things like ASS, Goku, and, well, whatever else would fit in the 8-or-so character names you had.
By today’s standards, it doesn’t have the most absorbing plot or gameplay in the world, but the original Final Fantasy lays the basis for all that follows and is a great classic that everyone should try at least once.
11. Final Fantasy VIII
Release Date: 11 February 1999
Graphically, Final Fantasy VIII was a little rough but still worth being in the best Final Fantasy game list. It was more 3D than its predecessor, although it was built during the PlayStation’s Wild West era when graphics weren’t entirely realistic.
Despite several janky in-game models, Final Fantasy VIII remains popular because of its intriguing active battle system. It featured a new Draw function that allowed you to steal from an adversary. Most of the time, this led to stockpiling banal spells, but it was also the sole method to obtain uncommon or hidden summons. It’s a game noted for keeping you on your toes by combining the conventional brooding male nemesis with an all-powerful sorceress.
Although not every battle is a victory — there are some really frustrating clashes in this iteration — we still enjoy it for its richer story, intriguing characters, and Triple Triad, probably the best mini-game in the series.
12. Final Fantasy III
Release Date: 27 April 1990
The exciting gameplay of Final Fantasy III has justified the game to be on the best Final Fantasy game list in spite of all the shortcomings. At the very least, Final Fantasy III introduced the series’ defining Job system, which is currently used in both the main series and its spinoffs. The Famicom (the Japanese NES) version of this game, which was released in 1990, allowed players to assemble a party of four intrepid adventurers and pit them against a high fantasy menace.
Although FFIII’s story is a little forgettable, the gameplay more than makes up for it. In contrast to the original game’s static class system and the second’s character-building options, Final Fantasy III offered players a selection of 22 different “Jobs” that each granted unique abilities. There is a career to fit every playstyle, from melee-focused Warriors and Knights to magic-wielding Red Mages and Summoners.
13. Final Fantasy XIII
Release Date: 17 December 2009
One of the most divisive on the list of best Final Fantasy games to have been released recently is Final Fantasy XIII. Although it had graphics like those in movies and fantastic music, the convoluted plot, uninteresting characters, and linear-level design kept it from being the success Square-Enix had hoped for. Even those who fiercely dislike this game will acknowledge that they enjoy its quick and fluid combat system, so it wasn’t all a failure.
Even though the game was panned when it first came out, two sequels followed. These just served to complicate the already convoluted plot further, but at least they highlighted the positive aspects of the original. Although it’s challenging to endorse Final Fantasy XIII to most players, it’s not absolutely pointless.
14. Final Fantasy II
Release Date: 17 December 1988
Next, we have Final Fantasy II as the fourteenth-best Final Fantasy game. Following the popularity of the original Final Fantasy, Squaresoft released a sequel with aptly named Final Fantasy II. Since the creators never intended to make a sequel, they chose to be a little more adventurous with Final Fantasy II—perhaps too experimental for some.
Character development was based on activities taken rather than experience-based levels. While casting spells increased your magic, utilizing weapons increased your strength. Players that had this kind of experience started spamming spells and attacks to boost their stats artificially.
The plot of Final Fantasy II was virtually an exact replica of Star Wars: A New Hope, pitting brave rebels against a wicked empire that terrorized the globe with a super weapon.
Even though this game has received criticism for its flaws, it might be fun if you’re looking for a new RPG experience. Try it and let us know what you think of Final Fantasy II is on the Best Final Fantasy game list.
15. Final Fantasy XI
Release Date: 16 May 2002
Despite all of its advantages, Final Fantasy XI is unquestionably the least approachable on the list of best Final Fantasy game. Since its initial release in 2002, this massively multiplayer online game has been continually available.
Even when it was first released, the gameplay was challenging and a little boring, requiring a lot of grinding and heavily penalising players for dying. Even early on, teamwork among players was absolutely essential, and today the player base is relatively small in comparison to other popular MMOs. If you can gather a group, FFXI is still worth playing because of the difficult fighting and in-depth plot, which both feel meaningful. Be prepared to put up some effort to have fun.
So, that was all about the best Final Fantasy game. Future games will be PS5-exclusive for at least six months, starting with Final Fantasy XVI. Try our recommendation of the Best Final Fantasy games, and let us know which one you love the most in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your fellow gamers, and stay tuned to the Path Of EX website. Happy gaming!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Final Fantasy VI The best?
Final Fantasy VI was originally released in 1994 for the SNES and still holds up as the best game in the series to this day. Final Fantasy VII is largely regarded as the best entry in the series, and for a good reason.
2. What Is The Most Sold Final Fantasy Game?
The most sold Final fantasy games are –
Final Fantasy VII (13,258,000 copies)
Final Fantasy XV (10,903,000 copies)
Final Fantasy XIV (10,571,400 copies)
Final Fantasy X (10,177,600 copies)
Final Fantasy VIII (9,650,000 copies)