All Mainline Final Fantasy Games

Placement Order for All Mainline Final Fantasy Games

Final fantasy games ranking:The roleplaying game genre known as Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) is heavily influenced by Final Fantasy. It is possible that this series contains more entries than any other series now available, and it shows no signs of stopping any time in the near future.

In addition to this, because the Final Fantasy series is structured like an anthology, even if you don’t enjoy one of the games in the series, there is a strong possibility that another one will. As a direct consequence of this, placing the Final Fantasy series in any particular order can generate a lot of debate. Everyone has a lot of affection for the very first edition in the series that they played, and then there are huge hitters like Final Fantasy X and VII, too.

The staff here at Game Informer, on the other hand, managed to accomplish what seemed to be impossible: they ranked all 19 of the mainline numbered Final Fantasy titles, including their immediate sequels, from worst to best.

To refresh your memory, this ranking is the result of the staff at Game Informer pooling their ideas together, and it’s highly likely that your own personal rankings will be completely different. However, after you’ve checked out our ranking, please share your own in the comments section below. We’d be very interested in hearing it!

Final Fantasy II

Initial Publication: 1998 on the NES

One may make the case that none of the mainline Final Fantasy games are in any way deserving of the label “terrible.” However, on any list of ranked games, there is need to be a game at the very bottom, and the decision to place Final Fantasy II in this position was a simple one. It wasn’t released in the Western world until many years later, and by that time, the Final Fantasy franchise had moved on to larger and better things, which made it challenging to go back to the series’s first sequel.

What is present is not necessarily harmful, but it is baffling to say the least. In contrast to Final Fantasy, you will not gain an overall level of experience that will automatically raise all of your character’s stats as you progress. Instead, the specific actions you take during combat will determine which of your various attributes, such as health, magic, stamina, and others, will improve.

Even if it’s interesting, it’s not really entertaining because it’s so complicated and difficult to understand. The leveling system is a major bottleneck in the game, which is unfortunate given that combat is the main focus of the game. The fact that its story is uninteresting on top of that makes it difficult to suggest Final Fantasy II to anyone who does not have a genuine interest in the franchise’s history, but the new Pixel Remaster does make it much easier to play through it.

Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns is the title of the game.

2013 saw the initial release of the PlayStation 3.

Despite its many flaws, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is undeniably a masterpiece, even if it did not turn out exactly how Square Enix had envisioned it. Lightning Returns is the only threequel in the Final Fantasy series, and it serves as an example of how far Square Enix can stretch the canon of a mainstream Final Fantasy game.

You are entrusted with rescuing as many people as you can before the end of the world in this Lightning experience, which is primarily played solo and does away with the party-based fighting of previous entries in the series. As a consequence of this, Lightning Returns is played against the background of a very controversial gameplay mechanism that imposes a time limit on everything you do.

If time runs out, you will be placed through New Game Plus, which is essentially a restart of the game with all of your current stats carried over from the previous session. That has the potential to be very frustrating, particularly if things go wrong in the eleventh hour. Lightning Returns, on the other hand, is not successful in leaving a predominantly favorable impression.

It removes several of the highlights of the XIII universe, such as XIII-2’s monster collection and crystarium, and replaces them with gameplay elements that the series did not require. The narrative makes no more sense than the one that came before it, and this is the chapter in which Lightning displays the least amount of strength.

As a consequence of this, it is difficult to recommend Lightning Returns to anyone, with the exception of diehard fans of the XIII world. However, even these fans are likely to be dissatisfied by the significant changes made to the gameplay and the mechanics, as well as the weaker presentation of the series’ primary protagonist. | Our Review

Final Fantasy III

Released in its original form on the NES in 1990

Final Fantasy III is less of a good game that is worth playing and more of a textbook on staples of the Final Fantasy franchise. Due to the fact that it did not hit the United States until many years later when it was remade for the Nintendo DS, it is often mistaken for Final Fantasy VI and forgotten here in the states.

Its narrative and setting are both easily forgotten, but the gameplay is quite acceptable. At its worst, it is the Final Fantasy game that is most easily skipped out of the entire series. This is the game that, at its most best, provided the groundwork for the systems, mechanics, and other elements that we would come to really appreciate in later entries in the series.

Final Fantasy XI

PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Windows versions were made available in 2002.

In 2002, Square Enix placed a significant wager by bringing Final Fantasy to the massively multiplayer online game (MMO) market, and the gamble largely paid off for early users. Through the power of the internet, Final Fantasy XI allowed players to form parties with their friends and strangers from all over the world to take on quests, dungeons, and other perils of the world together for the very first time. Players were able to create a character that was completely their own, select from a wide range of classes, and explore the vast world of Vana’diel.

In just a few short years, other massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft, which dominates its genre, and Final Fantasy XIV, which came along much later, would come along with exceptional improvements in approachability and plenty of quality of life changes that XI just could never muster in its updates over the years. Those that are still interested in exploring Vana’diel, however, can do so! Twenty years after its initial release, XI is still very much operational and accessible to users.

Final Fantasy V

Released initially on the SNES in 1992

A lot of people consider Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI to be some of the series’s best games, while Final Fantasy V is sandwiched in between those two games. Unfortuitously, this results in many people forgetting about Final Fantasy V. It also means that it is closer to the bottom of this list than it is to the top, but you shouldn’t write this one out just yet because it has one of the best job systems in the franchise.

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The more simplified version of switching roles was first seen in Final Fantasy III. The jobs system in Final Fantasy V expands the RPG elements of the game in ways that have not been seen in the series before, and we don’t mean to imply that this is solely due to the fact that it allows for the creation of ridiculously powerful combos. The versatility of the profession system lends itself very well to the process of giving the impression that each member of your party is a character that you have individually developed and shaped.

In addition to the job system, which is without a doubt and justifiably the most important selling point of Final Fantasy V, this game’s soundtrack is excellent. In addition, the story’s more lighthearted tone is a welcome change from the typically catastrophic events that are included in Japanese role-playing video games (JRPGs) and even some of the previous Final Fantasy games.

Final Fantasy V should definitely get some of your attention at some point during your journey through video games (perhaps via the new Pixel Remaster of it). It won’t knock your socks off like some of the others on this list, but by the time the credits roll, you’ll be happy that you gave this classic from 1992 a try.

Final Fantasy

Initial Publication: 1987 on the NES

Final Fantasy is by no means a poor video game; yet, when compared to the other games in a series that contains hundreds of installments, it is not even close to being the best or even one of the better games in the genre. Nevertheless, respect must be given where credit is due: it was the beginning of the Final Fantasy franchise, and as such, it is deserving of some appreciation.

The story is straightforward yet barebones, and it lacks today’s quality of life features (many of which were added in the pixel remaster, which is fortunate), but at its core is a foundational combat system that would evolve and inspire Final Fantasy games for decades to come.

Although the story is straightforward yet barebones, Team Ninja was somehow able to spin one of the edgiest Final Fantasy games out of it in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. To put it another way, in a sense, it was like the JRPG equivalent of writing the dictionary (with some help from Dungeons & Dragons, of course). Even while newer generations of gamers might not be as interested in playing Final Fantasy as they once were, the series is and always will be an important part of the history of video games.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

2011 saw the initial releases for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Some people believe that Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the answer to all of XIII’s problems, but this, of course, is dependent on what aspects of the initial Fabula Nova Crystallis entry are seen as problematic by those individuals. If you wanted more open areas, enhancements to XIII’s already fantastic combat system, and more knowledge surrounding some of XIII’s narratively weaker characters like Serah, then you are going to truly enjoy XIII-2.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, keep reading. Prepare yourself for dissatisfaction if you were hoping for a tale that was more compelling than the one in XIII, as the plot of XIII-2 is, at best, incomprehensible and, at worst, completely insane. However, if you get beyond the change in the pace of exploration and the outlandish story about time travel, you are rewarded to another enjoyable, albeit less impressive, entry in the universe of XIII.

This installment is a bit weaker than the others. Even more distinctive is the fact that XIII-2 features a monster hunting side activity that may be engaged in whenever the player feels the need for a change of pace from the standard battle system and the progression of the story.

XIII-2 is a good game when you get down to its essentials. It’s a lesson in how game makers may have listened to input and criticism a little bit too much, to the point where it can conflict with what fans of the previous game truly loved, but it’s an interesting rare sequel in the Final Fantasy brand, and we’re delighted that it exists. In addition, the music, similar to that of XIII, continues to be incredibly wonderful. | Our Review

Final Fantasy X-2

PlayStation 2 was initially made available in 2003.

Although X-2 may not quite live up to the incredible standards set by its forerunner, it is nonetheless an excellent and frequently overlooked work of art. Watching Yuna, Rikku, and Paine search for Tidus while simultaneously preventing Spira’s factions from plunging the nation into civil war was a captivating hook that had its fair share of fantastic moments.

Although it was a hilarious method to present an improved version of Final Fantasy X’s already fantastic battle system, the dresspheres are thematically absurd. However, they were a clever way to do it. We would be doing you a disservice if we did not also mention the music, as X-2 delivered some unforgettable bangers such as “Real Emotion” and “1000 Words.” | Our Review (HD Remaster)

Final Fantasy XV

2016 was the initial release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The excitement that was building up in anticipation of XV’s release was tangible. Originally titled “Versus XIII,” Final Fantasy XV not only built upon the Fabula Nova Crystallis series of games that the XIII Trilogy established, but it also served as the next evolutionary step for Final Fantasy by implementing a next-gen open world (not to be confused with XII’s hub-centric open world).

XV also built upon the Fabula Nova Crystallis series of games that the XIII Trilogy established. Even though Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus, and Ignis didn’t make for a particularly interesting group, their journey across the verdant landscapes of Eos was jam-packed with a variety of exciting activities. These activities ranged from engaging in real-time battles with Astral Summons to preparing meals over a campfire while gazing up at the night sky.

Because of its monotonous action loop, its confusing plot (especially during its middle to final hours), and its unimpressive side missions, Final Fantasy XV falls just short of the top-10 nirvana that it so desperately seeks. In spite of this, the frantic fighting system of Final Fantasy XV and the breathtaking sceneries will surely have an impact on future Final Fantasy ventures. | Our Review

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Final Fantasy XIII

2009 saw the initial releases for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

In many respects, Final Fantasy XIII is the undesirable sibling of the franchise. The feedback from fans upon its release was less than fantastic, particularly in comparison to the excitement that surrounded it, and many people resented its more hallway-like linearity and lack of openness (until much later in the game).

Having said that, once you’ve buckled in, you’re in for a real treat. Final Fantasy XIII should receive more praise than it does because it has one of the strongest battle systems in the series, a cast of fantastic female leads, and male leads whose stories work well to compliment the narrative of the game’s female protagonists.

Its fighting, which is focused on finding flaws to stagger enemies, is new, and it is such a large swing in the opposite direction of the brilliant (but highly polarizing) combat of its predecessor that you can’t help but enjoy it. Its combat is centered on discovering weaknesses to stagger enemies.

However, the individual stories of each character display series high depictions of romance, parenting, sibling love, and other topics, all of which are further enhanced by an outstanding voice cast. The story can be fairly absurd in a sense that encompasses the whole thing. The music in Final Fantasy XIII is undeniably the standout feature of the game, so be assured that its inclusion was not overlooked by the development team.

In the same way that Phil Collins surprised everyone with his work on Disney’s Tarzan, Masashi Hamauzu surprised everyone with his masterpiece, Final Fantasy XIII. From “The Promise,” which weaves in and out of the story in both explosive and tender ways, to battle themes like “Blinded By Light,” and the all-time bop, “The Sunleth Waterscape,” Final Fantasy XIII’s score is still one we’re jamming to today. “The Promise” also weaves in and out of the story in both explosive and tender ways. | Our Review

Final Fantasy XII

Initial Publish Date: 2006 for the PlayStation 2

The amount of credit given to Final Fantasy XII is insufficient. In spite of the fact that it was well received by critics and sold a lot of copies, XII is not as well known as some of Square Enix’s other massively successful games.

In spite of this, it is an ode to sprawling epics with ensemble casts, majestic metropolises juxtaposed with war-torn setpieces, politics tainted by dangerous conspiracies, and, most crucially, magic. The open world of XII has a stunning feeling of scale and complexity because to the wide variety of monsters and winding dungeons that it has. Some examples of these bosses include fiery horses, tyrannosaurus rex, and mechanized aircraft.

From a gameplay point of view, Final Fantasy XII’s gambit system allowed players to customize the behaviors of their party members and added nuance to enemy engagement. Additionally, non-randomized encounters (enemies were visible in the overworld), which made each explorable location feel alive, and a dynamic camera would go on to inspire the real-time combat in Final Fantasy XV and VII Remake. If you haven’t played Final Fantasy XII yet, Zodiac Age is the ultimate remaster that introduces a job-based growth system along with a wide variety of improvements to the game’s overall quality of life. | Our Review (The Zodiac Age)

Final Fantasy VIII

PlayStation was the first console to launch in 1999.

Final Fantasy VIII is without a doubt the most risky of the three, and it is widely considered to be the most divisive installment in the Final Fantasy series released during the PlayStation era. Anxious youngster Squall and the rest of his crew find themselves embroiled in the scheme of an ancient sorceress to distort the fabric of time and space after following the exploits of a group of mercenary kids from Balamb Garden known as SeeDs.

Their adventure brings them to the very edge of life and death, delves into the past through deftly handled flashbacks, and forces players to doubt the veracity of the events that are going place. Final Fantasy VIII was a spectacle to behold, with spectacular cinematic summons known as Guardian Forces and the engaging trading card game Triple Triad. The game also included a wide globe to explore and vivid people to team up with and become attached to.

However, the feature of VIII that has generated the most debate is its junction system. This system enables magic spells to be equipped in order to increase particular character stats. These spells function similarly to things that are kept in the inventory, but they do not consume any MP. Instead, they must be “pulled” from certain locations on the map or taken straight from adversaries while they are engaged in combat.

Because of this, casting a spell junctioned to a character will have the effect of lowering whichever attribute the spell is intended to improve. The fact that the power of the player is tied to the consumable spells they use is a risk/reward system that either the player adores or despises. Ultimately, this prevents Final Fantasy VIII from joining the ranks of the best entries in the series.

Final Fantasy IX

PlayStation was first released in the year 2000.

The ninth installment is able to gratify two decades’ worth of fans while simultaneously standing on its own merits thanks to a deft combination of timeless themes and cutting-edge design elements. We had a great time exploring Alexandria as Zidane, Garnet, and the rest of the group, with the black mage Vivi unintentionally stealing the show and proving to be one of the best characters in the game.

The battle system of the PS1 trilogy of games is undoubtedly the most robust, and the ability system made acquiring new gear and switching it out for older pieces more thrilling than ever before. IX brings to a close what many devotees regard to be the franchise’s most successful era, and it does so on a triumphant note.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

PlayStation 4 was initially scheduled for release in 2020.

Midgar has been revamped to seem more modern than ever! One of our favorite games of 2020 was Remake, and there’s a good reason for that: Square Enix made astute adjustments to VII without compromising any of the game’s innovative qualities.

The enchantment of Final Fantasy VII was updated and enhanced with a number of new features, including fully rendered characters and locations, remixed soundtrack, and voiceover and atmosphere that gave the cast and the huge cityscape they inhabit a voice. These are just some of the new features.

Even better, a real-time fighting system brought players closer to the action than they had ever been before. This system also gave classic weapons, such as the Buster Sword and Tifa’s rock-solid fists, a one-of-a-kind and potent feel in the game.

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The story that is told in Remake is probably the most ambitious part of the project. The primary mission objective is still to put an end to Sephiroth and Shinra. However, significant alterations to the game’s conclusion as well as a slew of fleshed-out peripheral characters, in addition to brand new characters, may indicate that the unfinished tale of the Remake will take exciting and unexpected turns in the future. | Our Review

Final Fantasy X

PlayStation 2 was initially made available in 2001.

In many respects, Final Fantasy X represented a revolution. It is the first edition in the series to feature full voice acting, and it makes the most of this by telling an engaging and, at times, tear-jerking story about heroes who triumph over ancient destructors and onerous cultural customs while also finding love in the midst of it all.

The redesigned fighting system in X made encounters both quicker and more entertaining, while the Sphere Grid established a thrilling new standard for freeform character advancement. Tidus may be a nerd, but the relationships he has with his lovable comrades, such as Yuna, who has a good heart, and Auron, who is much too cool for school, more than make up for his awkwardness. Decades later, we are just as eager as we were in 2001 to accomplish things like avoid lightning bolts, climb Mt. Gagazet, and sob hysterically at the ending. | Our Review

Final Fantasy IV

Released initially for the SNES in 1991

At a time when role-playing game stories were sparse or even nonexistent, Final Fantasy IV set the stage for what would go on to become the standard that subsequent generations of RPGs would have to strive to surpass. There is a lot of raw feeling in a lot of the encounters and scenarios that occur in Final Fantasy IV.

These encounters and scenarios may seem unbelievable easy and cliche today, but they were very moving back when games had a lot less to work with in terms of narrative setups and development. When compared to its NES forerunners, the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games were able to look absolutely stunning with a modernized appearance.

This was similar to how the transition to new hardware for the PlayStation helped make Final Fantasy VII a hit. In addition, the addition of active time battles to the traditional turn-based combat introduced an additional layer of stress.

Throughout the decades, characters such as Cecil, Kain, Rydia, and Golbez, amongst others, would come to symbolize various character classes and archetypes. An amazing adventure that reaches its climax in an epic endgame moon dungeon was immortalized by Nobuo Uematsu’s composition “Battle With the Four Fiends,” which included enormous battles against difficult creatures representing the elements. An age-old tale of good versus evil is given a modern twist by having players embark on optional quests to uncover hidden summon spells and unique equipment. | Our Review (Complete Collection)

Final Fantasy VII

PlayStation was first made available to consumers in 1997.

Where would the legendary seventh installment of the Final Fantasy series be without it? As the first game in the series to utilize FMV and 3D graphics, Final Fantasy VII ushered in a new era for emotionally engaging storyline and world-building that is more immersive. Character designs that stick in people’s minds, such as Sephiroth’s silver hair and unnaturally long masamune or Barret’s massive physique and arm cannon, were important in establishing Cloud and company as the brand ambassadors for the whole Final Fantasy franchise.

VII’s already amazing dieselpunk and dystopian environment received an additional layer of narrative texture with the addition of resounding, prevalent themes like political corruption, ecoactivism, mental illness, and survivor’s guilt. Even Square’s traditional, turn-based battle system was given a boost by the innovative art direction and timelessly beautiful music composed by Nobuo Uematsu. One may argue that Final Fantasy VII is the installment that has had the greatest impact and has endured the longest.

Final Fantasy XIV

A Realm Reborn was available for the PlayStation 3, PC, in 2013, after the game’s initial release in 2010.

The transformation of Final Fantasy XIV from an unmitigated disaster in its first version into what is today one of the most popular massively multiplayer online games and a highly valued edition in the series is easily one of the most impressive comeback stories in the history of gaming.

Since the release of its 2.0 update, titled “A Realm Reborn,” the creators at Square Enix’s Business Unit III have painstakingly built a nuanced and captivating storyline that is replete with memorable characters and astute nods to nearly all of the games in the Final Fantasy series.

The current iteration of Final Fantasy XIV, in its current state, is a love letter to the franchise that has pioneered its own unique trail and story that stands on its own as one of the best in the series. Even though it is an MMO at its core, a significant portion of it can be played on your own and enjoyed. However, if you have a group of companions to embark on quests with, you will have hundreds of hours of joy to share.

This adaptability has gone a long way toward encouraging more people to participate in the game and experience the challenges faced by the Warrior of Light and the Scion of the Seventh Dawn as they work to bring the nations of Eorzea and the rest of the world together as one. It is possible that it is the most difficult modern Final Fantasy to begin playing, but it is without a doubt the most rewarding and exciting entry in the series over the past twenty years. | Our Review

Final Fantasy VI

Released initially for the SNES in the year 1994

Not only is Final Fantasy VI the best installment in the series, but it is also still widely regarded as one of the best role-playing games of all time. VI has it all: an incredible (and enormous) cast, a brilliant protagonist in Terra, an even greater antagonist in Kefka, outstanding soundtrack, and a fantastic plot that features several moments that are among the best in gaming.

The battle system is a shining example of classic, turn-based gameplay, and it features a wealth of depth and customization options. In particular, transforming into Espers and using their superpowers to destroy Magitek suits and soldiers provides a rush of adrenaline. The fact that we desperately want to see Final Fantasy VI remade with the same reverence and care that was given to Final Fantasy VII leaves us with a conflicted feeling about the game. At the same time, we hope that Square will never change it because it is already flawless in its current form.


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