Final Fantasy Rankings

Final Fantasy is a game series I have a LOT of strong feelings about. Growing up they were the pinnacle of innovation and storytelling in my favorite genre, RPGs. They sounded better and looked better than the current era Dragon Quest games. There have been tons of spin-offs. Some of them excellent, like Final Fantasy Tactics, some of them not so great like Dirge of Cerebus. I thought I'd lay down my thoughts for each game in the mainline series, ranking them from worst to best.

Not in Consideration

Real quick note. I have never played XI or XIV. There was only ever room in my life for one MMORPG, and that was World of Warcraft. I know each has their devoted fans and I've heard nothing but good things about XIV since it's relaunch. I'll definitely come back to both of these when I rank the soundtracks of these games, because I've listened to all of them, but I cannot rank them fairly as I haven't played them.


Coming in dead last we have the final NES entry. Once upon a time before we got the DS port, I did download this game for an emulator and play it with a fan translation patch. I put it down almost immediately. I think I picked up the second set of jobs and quit. There's just not a lot to like here. Bare in mind that I played this certainly after playing FFIV but I think before playing FFVI, both of which are excellent, so I maybe had a bad taste in my mouth. I did purchase FFIII for the DS when it came out and have beaten it exactly once, mostly to say that I have and because I wanted to see Cloud of Darkness (having played a lot of her in Dissidia). The one thing this game has going for it is the first incarnation of the Final Fantasy job system, allowing you to switch jobs at almost anytime, so if not for this game we may not have had FFV or FFT.


Ugh. Where to start? To this day I have no idea how two direct sequels were green-lit for this game. All of the characters are massively unlikeable ESPECIALLY Vanille. By this point, Lightning makes the fourth sad, mopey, generally off-putting protagonist (Cecil, Cloud, and Squall). Sazh is the most relatable character here, but his story is not enough to rescue this game. In the game play arena we have a, roughly, twenty hour corridor runner and tutorial before the game finally opens up into something more akin to what we're used to in a Final Fantasy. Worse, this game took the non-interactive combat of FFXII and decided that even programming your characters took too much thought, so each character can have a few jobs they can switch to at any point in combat, and that's basically your sole decision point. Characters will automatically choose actions on their own. While you can step in here if you want and make the selections for them, they're going to be able to do it much faster than you, so there's no real incentive to take over.


Almost everything bad that can be said about XIII can be said here as well. Characters you mostly don't care about, yet another mopey main character who's name literally means night, and one the worst excuses for a story the series has ever mustered. It certainly doesn't help that what passes for a story in this game is spread out over something close to fifteen projects overall, including a movie I don't think was released in west. You know what I want to do right after my father is murdered? Hunt down a behemoth for the perfect Cup Noodles. Speaking of Cup Noodles, this game was in development hell for so long they needed to seek out a bunch of real world sponsors to foot the development bill. We have Nissin Cup Noodle, American Express, Coleman, and the movie had Audi and Beats. This finishes higher than XIII because unlike that game, the combat here is pretty fun. The high point of the game, and an amazing set piece, is the fight with Leviathan. But don't worry, your fiance dies immediately after and no one really seems to care. The low point of the game? When you are stripped of your powers and friends and forced to wander a dark castle using just two powers from a ring to deal with everything. This was so bad, they were going to patch the game to fix it somehow. I don't know if they did because I didn't care enough in the end to go back and play the game after slogging through it. One of the few enjoyable things in the game was running around to all the gas stations and dropping my American Express card down on the counter to buy some sweet Final Fantasy soundtrack tunes, covering every mainline entry up to this point, to listen to on your pointless road trip with your bros (I was not a fan of the arrangement of most of the FFIV tracks however).


When looking at II all these years later it's hard to say it's a "true" Final Fantasy game. It's a SaGa game. Then again, Final Fantasy is known for nothing if not experimentation. Your characters don't have traditional stat growth, they get stronger based on the actions they take and the damage they take. This creates a strangely unique combat system in which you are incentivized to attack your own party members to make both the attacker and defender stronger. It's a somewhat impenetrable system that you never really have full control over. It did also have a unique "Word Memory" system that had you learning special key words and phrases that you could then repeat back to different NPCs. This is actually a nifty idea that in today's world could probably be put to use in very interesting ways. Sadly we never see this again. The story was a bump up from the first game and not super dissimilar from Star Wars, but in the end the odd leveling system and lackluster soundtrack keep this game lower tier of FF games.


The last of the games I really don't like. It always seemed to me that Final Fantasy VIII doubled down on all the wrong lessons from VII. Angsty, mopey main character? Squall is way off the charts compared to Cloud. Long summon animations? Triple check. Story with some odd, sometimes nonsensical plot beats? To this day I'm not sure I could adequately explain what the game is actually about. Ostensibly its about killing sorceresses because they are bad, except the bad one keeps changing. I don't really remember how Laguna ties into anything, and there really is no good explanation of how Rinoa and Squall actually fall in love. He's a jerk to her, and everyone else, right up until the point where they decide they're in a spaceship, because the moon is bleeding monsters for reasons that once again make no sense. Another interesting plot point is that all the main characters grew up in the same orphanage and therefore should know each other. The fact that they don't is hand-waved away as a result of how guardian forces (the summons) work in the in-game lore, which is that they sit in your brain in the same area that your memories do, except that it doesn't explain why they don't remember each other before Squall or the others get their first guardian force and it's supposed to be a gradual process, yet it seems instantaneous.

Disregarding the massive story issues, how about the combat? Well it's a super grindy system that disincentivizes you from casting the magic that you draw from enemies or special hidden points in the world map. See, each spell that you equip to your character gives you stat bonuses. The more of that spell you have drawn and equipped the bigger the stat bonuses. I would say this creates a tension between casting a spell and getting the benefit or not and keeping the stat bonuses, but it doesn't feel that way in practice. It would have been better if there was a static bonus for each equipped magic spell, that way you just don't need to cast the last one. Now to the Guardian Forces, each character has an affinity with each GF, the higher the affinity the quicker you'll get to the summon animation and effect. Of course, since Square thought we all loved sitting through the minute plus duration of Knights of the Round, every GF attack is also fairly long.

There is one highlight of the game, and that is that it is host to the absolute best of the Final Fantasy mini-games, Triple Triad. It's a unique take on card/tile placement game that has a lot of strategic depth once you acquire a bunch of the cards. What's more, if you follow the Triad mini game to it's conclusion you're rewarded with a card that can be transmuted into an item that makes you all but invincible.

Despite it's many errors, I've played the game through more than once, which is more than I can say for any of the previous entries and so it lands at the top of the lower tier. One last thing, I wasn't aware of this meme until several years after the game came out, but to me it perfectly captures the essence of this game: ostensibly better looking than VII but just uglier under the hood in nearly every way.

FF8 Best Looking


Where would we be without this entry? Where would Squaresoft be? Bankrupt and out of business, that's where. It has a very simple story, it has very simple combat, but it's still an excellent early generation JRPG. The only real oddity is the magic system where instead of a pool of magic points, each tier gets a set number of magic spells that increases with the caster's levels. It's an odd system that I'm glad future games and remakes left in the dust. But here we are introduced to the series long standing MacGuffins, the crystals, who need their light restored. What has really stood the test of time with this game is the soundtrack. It's still very good, especially any of the remade or remastered versions. Brief side note: I don't think that to this day I've ever killed War Mech. I do recommend you play this game, but I also recommend you play one of the remakes, maybe the one on iOS, as it smooths over some of the rough edges.


This is my most conflicted entry. On the one hand I severely dislike the lack of agency you have in combat. On the other, the story is fairly good and the soundtrack is phenomenal. What's truly odd with the story is that Vaan is not the main character here, even though it's he to whom you are introduced. The real main characters are Ashe, Bosch, and Balthier. They have the best, most fleshed out story arcs. Fran is just fan service. My biggest issue with the game, as I've alluded to, is the combat. While you are able to take control of any character, there really is no point, as you can program the behavior of each party member. By the end of the game you can basically account for every situation so all you have to do is get within range of a monster and you'll properly attack or heal or steal or remove status effects with no input required whatsoever. It feels like an extension of the .nethack combat system which also simulated the open world MMO type combat that XII feels like it's emulating. Outside of the combat though, this game is great, and I could seriously listen to Theme of the Empire all day long. It's in my top five pieces of Final Fantasy music of all time.


The first mainline game that all but traded in the RPG trappings of it's forebears. In fact, calling XVI an RPG is a generous stretch. It is first and foremost an action game, and one that plays well and has some of the best graphics the PS5 (or any console) has ever had. This game revels in spectacle. Each fight against the giant Eikons of the world of Valisthea is truly something to behold. The fight against Titan, in particular, stands up to just about anything God of War has thrown at us over the years. It's by far the most epic fight, and also the one with the most personal stakes for Clive and Kupka. The combat system, designed by Ryota Suzuki of Devil May Cry fame, is incredibly fun and frantic and highly customizable by the time you get to the end of the game. XVI restored my faith in SquareEnix being able to write a story that anyone in the west could grok. It's easy to follow, well written, and well acted. It's also presented in cutscenes that take up something like 80% of your game time, and I wish that were an exaggeration. This, coupled with the fact this game has perhaps some of the worst side quests this side of a late 90s MMO and a world that is not worth exploring at all, drags it all the way down here. XVI has a new game plus mode, but I'm not sure why anyone would need to partake in it. It feels like a game that you beat once, maybe finish up all the side quests and hunts and then don't revisit for another five years.


This game is without a doubt the most underrated entry in the series. It has perhaps the best implementation of the job system in any Final Fantasy game, save Tactics. The story is pretty solid too, though not quite at the level of IV. Again we have our classic MacGuffins sealing away the ultimate evil, Exdeath, who is in fact...a tree, which is somehow the embodiment of the Void? Seriously, he's the weirdest big bad in the series but at least it explains his general lack of personality. At least he's ridiculously strong in Dissidia. It's a bit of a shame that the moment in the game which should have had the greatest feels is wiped away almost immediately: Galuf's death. This guy, a main party member, dies in combat and immediately his granddaughter shows up and recieves all of his power (i.e. job progression and status). This could have held a little more weight if handled like the death of Tellah. Still such a minor complaint for a solid overall game. Just don't play the newest remake, the sprite work is absolutely atrocious.


After the tragedy that was VIII Square really needed to up their game, so they did the best thing they could do, go back to basics. Final Fantasy IX pays homage to the "classic" games of the series, throwing out (for the most part) the steam and industry that pervaded the previous two entries. Only Lindblum keeps the steampunkiness that was admittedly in IV and VI. The character models themselves are callbacks to the old classes. Dagger looks like the classic white mage, Vivi looks like the classic black mage, Steiner is a knight, and Amarant is a monk. Not only do we have classic character models but one of the big evils is a guy named Garland.

The story here is also fantastic. While you start the game with Zidane, the story doesn't really begin to pivot towards him until just after the halfway point. The stars of the show early on are Dagger and especially Vivi. See Vivi is a black mage and it turns out that Queen Brahne has been manufacturing them in a number of secluded locations. Most of them are mindless puppets that are easily controlled by Brahne and her cronies, but Vivi is conscious and wonders why none of his brothers take notice of him. Later on we find out that there are others like him, and sometimes they just "stop" with no rhyme or reason. Dagger's journey is not all that dissimilar from other runaway princesses. She's noticed her mother, Queen Brahne, has changed. She used to be nice but has since become concerned with acquiring power and destroying her enemies. So while Dagger learns how to act "normal" we slowly learn that a man named Kuja has been manipulating her into causing all the wanton destruction. The more we learn about Kuja, the more we begin to learn about Zidane. It turns out the Zidane and Kuja are brothers of a sort. Both created by Garland to help him join together two worlds, Garland viewed Kuja as a failure and exiled him to Gaia. This understandably upsets Kuja who now just wants to prove to Garland he's not a failure and does so by causing so much chaos Garland is forced to take notice. After defeat (and the killing the true final boss who shows up randomly and is in no way related to anything in the story), Kuja finally realizes his mortality and out of regret/remorse saves most of the party.

Combat in IX is also pretty cool. Unlike with materia, each character now learns all their abilities from their equipment. Over time they can master the ability and not need the weapon/armor equipped to use the ability, but more often than not, you'll acquire another piece of gear before you've finished learning what you've got so you get to make a choice: equip the new, stronger piece of gear or wait a while and either keep fighting the stronger enemies or backtrack until you learn the abilities you have equipped. The other major combat gimmick is Trance. Trance is this game's version of the limit break. While under Trance the characters ATB gauge fills faster and one of their abilities upgrades in some way, like Garnet's summon being upgraded to automatically resummon the Eidolon after a certain interval or Vivi being able to double cast magic.

This game is also home to my second favorite mini game: Chocobo Hot and Cold. It's a simple enough game that comes down mostly to luck, but the goal is to find little treasures in several of chocobo forests throughout the game and find chocographs that will evnetually allow you to fly to the Air Garden and fight a superboss, Ozma.


The first entry for the series on the Super Nintendo was a home run. It took everything the games before it did (and to us westerners that was only one game), and did it ten times better.

For one, there was a real story, and it's a good one. We get to follow the Dark Knight Cecil (the series first angsty hero) as he begins to have doubts over the king's use of the Red Wings and eventaully casts aside his darker nature, becoming a Paladin. Along the way he's hounded by Golbez, a dark sorcerer in cool looking armor who's after the world's crystals in order to get to the moon, where the one controlling him lies in wait. Once the party gets there they find out that Cecil is a Lunarian and the real bad guy here is Zemus, another Lunarian hellbent on destroying the Blue Planet so the Lunarians can take over. Zemus has sent Golbez back to the plant to destroy it using the crystals and a Jaeger. After stopping Golbez and Kain, the short-timer FuSoYa breaks Zemus' control over Golbez revealing that he is in fact Cecil's brother. You then return to the moon to reach it's core and put an end to Zemus. Cecil is helped by a colorful rotating cast of characters all of whom are great, except for Edward the spoony bard, who's pretty useless and his special ability is literally to Hide. Some of the better characters include Kain, Cid, Rydia and Tellah. Kain is a Dragoon, Cecil's best friend and in love with Cecil's girlfriend. Cid is a fun, energetic, hammer user and airship mechanic who also happens to be Rosa's father. Rydia is a kid whom you are introduced to shortly after being tricked into committing genocide on her people. She eventually falls into the land of summoned monsters, where time runs faster than anywhere else and returns to the party a grown woman. Lastly there's Tellah the Sage. Tellah is after Golbez because he killed his daughter. Later on he learns every spell in the game, including Meteo, which conspicuously costs more mana than he has (and he never gets any more even when leveling). When you finally face Golbez with Tellah in your party he decides that those last nine MP are coming from his life force and sacrifices himself to cast Meteo and kill Golbez. Unlike some of the other cast in the game like Yang, Palom and Porom, and Cid, Tellah stays dead, which was mind blowing to me as a kid. Party members can't die for real.

The music in IV was also stellar. It feels like here Uematsu could really start stretching his legs. Years later after playing and listening to the soundtrack for III, you could tell that he had kinda hit the limits of the NES. There a just a few songs there that do horrible things to the ears. But here, here we have Red Wings, Kingdom of Baron, the Final Fantasy Prologue, the battle theme and the Big Whale, to say nothing of many more tracks.

This was also the introduction to the ATB battle system, which would be used for six consecutive games. Here the gimmick is pretty straightforward, every one of your party members has a job/class and special abilities commensurate with that class. Cecil, as a Dark Knight, has the Darkness ability which is powerful wave of dark energy. When he switches to a Paladin he gets white magic and cover. Rosa has white magic and Aim (which is pretty useless), Rydia can summon monsters, Kain can Jump, and Yang can Kick every enemy. Overall the system was a refreshing change of pace from the turn-based battles of FFI (and yes II and III) and the Dragon Quest games.


I mentioned at the start that Final Fantasy has been a series that has, in part, been defined by it's innovation. No where is it more relevant than with FFVII. This was the first 3D entry in the series beating the other major SquareEnix series by a staggering 7 years (that's a whole console generation). While it's obviously a bit dated today, the polygonal nature of the cast and crew of this game retains its charm even now. Not only did we now have 3D but we also introduced CGI rendered cutscenes. These were awesome, especially this one, that even today I could watch over and over.

It's hard not to talk about FFVII without discussing it's main character...Sephiroth. No seriously. He is, without a doubt, the coolest bad guy in the series. He's just menacing from the get go, he's got that gigantic sword, and he taunts his beloved enemy Cloud every single step of the way, driving him mad. Cloud's story is a bit...cloudy. He's a SOLDIER, except he's not, he was just experimented on in similar fashion. He's a Jenova clone, except he's not. He places himself in the place of his friend Zack in a lot of his memories. He's been through some stuff. Then there's the rest of the cast. We have Tifa. Cloud's childhood friend and martial artist who refuses to call him out on his memory problems until it's way too late, Barret the leader of Avalanche who hires you at the beginning of the game. Cid, the alcoholic, abusive husband, who also happens to be a mechanic on an airship and aspiring astronaut. Aeris, the sole survivor of the Ancient/Cetra race, who is dogged and monitored by the Turks, a Shinra spec ops group. Red XIII, a talking dog with serious daddy issues who helps guard Cosmo Canyon. All of these characters have wonderful story beats throughout the game. The rest of the cast bring up the rear. Vincent, Yuffie, and Cait Sith. Vincent has the cool vampire shapeshifter vibe going for him, but you don't find out too much about him. Yuffie steals materia, including yours, to bring some semblance of wealth back to her village. Finally Cait Sith is a spy, planted by Shinra, though he later has a turn of heart and joins your team for real.

Besides the great story (that was seriously mangled beyond repair in side projects and movies), you have an excellent version the ATB system here, headlined by the materia system. Materia are the new magicite that, so long as you have them equipped in your weapons and armor, will slowly grow more powerful and grant static buffs. Beyond that, some pieces of equipment have linked slots meaning you can augment the materia. Want to cast Knights of the Round 4 times? You can do that. Want to cast a spell and heal yourself equal to the damage you deal? You can do that. There's so much flexibility here, and if you max out a piece of materia, you get a brand new piece of that materia that starts at level 1, meaning every single party member can have Knights of the Round. I keep talking about KotR, so let's talk about the summons in this game. They are excellent showcases of the 3D aspect of the game. For the most part they are short and sweet little animations but every now and then you get a Bahumut Zero or KotR in there. The other big combat feature is Limit Breaks. Each character has about 8 of these (including Aeris), that you could fire off when a gauge filled up and these were just awesome. I think we all remember the first time we did Omnislash on a group of enemies and witnessed the sheer damage output.

You thought we'd talk about VII and not talk about THAT SCENE?. In what was, at the time, the saddest moment in video game history. Sephiroth stabs Aeris straight through the heart killing her, and potentially your chances of saving the planet. Sephiroth then lords this over Cloud who is himself as devastated as the player, and then you have to fight another incarnation of Jenova while Aeris' theme plays the entire time. I had a friend make a Facebook book group called "I Cried When Aeris Died" that's how awesome this scene was.


One of the primary things I look for in a game is how quickly it grabs me and makes me say "I'm going to play this game to completion." FFX probably has the record for the quickest a Final Fantasy game has pulled that off. You start off in Zanarkand preparing for a blitzball game, and are immediately treated to an awesome CGI cutscene where Sin begins destroying the city. Then your old friend Auron shows up, helps you defeat your first Sinspawn, and then drags you into the gut of Sin. At this point I was all in, and it had only been about ten minutes. X really has the highest quality storyline of any of the mainline games. It's a story about duty, friendship, and challenging your beliefs. Despite the bubblegum J-Pop color scheme of the game, there is some dark subject material in here. A recurring cycle of destruction, self-sacrifice, racial discrimination, and a bad guy who watched his mother have her soul ripped out of her and placed in a statue. Furthermore, I really can't think of a character here who doesn't go through significant character development either. Even the tacit, broken horn runt Kimahri gets his moments to shine taking on the tribe members that broke his horn and forced him to be an outcast. You can tell that Square was really reaching for some Sephiroth vibes, in terms of looks, with one of the primary big bad's, Seymour. Seymour is the aforementioned child who watched his mother get sacrificed because his birth was considered a heresy. He's no where near as menacing as Sephiroth, but he's just as ruthless. Complimenting this spectacular script we have the first Final Fantasy to be fully voice acted. For the most part the english voice actors hold up well too. Sometimes it does feel like Yuna's lines get cut off a fraction too soon, or is just speaking in a super punctuated manner, but there has defintely been far worse English voice work in a JRPG port. It's hard to belive that after crafting a story as deep and nuanced as this one, a few months later Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was released, and with it began the long period of SquareEnix losing their minds and becoming more and more unable to tell a cohesive story.

Combat in X is another highpoint. This game marks the last time the series would use a traditional turn based system, abandoning the ATB system that had been used since IV. This version allows for some nice tactical decisions though. Characters can be switched out, mid battle, instantaneously for anyone else still on the bench. This is useful because flying enemies are easier to hit with blitzballs and magic, armored enemies need to have their armor broken by Auron, flan type enemies can only be reliably brought down Lulu's magic, and Yuna can summon and control Aeon's to devastate everything. Each character, and Aeon, get their own set of limit breaks called Overdrives. Despite it's turned based nature, battles fly by very quickly. Character progress is handled by the Sphere Grid. This is probably the coolest progression system since the Materia system of VII. Initially each character can only travel through nodes associated with their "class" but special spheres you find will eventually allow you to learn everything with everyone, and yes, I've done that. While the strongest weapons could eventually be crafted using materials gathered at the monster arena, each character had a special weapon they could find and then slowly unlock it's full potential. This was a pretty great system, with one exception, Lulu's weapon. At one point you need to successfully dodge 200 lightning bolts, and to this day I have not done this and have no plans to.

There really is only one low point in this game, but I just can't talk about X without mentioning it at least one time. I give you...the laughing scene.


Nintendo Power once did a ranking of the best SNES games ever. I don't remember the exact placement it got, but I do remember that it placed higher than IV, citing only the opera scene as the reason why. This greatly upset my brother who vastly prefers IV over VI and thought the opera scene was pretty dumb. I can't disagree with him on the how important or good the scene was, I personally could take it or leave it but the music during it, especially Aria di Mezzo Carattere, is phenomenal. Let me go over all the other reasons why VI not only beats IV, but is also the greatest game in the series.

Final Fantasy 6 Intro

First, the cast. This is the single largest cast of main/playable characters in the series. There are fourteen members of the main cast all of whom, excepting two, have full fledged backstories and get lots of screentime to develop and evolve. This is a game without a true main character. Sure we start with Terra, but arguments could be made easily for Locke or Celes. Edgar and Sabin get a big portion of the screen time, and Cyan has one of the most compelling arcs as well. Beyond the initial fourteen there are a number of other characters that join the party briefly. There's the Wedge and Biggs at the beginning the game. Banon joins for a time, and you can really grind up Locke, Sabin, and Terra with him if you want by looping around the river. Finally the great General Leo joins you briefly against Kefka who slays him, just as it seems like something might be happening between him and Terra. Shades of FFVII's Cloud and Aeris? Speaking of Kefka, initially he's shown as comic relief, complaining about sand in his boots, but over time you realize just how many "screws are missing." He's also the most successful Final Fantasy villian of all time. Every big bad's dream is to acquire the power of a god and destroy the world, and that's exactly what Kefka achieves. He kills the Emporer and converts the World of Balance to the World of Ruin killing thousands (if not more) in the process. One of the really cool things this large cast allows us to do in the game are the split party dungeons. Because the cast size is so large, there are a handful of dungeons and battles that split the party up into three to tackle them. Kefka's Tower, the final dungeon, is the culmination of this and it allows for both fun puzzle solving and party composition for combat.

Ok, so the story is good and the characters are mostly fantastic, how does the combat hold up? It's amazing. Along with the third implemenation of the ATB battle system we now have magicite. Equipping magicite, the remains of dead Espers (this games' summons/source of magic), allows every party member the ability to learn every single spell in the game. Not only that, but having the magicite equipped provides the user with a stat bonus when the level up allowing for a great level of customization. I would frequently turn Relm into a beast of a magic user, easily capable of dealing the max damage of 9999 with level 2 magic. This system does have a flaw though, and that's that it makes this game very easy. Most bosses can be taken down with the ol' Vanish + XZone/Doom combo. Undead bosses can be taken out with a single Pheonix Down. Still you don't have to lean into this combo if you don't want, there's always the Genji Glove/Offering relic combo with Atma Weapon that turns Terra, Locke, Celes, or Edgar into a walking killing machine capable of eight physical attacks that can easily deal max damage. Beyond the magic aspect of combat, each party member has their own special skill. Edgar can use a variety of tools, Sabin has a combo system kinda like Street Fighter, Locke can steal, Terra can turn into an esper for a big stat boost, etc. It's VI's take on the job system and works very well. So everyone can be a house in combat, well remember how cool limit break attacks were in FFVII, well here we have the precursor to those, Desparation Attacks. These are specialized attacks that each character except Gau and Umaro can perform when in critical health range. These are all super cool attacks that can deal a ton of damage.

We briefly talked about the music in this game when mentioning the opera, but I would be remiss if I didn't say that VI has one of the top 2 or top 3 soundtracks in the series. I will do a separate article on just the soundtracks, because in my mind the soundtracks to these games are half the enjoyment of them. Nobuo Uematsu did a fantastic job with the first ten games and here is no exception. Terra's theme is easily in my top five pieces of Final Fantasy music of all time, Aria di Mezzo Carattere of course doubles down as Aeris' theme in FFVII, and so many more. It is by far, the best soundtrack of the SNES Final Fantasies and deserving of discussion for the best SNES soundtrack...period.

In 2018, Magic: The Gathering experienced it's 25th annivesary. A co-worker asked me if there was another game I had played for 25 years, I instinctively looked up FFVI, as I play through it at least once a year. Turns out I only had to wait one more year to answer to say that I have been playing this game for 25 years, and I still cannot recommend this game enough. Just please, for the love of all that's holy, DO NOT PLAY THE MOST RECENT REMAKE. What they did to the sprites was an absolute abomination.

Final thoughts

Man this article took longer to write than I would have expected, but there's clearly a lot to discuss here. I plan to probably make this into more of a living document, as my feelings will probably change over time, but probably only really around the mid-low tier items because I don't ever see them changing for VI: objectively the best in the series.