... guess I should prob just put up or shut up - I don't do numerical rankings because complex opinions being condensed to digits is no bueno for me but lets rank the final fantasies... that aren't 11 and 14 i don't like MMOs I can't rate them fairly.
Also realizing that no1 will both not be my favourite and the actual pick i'm making for no1 makes me feel... really, really dirty but I can't really justify any other title as the best
Lets also be clear that i enjoy every single one of these games except 2.
ANYWAY 13 FINAL FANTASY GAMES RANKED AND JUSTIFIED
13: Final Fantasy II
I have to give it credit for both basically launching the SaGa series and for trying a cool skill system the game is just fucking broken, the 'trap rooms' with 99% encounter rate and you somehow land in the middle is the stupidest shit on earth, and I still can't get past "Guy speaks beaver". FF2' introduced named plot characters but really to me its main contribution is Ramuh's story in FFIX...
12: Final Fantasy XIII
It was really tempting to put this at 13 for the synergy of 13 - 13 but lets be clear - walking down a hallway for 20-40 hours, with no towns and interaction and the story being primarily delivered through FUCKING TEXT MANUALS IRRELEVANT TO THE ACTIONS OF YOUR HERO is god awful gameplay design. That said, it's a super fucking pretty game and I love the characters and I'll never say no to it, it's just a deeply flawed game
11: Final Fantasy XII
The only single player Final Fantasy I haven't played. It's here entirely because I couldn't find a spot for it. I will update this when I beat it. Or rerank whatever.
10: Final Fantasy
So here's the thing with FF1 - the NES version has the best plot twist of all its releases (what the Sky Castle is) but is also fundamentally broken in a bunch of ways so you'd want to play a remake which gets rid of the amazing twist because remake staffs are fucking idiots. It's a good RPG, iut's a bit sparing on plot because lol NES, its main limitation is being badly coded - what do you mean all these stat effects do nothing?! (then again FF6 had similar problems and is... lower on the list)
9: Final Fantasy XV
Wanted to put the joyous boyband adventure higher but the late game is just... so meh - after so much in terms of amazing exploration and landscapes the game just nopes you out at the eleventh hour and staples you to the railroad and forces you to suck it all up without seeing anything during the climax. What a bummer
8: Final Fantasy III
This would be higher if Final Fantasy V didn't exist. The job system is the single greatest aspect of classic FF, and is almost, but not quite an aspect that would make FFX-2 worth playing.
FFIII is the hardest game in the series which would be props but a big part of it is just architectural with the SIX FUCKING ENDGAME BOSSES WITH NO SAVES SINCE THE START OF THE DUNGEON. other than that it suffers due to NES-plot scarcity, only FF2 really overcame that but I mean FF2 had... well there's a reason i ranked it last.
7: Final Fantasy VIII
Great plot, great music, great characters, really fun to break teh hell out of the game and ruin everything at level 10... but its also broken as hell, time compression is kind of contrived, Squall can be an unlikeable fuckstick even if he does have good character development, and its graphics have aged really badly next to 9 (Cartoony, aged beautifully) and 7 (also ugly but at least their faces look okay)
6: Final Fantasy IV
Taking everything good about FF2 (and was released under that title first in the US woot) while adding actually good gameplay and introducing one of the greatest keys of the series, the ATB system. FF4's main problem is trying to pull the 'oh this person died but surprise they didnt' emotional punch way too many fucking times (what, Tellah, Cid, Palom, Porom, Rydia, and Yang - only one of which actually sticks, plus the Kain backstabaroony)- and the fact that the initial US release was so badly nerfed and so meh translated... though it makes up for that by being by far the best Final Fantasy speedrun - check out Brossentia's DieHard% speedrun at a GDQ in like 2013 it's still amazing and hilarious.
5: Final Fantasy X
To me, my top four can all be shuffled around and i'd still be happy with the results, X is the last game that doesn't make that cut - X has the second best battle system in the entire series, a beautiful plot, environment, and soundtrack, and pretty cool characters (fucking everyone loved Auron growing up and you cannot convince me otherwise) - what keeps it out of the top 5 is while FF has always been linear this is where it really shows its Crash Bandicoot the RPG syndrome of walk for 40 hours looking and beating up pretty things that would later make FF13 so awful.
4: Final Fantasy V
I'm sorry did you have a gripe against FFV? I can't hear you over my SWEET ASS MOTHERFUCKING JOB SYSTEM.
Final Fantasy V has the best battles in the entire series. Your cunning and stratagy is never rewarded so thoroughly as FFV does, and there are many cool and creative ways to get what you need done... and if you dont think, you just fucking die. Plus it's funny as fuck, especially with the GBA and onward translation, and introducing dimensional hobo Gilgamesh to the series for great dialogue, fun battles, and even the funniest moment in Final Fantasy VIII. The only reason it loses to the rest of the top 3 is because not taking itself too seriously does kind of hurt compared to the gut punches the top three pull.
3: Final Fantasy VI
... I really thought this would be number one but when i broke it down it couldn't cut past the other two. Ultimately fucking around in Narsche is just so boring it brings the rest of the game down - and the rest of the game is the most diverse final fantasy cast, with a compelling plot, great player punches (even if Mateus did Kefka's blow shit up move ifrst no one liked FF2), music that literally pushed the SNES to its limits, no main character, a truly open second half where you could do as much or as little as you wanted, plus some damn fun battles and scenery. Except you Gau, fuck you Gau. Do not EVER play FF6 on a sony console. SNES encounter rates + PS1 load times is a fucking nightmare. GBA version is prob its best release
2: Final Fantasy IX
Fuck, that revealed number one, which means I'm sorry in advance and I hope I can justify it.
Final Fantasy IX has the best 'feels' in the entire series, it's a beautiful game that's aged really well due to cartoony graphics and matte painting backgrounds, it has a strong female character who does not want to fuck the protagonist, the protagonist is likeable, clever, flirty, and involved, the homages to blade runner are fun, quoting the phantom menace is... not, but whatever, and considering the game is a love letter to the previous 8 games it does SO much right and SO much perfectly and hnnng i fucking love FF9.
So why isn't it no1?
1: Side characters need to be fleshed out more / disk 3 needs more shit
I am looking RIGHT THE FUCK AT YOU AMARANT. And a little at you Freya but at least you had sort of an arc. You need more shit, lets lave it at that
2: SNES encounter rate, PS1 load times, super cinematic intros
Battles take for fucking ever in this game and you sometimes cant even remember waht the fuck you were doing - Kuja;s palace comes to mind here as its what pissed me off in my first run, but seriously wtf. I am so glad the PC/mobile version has basically cheats to turn off encounters hardwired right in.
1: I can't fucking believe I ranked Fnal Fantasy VII First.
Look, FFVII just does things right from every corner of the final fantasy universe without ever feeling like it's calling back to shit or homaging it - it has a deep introspective plot like 6 did but its long sections (midgar) instead of feeling like a chore are engaging, beautiful, and keep you connected - but behind that you still get the classic 4-6 FF gameplay you need but all gussied up for the new-at-the-time system - it's not that FF7 does everything right, but it captures every single component of what makes FF games good - good battles, interesting characters, cool environments, captivating tone, rewards for exploration, decent plot, and a diverse world - every other game has a glaring flaw with one of these components; and VII simply doesn't - or the flaw is minute enough for it to just not matter.
You son of a bitch Sephiroth, I should have known you were frogs all along.