Best Final Fantasy Games – Push Square

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What are the best Final Fantasy games? It’s a tough question, and not one that we’d like to answer alone. That’s why we asked you, the Push Square readers, to rate and rank an entire list of Final Fantasy games. This article is the result of your ratings, with 28 Final Fantasy titles, spanning every generation of PlayStation consoles, ranked from worst to best.

To be clear, this is not a final list. The ratings and rankings can and probably will change with time — and you can influence the whole thing by rating the games for yourself. All you need to do is click the star icon next to each entry, and select a score.

Still, as of right now, these are the best Final Fantasy games according to you lot. Hopefully you’re happy with your choices!

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (PS4)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Team Ninja

Release Date: 30th Jan 2018 (USA) / 30th Jan 2018 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: Team-based action game
  • Combat System: Action

When Square Enix announced that it was making a new Dissidia game in collaboration with Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja, fans were understandably excited. And to fuel the flames of hype even further, Dissida NT was confirmed for a console release. It’s so unfortunate, then, that NT failed to make any kind of lasting impact. Overcomplicated gameplay mechanics, an unbelievably convoluted user interface, and a noticeable lack of single-player content rendered NT undesirable for many — to the point where even a huge character roster couldn’t save the experience. The very definition of a missed opportunity.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition (PS4)Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition (PS4)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 27th Aug 2020 (USA) / 27th Aug 2020 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: Co-op focused action RPG
  • Combat System: Action

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was a bit of a cult classic back on the Nintendo GameCube. A co-op focused, brilliantly charming adventure that offered up memorable dungeons and cool boss encounters. It was remastered (and partially remade) for PS4 in 2020, but baffling design decisions held it back from realising its potential. A butchered online co-op experience removed part of what made the original so magical, and nothing was done to modernise the game’s chunky combat system. The soundtrack is still amazing, though.

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2)Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 20th Aug 2006 (USA) / 11th Nov 2006 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: Third-person action-shooter
  • Combat System: Action shooting

Generally regarded as one of Final Fantasy’s biggest ever missteps, Dirge of Cerberus is a frankly deranged attempt at making a third-person shooter-RPG. It was released for the PS2 back when Square Enix was desperate to milk Final Fantasy VII for all it was worth, and charted the post-game adventures of of Vincent Valentine. Dreadful villains and a plot that barely resembles anything to do with Final Fantasy VII mean that Dirge will never be taken seriously by most fans — and that’s without even mentioning the disastrous gameplay.

Final Fantasy II (PS1)Final Fantasy II (PS1)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 8th Apr 2003 (USA) / 14th Mar 2003 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Combat System: Turn based (ATB)

The first Final Fantasy had a very basic story — heroes of light, crystals, yadda yadda — but its sequel, Final Fantasy II, tried to establish proper characters and political drama. In the storytelling department, it was a sign of what was to come for the series, but the experience as a whole was let down dramatically by convoluted gameplay systems. A traditional levelling system was replaced with action-based stat increases, making for party member growth that was both confusing and abusable. Final Fantasy II isn’t a bad game, but it is the most forgotten entry in Square’s mainline series.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 11th Feb 2013 (USA) / 14th Feb 2013 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Combat System: Turn based (ATB)

Final Fantasy XIII is easily one of the most divisive titles in series history, and so it only makes sense that its two sequels divide opinion even further. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was another seemingly desperate attempt by Square Enix to transform XIII protagonist Lightning into a household name. The game itself isn’t bad — it’s got an interesting battle system and a relatively unique limited time mechanic — but when it released in 2013, a lot of fans were already sick and tired of XIII’s extremely convoluted storytelling, world, and characters.

Final Fantasy XI Online (PS2)Final Fantasy XI Online (PS2)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 23rd Mar 2004 (USA)
  • Genre: MMORPG
  • Combat System: Command based

A game that would probably be rated a lot higher on a site that isn’t PlayStation-only, Final Fantasy XI Online was an inspirational MMO. It was a limited release on PS2 (it didn’t even launch in Europe), but those who did play it found a memorable world and charming characters. Obviously, Final Fantasy XIV would shrug XI aside in time, but there’s no doubt that this old MMO holds a special place in the heart of some fans.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3)Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 31st Jan 2012 (USA) / 3rd Feb 2021 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Combat System: Turn based (ATB)

In a lot of ways, Final Fantasy XIII-2 addresses the most criticised parts of Final Fantasy XIII. It’s got a more engaging battle system, and there’s a much heavier emphasis on exploration. All told, XIII-2 is a pretty good game, but being bolted onto the divisive legacy of its predecessor meant that it was never going to be a fan favourite. A story that deals with time travel and alternate futures results in some seriously convoluted (and often confusing) plot points, while main characters Serah and Noel just aren’t that interesting. Great soundtrack, though!

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS4)Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS4)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 17th Mar 2015 (USA) / 20th Mar 2015 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: Mission-based RPG
  • Combat System: Action with commands

Final Fantasy Type-0 is a bit of a weird game. Its story follows a group of teenagers who are enrolled in a kind of military academy, and gameplay is structured around various combat missions. A whole class of playable characters — each with their own weapons and abilities — keeps combat feeling quite fresh, and there are some surprisingly interesting plot points scattered throughout the grind. While it’s certainly not on par with the more popular titles on this list, Type-0 is a decent spinoff with some cool ideas.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (PS5)Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (PS5)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Team Ninja

Release Date: 18th Mar 2022 (USA) / 18th Mar 2022 (UK/EU)

Final Fantasy has had a lot of spinoff games over the years, but few are, er, stranger than Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. This action RPG, primarily developed by Nioh studio Team Ninja, proves to be one hell of a trip, telling an alternate timeline origin story for the first Final Fantasy. If that’s not enough to draw your attention, know that player character Jack Garland is one of the most ridiculous leads in franchise history, repeatedly telling chatty NPCs to shut up while listening to nu metal and Frank Sinatra on his…smartphone? Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe this one.

Final Fantasy (PS1)Final Fantasy (PS1)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 8th Apr 2003 (USA) / 14th Mar 2003 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Combat System: Turn based (ATB)

Ah, the game where it all began. By today’s standards, the original Final Fantasy is incredibly basic, but this is the series’ gameplay formula in its purest form. The classic ATB combat still holds up, the old school monster and boss designs are cool, and the game’s straightforward structure is honestly quite refreshing. An eternally solid title.

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (PSP)Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (PSP)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 22nd Mar 2011 (USA) / 25th Mar 2011 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: Fighting game with RPG elements
  • Combat System: Action

An enhanced and expanded version of the original Dissidia, the eye-rollingly named Dissidia 012 is basically the best Final Fantasy fighting game ever made, even though it isn’t really a fighting game. Although some precariously balanced combat mechanics do dampen the fun, the joy that comes with battering your favourite Final Fantasy characters with your other favourite Final Fantasy characters is worth the learning curve. Still regarded by some fans as one of the series’ best spinoffs, and so it’s a bit of a shame that it was never remastered or ported to other systems.

World of Final Fantasy (PS4)World of Final Fantasy (PS4)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 25th Oct 2016 (USA) / 28th Oct 2016 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Combat System: Turn based

A strange but fun crossover adventure, World of Final Fantasy packs all kinds of character cameos and references into an RPG for all ages. Some of its mechanics are a bit wonky — literally stacking monsters on top of party members to buff their stats just feels wrong — but there’s still a lot to like about this quirky title. Well, apart from that magical cat-squirrel thing that follows you around. Final Fantasy’s most annoying mascot, and by some distance.

Final Fantasy III (PSP)Final Fantasy III (PSP)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 25th Sep 2012 (USA) / 26th Sep 2012 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Combat System: Turn based (ATB)

Like the original Final Fantasy, there’s a straightforwardness to Final Fantasy III that makes it easy to play and enjoy. Crystals! Dungeons! Four heroes of light! This is an early instalment that’s been remastered and remade numerous times, but it still holds up, and the experience is strengthened by an enjoyable job system that lets you customise the party to your liking.

Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

Release Date: 9th Mar 2010 (USA) / 9th Mar 2010 (UK/EU)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Combat System: Turn based (ATB)

Here it is, the Final Fantasy game that you either love or hate. Or, if you’re like us, you think it’s just kind of okay, but a bit misguided. Final Fantasy XIII represented a melodramatic new direction for the series, which didn’t sit well with everyone. It also had a lot of corridors, and the combat system, while undeniably flashy, lacked any meaningful player agency until much later in the game. In hindsight, it was clearly a troubled project — delayed and internally overhauled god-knows how many times — but it’s still a reasonably interesting experience if you can get around the frustrations.

 

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