Ranking The Top 3 Final Fantasy Games Of All Time

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Final Fantasy is one of the greatest gaming series of all time. Everything about what makes the series great cannot be beat in the rest of the RPG genre. From the gameplay to the storytelling, music and the different art styles; each new game is vastly different from its predecessor, making it one of my personal favorite gaming series.

That’s why I have brought it upon myself to rank the mainline Final Fantasy games in order of excellence. This means I will exclude all spin-offs (Final Fantasy Tactics, etc.) and MMO games (Final Fantasy XIV, XI). Furthermore, each game will be based on its initial launch version, not by any remasters or ports.

This is it: we’ve finally reached the top 3 Final Fantasy games. Before you continue on, make sure to check out the previous entries if you already haven’t!

Caught up? If so, let’s dive right in with…

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Tags: Final Fantasy Rankings Video Games

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  • Van Chandler

    Thank the loving RPG gods that someone finally didn’t put FF7 as #1. Even better FF6 is at the top. Justice has been done here today.

  • http://dimanagul.wordpress.com/ Eric R. Jackson

    I’d flip 10 and 6 for one reason alone. As great as 6 was, the plot died with the end of the world. Dialogue fell to flat quotes (mostly because of the adaptability of your party post world end) and there were next to no scenes regarding the party’s reunion.

    Particularly glaring was Locke’s reunion with Celes. As such FF6 is an unfinished masterpiece where FFX stayed polished to the end, giving the vaunted 16 bit wonder a giant ‘but’ to it’s praise. In this light I can’t help but wonder how amazing it could have been if it had followed through.

    Despite that. It is an amazing game, and I’d love to see those loose ends tied up in a remake.

    • Eric

      you have a good point, but i’d still say 6 was a little better, based on its replay value. there’s a lot of items, espers, and even characters you can miss the first time through, post apocalypse world especially. i remember the first time playing it, completely missing mog, umaro, and gogo in the world of ruin. there are so many side quest and extras in the game, plus with the most recent additions of the the post game challenges, ffvi just had more to offer. it’s certainlly very close though.

      • http://dimanagul.wordpress.com/ Eric R. Jackson

        You have a point. Six had amazing optional events that didn’t feel back-tracky and your point also reminds me how well paced FF6 was. There is a great deal of downtime in X and no free-flying airship.

        I often accuse people of wearing the nostalgia goggles when they refuse to acknowledge the flaws of the endgame, and FFX had it’s share of flaws as well. I guess I just can’t shake the feeling that final hours were rushed (But that might have simply been cartridge size limitations). As you say it’s close, but you might be right. FF6 deserves the top spot by a slim margin despite this.

  • FinFan68

    Can’t argue with much at all on this. I would rate XIII dead last and but for the graphics it was an embarrassment for the series. I wouldn’t ever play the MMOs because there is something about this series that I just feel should be a single player game that stands alone without the net. I personally liked XII a bit more and would move it up a bit. The gambits could virtually eliminate stupid AI with uncontrolled characters in the genre. It also made different styles of gameplay possible when temporary strategy shifts (grinding, speed run through a specific area) became necessary. I loved X. The story would sometimes get “sappy” but I could play blitzball for hours. I liked VI a lot but I must agree with Eric that the plot eroded. It seemed as if a deadline was approaching and certain things were not followed through. Even still, I enjoyed the characters in VI the most. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories in a thoughtful and well written article/series.

  • Vix

    Fair top 3 I guess, though my favorite 3 are and always will be X, IX and VI (not sure about the order though) :p

  • Jared Kl

    Close as my top 3. 1. FF6 2. FF12 3. FF7

  • James Thompson

    I like the NES games, everything from 7 on was terrible. Final Fantasy is responsible for creating some of the worst gaming protagonists I have ever seen. It’s kind of disappointing that it’s considered one of the best franchises ever, with such a terrible set of characters and stories. Voice acting is bad as well.

  • xXGrizZ

    I don’t think I would put X in my top 5. I would go 1-VI 2-VII 3-IX

    • lightningbarer

      that sounds like a reasonable list for top 5.

  • thefinalword

    FF6 never had much appeal for me. I simply don’t like the party members the game opens with, never knew about the alternate characters, and the intro story did not pull me in. I’m really not impressed with this game. The few times I started the game I lost patience for it within a few hours. When I find guide info on how to obtain the other characters as well as their bios with pictures of the characters I might try to play it again. I’ve played all the numbered final fantasy games. This is the only one I gave up on for lack of interest.

    • Arthur Sataine

      If you ACTUALLY played it, you would unlock almost all the characters. You can’t be impressed or unimpressed with a game you didn’t actually play.

      • thefinalword

        Actually I’m completely unimpressed by Sonic 06′ and the legend of zelda cdi games without having ever played them.

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  • lightningbarer

    Oh no you don’t.
    “HAHAHAHAHA” anyone who has played 10 knows what I’m on about.
    The customisation feature or ‘sphere grid’ is one of the most overhyped and tedious things in gaming. The Plot was terrible, the voice acting was laughable and while the graphics were great, they don’t make up for boring endless hours of gameplay. This was the first FF I ever gave up on, right there after 20 hours of mindless level grinding I said ‘there’s a world outside, go see it’ and since then, when it comes to level grinding and useless finicky upgrades in every FF since, I’ve given up at some point.
    10 is an ungodly mess and a point where the series started downward, I’ve got hopes for 15, it looks darker and the info coming out may make me happy, but saying that 10 is anywhere near the top of the series is laughable.

    • SexySuperVillain

      Wow, really? X was my favorite of the series. I loved the characters, especially Auron and Kimari, and I loved the sphere grid. I clocked in at 165 hours, with a large amount spent fighting crazy powerful enemies in the special area in the desert. This is one of my 5 favorite games of all-time!

      • lightningbarer

        Well each to their own.
        And yes, I would probably pick Auron and Kimari in my top three X characters, but that doesn’t mean much as Rikku was my favourite character in the game.

  • Ryan Kosior

    I would prob put:
    1. VII 2. IX 3. VI 4. X 5. VIII 6. IV 7. V 8. I 9. III 10. II 11. XIII 12. XII

    My top 5 pretty much change based on my mood though…

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  • http://gamerhorizon.com/ Ari Margo

    I agree that both Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VI are better than VII, though by such a small margin that it barely even matters. I guess I’m in the minority, but Final Fantasy X is actually my favorite of the entire series, and I’ve been playing since the original on NES. http://gamerhorizon.com/top-5-rpgs/

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  • Caspian

    FFX is average at best – great music score and some cool side quests is about it – FFVI is IMHO overrated – its good (certainly better than “Tidus the faggot” X, but not the best. FFVII is so easily the best and IMO followed closely by 9,8 and then controversially 12. 1-5 are basic but good and everything from X onwards bar 12 is a joke.