For over 40 years, the Final Fantasy series has been one of the most popular lines of JRPG games. Final Fantasy was developed by the titan Square Enix and has unquestionably made a lasting impression on the gaming industry by releasing classic after classic. Final Fantasy has endured the test of time and remained relevant, adapting to the constantly shifting climate of video games as evidenced by the impending release of the next installment in the series, Final Fantasy XVI. This is true of turn-based combat in the early days as well as the now-common fast-paced action combat styles of games today.
Each Final Fantasy game in the series has maintained the tradition of having a fanciful plot, engaging characters, and difficult gameplay. Fans were exposed to a magnificent world with each new release, one that was full of stunning settings, strong animals, and deep mythology. While following a lone hero or a band of intrepid adventurers as they try to save the world is surface-level entertainment in many Final Fantasy games, there are layers upon layers of plot for players to delve through and experience with the characters. This is where many Final Fantasy games stand out. The finest Final Fantasy games with the best narrative are listed here.
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX is a game that is often left out of the conversation when speaking about the most memorable titles in the Final Fantasy franchise. However, in social circles, it is considered to have one of the best narratives among all the games. The game follows Zidane, a tailed tribesman who finds himself a part of a plot to kidnap a princess.
Things change quickly when Zidane becomes devoted to Princess Garnet and now must protect her and fend off an approaching cataclysm. Zidane is one of the most interesting main characters in Final Fantasy, and among the rest of the cast, the charm that Final Fantasy IX presents is classic.
Final Fantasy X
With a story that spanned years and covered a complex political environment, Final Fantasy XV told an amazing story that was spread out across a massive game, an animated film, and even a comic book anthology.
Noctis is a banished prince who seeks to reclaim his throne after his kingdom is invaded. Along with his friends, Noctis takes on the real world for the first time to reclaim his birthright. Final Fantasy XV is a spectacular game that checks all the right boxes and does its best to stand among the best of the franchise.
The Final Fantasy VII titles are among the most beloved of Final Fantasy games; Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core is a prequel to the original game that follows the journey of the fallen soldier, Zack.
The story of Crisis Core also deep dives into the beginnings of Sephiroth’s path to villainy, Cloud’s origin, and even Tifa’s motivation for the next game. Crisis Core does an excellent job of expanding upon one of the best stories in JRPGs and is a fantastic game as a bonus. Crisis Core recently received a remake that has wowed the fans and is definitely worth a look.
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV is a game that deserves to be talked about more when discussing the JRPG genre. While there is nothing overly exciting about the title, what it lacks in flashy features and action, it makes up for solid narrative and gameplay elements dinosaur game.
The story of the Black Knight Cecil is an excellent tale of clearly defining one’s morals, even when standing by those morals turns his life upside down. Final Fantasy IV is a shining example of everything fans would expect from a Final Fantasy game and does it in tremendous fashion.
Final Fantasy X
A story that stands on its own and made a massive impact on the Final Fantasy fandom is Final Fantasy X. From the moment players are introduced to the chaotic world of Spira, they fall in love with the cast of characters one by one.
Containing one of the most unique casts of characters in all Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy X also holds an enormous amount of weight for its incredible story filled with memorable moments and mounds of depth. Even the love story between Titus and Yuna has risen to the same amount of popularity as Cloud and Aerith.
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII is one of the most iconic titles in the franchise for its unique character design and the creation of one of the most spectacular weapons in RPG history, the Gunblade. Final Fantasy VIII is a high-octane story as the complicated and conflicted Squall Leonhart leads his friends against a massive military force.
The story of Final Fantasy VIII explores the calamity of war and places Squall and his friends on the frontline in an attempt to foil the evil sorceress, Ultimecia, plan of domination and ambitious venture into godhood.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the most stand-out Final Fantasy games for its innovative installment into the franchise as a Tactical JRPG. Final Fantasy Tactics introduced an enormously different system compared to previous Final Fantasy games but overperformed and became a fan favorite that has garnered a cult following.
However, Final Fantasy Tactics‘ story is one for the ages as it dives into a horrid conflict between two factions seeking to claim the same throne, following Ramza, a high-born noble who finds himself at odds with his family when the war begins to tear apart the world.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII has been the most popular game in the franchise since its release in nineteen ninety and was highly praised for its gameplay, characters, and story. Following Cloud Strife as a hired gun to a band of eco-terrorist, Final Fantasy VII wastes no time and quickly expands the world and the characters hooking fans in immediately.
Cloud goes from an arrogant military drone to a complicated hero in the blink of an eye. The success of Final Fantasy VII can not be underestimated as it has stood the test of time and has even been given a total remake rehashing the story with an entirely new game and a continuation of the story.
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy IV is a diamond in the rough of the Final Fantasy franchise and isn’t talked about as much outside of dedicated circles in the fandom. However, Final Fantasy IV is arguably one of the best games in the genre that created a perfect bond between gameplay and narrative.
Final Fantasy IV presented a mountain of history, current events, and development and centered it around the game’s roster of characters. The game explored harsh concepts and had the most well-written characters of any RPG of its time that still holds up reasonably well to this day.