Final Fantasy is a well-known sci-fi anthology series from Japan. More than a hundred games, animated films, manga, and other media are included in the household brand.
We’ll be focusing on the series’ core collection of fifteen games. Games in the main series are assigned numbers ranging from one to fifteen. We’ll also include any related prequels, sequels, or remakes to round out the list. Only 21 main Final Fantasy games have been released thus far.
Final Fantasy Games in Order
The original Final Fantasy was released for the Nintendo NES in 1987.
As a result, Square Enix has served as both a creator and a distributor of video games. The main RPG aspects of each episode are reworked to give something new and distinct in each entry. In addition, each installment has its own unique tale, soundtrack, and characters.
The franchise has made an indelible mark on the RPG industry. Like FFI, FFIII, and FFVII, FFXIII and FFXIV are among their best titles. They have made significant advancements in the genre.
In addition to receiving positive reviews from critics and gamers alike, Final Fantasy titles tend to do well on both fronts. Sales of the series have been steadily rising. Over 164 million copies of the main titles have been sold globally as of this writing.
Additionally to that, several major Final Fantasy titles have sold millions of copies over the years or generations. Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and X are the best-selling games in the series.
Final Fantasy Games in Chronological Order
- Final Fantasy I -1987
- Final Fantasy II -1988
- Final Fantasy III -1990
- Final Fantasy IV -1991
- Final Fantasy V -1992
- Final Fantasy VI -1994
- Final Fantasy VII – 1997
- Final Fantasy VIII -1999
- Final Fantasy IX – 2000
- Final Fantasy X -2001
- Final Fantasy XI – 2002
- Final Fantasy X-2 – 2003
- Final Fantasy XII – 2006
- Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings – 2007
- Final Fantasy XIII – 2009
- Final Fantasy XIV – 2010
- Final Fantasy XIII – 2 – 2011
- Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII – 2013
- Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn – 2013
- Final Fantasy XV – 2016
- Final Fantasy VIII Remake – 2020
Final Fantasy I -1987
“Square” created the original Final Fantasy, a turn-based role-playing game.
The original NES version was out in 1987, and since then there have been numerous re-releases on different platforms. For example, a 2021 remaster with new audio, graphics, and 2D character redesigns are available on Steam.
There are four “Crystals” carried by the Light Warriors in this tale. It is up to the young heroes to restore the Crystals’ light after the Four Elemental Fiends darkened them. Through a series of randomized turn-based battles, the group gains experience and progress.
The initial game was never meant to be a part of a larger franchise. However, the popularity of the Final Fantasy franchise was a result of its success. As a result, it is Nintendo’s most influential RPG to date.
Final Fantasy II – 1988
A Japanese-only version of Final Fantasy II was released in 1988 on the “Family Computer,” an NES version of the game.
It took many years after the game’s first release for it to be seen outside of Japan. When FFII was released in the US and Europe, FF IV was renamed to FFII. Remastered versions of the game are currently available on Steam, which is part of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series.
Four orphaned children are the focus of the story. When the Palamecia Empire conquered their hometown, they were orphaned and had to raise themselves after losing both of their parents. The characters decide to take up arms against the imperial regime.
“Chocobos” and the Easter Egg “Cid” were introduced in the game. XP levels were also shifted to an activity-based progression system. As a result, characters grow and change throughout time based on the talents they use and learn.
Final Fantasy III – 1990
In 1990, the Family Computer’s third entry was released. A Nintendo DS remake of the game was the first non-Japanese release of it in August 2006.
For the time being, it’s only available on Steam. Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster is also a part of this game.
FFIII follows the adventures of four orphans who become enamored with a magical light crystal. They received their powers from the Crystal, which also provided them instructions on how to restore harmony and preserve the world.
Characters in the game were able to change jobs over time thanks to a new job-changing mechanism.
Final Fantasy IV – 1991
For Western audiences, Final Fantasy II was renamed Final Fantasy IV. In either case, Square Enix’s fourth game for the SNES was released in 1991.
A 3D remake for the Nintendo DS is one of the numerous FFIV ports to different consoles, as is an improved version. A remaster of the game is available on Steam.
Cecil, a black knight, is the focus of the plot. He’s battling Golbez, a sorcerer who plans to destroy the world by stealing magical gems. The bad villain’s nemesis is joined by a bunch of allies.
The “Active Time Battle” (ATB) feature, already present in previous FF titles, made its debut in FFIV. Before the opponent attacks, players are prompted to make a decision via an ATB timer. Last but not least, each character will have a class.
Final Fantasy V – 1992
Final Fantasy V was released in 1992 for the Japanese-exclusive SNES version of the game.
There are PlayStation, Game Boy, and more console ports available. The PlayStation version, in particular, has been a huge success for the console. For the time being, it’s only available on Steam.
Bartz, a roving meteorologist, is the protagonist of the game. There, he discovers the four Crystals that govern the elements. Exdeath, a malevolent sorcerer, is also being imprisoned by the Crystals. Bartz and his allies must stop the evil from re-entering the planet and wreaking havoc.
A new Job System in the game allows players to express their unique personalities (classes). As a bonus, this is the first FF sequel that isn’t a video game. Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, a 1994 anime series, carried on the storylines established in the game.
Final Fantasy VI – 1994
Final Fantasy III was released for the Western market in 1992. The SNES version of the original game was released in Japan the same year.
Hironobu Sakaguchi, the series originator, did not direct this game. After Hironobu’s departure, Yoshinori Kitase stepped in to fill the void.
During the Industrial Revolution, the story follows a group of 14 selectable individuals. An uprising against the military rule is the focus of the film’s story. The general tone is more mature, dark, and brutal than in prior games.
In addition, the game’s graphics, setting, and audio were all ten times better as a result of the update. Many best-of-all-times lists include it as a seminal moment in retro-RPG history.
Final Fantasy VII – 1997
Another break from the RPG genre for the seventh installment, which is also one of the series’ greatest. The PlayStation version made its debut in 1997 all around the world.
A mercenary named Cloud Strife is the focus of the game. An eco-terrorist gang called Avalanche is trying to stop a mega-corporation from utilizing the planet’s life force as energy, and he has joined them.
A former member of the organization, Sephiroth, is the target of Cloud and the rest of the group. As a team, they must come up with a plan to save the world.
Despite adhering to the series’ established rules, this is one of the most popular and well-received games. It was one of the most popular games of all time, with a worldwide audience of more than 13.1 million. Aside from that, it was the first console RPG to win much Game of the Year accolades.
Final Fantasy VIII – 1999
In 1999, the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VIII made its debut. Incorporating 3D graphics and pre-rendered settings, it expands on the new visuals introduced in the seventh installment.
In addition, this is the first Final Fantasy game to feature a vocal piece in the soundtrack. Realistic character sizes and spell casting abilities are among the other changes to the game.
The tale revolves around mercenary leader Squall Leonhart. Their adversary is the sorceress Ultimecia. Aside from his troubles as a leader and ally, Squall is the game’s primary focus.
Final Fantasy IX – 2000
The PlayStation version of Final Fantasy IX was released in 2000. One of the greatest games of all time, according to numerous lists of video game greatness.
Additionally, there are Easter Eggs and references to the rest of the series in this game. Cutscenes called “Active Time Events,” sometimes known as “Quick Time Events,” are among the many new additions. Additionally, there’s a complicated skill system.
This game, like the other eight, is set in a medieval world. It’s influenced by the original Final Fantasy game. On the trail of thief Zidan Tribal is Queen Brahne, the queen of Alexandria, a malignant entity attempting to acquire the world’s crystals, and Tribal is tasked with taking her down.
Final Fantasy X – 2001
The PlayStation 2 version of Final Fantasy X was released in 2001. PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One all have HD Remasters available.
The action of the game takes place in Spira, a fantasy planet resembling some of the countries in the South Pacific. You take on the role of Tidus, the captain of a gang of adventurers who are attempting to destroy the Sin demon. When Tidus returns to the “actual” world, he discovers that he shares an intimate bond with Spira, his father, and Sin.
Many new gameplay mechanics were added to FFX. All of the characters, in particular, have the same passive three. All of the characters began in a distinct position on the grid to symbolize their class. Eventually, a character’s path may intersect with that of another class, however.
It’s also one of the greatest video games ever created. It’s also the one I like best.
Final Fantasy XI (ONLINE) – 2002
A massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Final Fantasy XI Online is a lot of fun. PlayStation 2 and Windows versions were released in 2002. A cross-platform game was the first MMORPG to be released.
Even though Square Enix is concentrating more on Final Fantasy XIV, the game has progressed steadily since its release.
The game is still being developed and supported by both the creator and the player community. You’ll be able to find it on the organization’s official website. However, there is only a PC version.
A fictional land called Vana’diel awaits your arrival. Plot progression is achieved through a wide variety of quests. As a final goal, fighting the Shadow Lord, a demonic leader, is important to the plot.
Final Fantasy X-2 – 2003
X-2 was released for PlayStation 2 in 2003. In other words, it’s the first in the main Final Fantasy series to be a canon sequel to FFX.
After the last battle, Yuna, the story’s previous co-protagonist, goes in pursuit of Tidus.
Character classes, different endings, and a ridiculous spell system are all introduced in this game.
Final Fantasy XII – 2006
In 2006, the PlayStation 2 version of Final Fantasy XII was released. Open environment, agile combat, and a programmable camera are just a few of the game’s features.
The “Gambit System,” for example, is one example of this. Battle AI can be controlled by the player during combat. In addition, the “License system” governs the character’s powers and equipment. Finally, there are optional boss hunts in the wide world to complete side missions.
Ivalice, a fictional continent occupied by the Archadia and Rozarria empires, serves as the scene for this story. Their conflict is never-ending, and Archadia eventually takes Dalamasca from under their thumbs. It’s your job to lead a rebellion against the Archadian Empire as Dalmasca’s Ashe, a player-controlled resistance leader.
The Zodiac Age is currently available on Steam. For the PC version, the Job system has been updated.
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings – 2007
Fable II’s sequel, Revenant Wings, is a game for the Nintendo DS system. It first appeared in 2007 and has since become widely popular. In this game, you take the role of Vaan, a sky pirate, who is on a treasure hunt.
Final Fantasy XIII – 2009
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows versions of Final Fantasy XIII were released in 2009. Through backward compatibility, it’s also accessible on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
The fighting system was overhauled with an active-timer feature and a fast-paced combat mechanism. Furthermore, the ability system (Crystarium) and class system (Paradigm) were completely reworked.
Lighting, a former soldier, is the protagonist of the game. Cocoon, her home world, is ruled by a deity. Lighting and his allies must preserve Cocoon from the terrible Gods as the rulers begin purging the population.
XX13 is frequently disliked by die-hard fans of the franchise. Although it’s a “poor” Fantastic Four title, it’s nevertheless one of the series’ top sellers. It’s possible that this is the franchise’s most laid-back entry yet.
Final Fantasy XIV – 2010
2010 saw the release of Final Fantasy XIV, an MMO. It made its debut on Windows, but it wasn’t a huge success.
Eorzea is the setting for both scenarios. Player characters can be customized, and they can take part in a battle against the Garlean Empire. Additional threats include deities in a fight with Garleans and the Primals.
At the time of its release, the game received a scathing reception. Graphics, gameplay, interface, and the overall plot were unfinished. Subscription fees were abolished and console versions were postponed indefinitely as a result of the backlash.
Final Fantasy XIII – 2 – 2011
For the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011, there’s FFXIII – 2: Final Fantasy XIII – 2. Studio tri-Ace has joined Square Enix to create a product that is far superior to what it has previously produced.
A time-traveling narrative is at the heart of the game. In this game, Serah Farron, the protagonist, can go back and forth in time.
Following Pulse’s defeat, Serah is searching for her older sister, Lighting, who vanished in the aftermath of the fight.
Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII – 2013
The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy concludes with Lighting Returns. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows were all supported at its launch in 2013.
Combat has been reworked throughout the game. What you’ll find is an action-adventure-oriented game Additionally, players must perform side quests and main goals within time constraints.
The story takes place 500 years after the events of the last novel. Thirteen days before the end of the world, lighting emerges from its slumber. To save the world once more, she must do so once more.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (ONLINE) – 2013
In 2013, A Realm Reborn was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The PS4 and PS5 versions, as well as the macOS version, are all now accessible.
New Square Enix developers reworked the game after the original’s commercial and critical failures. As a result, instead of the 2010 premiere, the 2013 version was shown for the first time.
Most of the MMORPG’s problems were solved by the “new” game. It also brought new material, a new engine, and a more robust network of servers More crucially, the team reworked the gameplay, the storyline, and the user interface in the game.
However, the story remains substantially the same. In order to fight against the Garlean Empire, your avatar has joined the fray.
Final Fantasy XV – 2016
There are no more Final Fantasy XVs in the series. It was released in 2016 on PS4 and Xbox One. Currently, it’s also available for Windows.
Among the game’s many characteristics are its open environment, action-based combat, rapid weapon switching, magical elements, a means of transportation, and camping. An additional multiplayer option was made accessible through numerous add-ons and downloadable content (DLC).
It takes place in Eos. The Niflheim dynasty controls a large portion of the country. This strong Crystal was stolen from the Lucian Royal Family. Lucian throne-descendant, you play as Lucian heir, who travels over the world in search of the Crystal.
Final Fantasy VII Remake – 2020
In 2020, the PlayStation 4 version of Final Fantasy Remake will be on sale. But it just covers the Midgar chapter of the seventh installment.
Everything, even the story, is new. Mysterious forces are guiding the events of the same game back to their original victims in an alternate reality.
Furthermore, the fighting mechanism was reworked in the game. It’s an action game with elements of strategy, RPG, and real-time action.
There is still a long wait for the correct ports to arrive on Xbox One and PC. A PlayStation exclusive, it has yet to be released in any other format.
But the Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is a PlayStation 5 version.
Are there any mobile versions of Final Fantasy games?
Final Fantasy games for Android and iOS are available. FF IX, FF VIII, FF VII, FF VI, FF III, FF II, and FF are included. Additionally, there are numerous spin-offs and 3D remakes of previous games, some of which are free to play.
When and where did Final Fantasy begin?
Created by Japanese game designer Hironobu Sakaguchi is Final Fantasy. He worked for “Square,” which eventually became Square Enix, as a former employee.
The franchise is owned by Square Enix. In 2003, Sakaguchi decided to leave the company. For his own company, Mistwalker, he is currently focusing on mobile games. Terra Battle and Terra Wars, his most recent mobile series, were both created by him.
Were Nintendo and Square Enix able to work together?
During the creation of Final Fantasy VIII, Square-Enix broke with Nintendo. To produce the game's pre-rendered sequences, they required the additional power that a CD-ROM format could provide. That is why they switched over to Sony's platform for manufacturing.
Is There a Theme That Runs Through All of the Final Fantasy Games?
Throughout the series, there are numerous gameplay features and details. Fantasy and sci-fi stories from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East are often combined in video games.
Spells like “Holy,” “Ultima,” and “Meteor” have their roots in this source of inspiration. Regular “summons,” such as “Masamune,” or reappearing swords, such as “Excalibur,” are other instances.
The core games have a number of design features that are distinct from those seen in the classics. In this category, we've got user interfaces, visual aesthetics, character design, audio elements, and the like.
Is There a Recurrence of Characters Across Final Fantasy Games?
There is no relationship between any of the titles in the series, and each one takes place in a different universe.
Even yet, there are a few “recurrent” characters that appear in all of the studio's games. “Chocobos” is the first; these adorable but bizarre bird figures can ride. Among the franchise's races are “moogles” and “cactuars.”
Other than that, most of the media from the franchise has a human character named “Cid.” Since each “Cid” in the series is unique, it's more of an Easter Egg than anything else. Biggs and Wedge are both well-known surnames, but their functions are somewhat diverse.
Gilgamesh, a famed swordsman, completes the list. In most cases, he's summoned.
Can You Find Recurring Themes Throughout All of the Final Fantasy Games?
The primary series includes 15 games, as well as many sequels and a remake. All the numbered entries seem like Final Fantasy games, despite the fact that they are independent experiences.
Typical plots have a band of rebels going up against a bad organization, a bad god, or some other kind of bad authority. The hero is typically ambivalent about participating in the story because he or she has been “selected.”
Do All of the Final Fantasy Games Share a Stream of Consequences?
The apocalypse, for example, is a common motif. In a similar vein, many of the best games feature a clash between nature and technology.
“Crystals” (or “Magic Orbs” or “Life Forces”) are the primary source of lore in most games. The plot is generally driven by the control of these crystals.
Do Final Fantasy games have any recurring gameplay mechanics?
Final Fantasy games allow you to lead a party of characters and progress through exploring and conquering foes.
You can use “Fight,” “Magic,” “Item,” and some kind of “Summon” in combat. Despite the fact that every game in the series has a different battle system, you use a combat interface in battle. Despite this, every combat system focuses on turns, timers, and counters.
FF games follow a strictly linear structure. To get around in the game's open or semi-open world part, characters frequently take to the skies in flying machines.