31-Day Mage Challenge: Day Ten – “Favorite Final Fantasy”

31 Day NES Well-Red Cover

Oh I’ve been waiting for this one!

Welcome back, NPCs, for what should prove to be a highly discussive and maybe even controversial challenge. The Final Fantasy franchise is undoubtedly one of the monuments of gaming. Ever since the very first influential game came out on the good old NES in ’87, Final Fantasy has been at the forefront of the gaming world, pushing hardware to its limits, defining the genre of the RPG, driving creativity, building timeless archetypes that has endured the years.

In case you can’t tell, we really love Final Fantasy here. Though the series has had its ups and its downs, its highs and its lows, its Airships and its Lightnings, Final Fantasy has earned its place in our hearts. A whole ton of factors go into our personal choice of which FF we deem our favorite: our age, the first FF we played, the protagonist we identify with, the antagonist we love to hate, the plot, the graphics, the gameplay, the console, etc. But today we get the chance to tell the world which one is the best and why! Doesn’t matter if you’ve beaten it or not.

Which is your Favorite Final Fantasy?

favorite ff

And let’s not demean ourselves with reading without the iconic music…

 

 

timemage The Timely Mage

VIII. Beyond being my first Final Fantasy, it has a unique protagonist that I totally related to, great visuals, exciting and innovative interactive cutscenes, a compelling story, and sci-fi elements that I find very interesting. I can write an essay on why it’s my favorite (ask my fellow mages, I practically already have) but I’ll leave it at that. However I just wanted to add that while VIII is my favorite I think XII might be the best.

ff8

 

 

blackmage The Black Humor Mage

Although I’ve never played a Final Fantasy, the one I am most interested in is VII. I plan to play most of them, and I think I’ll like VII the most because of the scifi elements and characters.

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ragemage The Rage Mage

Give me Lightning Returns any day. It’s better than morphine with the painless synapse-killing monotony of the main character and her very unwelcome return. The time limit is just there to remind you that it’s almost over. If Square Enix had any brain cells left in their pretentiously misguided, cryogenically frozen, octogenarian brains, they’d give us another sequel to this sequel of a sequel of a bowl of lukewarm tapioca. Call it Serah Returns: Definitely the Final Fantasy.

LRFFXIII_Save_Serah

Yep, that is all. All the emoting you can possibly muster, you plastic-faced 2 by 4.

 

 

FF3-NES-Summoner2 The Green Screen Mage

Story wise it’s Final Fantasy IX. In terms of games that I’ve beaten, it’s FFVII Crisis Core. Okay, I’ll admit it. I have only beaten Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus. You may have guessed from my Day 4 answer. I just lack the attention span for games that are that long, but I would sit and watch my dad play through VII-X when I was younger. Something about IX stuck with me. I adored Zidane and Vivi and the world was just so incredible. That ending though. My dad and I were a mess of tears.

final-fantasy-ix-logo-09.-final-fantasy-ix

 

 

whiteoutmage The White Out Mage

My hubby and I played through Final Fantasy X together and it was my first Final Fantasy. I cried at the part when Yuna broke down in front of Tidus. I can identify with her sense of duty. We had to pause the game. I admire the story and the interesting characters.

final-fantasy-x-ps2-logo-73934

 

 

Untitled2 The Well-Red Mage

I can say without a doubt, unequivocally, indisputably, incontrovertibly, indubitably, other-big-wordibally that my favorite Final Fantasy is Final Fantasy VI. Arguably, it’s the greatest FF ever made and the greatest that will ever be made. Bring on your argumentation. FFVI is the greatest for several reasons, which I shall neatly list for your convenience:

First, its protagonists. Yes, that’s plural. Several of the game’s characters take center stage and we get to see into their minds and motivations clearer than in nearly any other RPG that has come before (and a few RPGs that have come after, too). Terra, Celes, Edgar, Sabin, Locke, Cyan… they all share the limelight and we’re treated to their tragedies, their joys, their triumphs, and their drives. They are characters who are great because of their weaknesses (without being “emo”). As the main-main character, Terra also represents a prototypical Cloud as a former Magitek soldier.

Second, its antagonist. We’re not talking about a “surprise-I’m-here” final boss (sorry, VIII and IX), or one that’s overrated, over-hyped and over-dramatic (poo on you, Sephiroth). We’re not talking about a villain that’s so “on the nose” that every moment and every scene he’s got to tell you he’s the bad guy by walking through flames, scowling, dressing in all black, wielding a gigantic sword (again, a poo on you, Seph). We’re talking about the equivalent of the greatest comic book villain in existence: The Joker, in a Final Fantasy. Kefka is the maniacal and nihilistic god-clown that does what no villain ever gets to: he actually destroys the world. Spoilers. Complete with his iconic laugh, Kefka stands apart from every other FF supervillain because of his personality, his charm, his sadistic mind, and the scope of the damage he causes. Sympathetic villains are for nerds! Bring on the irredeemable evil!

Let me summarize the rest, otherwise… TL;DR! Third, the gameplay is the highest possible reach of the turn-based Active Time Battle formula. Fourth, the best possible 16-bit graphics. Fifth, the numerous playable characters. Sixth, the immersive and character-driven storyline. Seventh, the reinterpretation of the classic job system. Eighth, the challenge. Ninth, the side quests. Tenth, Espers! Eleventh, the fact that it landed on the greatest console ever made: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (go ahead and dispute that, if you dare). Twelfth, advanced graphics didn’t overtake the game’s characters and plot. Thirteenth, its not unfairly overrated by fanboys and fangirls. Fourteenth, the music is some of the most emotional and diverse by Uematsu. Fifteenth, the plot is coherent, yes, even in a Final Fantasy game! Sixteenth, the iconic scenes like the Opera House, Phantom Train, World of Ruin, raising the airship, fighting Ultros, and so on. Seventeenth, the most successful fusion of high fantasy and science fiction in the franchise. Eighteenth, complex themes like the value of existence over nihilism, suicide, ethics of warfare, identity, coping with loss, responsibility. Nineteenth, “Dancing Mad” is Uematsu’s personal favorite song he ever wrote (sorry “One Winged Angel”! Go back to DeviantArt!). Twenteeth, no lifeless voice acting to trash the whole experience. And Twenty-Firsteth, a little word called “prestige”. Final Fantasy VI is widely regarded as not only one of the best games (if not the best) on the SNES, but one of the best RPGs (if not the best) of all time and one of the best games of all time (if not the best).

FFI may have started it all, FFII may have been innovative for better or worse, FFIII may have expanded the job system, FFIV may have begun a revolution in narrative, FFV may have brought in complexity of character, FFVII may be famous and beloved, FFVIII may have its introspective characters and scifi, FFIX may have its return to fantasy roots, FFX may have its voice acting, FFXI may be an MMO, FFXII may have the gambit system, FFXIII may have… well… uh….. FFXIV may be a second and better MMO, and FFXV may have its astounding graphics and strange pop culture referencing… but FFVI has it all and more. An exemplary RPG if ever there was one. It’s the FF I recommend first to anyone new to the series.

Ff6-logo

If you think any other one is the best, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. Wink.

 

 

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43 thoughts on “31-Day Mage Challenge: Day Ten – “Favorite Final Fantasy”

  1. Definitely Final Fantasy XIII-2 for me. That game still has the best opening sequence of all time imo and the final boss is also fairly incredible. The middle of the game started to drag on a little, but luckily it was over fairly quick. Dirge of Cerberus would likely be second. I’m finally wrapping up FF VII as well so now I will be able to say that I’ve played 4 Final Fantasy games from start to finish. XIII, XIII-2, VII, and I. Next up will be II or XV!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started FFXIII-2 recently and got about an hour or two in before being distracted by other games. I’m hoping to return to it soon and discover that it’s better than FFXIII. Seems less linear, at the very least. Hopefully you get to FFVI soon!

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  2. So there is a day for Final Fantasy! Great answers by everyone! This is always a hard question, though I personally liked FFIX the most. After VII and VIII, IX was a return to form, bringing back a medieval setting and a four-team party. It wasn’t completely retro, and it had a modern feel especially with the silver-haired villain and the long FMV cutscenes. I liked this mix of new and old and felt very comfortable getting into the game. I liked the characters and romances in IX a lot as well. The music is among my favorite of Nobuo Uematsu’s works, with You’re Not Alone, being my favorite song in the entire franchise.

    Other great choices include FFVII and VI, but I consider FFIX a personal favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely wept openly at the end of FFIX. To say that I only cried would be a complete understatement. I will also embarrassingly admit that I cried while watching the HD trailer for the PC remaster… so much emotion in that game!

    I haven’t actually played all the FF games (they’re on my long list of things to play), but I can say that of the ones I’ve played and finished, I loved IX the best (yay Green Screen Mage!). I loved the setting, the music, and the characters. Especially Vivi, but also Garnet. You’re making me want to play it again. I desperately want to play VI and VII, but I feel like the hype for those is so great that it’ll raise my expectations too much. I regret not having played them when they were new.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have said it before and I will say it again: Final Fantasy VI. Everything about the game was great. The graphics were great for the time. The story was phenomenal. Characters well developed and, by the end of the game you had a good attachment to at least one (with the exception of Umaro or Gogo). Incredible soundtrack from start to finish and Kefka is, hands down, one of the best villains in any game. FFVI, to me, will always be the crown jewel of the FF series.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We going to literally be at “sixes and sevens” with this lol, because I, too, could (and have!) write essays about why I think FFVII is the greatest game ever made (I’m currently working on one called The Seventh Is the Darkest) along with being my favorite story of all time, BUT to each their own.

    It’s too emotional for me to pour all over your page why VII means what it does to me, but it came into my life when I couldn’t have cared less about anything, and I cared about it. I didn’t answer the “What video game character do you identify with most?” question for the exact same reason. Waaaaay too many stupid feels (it’s Sephiroth btw). VII is dark, deep, and full of secrets, shadows, and truths that are sadly never revealed. It mimics a Greek tragedy in numerous ways, the mythological and religious references have kept me interested for over half my life, and I’m constantly finding new revelations about it. It shares many of the same motifs as my favorite book series (ASOIAF), something I came to realize over the years, and VII has also made me read so many different books to learn more about what references e.g. The Mystical Qabalah (where the name Sephiroth comes from and oooh boy, is THAT deep), Paradise Lost, The R*pe of Lucrece just to name a few. It is the single most influential narrative in my life, and it’s actually saved my life quite a few times (no feels train I refuse!) in addition to being the inspiration for an abundance of original stories and of course fanfiction. So while VI was my first and I loved it dearly with its message of hope (heck “esperer” means “to hope” in French), VII’s often infuriating unresolved tragedies will always break my heart and give me something to think upon and mourn.

    Liked by 1 person

      • There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about your VI! Honestly, I love your blog because you are one of the few places I’ve found on the internet where it’s not a gigantic flame war about which FF is better. All of you mages respect each others opinion and the opinion of the people who comment (and/or you’re great at moderating the trolls lol). Pretty much your blog is my idea of the Final Fantasy fandom, and it’s refreshing to see that something like this exists 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is very kind of you to say. Thank you very much! We would like to create the kind of community where freedom of opinion is balanced with personal passionate feelings. I do moderate some comments, but I let some slip through to illustrate it won’t bother me. Like the comment where I was told to F off and die recently… haha!

          Liked by 1 person

          • OMG why????? I missed that one and I’m kind of glad. I tend to get defensive when people I like are insulted. Well…we’re on the internet and you have an opinion *smacks forehead* People have purposely made fandom insulting names to comment on some of my posts especially when I used to do a cosplay of the day on the other blog I write for. They were BEYOND offended that I dare concentrate on Final Fantasy cosplays…as if it’s not blatantly obviously that I live, breath, and sleep that. I mean..you just don’t have to come to the blog or scroll past them. Anyway, I’m glad you can take such in stride 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I waffle on this. Most of the time I say VII, but lately I’ve been swinging back toward VI. It’s just so -complete.- Its US localization (as Final Fantasy III, which in retrospect seems kind of hilarious) was spot-on, unlike VII’s infamously nonsensical translation. Its characterized were beautifully realized and sympathetic, and its plot feels more coherent than others. Admittedly though I’ve only played VI and VII to completion.

    Oh, can we include Final Fantasy Tactics on this list? If so then that’s also in the running, although I didn’t identify as strongly with the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Waffle on! VI is a complete package. And you know when I mentioned the coherence of the plot, it was a kind of realization. Sometimes I finish a FF and I’m like “where the heck did that come from?” Sometimes the twists are too far and the last bosses are sudden introductions of characters that seem to have no place there. Not so with VI. And you can definitely include FFT on here. That’s in my top 5.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Crisis Core was the first FF game I played. Definitely has a place in my heart. Zack and Aerith 😦
    Personally I liked FFIX and FFVI best out of the ones I’ve played a substantial amount of time. (All except III and the MMOs)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The Final Fantasy is the greatest overall experience is FFVII – I’m an old school FF fan and firmly believe that is better than FFVI, by a SMIDGE. Seven just has deeper characters than six.
    For some reason, I identified with eight more as I was going through high school at the time and just connected with the fantasy of being in a paramilitary school that flys
    I had the most fun playing SIX and NINE, as their tones tended to be lively and entertaining
    Honestly, almost all of them have their magical moments that remain close to me to this day!
    Final Fantasy XII never did anything for me and it just felt grindy and more like a spiritual successor to Vagrant Story.

    Liked by 1 person

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