Countdown to Final Fantasy XV

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

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Final Fantasy XV Countdown Feature Image

The next major entry in one of the most beloved video game series of all time was due to arrive in September of this year after a long gestation period. However, Final Fantasy XV has now been delayed until November 29, 2016. While I, like most people, find this news to be a bit disappointing, I would also rather see this major entry be in its most complete form when it sees the light of day. So I err on the positive side of the delay reaction, more than the negative side. I will be reviewing the game for Operation Rainfall when it does arrive later this year (I’m going to assume for now that it will not see another delay).

In the meantime, I will be posting my top list of Final Fantasy games as a countdown until the release of the next entry. I can almost guarantee that our lists will be different, and I encourage discussion. This will also let our readers know some of the history of this franchise, and my own personal thoughts on it. This ranking is my own opinion and does not represent the views of the rest of the Operation Rainfall staff, but it is a creation that I am proud of, so I stand behind it.

Countdown List Rules

These rules are rather arbitrary, but I had to decide on a list of them just to make it more concise and clear. The first rule is that I will only put one version, the best version I’ve played, of each game. And the second rule, and possibly most contentious, is that I am listing any game that contains Final Fantasy in the American title of the game. That does mean a couple games featuring Final Fantasy characters, but not having that title, will not make the list. Examples of games featuring characters would be Chocobo’s Mysterious Dungeon or Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring. And that also means that there are other titles which were not originally Final Fantasy games in here as well, such as Final Fantasy Legend. Other than that, this list is just to have some fun and have a conversation while we wait for the next release in this classic JRPG franchise. There are 34 entries on my personal list, even discounting the different versions, so plan on a long series of articles, and I hope that you enjoy them.

Top Final Fantasy Game Countdown

34. Final Fantasy XI
33. Final Fantasy Record Keeper
32. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
31. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
30. Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
29. Dissidia Final Fantasy

Countdown to Final Fantasy XV | Dissidia Final Fantasy Countdown Image

Back in 2008 Square Enix was ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, and many fans (myself included) were very excited to see what they were planning for this event. It turned out that they did several different things for that celebration, but one of the more surprising moves was the development of a 3D fighting game starring many of the heroes and villains throughout the history of the franchise. But it was not quite as outlandish of an idea as Dirge of Cerberus was, Square had previously made the Tobal fighting games and they had worked with Namco to develop Ergheiz. The real questions were how good of a fighting game it would be, and how would they link together all the disparate worlds.

Countdown to Final Fantasy XV |Dissidia Final Fantasy Countdown Screenshot 2

Unlike the Theatrhythm games, they did actually craft a story that would bring all these characters together. For this one, the story was pretty bare bones, but at least it was there and kept the story mode interesting. More important and more fun than the actual overarching story, though, was seeing all your favorite characters interacting with each other. This was fan fiction at it’s finest, well unless you are into the more Adults Only fanfic.

They also created two opposing forces with the forces of Chaos and Light. Generally, it was pretty obvious which characters would be on which side of the fight. But Square did go the extra mile to put some of the original character’s issues and personalities into the story. A good example of this would be Kain, who tends to work both sides of the conflict, just as he does in Final Fantasy IV. And seeing these old characters given new life was one of my primary enjoyments in this title.

Countdown to Final Fantasy XV | Dissidia Final Fantasy Countdown Screenshot 1

After reviewing several fighting games for this site, it’s no secret that I’m very into fighting games. So you would think that the creation of a Final Fantasy fighting game would be exactly what I wanted. And, initially, that was exactly my thought process going into this one. I was more excited for this game to be released than almost any other during the year we had to wait between the Japanese version and the US localization. That excitement lasted for several hours of playing, but it slowly started to change.

It never totally reversed, I still consider myself a fan of this game. But in the end, as a fighting game fan, I was disappointed. Part of that is my own fault, I thought that we were getting Final Fantasy the fighting game. We were not, we were getting Final Fantasy the one on one Kingdom Hearts game. Yes, you can fight against another player in this title. But there is little reason to do so, in my opinion. Mostly it is going to be a contest of who has a more leveled character with better equipment. But some characters are simply way easier to use than others. But that is not my real disappointment, it’s disappointing to me that the action was just fairly bland and simple. Even though I generally like the Kingdom Hearts games, it is for their worlds and not for its combat.

So this game was a good idea, and I did enjoy it for a while. But I got bored long before I finished maxing out all my characters. The story was not bad, but could have been better. And the actual playing of the game, the combat, could have been a lot more interesting. That being said, it was still worth the price of admission. And I did end up playing it for dozens of hours just maxing out all my characters. I will always have a fond opinion of this game, even if it doesn’t rank very highly on this list.

About William Haderlie

Born in the 1970's, I've been an avid participant for much of video game history. A lifetime of being the sort of supergeek entrenched in the sciences and mathematics has not curbed my appreciation for the artistry of video games, cinema, and especially literature.