By William Haderlie / September 17th, 2016
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
28. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
With the commentary on my previous entry, Dissidia Final Fantasy, it should come as a very small surprise that this one is the very next game. Neither of them are particularly bad, nor are they particularly great. But this follows right after due to how little changed between the two games. That being said, there were still some nice additions to this sequel that definitely makes it a better game than the original, in my opinion.
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy was released a few years after the previous title in 2011, but there was only one major Final Fantasy game to be released in the interim between the two. That did allow a couple new characters to join the cast due to not being a part of the Final Fantasy universe before. There were more additions to the cast than just Lightning, however, so it felt more than just a simple DLC update.
The addition of new characters was a nice bonus, but it was not what pushed this game higher on the list than it’s original. It was the addition of the overworld and stronger RPG mechanics. In the end, there are many other fighting games and 3D action RPG’s that I can play. I play Final Fantasy mostly for the RPG mechanics and the stories. So not having those things in this series is a bit of a hang-up. Adding more of those classic components into this one definitely felt like a pretty significant upgrade.
In fact, if not for how strong the other games are on this list, it would have ranked even higher. If I was to rank this game on my favorite PSP games, or my favorite 3D brawlers, it would rank much more highly than #28. Since this will be the last Dissidia game on the list, I should mention that the new Arcade version of the game does look very good and I’m hopeful that it will be released on PS4 and localized in the West. Chances are high on both of those fronts since the arcade board is based on the PS4 chipset, and also there are far more PS4 console owners in the West than there are in Japan. That being said, because it’s not really an RPG at heart, even the new pretty version would not crack into the top 20 of my list for this classic franchise.
3D Fighting gameDissidia 012 Final FantasyEditorialFinal Fantasy XVFinal Fantasy XV CountdownOperation RainfallopinionoprainfallPlaystation Portable