10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

Since 1987, the Square Enix saga has shaped and reshaped the RPG genre. Across its over 100 titles and 15 main entries, there are some you can’t miss. We’re looking for the best Final Fantasy games you can play now. 

Final Fantasy is one of the most influential series of all time and presents itself with a massive variety. Since the original game for NES, it has evolved from turn-based combat to action RPGs. 

Moreover, it’s an anthology series. Each setting, battle system, progression system, and set of characters is its own. More importantly, you can play any of them, in any order, without losing any part of the story. 

So, what are the ones you should play?

Selecting The Best Final Fantasy Games

Final Fantasy XVI and Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth are on the horizon (2023 and 2024, respectively). Before these games change the saga’s landscape, let’s revisit the best available.

We’re picking among the mainline games but also across spin-offs and sequels. The games we selected have the best scores with critics and fans and are available for modern platforms.

We also consider our experience and opinion. Specifically, the best Final Fantasy games feature a perfect blend of plot, characters, music, fantasy settings, and combat. They transport you to another world and tell you stories that only feel possible within the realm of video games.

The Best Final Fantasy Games

Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: May 2016 (Original – 2013)
  • Platform: PS3, PSVita, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 

Final Fantasy X was a milestone for the saga. Specifically, it became the first main entry with a sequel. You may not like the sequel as much as the original entry, but the two are currently available as an HD bundle.

The first game follows Tidus, a young man transported to the mysterious world of Spira. He becomes part of a group fighting against Sin, a flying monster punishing humans for their past mistakes.

You arrive in the world and discover a seemingly happy place, and you can even participate in fictional sports. But as the story progresses, you’ll discover plot twists you’ll remember forever. 

The story is semi-open and thrives on puzzles, temples, turn-based combat, and a shared passive tree. Combat also relies on improving your gear and unlocking summons. The sequel changes combat by adding “suits” with power-ups and skills.

Final Fantasy IX

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: July 2000
  • Platform: PS1, PS4, Windows, Android, iOS 

Final Fantasy IX is another classic turn-based RPG game. It’s currently available on Steam, but you may need to play it in compatibility mode on Windows 10 and 11 PCs. It’s also available for PS4, smartphones, and tablets.

Square Enix released the title as a return to form. So, as the first game in the saga, it features a medieval fantasy setting and turn-based combat. Plus, it adds a sci-fi/fantasy OST to wrap it up.

The title follows Zidane, a pirate, and the Tantalus Theater Troupe. They kidnapped Princess Garnet, heir to the throne of Alexandria. The plot leads to unsuspecting directions once they discover the Princess wanted to escape the castle. 

The journey comes with the classic elements of a Final Fantasy game, but it has various quirks. One of those is the Trance gauge, which fills as you sustain damage you enable a frenzy mode with new skills. The other is Synthesis, which allows you to combine items and gear to create stronger stuff.

Final Fantasy VII

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: January 1997
  • Platform: PS1, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, iOS, Android 

Final Fantasy VII was my favorite game when I was a child, as I was born in the ’90s. You’re missing out on an RPG milestone if you’re younger than that. Its riveted story mixes magic, fantasy, corpo-greed, mythology, humor, and friendship in a way I haven’t seen again.

You play as Cloud Strife, a new member of the AVALANCHE eco-terrorist group. You’re part of a rebellion against Shinra Inc., a powerful corporation absorbing the planet’s energy for their benefit.

The journey is massive and takes you to several locations, temples, and hidden areas. You’ll meet your companions, romantic interests, and antagonists along the way. And as part of a squad, you’ll lead the team on classic turn-based combat.

Currently, the game is available for PC and consoles. It has optimized visuals, cloud saves, and other minor performance upgrades. However, it’s the same game as always, only that it can run on newer displays.

Final Fantasy XIV Online

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: September 2010
  • Platform: Windows, PS3, PS4, PS5 (retro-compatible) 

Final Fantasy XVI is one of the largest and most populated MMORPGs. As the saga’s answer to the “Live Service” industry, it has four major expansion packs to open and refine the game.

There’s a price to it, though. You buy the game and play it for 30 days like so. But then, you must pay a monthly fee and buy every additional expansion. Many would say it’s worthwhile; after all, it’s the same model WoW has had for decades.

Moreover, it’s a medieval fantasy setting that constantly expands and supports thousands of players. You customize an avatar and develop one of the 19 available classes. The customization is deep, even deeper than any other FF game. And lastly, the combat relies on fast-paced and colorful action-RPG mechanics.

As for the story, it may not be as good as, for example, the 10th main entry, but it’s more than good enough. The story happens in Eorzea, where you join as one of the races looking to stop an apocalyptic event.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix Business Division 1
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: April 2020
  • Platform: PS4, PS5 (Integrade version), Windows (Integrade version) 

Final Fantasy VII Remake is the first part of the episodic remake of the classic ’90s RPG. Like other modern games in the saga, it changes turn-based combat for real-time action. The combat is the best it has ever been for a Square Enix game. 

Moreover, the graphical rebuild delivers gorgeous character designs. They are attractive, compelling, and deep. They also feel more important to the plot and Cloud than they were on the original release. 

Specifically, the game covers the first portion of the 7th main entry, so you play around Midgard. The city feels as exotic, sci-fi, and absurd as ever, but it’s still a linear setting. There’s some leeway to explore, though, necessary for completing side quests and finding extra loot.

As you’d expect, you play as mercenary Cloud Strife. This time around, you slash, dodge, and use skills. Then, your skills and attack together with your teammates for devastating results. Sadly, there’re no combos, which is the one thing missing in the experience. Perhaps the next episode, Rebirth, will address the issue.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: February 2018
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

Final Fantasy XII is another highly regarded game in the franchise. Currently, you can find The Zodiac Age, a relaunch that added a deeper customization system. It also adds a New Game+ mode, New Game- mode, the “Trial Mode,” plus an HD graphical remaster.

In particular, the customization system is based on the Japanese “International Zodiac Job System.” Specifically, it allows you to customize “jobs” and “signs” for the main character and all of your companions. It’s hard to explain, but you can guess it’s a deep system that made a lot of noise.

Moreover, the game introduced an open world to the saga, plus a seamless turn-based / real-time hybrid combat system. You roam around a massive world, and AI companions travel alongside you. Then, you hunt complete side and main quests and explore a rich story full of Moogles and Chocobos. 

As for the story, you play in Ivalice as Vaan, a sky pirate. You’re in command of an airship and have a band of allies rallying against the Archadian Empire. The plot happens in the backdrop of an endless war, a helpless small kingdom, and the powerful making their careful moves.

Final Fantasy VI

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: February 2022 (Original – April 1994)
  • Platform: Windows (Original – NES)

Final Fantasy VI is known as Final Fantasy III after its Western release. In particular, the first game in the saga came out without its creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi. 

The setting is akin to the Second Industrial Revolution era. Here, you follow fourteen playable characters in a complex story. The narrative revolves around rebellion, corruption, and dictatorship. 

That said, you’re fighting against a military dictatorship. They harness the powers of immortality. So, you enter a race against the tyrants for chemicals, magic, and everything you can use to stop them and redeem yourself.

This happens through turn-based combat and a deep character progression system. Also, like in Zelda games, there’s an overworld map, where you can travel freely to find towns, dungeons, and hidden objects. 

Final Fantasy XV

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: November 2016
  • Platform: PS4, PS5 (retro-compatible), Xbox One (retro-compatible), , Xbox Series, Windows, Google Stadia  

Final Fantasy XV is the latest main entry in the franchise. So, it’s the best alternative if you want to play the most modern experience they have to offer. It’s also one of the best, according to both critics and players.

It’s not a classic RPG, though. Instead, it’s an open-world action RPG featuring squad-based combat and a simplified system. It has its unique characteristics, though. 

For instance, you can swap weapons on the fly, and perform combos, effects, timed strikes, directional blows, and skills. Other small additions include jumping, sprinting, taking cover, and similar actions. 

You play as Noctis Lucis Caelum on a journey across Eos. Three AI companions travel and fight alongside the protagonists. Noctis is a prince whose goal is reclaiming his throne from the usurpers. The quest takes you across interconnected maps of four different nations. 

Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer:  Square Enix
  • Publisher:  Square Enix
  • Release Date:  September 2021 (Original – July 1991)
  • Platform: Windows (Original – Super NES)

Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster is part of a series of remasters of the older games in the franchise. They remodel the 2D graphics to deliver the same pixelated feel on bigger and newer screens.

The game’s story takes place in the Kingdom of Baron. You play as Cecil, a Dark Knight and captain of the Red Wings elite airship. You’re on a mission to attack rivaling countries, but you decide you fight against the oppressive Kingdom instead.

The 2D story has the classical elements of older RPG games. You can explore an overworld map with dungeons, puzzles, towns, and enemies. And there’s turn-based combat with gorgeous music.

Lastly, the story progresses to the Land of the Summons and, ultimately, the Moon. You’re searching for crystals that can aid you in the quest. Like a dragoon and a mage, other powerful heroes will join you. 

Final Fantasy XIII

10 Best Final Fantasy Game You Can Play

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: December 2009
  • Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Windows 

Final Fantasy XIII is a divisive game, but looking back, it was the right step for the saga. Specifically, it leaned even harder into real-time combat than FFXII, and the result was incredibly fun.

Combat happens in turns, but there’s a timer. Each character on your squad has limited time to perform their actions before the enemy attacks, so you must think fast. Moreover, the combat scenarios are fully 3D; both enemies and heroes move around as they fight. 

The story, music, and protagonists are another layer of this underrated game. You play in the Cocoon, a floating world, and slowly uncover a conspiracy about the world below and the Gods. The titular hero, Lighting, travels alongside a group of allies on a linear adventure that opens once you leave Cocoon.

Lastly, the game’s progression system is unique, even to the series’ standards. There’re also classical elements like summoned monsters, airships, and Chocobos. And like FFX, it has a sequel and a third chapter. 

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