Best Square Enix Game On Every Nintendo Console

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Best Square Enix Game On Every Nintendo Console

  • Final Fantasy 3 on NES introduced the Job system, influencing spinoffs & later mainline entries like Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • Final Fantasy Adventure, now known as the first Mana game, resembles The Legend of Zelda with RPG elements.
  • Chrono Trigger was a groundbreaking RPG with innovative time travel mechanics but remains unavailable on consoles for over a decade.

Squaresoft technically began as a company in 1983 and put out a few titles on Japanese computers initially. Their first game to hit a Nintendo platform was on the NES in Japan, aka. the Famicom. It was called Thexder, which was a space shooter in a similar vein to Gradius or R-Type.

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On Enix’s end, they started much earlier, in 1975, and coincidentally made their first Famicom game in 1985 with Door Door. It was a simple puzzle platformer like so many games of the era. Separately and together, once they merged in 2003, Square Enix has helped Nintendo become a juggernaut in the console market thanks to franchises like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. Let’s go back and look at which Square Enix games best represent each Nintendo platform, minus the N64 and Wii U, which had nothing to show.

Final Fantasy 3 (NES)

Metacritic Score: N/A

Final Fantasy 3

Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Wii U, iOS, Nintendo DSReleasedApril 27, 1990Developer(s)Tose, Square EnixGenre(s)Adventure

Final Fantasy 3 was released in 1990 but in Japan only. Even with that caveat, it is still the best game in the series on NES. It was behind the times in the story department, but the team seemed like they finally figured out what this series was best at: gameplay and Jobs.

This is the game that can be thanked for creating the Job system, which has persisted in spinoffs like Final Fantasy Tactics, and mainline entries like Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. It’s an important NES release, but players today can best experience this game through its 2006 DS remake, which was the first time Western fans could play it officially.

Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy)

Metacritic Score: N/A

Final Fantasy Adventure

Platform(s)Game Boy Color, Switch, Game Boy Advance, SNES, Game BoyReleasedJune 8, 1991Developer(s)SquareGenre(s)Action RPG

Final Fantasy Adventure is not part of the mainline series, and is actually the first Mana game instead. It was changed in the West from Seiken Densetsu for marketing purposes. Names aside, this game was kind of like The Legend of Zelda, as players explored an overworld and dungeons from a top-down perspective.

The biggest difference was that players could level up like in a traditional RPG. The game has been remade several times, with the best being Adventures of Mana on the PS Vita.

Chrono Trigger (SNES)

Metacritic Score: N/A

Chrono Trigger

Platform(s)PC, iOS, PlayStation (Original), Android, Nintendo DS, SNESReleasedMarch 11, 1995Developer(s) Square EnixGenre(s)RPG See at Official Site

Chrono Trigger still feels like a wild conceptual experiment that somehow worked. Rival teams from Squaresoft and Enix collaborated to create this turn-based RPG that was lightyears ahead of its time. Time travel was, perhaps, the most mind-boggling mechanic introduced, as choices made in the past affected the future, although they are small-scale ripple effects compared to modern games.

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It’s no Mass Effect in terms of choice-based gaming, but Chrono Trigger is still a phenomenon. Oddly, Square Enix has not made it available on consoles in over a decade, and it’s a game just begging for a FF7-style remake..

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Game Boy Advance)

Metacritic Score: 87

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Platform(s)Game Boy AdvanceReleasedSeptember 8, 2003Developer(s)Square Product Development Division 4Genre(s)Tactical RPG

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was one of the first games in the series to be released on a Nintendo console in years. It was a good one to start with after Squaresoft and Enix merged. This sequel had nothing to do with the PS1 original, and it was less mature too, which makes sense for the Game Boy Advance.

That doesn’t mean it was a bubblegum happy-go-lucky adventure that anyone could tackle. It was a challenging RPG that asked players to be intimately familiar with its gameplay, and the tactical side of the game could put up quite a chellange..

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

Metacritic Score: 80

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

Platform(s)Wii, GameCubeReleasedFebruary 9, 2004DeveloperThe Game Designers StudioGenre(s)Action RPG

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is another Nintendo title from after the Squaresoft and Enix merger, and it coincidentally needed the GBA to be played. Players could tackle this one solo, but it was definitely made with four-player co-op in mind.

Players could hook up four Game Boy Advances to their GameCube as makeshift controllers and menu screens. They could then create a character and traverse dungeons with friends in this action RPG. The GameCube had a lot of wild multiplayer concepts like this which, while expensive, were pretty cool.

The World Ends With You (Nintendo DS)

Metacritic Score: 88

The World Ends With You

Platform(s)Switch, iOS, Android, Nintendo DSReleasedJuly 27, 2007Developer(s) Square EnixGenre(s)Action RPG See at Official Site

The World Ends with You made complete use of the DS’ two-screen real estate. Players were thrown into a game of death that tasked them with trying to solve puzzles through RPG battles. To those who came out victorious, a wish was granted.

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Players control this hero, Neku, using touch-based controls on the bottom screen. His partner, who switched between episodes, could be controlled on the top screen via the face buttons and this was changed in the remaster. The gameplay was fun, but the soundtrack was absolutely what made this game pop.

Dragon Quest 10: Awakening Of The Five Walkers Online (Nintendo Wii)

Metacritic Score: N/A

  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, 3DS, Wii U, Wii, PC, iOS, Android
  • Release Date: August 2, 2012
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Genre: MMORPG

Dragon Quest 10: Awakening of the Five Walkers Online is another game that has yet to be released in the West. Square Enix made two Final Fantasy-based MMOs and this was Dragon Quest’s shot at one. It originally launched on the Wii, but it has touched virtually every console since, including the Wii U (it is also the best Square Enix game on that console) and the Switch.

Yet somehow, it has never received an English port even though it is still going strong in terms of active players. It’s a shame, because by all accounts, it is a solid MMO conversion for the Dragon Quest franchise.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS)

Metacritic Score: 75

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Platform(s)3DSReleasedJuly 31, 2012Developer(s) Square EnixGenre(s)Action RPG

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is the best game in the series to have landed on a Nintendo console or handheld, minus the streaming version of the HD collections. It was the first sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2 that pushed the story forward, as Sora and Riku trained to become Keyblade Masters. Master Yen Sid put them both in dream worlds and gave them the ability to befriend Pokemon-like monsters to aid in battle.

Besides that, it was another action RPG in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, but one that felt good to play on the 3DS, unlike the DS spinoff, Kingdom Hearts 358/Days which had ran really poorly on Nintendo’s older handheld console.

Triangle Strategy (Switch)

Metacritic Score: 83

Triangle Strategy

Platform(s)Nintendo Switch, PCReleasedMarch 4, 2022Developer(s)Artdink, Square EnixGenre(s)Tactical, RPG See at Official Site

The Switch probably has the more Square Enix titles than any other Nintendo outside following the SNES. It’s hard to choose just one, but Triangle Strategy stands out. It is the true spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics, complete with a mature story and a branching narrative. It does lack a proper changeable Job system, though. Instead, every hero is stuck with their original role.

That’s fine, as each character felt more unique because of this change. For example, Hughette rides a bird into battle and can snipe enemies with her bow, and Jens can build ladders to go into chasms. With challenging battles, and an exciting choice system, this game offers players good reason to replay it multiple times.

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