Why I Love Final Fantasy (And You Should Too)

Why I love Final Fantasy so much, and why every gamer should try the series out.

I have been playing video games for well over 20 years. I have played a lot of series over the years, both good and bad. Yet there was always one series that always shone through them all, one that always stood out to me: Final Fantasy.

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I first experienced Final Fantasy in 1997, with Final Fantasy VII. I had never played a RPG before, so it was an entirely new experience for me. It blew me away. The music, the graphics (at the time they were amazing), the story, and the gameplay; it all was new and incredible to me. Since then, RPGs have been my favorite genre of video games, and all it took was one game.

Be good to your ears

One thing about the Final Fantasy series that always stuck out to me was the music. It is memorable and recognizable; even people who do not play the Final Fantasy series recognize some of the pieces from these games. The Victory Fanfare is incredibly well-known, and has been a staple in the series since the very beginning. It can stick in your head, and helps make the games feel complete.

I also love the variety that comes with the soundtracks to the series. The music fits all the titles in the series, and always set up the mood at any point in the games. The music ranges from the calm and beautiful Prelude to the funky Sazh’s Theme, to the intense One-Winged Angel. Though there are some songs that span across the Final Fantasy series, every entry has their own version, and they fit for that title. It is hard to find this versatility in a video game soundtrack, and the intensity that goes along with it. Yet Final Fantasy nails it, and is worth listening to, for gamers and non-gamers alike.

A good story to tell

Some people are a little confused when they hear that none of the main titles in Final Fantasy share a common story. Every flagship title has its own separate, contained story, introducing a new tale and new characters every game. And I love it.

Every game has its own contained world. And the settings for these worlds vary. From futuristic cities to fantasy worlds, Final Fantasy treads many different paths, allowing things to feel fresh every game. Often times these sorts of settings are even mixed up. In a game you may run into a small, rustic town that feels simple, then run into a bright futuristic city that feels large and complex. These different cities give the games variety, and lets players experience different worlds in one play through.

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The stories are just as varied. Yes, they all carry the same “save the world” theme, but they tell amazing stories. Characters develop as they go along, and they can have vivid back stories. Plots move and twist, and help keep you invested in the game. Often times I wanted to keep playing because I wanted to know how the story would turn out. When it comes to telling a tale, Final Fantasy know how to tell them, and how to make you care.

Some of the best heroes and villains

Along with a good story, you need good characters. And Final Fantasy delivers. As said before, characters grow and develop, and are intriguing. It is good to know where some of these characters came from, and to see where they are going. And many of these characters are plain memorable. Many seem to like Cloud, Auron, and Vincent, and loved hearing the stories of where they were from.

There are also a few villians that will always stick with gamers, such as the twisted  Kefka and Sephiroth. Like good literature, games need great characters, and I always felt that Final Fantasy does this better than many other franchises.

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It looks so good

Final Fantasy games have always looked great. Whatever generation they release in, they shine as of the best looking games of that era. The worlds look amazing, and can have great contrasts. You can find cities that are bright and colorful, then run into a city that is dark and colorless. This use of color seems just as effective as other elements used to portray mood. Just looking at the settings is wonderful, as the artwork is so well done. Even in days of increasing visuals, Final Fantasy finds ways to entice with its amazing artwork.

Of course, I absolutely love the cutscenes used in the games. When I first saw them in the PlayStation games, it amazed me. They were so beautiful. Even to this day I enjoy watching those cutscenes, and watch them whenever I do another play through. I feel that they will always be great, and helped set what is so good about the series.

Where would we be without great gameplay?

When it comes to games, gameplay is key. And Final Fantasy nails it. The battle system has always stood out, and is always satisfying. There are differences to the battle system every few games, and they always seem to work. The turn based action always demands strategy, and became a little more hectic when it became active time battles. Many battles take preparation to defeat (The Weapons anyone?), and keep the games from being too easy. This helps keep things from growing to stale from an easy difficulty, and keeps the action enjoyable.

Final Fantasy games also have a lot of content. There is a lot to see and do, and I love having something to always keep me busy. The worlds are huge, and there is a lot of hidden material to find. It is hard to say you have found every secret in a given title, and is a great goal to strive for. Final Fantasy games have great replayability, and it is great to go through one of these games again and find things that you missed before. If anyone needs a game to really dig into, these titles are the ones to try.

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Overall, Final Fantasy is an amazing series

Out of any game franchise, it has had the biggest impact me as a gamer. It helped to define the types of games that I love now, and the types of things I love when I game. Final Fantasy is a series that I feel every gamer should try, and to experiment with as many titles as possible. Hopefully the quality of the franchise will stay intact as the series moves forward, and that it keeps giving me a reason to call it my favorite series ever.


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Author
zoLo567
Avid gamer and all around geek for over 20 years