Final Fantasy Next? [ ARTICLE ]

After delaying the inevitable, on Saturday I finally decided to ascend to the Bahamut and promptly completed Final Fantasy XII. Then last night, I left Cocoon, returned to Orphan’s Cradle and defeated Orphan thus finishing Final Fantasy XIII, as well. Now with Final Fantasy XIII-2 coming out in January in North America and my desire to finally finish all the numbered Final Fantasy games, I am left asking the question: Which Final Fantasy is next?

Currently, I have completed Final Fantasy I, II, IV, VI, VII, X, XII and XIII. I don’t count Final Fantasy XI and XIV since they are MMORPGs they don’t really have an end point. This leaves me the options of Final Fantasy III, V, VIII, IX and…ugh…X-2 to finish. X-2 was so annoying for me to play the first time, that it is automatically at the bottom of the pile. Thus leaving me with Final Fantasy III, V, VIII and IX as my options.

I almost finished Final Fantasy III, I got to the big bridge in Final Fantasy V, started Final Fantasy VIII and have never played Final Fantasy IX. So of these four choices, which one would you recommend I play next and why?


  • Mike

    9! It’s one of the best RPG’s I’ve ever played. The battle system is sound, the cut scenes aren’t bad, and the characters are extremely deep. It’s always worth a playthrough

    • Celes


      • Grur

        Yes, 9. Only Final Fantasy I have liked.

        • Crotalidian

          I would add my voice to the IX choir. Not only is it the last of the PSX versions and therfore has incredible visuals for the time, it is one of the genuinely emotional games (not depressing emo but a good range of emotions), if you get into it its funny and sweet and creepy and heartbreaking. Not to mention it has an antagonist that will have you questioning your outlook (Guilty Gear Bridget syndrome)

          Also I see it as squaresofe (enix) taking the popularity of VII and VIII and using it to showcase how the franchise started Black mages, Class based system and even heavier nods to previous games than usual by havuing incidental items based on key items from previous games.

          Probably my top 3 with VII (my first) and XII (I was never THAT in love with the old battle system and Balthier is awesome)

          • IX was my first real Final Fantasy game after Crystal Chronicles. I had no idea what to expect since the box was so devoid of information because apparently everybody assumed what Final Fantasy was that I thought it stunk at first for not being like Crystal Chronicles in nature. Oh how wrong I was… I got used to the game and almost beat it. Currently it’s the Final Fantasy game I’m the most nostalgic about, and it’s also the Final Fantasy with the highest Metacritic score (right above X and XII which are tied). It has the same director as VI and XII, my other two favorites, so that’s obviously no coincidence why I like them so much.

            Here’s hoping that Hiroyuki Ito directs XV!

    • BicMan

      I still have a crush on Beatrix.

    • David

      Another vote for IX. It’s very true to the NES/SNES era and is light on the future-y techy stuff that I have gotten a little annoyed with, personally. It also had a great story, music, and characters. It’s head and shoulders above VIII, no question.

  • chriskin

    Definitely VIII.

    by the way : X-2 isn’t as bad as it seems. it’s bad, i’m not going to deny it, just not as bad as it seems when one starts playing

  • Hydrocity

    VIII is hands down my personal favorite, IX in a close second place.

  • Malignus

    The IX : best story of the remaining four of your list.
    The VII : Best gameplay.
    The III and V are cool too, but less entertaining than the IX and VII.

    • Vince989

      Due to the context, I guess you meant VIII ?

  • oldtaku

    Of all those I’d say FF IX is the most /fun/. Swashbuckling monkey-pirate adventure!

    The ending is a bit of a mess, even for Final Fantasy – it just doesn’t know how to end, so you get rotating end bosses (‘Now I’m the real final boss, hoho!’). But still more fun than the others. FF V would be my second choice.

  • Superheroboy

    9. It’s pure fan-service. the battle system is great, the story is perfect, the music feels like a tribute to the music from previous games. I still go back and play through at least once a year.

    • If I’m not mistaken, the Village of Dali (or whatever the name was, you know, the one right after the first black waltz) has the exact same theme as a village in Final Fantasy V (or maybe that’s just the general village theme; I forgot). I didn’t find this out until I played FFV on the GBA a little while back, way after I played IX.

      The music in the game is quite good; I still listen to the theme, Melodies of Life, on my MP3 player. Beatrix’s Theme (Rose(s) of May) is also very beautiful.

  • Stan64

    Pro gamer here, that started playing MMORPGs last year to see what it’s all about. I played a lot of WoW and a fair share of FFXI so far of the big ones.

    There is a lot of sayings about MMOs and while most are correct in some way they are also very wrong.

    One of the incentatives I got for playing FFXI was that most fans of FF that played it said the story was really good. When people talk about MMORPGs as not having an end point they talk more about what to do. You can always get better gear and level new characters. But those are the grindy parts. Finishing the story is a whole other deal. FFXI also endorses the players to play through the old story and giving them treats in new content to do so.

    I’m just rambling. The point is. Story-wise, they do end. Even though that the story is extended in expansions, it’s not very long compared to what you can put into the game. However, you can’t just rush the story alone in FFXI, you need help, make new friends and that will take some time. But it’s a fun trip. FFXI is also very hard and confusing for new players.

    • Mouser

      Another FFXI player. Been playing since NA beta. While they continue to add content, there are plenty of interesting stories and characters there that are worth experiencing. Come to the Valefor server and I’ll help you out through it ^_^

  • Lovernios

    I’m not a fan of FFIX, quite the oposite. I found it very childish. I guess I just can’t relate to pre-teen characters.

    I’d get an emu and play FF V, that was a fantastic game!

    • Armane

      Zidane is 16, is that pre-teen?

      I vote for IX as it’s one of the few Final Fantasy games I managed to finish and actually enjoy. I’m more of a Dragon Quest kind of guy.

  • Daniel

    VIII gets a lot of dislike for a cliche story and some times grind-encouraging combat system.

    But at the time I played it neither thing was a problem to me actually.
    The story may be a little cliche but in a good way IMO. The grind-like qualities I never notices, as I had too fun playing the game at the time being (except for once or twice when I drew out a 2 minute fight to a 15 minute fight just to be able to draw all the magic I wanted to draw).

    • Josh M-C

      lolololol! i think you meant, “did not encourage grinding at all” and was “pure strategy”. the monster’s and bosses levels were based on your party’s average level, so the more levels you gained, the harder the game became. oh, malboro is party level average +10? well fuck.

  • Jax

    IX, of course. It’s a no brainer! Along with vi, it’s one of my favorites.

  • Kelsey

    Haven’t played it myself, but IX is my best friend’s all time favorite game, so I guess I’d have to suggest that.

  • Javi

    I must say IX, it has been always my favourite. CG are pretty amazing for PSX and music is just freaking awesome. I never got to finish VIII but it is funny too, though I always found it grayer and dull.

  • IX, it’s way more fun than VIII and it’s a shame that you haven’t played it yet. One of the best.

  • Bob

    Definitely IX. No other story has grabbed as much as IX did. I do agree with oldtaku in that the ending was kind of confusing with the bosses.

  • Not including any of the handhelds? 4 Heroes of Light is pretty cool.

    • Final Fantasy III will be either the Nintendo DS or the iOS versions as that was the only ones made available in the U.S. But I didn’t count 4 Heroes of Light as it wasn’t a numbered Final Fantasy game…Even though it does have a number in it.

      • Kyle

        4 Heroes was a pleasant surprise. The music is wonderful. I’ve been wanting to play through it again but I just moved and I’m sure it’s in the last box I’ll check.

        I haven’t been able to get on board with the iOS versions of the FF games yet, so I’d opt for the DS version of III. I’d say go for V first since it’s the one that relies on the hardest console to get at the moment.

  • AnubisGray

    I recommend IX, since it’s the only one of all the FInal Fantasies I’ve willing replayed from start to finish because it was fun. None of the other Final Fantasies after it were quite as gripping story wise. I definitely don’t recommend VIII unless you want a headache from the annoying leaps-in-logic the story constantly pulls out of thin air.

  • LilPimpT

    I’d suggest FFV. Preferably on the SNES. With the right emulator (like bsnes), the music is spectacular. The story is a bit..akward. But it’s like an RPG mixed with a tactics game (in just this aspect)..You get classes. You can swap them anytime after battle, and you can apply skills learned from class a to class B. It makes for a very fun game if you’re the grindy type. The story isn’t..the best, i suppose. But it still remains as one of my favorite final fantasies if not for the music alone. The pirate theme comes to mind..

  • I would say Final Fantasy V. The job system is soooo awesome.
    IX is excellent though but it’s evolution system is kinda lame compared to any other and the jobs of the V.
    Plus IX is sort of a tribute to the old Final Fantasy, so for me it’s more logical to do the V first (did the IX first though, not big of a deal).

    And VIII well … he’s better than XIII that’s for sure…

  • Thegreatklaid

    Go with VIII if you have a week to devote to it. Otherwise V and III are really good for the occasional play until you finally beat them. I won’t understand the love for IX. I like it, but the more i think about it, the more I hate it. It’s a fine game as long as you go in expecting nothing amazing.

  • John McClane

    VIII and IX deserve your time. But I feel as if with IX, they put to use all their SNES and PSX knowledge in to one superb experience from start to finish.

  • Ioachim

    If you like old school FFs, go for IX, it’s an awesome love letter to the rest up to 7 :)

    As for VIII, the story is stupid, and the battle system is absurdly exploitable, but the first disc is awesome. If you like modern FFs (X, XII), you should play it just to see the one that started it all.

  • Oppi26

    Personally I love IX. The skill system was great. You need to wear certain armor and weapons long enough to learn the skill then you have it forever. Plus the story was good. It is defiantly overlooked and should be played. Plus, Vivi is the coolest, cutest, beasties black mage ever! The last bits the fanboy in me talking, but IX is great.

  • Sara

    IX, 9, nine, nueve… I’ve never played Final Fantasy just because I can’t get over the whole “sit back and wait” battle mechanic, but I watched my fiance play through 9, and it was amazing. The battles and storyline weave together intricately. They are not just a random annoyance (most of the time). Said storyline is EXTREMELY involved and engaging (I cried like 3 times). I does have anannoying little card game minigame, but you aren’t forced to play it (my fiance didn’t like it but I was good at it). And even though no one speaks (a bonus in my opinion: 10 cough cough) the characters are deeply developed and engaging.
    Plus it’s just fun as hell.

  • Mecartistronico

    You should give a chance to Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube. It’s really fun to play…
    …Provided you have other 2 or 3 friends who will play with you and each one has a GBA and a GBA-Gamecube cable….

    OK, Nevermind….

  • tim1724

    I loved FF IX. Very fun game. (I wish they’d do an HD remake, though! Like the other PS1 games, it’s a bit hard on the eyes. Not as bad as VII, though.)

  • 8bitpalate

    It’s tough to say as it depends on what you like in a FF game.

    Gameplay? I’d say go with FFV. Also, the end game is that sort of free-roaming hunt for the greatest treasure stuff much like FFVI’s World of Ruin.

    Story? Out of those, IX is probably the best but it’s not great.

    Characters? IX again, it’s a rather colorful cast. III originally didn’t even have unique characters and the DS version’s aren’t really interesting. V is a little better but not much.

    Since you said you almost beat III, I’d knock that out of the way if you still had the save, just to say you beat it. Then either go V or IX, depending if you want deeper gameplay or deeper story.

    I’d recommend playing X-2 before VIII, because VIII is THAT BAD.

  • spweasel

    I find it humorous how much opinions have changed over the years. Back in the day, it seemed like FF8 was widely loved (second to FF7), but FF9 was largely a disappointment. These days, everybody seems to go on about how FF9 is teh awesomesauce but FF8 is a worthless piece of crap.

    Personally, I’d go with FF5 first, preferably the GBA release (the technical shortcomings of the system are outshined by the significantly better translation, even if you ignore the added content). Of the games you haven’t finished, it’s the clear winner as far as interesting customization and rewarding grinding without being too overly grind-heavy (in my opinion). The story isn’t the greatest, but Gilgamesh makes it all worth it.

    After that, probably FF8. The story has serious issues, but it has good moments, and the junction system is kinda fun for giving you a real sense of building strategy, even if there is some grinding involved. Probably the biggest determinant of whether you like it or not is how much time you’re willing to spend on the card game (whenever I start a new game, I always end up spending the first 4 hours or so playing cards before doing anything, which really helps you get good magic early, which makes the main game enjoyable for a long time).

    Next would be FF9. This game is seriously flawed, to the point where I always say that it’s above average for a JRPG, but rather low-tier for a Final Fantasy. There really isn’t much going for it from a customization point of view and the story isn’t nearly as good as some people make it out to be (it’s pretty forgettable, to be honest). If you are looking for a mindless fantasy romp, this might be a better choice than 8 or 5, but it’s not extremely engaging.

    FFIII is my pick for worst Final Fantasy I’ve played (even worse than Mystic Quest). There are some serious NES artifacts that make it a painful, grindy experience, with a clear misunderstanding of what makes a game fun. I never quite finished the DS version (and only finished the NES version via massive cheating), but it gets excruciating, especially as you near the end.

    Personally, I’ve always thought that FFX-2 only deserves about 50% of the hate it gets. Yes, the story is weak, the presentation is atrocious, and some of the characters behave significantly out-of-character, but I still think that it is a great example of how to make a dynamic class system, which earns it major brownie points in my book.

  • Skorpeyon

    I’ll say FFIX should be your next, then FFVIII, FFV, and FFIII in that order. I loved FFIX. The characters, the story, the battle system, the ability to learn moves by equipping things is, in a way, very much like the Materia of FFVII but at the same time if you keep the armor on long enough, you permanently acquire the move. Although you can only equip so many moves at a given time (which raises over time), this can be modified at any time, and becomes as essential as equipping the right armor and weapons. That, along with the over-the-top-cartoony nature of the characters even while faced with life-and-death situations and a rather serious story makes this game better than FFVII in my opinion. Besides, the graphics and FMV sequences hold up a LOT better than FFVII.

  • KPSquall

    I would say five hands down. Eight was really easy but fun in my opinion, but five was a classic and the first final fantasy I beat.

  • Bryan

    I’d go with VIII or IX.

    IX is pretty good, lots of nods and hat tips to older Final Fantasy titles, and VIII has a really good story with some fun twists. Almost comes off as a (older, when they were still decent) Shyamalan flick at times, lol.

  • Klas

    Honestly, you’ve played the really good FFs, I would look towards SNES era instead.
    If you haven’t played Chrono Trigger (I assume you have) that is way better.
    You might’ve missed Lufia II, that game is actually one of the few JRPGs which actually offers interesting puzzles.
    Feats of Phantasia is nice too, a bit different combat system though, but it’s fun.

    If you persist in the notion that FFs must be good:
    3 and 5 are both kinda dull, I never finished them.
    8 was great fun back then, but, seriously, if you play it, use an emulator with good turbo functions, I’m not joking around here, the game has so bloody tedious elements that it’s silly.
    In short, you can use summons all the time and win every fight easily up until the last battle in the second last disc (literally), and, as always, summons are non-interruptable sequences.
    I’ve seen quetzacotl in excess of 1000 times with no doubt, got kind off old.
    THe other way to get strong is best summarized by a youtube vid, let me see if I can find it (might be:, in short, it takes ridicolous amounts of time and I’ve fought boss fights in that game for close to an hour since they had healing spells to draw (meaning no end to hp, ever) and a really strong spell which was hard to draw.
    9 is quite close in that advice, the combats are quite tedious, the story is decent and the system is decent, BUT, seriously, the horror that is the waiting between attacks in that game is silly, the animations don’t go into each other smoothly but instead the character move between stances to an extreme extent.
    The story is shorter than 7 or 8 or 10 but it takes the same 50 hours to complete, which is due to long fights, which aren’t more numerous or more challenging.
    No, this game is not worth it, maybe with a turbo button, not with a busy schedule, you’ll be amazed at how slowly it progresses unless you play 5 hours a day.

  • kazork

    I would suggest V. It was the first FF i finished and it is stil the one i love the most. After this one it was just searching for the same experience.

  • TheWinrar

    FFV. The job system is one of the best things I have ever experienced in a FF game.

  • mikeszekely

    IX. Then III if you have the DS (or iPhone) version, otherwise V. Then VIII. Then X-2.

  • Seth

    IX was my favorite. VIII gets a lot more flak than it deserves, and is actually a pretty good game. V may have had an interesting class system, but so did other games that didn’t have laughably bad writing. I’ve never played III (I’m assuming you’re talking about the Japanese III and not the American III that was remade as VI). As for X-2… let’s all just pretend it never happened, okay?

  • stupid_systemus

    Definitely, IX.

    I’ve beaten all, but II, III and XIII. I have II from the Final Fantasy Origins collection and III from the DS. I played the heck out of X-2 because I wanted to see the 100% completion ending (This was before Youtube, where downloading speed run videos was a pain)

  • ChaosSabre

    Final Fantasy 9 is the best choice there.

  • Out of the choices you listed I recommend VIII. It was my first, and got me into the whole franchise.

  • KanedaX

    If you can get past the irritation of loading up on spells to boost your stats, I think FFVIII’s very underrated. In a lot of ways I actually prefer it to VII, and depending on what day you talk to me I think it’s the best of all of them.

  • Tim

    XIII for the atmosphere. IX is visually disappointing

  • taellosse

    I’ll add my voice in support for IX. It’s always been one of my favorites, even though Kuja’s bizarre androgyny is mildly disturbing. It’s also one of the few FF games I actually finished, though it was so long ago now I don’t remember the ending much at all.

  • nitram


  • antiavenger

    Gotta go with IX here as well. One of my two favorites (the other being VI). Then conquer VIII since V is actually much easier. And save X-2 for last… I loved it but even I have to admit you either need a guide to tell you the keypoints so you don’t screw up everything or be OK with seeing a half-ending.

  • Alex

    9 hands down.

  • jetfirexx

    I only first played viii a couple of months ago but it is a ton of fun. Many people call vii fantastic but I found it more of a chore personally at times. VII never felt like that for me. I only beat it a week ago but I had more fun with it than any of the other games for the psx. I have not played ix yet but i hear it is good but if you have a week or two spare then go for viii. I did enjoy v though

  • Banyaargh

    Definitely IX. It has fairy tail appeal, charming characters designs, story that feels fluffy, ok battle and skill system. VIII has more mature atmosphere, and few of key characters are full of angst and they suck big time. Also, story and storytelling pace wasn’t that grate, but you can disagree on this with me, all related to the plot is very objective. Leveling, weapon and battle system are all great though.

  • Tremeos

    I’d say IX only because you never played it.

  • Go with 9. It is one of my favorite FF games and to this day I go back and play it every few months. The story is captivating and the cut scenes are just gorgeous.

    Definitely go with9 :D

  • Rico Suave

    Assuming you’re still reading through the comments, I hope you’ll take my words into consideration as well.

    IX is certainly getting the popular vote but as a few people have said before me, I honestly didn’t see what was so special about it. The Story is ok, I think Zidane and Dagger/Garnet were the only characters I was interested in though. I also enjoyed the setting and Kuja was a decent antagonist.

    I can’t say much about III and V. I’ve played both of them but neither impressed me and I eventually gave up on them.

    My recommendations lie with VIII and then X-2.

    In the end it’s all about personal preference, But I kind of enjoy Sci-fi more than fantasy, so VIII’s setting in a modern/futuristic world with abundant magic was just my cup of tea. I also enjoyed the cast of realistic characters. Some see VIII’s cast as “boring” because they are all just humans. No strange creatures or magical stuffed animals here. But I actually liked that, I felt like I could identify with each character easily and by the end, I could see and feel how each character changed. I love the junction system and combat in general. Someone said earlier that you can just use summons all the time and it gets tedious with all the cutscenes, but the whole point of the junction system is to customize your party to a point where you don’t HAVE to rely on summoning. It’s extremely satisfying being able to play the game how you want to, there are no class restrictions per character so you can just choose your 3 favorite characters and figure out how you’re going to use each one. Who will have the most attack power? what kind of magic do I need to make them stronger in that field? I could ramble but I’ll move on to my next point, the story. It’s really not as bad as people are making it out to be I think. Yes, it has some cliche’s to it, but there’s a certain charm to it that you don’t get out of other final fantasies. VIII is my second favorite story in the series and I really like the themes of love and time.

    X-2 is a guilty pleasure of mine, and maybe I enjoyed it more because X was the first Final Fantasy I played and beat. I loved going back to Spira and seeing old characters, meeting new ones, and generally re-visiting my favorite locations. I found the class system to be engaging and fluid as it added new dynamics to combat based on the enemies you were facing. If you enjoyed X you will enjoy X-2 if you stick with it.

    Again it all comes down to personal preference and I felt I had to defend these 2 under-rated titles a little. Either way I think it’s important to keep an open mind and just have fun. Hell, just do them in numerical order. lol.

    • I’m reading all of them, I’m just letting the discussion flow without trying to sway it one way or another.

  • Dark Lord Imhotep

    I also vote for FFIX. Great game.

  • sbq92

    Perhaps play VIII first to get it out of the way (I didn’t mind it TOO much, but it’s one of the worst in my opinion), then go enjoy IX. After those, go on and play III, V, and X-2 (in that order) so you can enjoy the job system for a long time (it’s one of my favorite FF elements) and also see the development of the job system over time. Also, X-2 is really not a bad game. It’s not great, but it’s not actually bad if you can get past all the hyper girly stuff. The job (i.e., dressphere) and battle systems are both fantastic, they’re just unnecessarily dressed up in a hyper girly shell.

    Alternatively, you could play VIII first (again, to get it out of the way) and then III, V, and X-2, and then wrap it all up with IX and enjoy the throwbacks to the games you just played (well, not X-2, IX obviously doesn’t have throwbacks to that one).

  • CleverBlackSabbathReference

    Just wanted to drop in and mention Noah Antwiler of the Spoony Experiment.

    • CleverBlackSabbathReference

      Forgot: IX. If you dig the classic FFs, then you’ll dig IX.

  • Bradley

    I can`t belive that nobody has mentioned IV yet! I highly reccomend it if you like the old school FF! In my opinion, IV is best on the PSP in Final fantasy IV complete collection because it includes FFIV, the after years and an interlude that takes place inbetween FFIV and TAY.

    • sbq92

      He has already played IV…

  • Keinushi

    You’ve played so many and skipped over 5??? 5 is easily the best in the series as it has more rpg elements and upgradeability than any other. 5 is my silent hill 2, its the game I play to remind me games are good.

    Still aprehensive. this will change things for ya. In 5 you can have a white mage that fights with their hands that does more damage than your knight. Intrigued yet?

    skip 3 though, it was basically 5 but not as good.

  • The Anarchyz

    I know you hate X-2 and also have a problem with VIII because of the junction system. VIII is my favorite, but i think for you i will recommend IX…

    Also, if you have the chance to get the J-International version of X-2, get it, i hated the English dub, this one has the J audio with subs…

  • Lord Milkman

    Of all those remaining, I’ve only played 8 and 9. I would recommend 9 based on the fact that I loved that it didn’t have the “paper doll” characters of the previous two FF games. I kind of liked it when I first played with it, but I’ve rather grown to hate it now. What’s the point of giving me 7 or 8 people to choose from if they’re all pretty much the same person? That’s the main reason that I’m so leery of 3 and 5, too, they invoke a job system that marginalizes the uniqueness of the characters. While it’s nice to be able to just use your “favorite” characters, being able to swap materia/junctions makes the process of choosing a party basically moot. People have whatever skills you want them to, there’s no reason to choose one over another. In 9, you can’t just hand Black magic to someone, you have to put Vivi in your party, and I liked that. It helps that you can change your party on the fly, too; just like in FF 10 or, say, Breath of Fire 4. I liked character differentiation thing in 10 and 12, as well; though the characters in both of those could be generalized, it took a bloody lot of work to do it.

    Because 10 was my favorite of the FF games, I’m going to bother with X-2 some day. And I kind of look forward to it, honestly. As long as the pacing is fine, I’ll probably enjoy it enough.

  • kez

    3. You’re an adult with a family and life. Time is not on your side here. With 3 for the ds you can pick up and play for a few minutes then when life interrupts put it in sleep mode and forget it for however long you have too.

    One tip, use 2 ninjas at the end. It makes life infinitely easier.

  • 2910

    ix prior viii. played em all from i till ix, and must say viii is good, but ix is better. just look at vivi. i mean: just look at him. best reminescence to all former ff games. and btw if viii story thrills someone (dont think so), ix story is way better.

  • Nath

    Final Fantasy 7 through 10 are the best games of the series. I would recommend 8 or 9 both are two of the most amazing games I have ever played.

    • Since it holds no relevancy to the discussion and thus should not sway it either way…Final Fantasy VII is overrated. This is what I wrote about the game on Reddit about a year ago:

      Final Fantasy VII- Is not as great of a game as people make it out to be.

      People who think that Final Fantasy VII is the greatest are usually those who never played another Final Fantasy prior to experiencing it. One game back would have introduced them to Final Fantasy VI which had a superior cast, more challenging (Knights of the Round Table was just cheap!) and better story (Celes’ attempted suicide was more heart wrenching than when the flower girl died. Seriously, I wanted Cloud to hook up with Tifa anyway, so where’s the problem?)

      • GreenRanger777

        Perhaps I’m the minority here, but FF7 is still my favorite Final Fantasy, even though it was the third I had played. Perhaps I’m missing the point by not having played the older games first, but I played FFIX and X before playing VII, and then went back to the older games. Call me a fanboy, but I just don’t see it as over rated. I can understand liking others better, but over rated? There have been many worse Final Fantasy games in my opinion. Anyhoo, that’s just my personal opinion. I’m with everyone else that you should play FFIX next, it’s a wonderful game!

  • GTMeteor

    Can’t believe nobody mentioned that… It has an incredible sountrack, death gripping story, and just awesome gameplay. Plus it’s the game that set standards for the “tactics” genre.

    I mean. It’s awesome.

  • Zack

    VII, VIII, and IX are definitely up there for favorite FFs (IV and VII are tied for my favorite, and I really enjoyed I as well). II, III, V, and VI I didn’t enjoy (VI just didn’t suck me in after 6 hours; I think that’s a fair trial to give a game), and I haven’t played X-2.

    IX really pulled me in, I loved it pretty much as soon as I started playing it. The characters are unique (very interesting take on the Blue Mage, for sure) and they interact well together. For instance, Steiner (the Knight) and Vivi (the Black Mage) can cast Sword Magic together, which I thought was very cool. The story’s pretty good, and engaging, and even though it appears very light-hearted, gets pretty deep at times, dealing with the history of the Black Mages and finding out about Zidane. 40-60 hours, depending on your playstyle (and how often you play Tetra Magic, the card mini-game).

    I think VIII is very underrated. While the Draw system for magic can get pretty annoying, it can definitely be overlooked. The Junction system is very interesting, something that I wouldn’t mind being implemented in other RPGs for sure. The story’s not the best in the FF series, but it’s still interesting. The Guardian Force (summon) system is intriguing, that they can learn abilities that help you out with new battle commands or shop discounts.

    No one’s mentioned the Limit Break system, which I also thought was well-developed. While you can’t choose which of Squall’s finishing moves he’ll do, I think Lionheart is a better move than Omnislash ;) And it’s different for each character; I liked Quistis’ Blue Magic and Zell’s input-based fighting moves (can’t remember what they’re called… Blitz, I think, like Sabin).

    The boss fights are interesting as well, and Omega Weapon as an optional boss is way harder than Emerald/Ruby in VII.

    After IX and VIII, I don’t really know what to recommend. I definitely liked V better than III (though didn’t like either one enough to finish them), and I’ve never played X-2. But definitely play IX and VIII, doesn’t matter which first. I think you’ll enjoy both of them; personally I liked IX more :)

  • Plaxcaster

    I played a bunch of them but only finished VIII. If I were you I’d probably go with IX, tought, it has a very charming story and as great as VIII is it has a lot of weird gameplay choices witch end up being annoying and huge timewasters.

  • Chimericist

    I vote FFIX. It’s great. Fun story that does kind of go off the rails eventually but the characters are wonderfully quirky. I love the levelling system with each character having unique special abilities you can purchase and switch around as needed.

    I also found it had more fun stuff to do: frog catching, and the choboco game of hot and cold I played a lot. It even has areas you can access that pit you against super powerful monsters early on. Chasing the quizmaster is a fun side quest, and the card game is also a lot of fun but easy to break once you know what you are doing. Also your main character steals stuff from monsters. There is no monster and especially boss in the game that you should not try stealing from until you get all their stuff. This is awesome. ALWAYS ROB BOSSES!

    It’s a game with great heart, if how I would describe it. I liked it far more than VIII (beat, enjoyed, but it was slow and grindy) and VII (never beat, but which I found grind-crazy and tedious in general).

  • Michael

    FF9 is definitely a first choice. It somewhat holds true to previous final fantasy’s in terms of what spells certain characters are capable of.

    In 7 and 8 they experimented by having the ability to “choose” which character can use what spells and functions, with FF7 and Materia, and FF8 and Junction.

    FF9 goes back to the routes, certain characters have a “class” that being they have certain skills and traits that no other character may have (up to 1). in FF9 you have your Thief, White Mage, Black Mage, Bruiser, Dragoon, etc.

    That being said, FF8 was still one of my favorite stories. I like the mix of Past and Present story lines. I had to play FF8 3 times to grasp the full story (Obviously the first time through is a speed run).

    Mind you these opinions are based off the list you had provided to us.
    So I would play 8 first, then 9.

    • Michael

      Also when I learned in FF8 how to max out all the best spells and be permanently invincible (Hero+Aura, or Knights of the Round), it officially made FF8 the most fun game, being able to infinitely dish out Limit Breaks without dying.

  • Space Butler

    You haven’t ever played IX? You’re in for a treat! Still my favorite video game…

  • Shinobi Phoenix

    I’ve never commented on this site before (for all my years of reading it regularly) but I will comment on this.

    My vote is DEFINITELY on IX. It’s my second favorite Final Fantasy (first being VI, Dark Insane Jester Gods FTW) and one of my favorite games of all time, the music is some of the best in the whole FF Universe (especially the tearjerking Melodies of Life and one of my favorite boss themes: The Dark Messenger

    The story is very deep and the game is ULTRA-FILLED with fanservice and multiple direct nods to literally EVERY SINGLE NUMBERED FF. The wiki has a list of every one of them and what its referring to (which blew my mind to read). The fight with Garland has so much more meaning after I found out.

    Yep, definitely IX. Incidentally, VIII is my absolute most HATED FF, even more than XIII… which says a lot considering I like Vanille about as much as The Master likes the constant drumming in his head.