Getting into Final Fantasy?


New member
Dec 24, 2012
Well considering the the HD remaster of X is coming out soon so you might as well start with that. Quite a few of the older games don't really hold up.


New member
Sep 10, 2008
Tactical Pause said:
Now I know there's a lot of division among the fanbase, so I'd like to mention something before you post. I've never played any incarnation of FF before, nor, for that matter, any JRPG at all. What this means is that I have no attachment whatsoever to the series, so I won't feel betrayed if I start with [Insert whatever one you like least here]. Also, the less mechanically obtuse the game, the better.
Never played any JRPG? In that case, start with the first. The first is an absolute classic and is representative of the entire JRPG genre. Is it the best one? No, but it's a very good place to begin your journey. After this one, I'd suggest playing the most representative of the FF series, FF7. After that, independent research will dictate which FF game to follow up with.

My personal favorite is FF4 because it's a story about redemption and emotional character growth. My least favorite is FF13 because it represents everything I hate about the stereotyped JRPG genre. I would suggest that if Final Fantasy isn't getting you into JRPGs that you look into Shin Megami Tensei. SMT has a contemporary setting that is easier for a new person to get immersed in.

I hope that this helped.

Alpha Maeko

Uh oh, better get Maeko!
Apr 14, 2010
There isn't much that hasn't already been said, but I'll give my opinion, anyway.

Start with FF7, then do FF8, then do FF9.

The progression of gameplay elements and graphics is something that'll grow with you as you go through them in order.


New member
Jan 3, 2008
I'd say go from six through to ten, then go back to any you missed if you enjoy them.
Having a Vita helps a lot though :

almosy got them all!
Jun 11, 2008
First off FF:T is not a JRPG it is a TRPG or SRPG(same thing different names). As such it isn't really anything like the other entries aside from recurring themes. I'd avoid VIII and II as first entries as VIII has a lot of odd stat progression stuff in it and people have explained the problems with II better than I could. Also don't start with FF XIII. It is a decent game but requires too great a time commitment to get to the meat of it.

As for the others in the past and much less so now FF VII was a bit over hyped. Regardless of that like all other entries it is a good game. You get a lot of my favourite FF is the best the series crap with people so take things with a grain of salt.

Ultimately, they are all stand alone so aside from those three outliers you can pretty much jump in at any entry. Just don't go into any game expecting a revelation and you'll enjoy them all.

EDIT: Also forgot 11 and 14 are MMOs so ignore those.


Elite Member
Aug 24, 2010
Tactical Pause said:
Greetings, fellow escapists. I come before you on this evening to ask a simple question: Where's the best place to start for someone looking to try Final Fantasy?
This is how I did it and it worked for me.
Start with 10, 'cause 10 is awesome

then go back and play 6,7,8 and 9 in any order(Even if people hate 7 for no reason, play it for your self and make up your own mind on it)

then play 12, because 12 was my favorite (Even though 9 was amazing)


New member
Jul 24, 2008
Tactical Pause said:
Thanks for the replies everyone, you've been a big help.

I think I'll start with 6, and work my way up from there (probably skipping 8). Is there any particular place in that order where Tactics should go? Or can I just sort of fit it in wherever.

Yea. Final Fantasy games aren't actually a series. They're mostly unrelated.

The Final Fantasy games can be broken down into a number of unrelated series.

Initially none of the Final Fantasy games were related at all, and mostly they're still unrelated, but nowadays some of the games have actually generated direct sequels or at least games set in the same world.
There's a whole Final Fantasy VII series which all have "Final Fantasy VII" in the name - they share a universe, and the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series which all have "Crystal Chronicles" in the name - they share a universe.

But then there's also the Ivalice Alliance series of games which has no consistent naming system. They all share a universe despite not being named to indicate it, and one of them isn't even a Final Fantasy game.

Final Fantasy Tactics/Final Fantasy Tactics:War Of The Lions
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Final Fantasy XII/Final Fantasy XII:International Zodiac Job System
Final Fantasy XII:Revenant Wings
Vagrant Story (not even a Final Fantasy game)
Crystal Defenders
Final Fantasy Tactics S
Fortress (codename for a recently cancelled Ivalice Alliance game)

Final Fantasy X and FFX-2 are the only games in their universe.

I think there are now 3 games in the Final Fantasy XIII series.

Final Fantasy is a mess


As said, Final Fantasy Tactics (specifically the "War Of The Lions" revision/enhancement of it) is easily the best Final Fantasy game.
But if you're looking for the starting point of a whole series, just be aware that you have to go figure out which games actually ARE a series.


New member
Aug 31, 2009
Have you got a GBA or any means of playing GBA carts? If you do, there are remakes of Final Fantasy IV, V, VI and a double-cart of Final Fantasy I and II. Of those, I would recommend IV and VI by far. I recommend the Advanced editions because you don't have to worry about loading/load times at all. The Playstation Anthology series is great but the load times are bad and come up all the time (especially annoying when you try to open a menu). As for the individual games...

Final Fantasy IV
*Fast combat
*Memorable characters
*Great plot

Final Fantasy VI
*Fast combat
*Great Characters
*Fantastic Plot
*You'll have the benefit of telling people that you've played one of the most popular JRPGs evaaaaar

If you don't have a means by which to play GBA games then maybe you have an account on steam. If you do then act now to download Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII for $6 instead of $10. Here are other reasons to play each one

Final Fantasy VII
*Memorable characters
*Decent combat system

Final Fantasy VIII
*Deep combat system
*Better looking than FFVII

If you have a PS3 or Vita, Final Fantasy X/X2 will be out soon. I've never played X2 but I loved's a really good looking game, has traditional turn-based combat and, pretty good characters.

Bottom line may be difficult getting into the older Final Fantasy games. If you want a game that's action packed from beginning to end, you may be disappointed by FF7, 8, 12 and, 13. FF 2, 4 and, 6 keep a more consistent, higher pace in terms of action but are definitely dated graphically. I've never played the DS remake of FFIV but it could be excellent.


New member
May 22, 2013
6 is by far the best of the 2d ones imo, but as has been said you can start anywhere really, they all have their own story and mechanics each one does something different with varying success.


Terminally Apathetic
Jun 17, 2013
Ieyke said:
Final Fantasy X and FFX-2 are the only games in their universe.

I think there are now 3 games in the Final Fantasy XIII series.

Final Fantasy is a mess
You're right about Final Fantasy being a mess, as far as settings and names go, but I feel I should nitpick a bit here.

FF XIII has it's core trilogy, but it also has the mobile game Final Fantasy Type 0. These four games take place in what they call the Fabula Nova Chrystallis universe. FF XV also started out in this universe as FF XIII Versus, even after the rename it supposedly still shares enough themes, that it is still considered part of the Nova Chrystallis universe.

The only other nitpick I have is that the FF VII and FF X series also technically take place in the same universe. FF X and FF X-2 are technically a far flung prequel to the FF VII series. At one point the Gullwings reveal that one of their characters is named Shinra, and he proposes extracting life energy from the planet through the far plane. The outside game lore (the FF X and VII ultimania books) state that Shinra fails in his plan, but it is carried by his descendents as they eventually relocate to a new planet and succeed in their plan, forming the Shinra company. The connection is thin at best, but according to the expanded lore books and the game writers, it is canon.


New member
Apr 4, 2013
I'd suggest the SNES games (IV-VI, all of which have their own adherents) if you're gonna head backwards, PS1 3D graphics did not age well, and it's hard to get past even with the nostalgia glasses on. In addition to every other platform they've had re-releases which was already mentioned above on you can get em on PS1 in two game packages.

The Abhorrent said:
the single best soundtrack in all of gaming. The legendary opera scene, with the renowned Aria de Mezzo Carattere, is one of those things which remains to be topped... it's been 20 years at this point, it's that good. The game itself is quite good as well, but the focal points here are definitely the storytelling, characters, and music.
In MIDI. Not that I'm disagreeing with you, I just think it's worth mentioning because it was that fucking awesome in MIDI.


New member
Apr 4, 2011
Short version: as a long-time series fan, I primarily recommend VI and VII; I secondarily recommend I, IV, IX, and X.

Play VI first. It's the perfect balance of old-school vs. new-school in the series; it will give you a good idea of what the series is all about and why it became such a big deal. Its gameplay and story also very newcomer-friendly. If you dig VI and want more games that focus on trying to present interesting stories/characters, go new-school with VII, IX, and X. If you dig VI and want more of a dungeon-crawler experience, go old-school with I, IV, and maybe V, assuming you don't mind a goofy story (V's story isn't BAD per se, it's just really silly).

DO NOT start with III, VIII, XII, or XIII.

Avoid II altogether.

XI and XIV are MMOs. Most series fans haven't played them. You'd be better off looking to the MMO community for feedback on those.

I is good. Old-school, but good. Play a port (PS1, PSP, iOS) if you're gonna play this one.

II sucks. Don't play it. The system is broken. The story is standard. Both the system and story were ground-breaking for 1987, but this game is borderline unplayable by today's standards.

III is like the first one on crack in terms of system and story. The job system can be fun, but it has a very old-school level of difficulty. Play the DS version or a port of the DS version. DON'T PLAY THIS ONE FIRST.

IV is when the series started to focus more on developing characters and more complex stories. The best of the old-school games, you could start with this one if you wanted, but I don't recommend it.

V is III on crack. One of the best battle systems in the series, but the story is silly; characters get tossed about from crazy plot point to crazy plot point with reckless abandon. Can't say that I recommend this one at all, but you might like it if you dig the other old-school games and don't mind a goofy story with a one-dimensional villain.

VI and VII are the peak of the series. In VI, the battle mechanics and overall difficulty-level are straight-forward enough to be new-player friendly. The characters and setting are simple enough to be easily approachable, but nuanced enough to give the story some more pathos and dramatic weight. There are also a great number of little touches that use the gameplay to enrich the story, making this the only game in the series in which the story couldn't be told in a comic book or movie without sacrificing so much of what makes it interesting. It even goes full-on open-world in the last 1/3 or so of the main story.

VII elevated the storytelling to take on deeper themes like "humanity's effect on the environment" and "the potential dangers of unchecked corporate power." The trade-off is that the gameplay doesn't have nearly the level of character/party customization or open exploration that is found in VI. Whereas VI had a pretty good balance between story/gameplay; VII focuses much more on its story, which could be seen as good or bad depending on how much/little you dig the story/characters/world of VII.

VIII is...something else. The battle system is complicated (in my opinion, unnecessarily so) and the story, I'm not a fan. Whether one enjoys the system and/or story of VIII is very dependent on personal taste. Some love it, some despise it. As someone who has studied story-writing, I will say that I know "the writer is pulling stuff out of their rear orifice" when I see it, so it's hard for me to take this game's story seriously. DO NOT START WITH THIS ONE. If you've played VI, VII, IX, and X, and then want more, give VIII a try, but proceed at your own risk. This one is weird.

IX is pretty much a tribute of all the games that came before it; I'd honestly recommend that you play IX (which gives the basic experience of I-V, interjected with some of VI-VIII's flavor) and then just not bother with I-V at all.

In X, the battle system is complex and the story is nuts. However, the system is introduced very gradually and builds up to some great depth and strategy with some of the best boss battles in any JRPG. Also, the story is brought front and center and, while things get crazy, you don't have the kind of deus ex machina and plot holes that you see in VIII. The game is able to do this because it is VERY linear; some even say that it pioneered a new genre: the "Cinematic RPG." Basically, you're either moving your party along a linear path towards a destination (with a few opportunities for exploring side areas) or you're watching a cutscene that develops the characters/story. It's not until the very end of the game that you're able to revisit old areas and experience a lot of side-content. This doesn't bother me because I really like the characters and story, but it can be a big turn-off to some people.

Stay away from X-2. The battle system is great, but everything else is just...ungh. So much fanservice, and the whole experience actually detracts from X's poignant story and conclusion.

XII and XIII have taken the series in experimental and controversial new directions, so I definitely wouldn't start with these to get an idea of what the series is about. Get any idea of what the series is about first, and then try these.

Haven't played XIII-2 or XIII-3. I hated XIII, so I didn't bother with them.

Also, Chrono Trigger. If you've missed out on Final Fantasy, you may have missed out on Chrono Trigger as well, and I pity you if this is true. Chrono Trigger was made by some of the the key players who worked on Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest and is pretty much the definitive old-school JRPG.