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Old 03-01-2024, 05:47 AM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,167 posts, read 31,475,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free-R View Post
There is a saying that that your first Final Fantasy will usually end up being your favorite. It would be possible but somewhat unusual for modern gamers to take to the older ones unless the retro vibe is what they like from time to time. Those games were written in a different time with extremely limited technology and storage space. A lot of gamers won't even go back and play them because "da graphics." When I replayed the original FFVI, I was surprised how well it held up, actually. You can see and feel the ambition being limited by the technology and format, but they packed in a ton of content. No one is going to like every game they ever play, though. Anyway, I won't belabor the point, I will likely have a lot more to write about VI when/if I play the pixel remaster to really give it, and the rest of them, a full take.



Yeah, my rankings have been adjusted, too. VIII was my biggest surprise so far even with its faults. So was XII and XIII. I'm the odd C-D poster out on IX. It's my brother's favorite and he even had one of the songs from that game in his wedding.

For XIII-2, I thought I was going to wrap up the main campaign earlier but ran into a huge difficulty spike that comes out of nowhere in the last area and with the final boss. Had to do some extra grinding. The rest of the game was easy. Testing the waters on the trophies right now.
I started playing IX, and even though it came out in 2000, it doesn't feel dated in the way the PR games do. Maybe it's the format. Years ago, there was a 3D iOS remake of at least FF3 I played. It was really good - this was well over a decade ago when iOS games certainly weren't what they are now. Hell, I'd rather have that released on the PS instead of the PR format.

The XIII-2 spike comes in right at Caius in the final fight. I narrowly lost on the beach. I got another role or two to 99 and it was a pushover.

The beauty of that game was that finishing the game opened the door to all that post-game fragment collecting. Yes, some of them are just simple fetch quests, but a lot of the content is actually really good and offers even more lore. Compared to a lot of platinums these days that include hard mode playthroughs that offer no extra content, this is probably the best platinum setup I've seen, definitely better than FFXVI or FF7-R that forced that extra play through for nothing.
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Old 03-01-2024, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
3,545 posts, read 3,748,742 times
Reputation: 6621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I started playing IX, and even though it came out in 2000, it doesn't feel dated in the way the PR games do. Maybe it's the format. Years ago, there was a 3D iOS remake of at least FF3 I played. It was really good - this was well over a decade ago when iOS games certainly weren't what they are now. Hell, I'd rather have that released on the PS instead of the PR format.
I hear ya. Every one of those games is over 30 years old now no matter how many pixels get added to them. VI needs a remake, but Square Enix's Yoshinori Kitase said it would take 20 years to remake it due to the ensemble cast and how big of a scope the game's story would entail. I don't see it happening. As stated, I plan to play the PRs myself eventually, so I was curious to see if the bestiary on VI is linked into one database over many save files. There are some Reddit threads saying that that's possible. I don't own a copy to know if that's true. If so, a player wouldn't have to redo the entire game if a good number of different save points were created throughout a playthrough in order to retrace one-time/missable areas. The hidden treasure trophy in VI may require some redo of the WoB though if any were missed. I will take a look at the bestiary and trophy missables when I end up playing the PRs.

Ex: FFXII felt so big that I was worried enough about missables and ended up with 106 separate save files, just in case I needed to go back to save file 13 or 65 or whathaveyou to pick off something for a trophy. I was even saving after minor events. Luckily there were no missables in that game as far as I'm aware, or that I encountered at least. And in FFX the missable primers can be combined from multiple save files and be synced to the current save file.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
The XIII-2 spike comes in right at Caius in the final fight. I narrowly lost on the beach. I got another role or two to 99 and it was a pushover.
I was around 70 or so at the time on my commando and ravager paradigms. The final boss form was the toughest. That and Yomi have been the only two that have given me trouble so far in the game. FFXIII had more strategy to the battles. But I do like XIII-2's monster addition, although I didn't use the infusion system until the post-game Yomi fight because I had been cruisin' so hard up until that point. XIII-2's menu navigation and transitions are snappier and leveling up is a breeze as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
The beauty of that game was that finishing the game opened the door to all that post-game fragment collecting. Yes, some of them are just simple fetch quests, but a lot of the content is actually really good and offers even more lore. Compared to a lot of platinums these days that include hard mode playthroughs that offer no extra content, this is probably the best platinum setup I've seen, definitely better than FFXVI or FF7-R that forced that extra play through for nothing.
Since you plan to play XIII again after a long time, I won't spoil, but FFXIII is story-driven and I loved the entire concept and art direction of how that world works. You see some of that in XIII-2 as well, and while there are a lot of story elements I like about how the world has changed and what they need to do about the future of humanity, I just wasn't into the time travel plot structure - and specifically in regard to the time travel aspect - in any significant way. XIII-2 is more science fiction than fantasy. But, I'm working on the fragment collecting at the moment and I'll try to platinum the game in order to see the rest of the post-game content.
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Old 03-02-2024, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
14,726 posts, read 14,711,255 times
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Helldivers 2, baby! If you know, you know.
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Old 03-06-2024, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
3,545 posts, read 3,748,742 times
Reputation: 6621
I finished up my platinum run of Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Gameplay feels more streamlined with a faster battle system and a more open exploration style with plenty of Easter eggs for the player when it comes to post-game material. After spending time with both games, the stagger system grew on me a ton. While XIII-2's battle system loses some strategic elements around the edges over XIII's, it's hardly an issue as the monster taming and upgrading adds all the layers of variety that is needed. Additions like floating jump, mog clock (allows for easy pre-emptive strikes) and faster menu navigation times were satisfying. NPCs also received a massive upgrade and item drop rates are better.

That said, the time travel plot left me stressing often, especially at a point mid-game where going to different timelines to get fragments was necessary simply to advance the story on the main campaign. I just did not want to do time traveling. It was only after getting past the stress of opening every single time gate in the post-game when things felt much smoother; I could then visit any location I wanted for the platinum. FFXIII-2 is guide-heavy, so it's not a title I'm likely to replay for a new main campaign because I don't want to go through opening all of those gates again, but I may revisit it from time to time in order to finish off some of the monster collecting or to work on the DLC bosses. It can be fun to play.

I did get the DLC content and those are some challenging battles. Some of the downloadable characters can join your party after you defeat them. Amodar is the only one I have beaten and subsequently obtained as of now. I'm going to work on some more of those if I can win them, then start up Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns.

My updated rankings and platinum progress of the FF games I have played (minor spoilers & character name reveals):

Spoiler
I have only played IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2, XII*, XIII, and XIII-2 at the time of this writing.

*I played the Zodiac Age edition for the PS4.

TOTAL RANKINGS

[1] Final Fantasy VI. ABG: "Always Be GOATing." Great ensemble cast, excellent villain, well-written w/tons of character depth and emotion, magnum opus musical score. A 3D feeling from a 2D world that stands the test of time. It's my ride or die.

[2] Final Fantasy VII. The OG FFVII is a complete RPG package with great pacing and iconic characters. It changed gaming history for a reason.

[3] Final Fantasy VIII. Story falls off in the third half, probably due to deadlines and budget restraints + the limited disc space of its day, but FFVIII is weirdly fascinating and has a charm all its own. Loved the junction system and the endless refinement/mod features of the GFs (Guardian Forces).

[4] Final Fantasy XII: Very challenging and strategic battle system, which was my favorite part. The single-player MMO feel was a change of pace for the series.

[5] Final Fantasy X-2. Perhaps controversial putting this over FFX as FFX-2 doesn't carry the importance or epic storyline of its predecessor, but it's just a ton of fun when played after the darker-toned X. It carries a relaxed vibe while Yuna deals with the aftermath of X. It's not for everyone, though.

[6] Final Fantasy X. The pacing in the first half made me almost quit playing, but I respect it in many ways. I have only recently seen in interviews that the developers did that on purpose because it's supposed to represent the grind that a summoner goes through on their journey. Some people may hate the Blitzball minigame, but I liked it and thought the whole Tidus being a Blitzball player from Zanarkand story serviced the plot as a whole. If I included nostalgia as part of X's ranking, I would list it higher than X-2. In many ways, I find X and X-2 interchangeable compared to any of the other titles and/or sequels on this list.

[7] Final Fantasy XIII. Story-driven game with interesting plot elements (Fal'Cie, L'Cie, Cie'th, Cocoon) and design choices. Not the most strategic battle system in the series, but going for platinum offers a challenge when it comes to strategy in the side missions. The linearity of the game didn't bother me, and while there also isn't a large variety of side content, I still enjoyed it. Grinding for limited gil can be cumbersome, however.

[8] Final Fantasy XIII-2. Gameplay feels more streamlined with a faster battle system and a more open exploration style with a large variety of content for post-game material. Additions like floating jump, mog clock (allows for easy pre-emptive strikes), faster menu navigation are great. XIII-2's battle system loses a little bit of strategy over XIII's due to the changes, but it's still fun to play so it's sort of a non-factor. The time travel plot was stressful for me at times and is more science fiction than fantasy. If taking out the time travel aspect, this might rank higher. Also, there were some plot additions that didn't allow for more development of the characters based off of XIII. Although I can see why that works for the story FFXIII-2 is building toward in the end, I would have went for something else.

[9] Final Fantasy IV. I played it once, eons ago. I remember it being okay for the time, but can't say if it's too basic for me these days. I plan on playing the pixel remasters of FFI through FFVI after I finish all of the more-recent titles. This ranking could move up or down from here.

[10] Final Fantasy IX. A critically-acclaimed fan favorite, but I just couldn't connect with its characters or its world. It's unfortunate. Battle system is slow as molasses and an absolute chore without speed boosts.

SELECT CHOICES

Best overall: Final Fantasy VI
Most "complete package feeling," whatever that means: Final Fantasy VII
Most underrated: Final Fantasy VIII
Best graphics: Final Fantasy XIII
Best cinematography: Final Fantasy XIII
Best airship: Ragnarok [Final Fantasy VIII]
Most relaxed atmosphere: Final Fantasy X-2 is a party.
Most depressing atmosphere: Final Fantasy X
Most "nostalgic vibes" from my recent playthroughs: Final Fantasy X, subsequently bolstered by X-2 which I hadn't previously played.
Quirkiest vibe/atmosphere: Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy where the characters felt the most "alive.": Final Fantasy X-2

TOP THREE PICKS

Best ending

(1) Final Fantasy VIII
(2) Final Fantasy VI
(3) Final Fantasy XIII

Favorite battle system

(1) Final Fantasy VI. The perfect combo of classic ATB meets turn-based.
(2) Final Fantasy XII. It's the most strategic and hands-on one on this list despite the automated/AI gambit system.
(3) Final Fantasy VII. Materia system was simpler than I remembered, but it works well.

Favorite musical score

(1) Final Fantasy VI. I consider it Nobuo Uematsu's magnum opus. Every song fits the game perfectly.
(2) Final Fantasy VII. Same as above with a more industrial feel.
(3) Final Fantasy VIII.

Best art direction

(1) Final Fantasy VI. Amazing sprite art and world-building designs for the 16-bit era. They pushed the SNES to its limit.
(2) Final Fantasy VIII. I felt like a student at Balamb Academy.
(3) Final Fantasy XIII. I personally like the comic book styled character designs and XIII's world-building concepts and visuals overall.

Top female protagonists

(1) Terra [Final Fantasy VI]. Admittedly, this pick is more of what her character symbolizes and how she finds peace in the game than it is about certain dialogue she was given. Terra + Genji Glove + Atma Weapon.

(2) Yuna [Final Fantasy X/X-2]. Strength and femininity while still being a BAMF. Hedy Burress's voice is Yuna.

(3) Fang [Final Fantasy XIII]. She's crazy. Your...kind of crazy.

(4) Honorable mention: Beatrix [Final Fantasy IX]. Admittedly, not as her character's role plays out, but as I would prefer her character to have been written.

Top male protagonists

I don't really have a favorite for this category, but I will add these.

(1) Balthier [Final Fantasy XII]. "I'm the leading man." ~ Balthier. For that quote alone, basically. The man has swag.

(2) Cloud [Final Fantasy VII]. Has a true about-face and owns its afterward.

(3) Snow [Final Fantasy XIII]. I will use recency bias here. Sure, he's a bit of brute who acts without thinking, but he'll go out of his way for the team without question. Squall should take notes.

Best villains

(1) Kefka [Final Fantasy VI]. A true nihilist is the scariest of them all. After everything he's done in the game, you want to take him out, because it's personal.

(2) Sephiroth [Final Fantasy VII]. Everyone already knows who he is.

(3) Barthandelus [Final Fantasy XIII]. Barthandelus is scandalous! A master manipulator who never asks for redemption. Kuja should take notes.

Best minigames

(1) Tetra Triad [Final Fantasy VIII]

(2) Blitzball [Final Fantasy X]

(3) Tetra Master [Final Fantasy IX]

PATH TO PLATINUM COMPLETION

Final Fantasy I - 0%
Final Fantasy II - 0%
Final Fantasy III - 0%
Final Fantasy IV- 0%
Final Fantasy V - 0%
Final Fantasy VI - 0%
Final Fantasy VII - N/A. The original FFVII downloads do not have trophy achievements.
Final Fantasy VIII - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy IX - 42%
Final Fantasy X - 95%
Final Fantasy X-2 - 19%
Final Fantasy XII - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy XIII - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy XV - 0%
Final Fantasy XVI - 0%
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Old 03-08-2024, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
38,197 posts, read 22,280,614 times
Reputation: 13921
I've been playing Enshrouded It's a survival game set in a future dystopian world, where a a type of fog "the shroud," has seeped out of the bowls of the earth. It's similar to the fungus, sort of like in the game and TV show ‘The Last of Us.’ Except that this fungus is a much bigger threat because it transforms the world, people, vegetation and wildlife.

The graphics are top tier, combat fluid, it has a crafting, building construction and a broad skill tree to customize your character as you level up. It's early release and still under development, so only half of the world is available, but that land is huge. I only had the game crash or glitch out twice, in 40 hours of playing. The only bugs were a handful plants or pieces of furniture that were floating in mid air, and a couple creatures stuck in a wall or rock.
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Old 03-08-2024, 01:27 PM
 
29,532 posts, read 22,783,643 times
Reputation: 48269
After putting it off for so long, finally started playing Divinity 2 even though I always swear up and down that I do NOT like turn based combat systems. Game is certainly hard for me and often times I have to switch difficulty to the easiest story mode just to pass some enemies. Overall fun.

Can't wait, in a few weeks Dragon's Dogma 2!!! Really enjoyed the first one and the combat looks epic.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRqrilkfycM
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Old 03-09-2024, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
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Reputation: 6621
I played about two hours of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII last night. The story is a hot mess and I don't really like the battle system so far. Apparently you level up your character entirely via fetch quests, from what I can tell, not from fighting enemies. I should give it more time, I suppose, but the fetch quests are boring and the environments are dim with dated graphics. There is a game clock that counts down, and if you don't complete the tasks in x amount of in-game days, you get a game over and need to redo the entire game. I'm over timeline stuff, so I'm dropping this one. I'm interested in how the trilogy ends, but will likely watch the cutscenes on YouTube.

I received a bonus check from work on Friday, so I will use a portion of that to finally get a PS5 and maybe try some different types of games.
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Old 03-13-2024, 02:08 PM
 
137 posts, read 50,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free-R View Post
There is a saying that that your first Final Fantasy will usually end up being your favorite. It would be possible but somewhat unusual for modern gamers to take to the older ones unless the retro vibe is what they like from time to time. Those games were written in a different time with extremely limited technology and storage space. A lot of gamers won't even go back and play them because "da graphics." When I replayed the original FFVI, I was surprised how well it held up, actually. You can see and feel the ambition being limited by the technology and format, but they packed in a ton of content. No one is going to like every game they ever play, though. Anyway, I won't belabor the point, I will likely have a lot more to write about VI when/if I play the pixel remaster to really give it, and the rest of them, a full take.


The whole shift of focus to graphics and technical specs is ruining the gaming industry. Sony can barely turn a profit on the PS5 due to the astronomical costs associated with developing these tech monstrosities. All for what? Most of the games are shallow in content when all is said and done. But hey, you can see the pores in the character's skin when you zoom in!!!

FFVI still holds up so well because of exactly what you said. It was full of ambition, and is brimming with content at every corner. I a
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Old 03-14-2024, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Fiorina "Fury" 161
3,545 posts, read 3,748,742 times
Reputation: 6621
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbtoy7891 View Post
The whole shift of focus to graphics and technical specs is ruining the gaming industry. Sony can barely turn a profit on the PS5 due to the astronomical costs associated with developing these tech monstrosities. All for what? Most of the games are shallow in content when all is said and done. But hey, you can see the pores in the character's skin when you zoom in!!!
I think the trend right now is moving more toward PC and mobile gaming and away from consoles. AAA games are a risk due to the cost, so the game companies have to be really careful with their creative methods in making their games, specifically because they want to cater to new and/or broad audiences who expect realistic graphics. I love flashy graphics, too, but story can take a back seat sometimes as a result. Even a lot of older games have bad writing or were simply structured different for their console generation. It just makes the gems stick out that much more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbtoy7891 View Post
FFVI still holds up so well because of exactly what you said. It was full of ambition, and is brimming with content at every corner. I a
The amazing thing is that they were ahead of schedule in making it. That meant they had time to decide if they were going to go ahead with the second part of that game - no spoilers, anyone who has played it knows what happens. In a (paraphrasing) way, they asked themselves, "Should we make this?" Because it was a bold move. Thankfully, they went with it. It wasn't necessarily planned. Not that I have played every game of that era or anything, but no other game was doing anything like what FFVI did in 1994. Not in graphics, not in story, and not in content.

---

I picked up a PS5 over the weekend and signed up for a PlayStation Plus account. I played a little bit of Tales of Arise, which looks promising. I also started on Stray, a game about a cat who gets lost in a cyber city and tries to make an escape with the help of a drone/robot(s). It looks to be a short game as I'm two hours in and at 30% completion.

The main one I'm focusing on is Final Fantasy XVI. I'm fourteen hours in and at 13% completion.
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Old 03-15-2024, 07:55 AM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,167 posts, read 31,475,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free-R View Post
I finished up my platinum run of Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Gameplay feels more streamlined with a faster battle system and a more open exploration style with plenty of Easter eggs for the player when it comes to post-game material. After spending time with both games, the stagger system grew on me a ton. While XIII-2's battle system loses some strategic elements around the edges over XIII's, it's hardly an issue as the monster taming and upgrading adds all the layers of variety that is needed. Additions like floating jump, mog clock (allows for easy pre-emptive strikes) and faster menu navigation times were satisfying. NPCs also received a massive upgrade and item drop rates are better.

That said, the time travel plot left me stressing often, especially at a point mid-game where going to different timelines to get fragments was necessary simply to advance the story on the main campaign. I just did not want to do time traveling. It was only after getting past the stress of opening every single time gate in the post-game when things felt much smoother; I could then visit any location I wanted for the platinum. FFXIII-2 is guide-heavy, so it's not a title I'm likely to replay for a new main campaign because I don't want to go through opening all of those gates again, but I may revisit it from time to time in order to finish off some of the monster collecting or to work on the DLC bosses. It can be fun to play.

I did get the DLC content and those are some challenging battles. Some of the downloadable characters can join your party after you defeat them. Amodar is the only one I have beaten and subsequently obtained as of now. I'm going to work on some more of those if I can win them, then start up Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns.

My updated rankings and platinum progress of the FF games I have played (minor spoilers & character name reveals):

Spoiler
I have only played IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2, XII*, XIII, and XIII-2 at the time of this writing.

*I played the Zodiac Age edition for the PS4.

TOTAL RANKINGS

[1] Final Fantasy VI. ABG: "Always Be GOATing." Great ensemble cast, excellent villain, well-written w/tons of character depth and emotion, magnum opus musical score. A 3D feeling from a 2D world that stands the test of time. It's my ride or die.

[2] Final Fantasy VII. The OG FFVII is a complete RPG package with great pacing and iconic characters. It changed gaming history for a reason.

[3] Final Fantasy VIII. Story falls off in the third half, probably due to deadlines and budget restraints + the limited disc space of its day, but FFVIII is weirdly fascinating and has a charm all its own. Loved the junction system and the endless refinement/mod features of the GFs (Guardian Forces).

[4] Final Fantasy XII: Very challenging and strategic battle system, which was my favorite part. The single-player MMO feel was a change of pace for the series.

[5] Final Fantasy X-2. Perhaps controversial putting this over FFX as FFX-2 doesn't carry the importance or epic storyline of its predecessor, but it's just a ton of fun when played after the darker-toned X. It carries a relaxed vibe while Yuna deals with the aftermath of X. It's not for everyone, though.

[6] Final Fantasy X. The pacing in the first half made me almost quit playing, but I respect it in many ways. I have only recently seen in interviews that the developers did that on purpose because it's supposed to represent the grind that a summoner goes through on their journey. Some people may hate the Blitzball minigame, but I liked it and thought the whole Tidus being a Blitzball player from Zanarkand story serviced the plot as a whole. If I included nostalgia as part of X's ranking, I would list it higher than X-2. In many ways, I find X and X-2 interchangeable compared to any of the other titles and/or sequels on this list.

[7] Final Fantasy XIII. Story-driven game with interesting plot elements (Fal'Cie, L'Cie, Cie'th, Cocoon) and design choices. Not the most strategic battle system in the series, but going for platinum offers a challenge when it comes to strategy in the side missions. The linearity of the game didn't bother me, and while there also isn't a large variety of side content, I still enjoyed it. Grinding for limited gil can be cumbersome, however.

[8] Final Fantasy XIII-2. Gameplay feels more streamlined with a faster battle system and a more open exploration style with a large variety of content for post-game material. Additions like floating jump, mog clock (allows for easy pre-emptive strikes), faster menu navigation are great. XIII-2's battle system loses a little bit of strategy over XIII's due to the changes, but it's still fun to play so it's sort of a non-factor. The time travel plot was stressful for me at times and is more science fiction than fantasy. If taking out the time travel aspect, this might rank higher. Also, there were some plot additions that didn't allow for more development of the characters based off of XIII. Although I can see why that works for the story FFXIII-2 is building toward in the end, I would have went for something else.

[9] Final Fantasy IV. I played it once, eons ago. I remember it being okay for the time, but can't say if it's too basic for me these days. I plan on playing the pixel remasters of FFI through FFVI after I finish all of the more-recent titles. This ranking could move up or down from here.

[10] Final Fantasy IX. A critically-acclaimed fan favorite, but I just couldn't connect with its characters or its world. It's unfortunate. Battle system is slow as molasses and an absolute chore without speed boosts.

SELECT CHOICES

Best overall: Final Fantasy VI
Most "complete package feeling," whatever that means: Final Fantasy VII
Most underrated: Final Fantasy VIII
Best graphics: Final Fantasy XIII
Best cinematography: Final Fantasy XIII
Best airship: Ragnarok [Final Fantasy VIII]
Most relaxed atmosphere: Final Fantasy X-2 is a party.
Most depressing atmosphere: Final Fantasy X
Most "nostalgic vibes" from my recent playthroughs: Final Fantasy X, subsequently bolstered by X-2 which I hadn't previously played.
Quirkiest vibe/atmosphere: Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy where the characters felt the most "alive.": Final Fantasy X-2

TOP THREE PICKS

Best ending

(1) Final Fantasy VIII
(2) Final Fantasy VI
(3) Final Fantasy XIII

Favorite battle system

(1) Final Fantasy VI. The perfect combo of classic ATB meets turn-based.
(2) Final Fantasy XII. It's the most strategic and hands-on one on this list despite the automated/AI gambit system.
(3) Final Fantasy VII. Materia system was simpler than I remembered, but it works well.

Favorite musical score

(1) Final Fantasy VI. I consider it Nobuo Uematsu's magnum opus. Every song fits the game perfectly.
(2) Final Fantasy VII. Same as above with a more industrial feel.
(3) Final Fantasy VIII.

Best art direction

(1) Final Fantasy VI. Amazing sprite art and world-building designs for the 16-bit era. They pushed the SNES to its limit.
(2) Final Fantasy VIII. I felt like a student at Balamb Academy.
(3) Final Fantasy XIII. I personally like the comic book styled character designs and XIII's world-building concepts and visuals overall.

Top female protagonists

(1) Terra [Final Fantasy VI]. Admittedly, this pick is more of what her character symbolizes and how she finds peace in the game than it is about certain dialogue she was given. Terra + Genji Glove + Atma Weapon.

(2) Yuna [Final Fantasy X/X-2]. Strength and femininity while still being a BAMF. Hedy Burress's voice is Yuna.

(3) Fang [Final Fantasy XIII]. She's crazy. Your...kind of crazy.

(4) Honorable mention: Beatrix [Final Fantasy IX]. Admittedly, not as her character's role plays out, but as I would prefer her character to have been written.

Top male protagonists

I don't really have a favorite for this category, but I will add these.

(1) Balthier [Final Fantasy XII]. "I'm the leading man." ~ Balthier. For that quote alone, basically. The man has swag.

(2) Cloud [Final Fantasy VII]. Has a true about-face and owns its afterward.

(3) Snow [Final Fantasy XIII]. I will use recency bias here. Sure, he's a bit of brute who acts without thinking, but he'll go out of his way for the team without question. Squall should take notes.

Best villains

(1) Kefka [Final Fantasy VI]. A true nihilist is the scariest of them all. After everything he's done in the game, you want to take him out, because it's personal.

(2) Sephiroth [Final Fantasy VII]. Everyone already knows who he is.

(3) Barthandelus [Final Fantasy XIII]. Barthandelus is scandalous! A master manipulator who never asks for redemption. Kuja should take notes.

Best minigames

(1) Tetra Triad [Final Fantasy VIII]

(2) Blitzball [Final Fantasy X]

(3) Tetra Master [Final Fantasy IX]

PATH TO PLATINUM COMPLETION

Final Fantasy I - 0%
Final Fantasy II - 0%
Final Fantasy III - 0%
Final Fantasy IV- 0%
Final Fantasy V - 0%
Final Fantasy VI - 0%
Final Fantasy VII - N/A. The original FFVII downloads do not have trophy achievements.
Final Fantasy VIII - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy IX - 42%
Final Fantasy X - 95%
Final Fantasy X-2 - 19%
Final Fantasy XII - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy XIII - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Platinum achieved
Final Fantasy XV - 0%
Final Fantasy XVI - 0%
I agree some of the gate-hopping stuff is a little convoluted, but by the time you get to the final fight, that just feels like a checkpoint in the story. There was some much more that was good after that it really enriched the whole product. I think it's a masterwork IMO. It's definitely up there with VII OG and XVI as my favorite.

Take the XIII-2 platinum vs. the XVI platinum. You have to run back XVI on FF difficulty to get it. I think I finished the main XVI play through in 50-60 hours. It was 98h to the platinum by the time I did the "hard mode" play through. The normal difficulty is way too easy. FF mode gave me a lot more freedom in terms of load out. There was probably 30h on the hard mode, even skipping most cutscenes.

You're not having to do the repetitive second play through. Some NG+s add new content or something to make you want to come back.

I'm most of the way through Lightning Returns. By the time you get a little more freedom with the battle system, you've probably lost interest in the game. I'd rate the game a solid 7.5/10 once it does open up, but it's easily the weakest of the bunch.

I beat IX last weekend. It probably has the best artwork and ambiance of all three of the PSX games, but by far the weakest cast.

I've been nibbling at V here and there - fun, but the PR set is something I just play a bit of here and there.

I bought the deluxe edition of Rebirth, and honestly, it is doing nothing at all for me.

I got Unicorn Overlord last night. Only about five hours in, but loving it so far.
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