Talking about the infamous game series from the infamous game developer makes me want to make these Final Fantasy games in order.
Well, it’s the Final Fantasy series that we talk about – the game that was introduced so many many years ago but it can give us a new experience in gaming while the others are busy with jumping, stomping bricks, and eating mushrooms.
Because of their long track records and lots of experience in making a great game, Final Fantasy is considered one of the best games with the best of everything including graphics, characters, story, and gameplay – everything about Final Fantasy is top-notch… in my opinion.
Through this article, we will go from top to bottom to know every Final Fantasy series that is created from the beginning until the recent ones. It means from the first Final Fantasy until the latest one that is released recently. In other words, if you want to play them in the correct final fantasy order to play, here is the complete list for you.
1987 Final Fantasy
Taking the first step in our Final Fantasy games in order Series list is the first Final Fantasy (or known as Final Fantasy 1) that was released in 1987. Following the story of the four Warrior of Lights whose each of them carries the elemental crystal as their power source. Destroying enemies, returning the light into the crystals, and saving the world are the main quest of the four brave warriors.
Fun fact, the game wasn’t called Final Fantasy when it was released in Japan. Instead, it’s called “Fighting Fantasy” but since there are some issues and circumstances and also, the request from the creator themselves, the name then changed into what we have known as Final Fantasy. The game successfully popularized the Role-playing game element around the world with a Turn-Based battle system.
Let’s continue with all our final fantasy games in order.
Next final fantasy games in order: 1988 – Final Fantasy II
Success with their first game, Square released another series called Final Fantasy II in 1988. Although the name is very similar in every way, the content of the game is totally different. Like the stories for example. It tells the tale of four teenagers whose parents died during the invasion of the Palamecia Empire. The three of the four then become a rebellion and go against the empire and take the journey to gather weapons and armors then rescue their allies who are the leading members of the resistance.
Despite the difference in the stories, Final Fantasy II still holds the RPG element as its core with a bit of twist in the leveling system. Instead of using the traditional Experience Point, Squaresoft used the Activity-based Progression system that determines the point you will receive based on how they are used or acquired. The developer also introduces the character Cid that will appear in the whole Final Fantasy games like the Chocobos for example.
1990 – Final Fantasy III
Fast forward into the ‘90s is the birth of the third release called Final Fantasy III that is published for Family Computer or… simply known as Famicom. The story focused on orphaned teenagers who were attracted by the crystal of light. The crystal then gives some of its power to them, in exchange for a grand mission to save the world.
Still using the RPG as its core with a leveling system for the fuel, the Final Fantasy III now introduced other new elements and it is called the Job-change system. This system, unlike the predecessor, allows you to change your job into everything you want but the limit is what the game has for you. Because of that, Final Fantasy III was a huge success in Japan after its release.
The game that is still holding the RPG element to the core with its new leveling system sold for 1.4 million and is only in Japan. Sadly it was sold domestically and didn’t reach the outer world until the remake was made.
1991 – Final Fantasy IV
The next in our Final Fantasy games in order is the fourth game with the same name with the addition of the number Four on the title. It was released for Super Famicom (or globally known as Super Nintendo Entertainment System), the game has successfully introduced a new installment in the gameplay.
Telling the story of the dark knight named Cecil who goes on a journey to fight against Golbez the sorcerer and his mission to get the crystals, which its power is so powerful it can destroy the world. During the journey, Cecil will have different allies that will join him every time.
A new addition was introduced in this Final Fantasy game. It is called Active-Time Battle System, an advanced version of Turn-based that allows the player to attack enemies within the time limit. I can say, it’s a little bit of features that add adrenaline in playing the game.
Unfortunately, though, if you play the game and are familiar with the job change, you can’t find the exact features in this game. I mean, even the main character is a dark night… It’s just quite strange to see him shooting fireballs with a magic staff at the enemies.
1992 – Final Fantasy V
Just within a year after FFIV, another game is released within the Final Fantasy games. The fifth game tells the story of Bartz the wanderer who takes to inspect a fallen meteor, knowing that the meteor is actually the four crystals that seal an evil sorcerer called Exdeath. It is the job of Bartz and his party to keep the crystals from the Exdeath’s influence that will lead to his awakening.
Albeit the total difference in the story, the RPG element has already become a trademark within the Final Fantasy game and the Active-time battle system is another enjoyment for the players. Fortunately, the job/class feature is back after the absence in the previous game. It will allow you to change the class into everything that is available within the game.
1994 – Final Fantasy VI
Moving up into the next Final Fantasy VI which was released two years after the fifth game in the Final Fantasy series that was released for, you guessed it, the Super Famicom. Giving a different vibe, the game offers a brand new atmosphere with the new steampunk-themed story. Focusing on a girl named Terra who was on a mission tasked by the empire to obtain the frozen Esper.
After facing the frozen Esper, Terra was shocked by the reaction between her and the Esper, releasing the Slave Crown that restrain her all this time. After her meeting with the resistance called Returners, Terra now formed a party to help them during the revolution against the empire.
At this point, we already know that the Final Fantasy game has the RPG as the heart, it doesn’t change at this point and gamers love everything about it – the leveling system, turn-based battle, and the character customization. Although previously the game only had five characters, Final Fantasy VI has up to fourteen playable characters that you can choose, although it’s limited to four characters in one party.
1997 Final Fantasy VII
After Playstation was introduced to the world, the new gate also opened for Squaresoft. This gives them an expanding room for research to make the game better. It shows in their next in our Final Fantasy series list, the infamous Final Fantasy VII. One of the most famous games in the series and the stepping stone of all the future games.
Introducing the 3D characters and leaving the 2D element behind, Final Fantasy VII moves forward with the story of Focusing on the story of Cloud Strife and his party in saving the world from the destruction caused by the company called Shinra Electric Power Company, which uses Lifestream as the energy source for the city of Midgar. Cloud then joined Avalanche to fight against Shinra and prevent the destruction.
The Seventh Final Fantasy series is the result of an Extensive element of the game that introduced brand-new graphics. Although it might not be perfect, the game is known to be quite fun to play with the RPG that is still on its heart. Ah, don’t forget the Active-time Battle system, it becomes something to have for this game!
1999 – Final Fantasy VIII
Moving up into the eighth partition of the Final Fantasy Play order and moving on and on! Final Fantasy VIII focuses on a more sci-fi fantasy world, with the Final Fantasy protagonist Squall, an orphan as well as a member of SeeD, an elite military force. During the invasion of the Republic of Galbadia, Squall and his team were sent to the past around 17 years ago to alter the history of the invasion. Filled with lots of plot twists and characters’ revelations and somehow, ended up with a (plot twist alert for those who don’t play the game yet) kiss under the moonlight.
Final Fantasy VIII is still focusing on releasing the game on Playstation, considering the console’s power to accommodate the tech that Square used in their game. But different from the predecessor, the eighth Final Fantasy game is much better in terms of graphics. Although you can still see the difference in resolution between the movable character and the world around them. Still, Final Fantasy is a Japanese Role-Playing Game that is fully packed with a Final Fantasy-ish Active Time Based battle system.
2000 – Final Fantasy IX
Entering the new Millenia with the next Final Fantasy in order. Unlike the previous games, the Final Fantasy IX theme is going backward with the ancient medieval fantasy setting with mythical and fantastical creatures roaming the planet called Gaia. During the event of the game, the war is about to be triggered by the queen Brahned of Alexandria. On the other hand, Zidane Tribal who is the main protagonist of the series kidnaps Princess Garnet with his party Tantalus. Together, they are fighting the main antagonist named Kuja and trying to stop the war between kingdoms.
Because of the difference in theme, everything about the game seems so different. The overall character and world looks more like a fantasy anime and looks more like kids rather than a teenager (compare to Squall in FF8 who looks more mature in comparison) but the story is more intense as you will experience scarification of the characters, the war between the kingdom, and the final boss that is more powerful.
2001 – Final Fantasy X
Playstation then released a next-gen console that gives more space to advance the game’s technology. Squaresoft responded by giving us a better Final Fantasy game and Final Fantasy X is the proof of that. Centered on the main character named Tidus who was sent to a different world called Spira. Arriving in the new world, Tidus met a girl named Yuna, and together they underwent a journey to save the world from the destruction caused by Sin.
Final Fantasy X comes with a good graphic compared to the previous games. Comes with better graphics, character design, and gameplay but not forget the RPG element inside. What’s new is the Sphere Grid leveling system, a new way to advance your character’s strength by placing an orb in a certain place to gather new abilities or strengthen the character’s power.
2002 – Final Fantasy XI: Online
Moving up into a bit different than before in our next final fantasy games in order, Final Fantasy XI introduces a way to play the games by combining players across the globe with the power of the internet and it’s called the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game or MMORPG for short. The game doesn’t follow a story, however, it gives you a quest to follow. The playable characters can be chosen based on race like Elvaan, Hume, Galka, Mithra, or Tarutaru.
RPG elements, as always, are there but the Battle-room is changed into a Real-time Battle with a Turn-based system. The leveling up is standard, but the characters can be customized as you wish. Changing the armor, using a better weapon, or increasing your skill, whatever you want, game is freedom!
2006 – Final Fantasy XII
Going back into the offline world is the Final Fantasy XII that was released in 2006, four years after the FFXI online. Taking place in the world of Valice where the eternal of two nations, Archadia and Rozarria take place. Once upon a time, Vaan Rabanastre infiltrates the treasury of the royal palace in Rabanastre to get a piece of Magicite, a crystal that has a powerful power.
At the same time, Balthier and Fran, a duo of Sky Pirates also looking for the same crystal and found Vaan holding the item in his hand. During their infiltration, the palace was attacked and they were trying to escape but met Basch in the dungeon. Adding one more person and they escape together back to Rabanastre. Then, they are on a journey to restore peace.
As I said previously, Square Enix is indeed trying to reach the maximum peak of their game. it shows by the graphics that are much better than the predecessor, combined with their core and distinguishable battle system. Leveling up here is easier than the previous Sphere Grid with the customizable character that makes the game a perfect FFXII game like every final fantasy series in order before FFXI online. That being said, I can say this game is a “safe” zone for you.
2009 – Final Fantasy XIII
Three years later and Sony has introduced a brand-new PlayStation 3, Square Enix released their next-gen game as well, called Final Fantasy XIII. Introducing the new (and rare) female protagonist named Lighting and their party, together they sneak into the city of Cocoon to save her sister Serah, who was labeled as an enemy of the city as she declined to be a servant of Pulse’s god-like being.
During their rescue mission, Lightning and Sazh encounter many enemies and allies that joined their party. As long as the story goes, what was known as the rescue mission is now elevated into a grand quest to save the world.
Due to the development in the game technology, Square Enix can’t go anywhere but go into Playstation 3. I mean, the graphics are nice compared to the previous Final Fantasy XIII. Gameplay, RPG is like a tradition and makes Final fantasy the game we know right now. The Active Time Battle system has been used since the second-released game but with the graphics like this, everything is just better.
Story? It’s very good. Nothing is wrong with the tale of a former soldier who infiltrated a country to save her sister who was labeled as a national enemy because she won’t worship a so-called god.
2010/2013 – Final Fantasy XIV: Online/ Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn
If you think playing the game alone is unpleasant, then you might choose the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. Yeap, Square Enix came back with their online RPG, something that looks much better than the old Final Fantasy XI with the same genre. Focusing on the planet Hydaelyn, on the continent of Eorzea. After the release in 2010, the game was crushed by negative critiques, pointing mainly to the unamazing AI and gameplay that make the game feel unfinished. In 2012, Square Enix then decided to close the server and suspended the Playstation 3 release.
With the new director on board, the game has undergone massive evolution and totally changed game. And finally, the new Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn was released in 2013 with a brand new story and adventure, massively updated AI and gameplay as well as stories. The game received so many positive critical comments, including in the parts like the gameplay and interface. Until this article was written, there are more than 20 million players that are still playing this game and still counting.
In order to play Final Fantasy XIV, you will need to be online of course.
2016 – Final Fantasy XV
In our last Final Fantasy game in order, we have the recent game that is released under the title Final Fantasy XV. Telling the tale of Noctis, the crown prince of Lucis, and his companion going on a quest to retrieve the Crystal that is taken by the kingdom of Niflheim to save the planet Eos from the forever darkness. Final Fantasy XV is basically a complete version of the previous Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a game that was created originally for Playstation 3. After spending 6 years developing the game, Square Enix then decided to change the game as a whole into something that we have known at the moment, named Final Fantasy XV.
This game is massively different from all the previous games and uses the Action RPG element as its core. Instead of a Turn-based Battle System, the developer used Active Cross Battle System. Leveling up is slightly different as it uses an Activity-based level system in which you will receive the EXP based on the activity progress. Despite all the differences, Final Fantasy XV receives a positive critique and is played by millions of players worldwide.
Conclusion in final fantasy games in order
Alrighty! Here’s the end of the list of Final Fantasy games in order. There are basically other things to discuss as the world of the Final Fantasy franchise is too big to tell, but we will be back another time to cover the rest of it. In the meantime, the final fantasy order to play will help you get through. One thing is for sure, the Final Fantasy game is surely interesting. Packed with interesting stories and most importantly, the gameplay is amusing as well. Nothing can beat that in my opinion. For the last word, always play the game to your heart’s content.