Anyone who’s a fan of RPGs will probably have one of the Final Fantasy games among their all-time favorites. The series is filled with classic entries that have rounded out some of the best games of the many consoles that the series has managed to span. The games are enormous, and that means each of them features fantastically huge stories as well.
The series has dabbled with relatively simple stories as well as diving into complex, multi-part epics that span multiple years of releases. Everyone has their own favorites for one reason or another, but it’s got to be said that just about every entry in the series could be argued to vie for the title of the best story in the franchise.
10/10 Final Fantasy 5
The sad thing about Final Fantasy 5 is that for many years, players in North America had no clue what they were missing. This game not only sports some innovative features, but also a fantastic story.
Taking control of Bartz, you’re tasked with doing what you can to save the classic MacGuffin of the series, four crystals, so that the evil sorcerer ExDeath can’t wreak havoc across the world. It’s sad that the game didn’t make it to North America initially as it has two fascinating female characters fans would have loved in Faris and Lenna.
9/10 Final Fantasy 9
To some, Final Fantasy 9 was the last pure Final Fantasy game, going all in on the fantasy setting. It’s got rogues, knights, princesses, and quite possibly the most adorable (and powerful) black mage to ever grace the series. This plot’s got all the political intrigue one could ask for with warring kingdoms and even darker intentions lurking beneath the worst of humanity.
Everything starts with the kidnapping of a princess, something that quickly transitions into a protection mission. Eventually, it falls onto Zidane, Garnet, Vivi, and the rest of the crew to stop what is basically the embodiment of death, Necron.
8/10 Final Fantasy 10
For a lot of people, Final Fantasy 10 is where the series really stepped things up. To this day, the game still manages to impress with stunning cinematic sequences. Taking place in Spira, you take control of Tidus before being roped into a whirlwind adventure.
You join the memorable cast of the game on Summoner Yuna’s quest across the globe to defeat a being known as Sin. The duo of Tidus and the spirited healer Yuna creates magic throughout the narrative, and while the game does feature a bit of a cheesy twist, it doesn’t take anything away from your quest to send the powers of destruction to the Farplane.
7/10 Final Fantasy 6
Final Fantasy 6 is a game that needs no introduction. It’s still argued as the best in the series for good reason. Everyone has a unique favorite character as the huge cast is all given their own standout moments throughout the narrative.
Starting out with you learning about a mysterious race of creatures known as the Espers, wonder is soon turned into chaos when the villain Kefka takes over the world right before your very eyes. There’s just too much fantastic plot in the game to do it justice, so it’s best to find the nearest copy and play it right now.
6/10 Final Fantasy 4
For a lot of people, Final Fantasy 4 was the very first sprawling epic they ever got their hands on. It was a massive step up for the Final Fantasy series when it jumped to the SNES, and it shows. Cecil and the gang travel across the world to stop the evil plans of Golbez, and perhaps, something even more sinister.
With plenty of twists, turns, memes, and LOTS of fake-out deaths, Final Fantasy 4 has a story that, while simple, has a lot to enjoy. A few characters may be major standouts when compared to others, but those that take the trip through Cecil’s journey to the Moon and back will come out of it with a memorable experience.
5/10 Final Fantasy 12
Final Fantasy 12 might be one of the more ambitious storytelling attempts from the team behind the series. In a kind of Aladdin meets Final Fantasy and any war movie, you play as Vaan, a kid from the streets who struggles to find a way to protect his home, and in turn, the world.
For the first time in the series, the plot feels more like a movie than a video game with plenty of stylized dialogue to boot. It’s up to you to work with your new companions to help save Dalmasca and Ivalice as a whole from the irritatingly evil Vayne.
4/10 Final Fantasy 15
It would be nice if the plot of this game were as simple as saying it’s a road trip between a bunch of friends to save the world. While that is kind of true, Final Fantasy 15’s plot is a lot bigger than just that.
You play as Noctis, heir to the Lucian royal throne, as you attempt to put a stop to the evil deeds of the Niflheim empire. Discovering the true king, the crystal, and the star scourge are all up to you as you battle an evil that may even take you by surprise.
3/10 Final Fantasy 8
Final Fantasy 8 is more of what you’d expect from the series, save the world. Where there is a bit of a twist is with the cast and the world. The main hero Squall trains at a military school to become a SeeD, which is more or less a magical mercenary.
This game seems to offer a much more real-world style of look at Final Fantasy, at least in the opening hours. Things start to go off the rails the more you learn about the sorceress Edea, seeing Squall maybe die (if you’re into fan theories), and even seeing the Final Fantasy 8 crew heading into outer space. At the end of the day, it’s all to stop the seemingly unstoppable Ultimecia
2/10 Final Fantasy 7
It’s hard to hear someone mention Final Fantasy without immediately having it followed up with a mention of Cloud, Sephiroth, or Aerith. It’s a game that means so much to people, as while it was the series' first jump into 3D, it was also an entire generation's first Final Fantasy game.
It’s an intriguing story that follows Ex-Soldier Cloud Strife as he attempts to thwart the machinations of his fellow comrade Sephiroth and the twisted being known as Genova. A big draw of this game is the various character relationships and one of the most spoiled story moments in video game history.
1/10 Final Fantasy 13
It may be controversial to say it, but Final Fantasy 13 has quite an interesting story. It may stray rather far from what fans of the series came to love about Final Fantasy, but some credit is due to the developers trying something different with the gameplay and narrative.
Things are a bit complex, but if you take the time to understand Lightning and her companion's adventure, you'll be delighted at the story that binds them all together.
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