All 14 Final Fantasy logos explained


As we alluded to earlier, FFVI first launched in the US as Final Fantasy III. The logo once again did not match with Final Fantasy standards, but did gel with the US Final Fantasy II – meaning it was just a logo with a swordy “T.” But look: this time we got a moogle and a spooky shadow!

The actual FFVI logo features Terra, arguably the star of the game’s ensemble cast, riding atop a hulking Magitek Armor. The game’s memorable opening sees Terra trudging through the snow in said armor, though shortly after her inherent magical powers begin to cut loose and her true nature is exposed.

Further explanations could spoil some interesting aspects of the game, and since the logo’s all tied up at this point, let’s just move on. But if you haven’t played this one yet, we’ve called it the best of the series as well as one of the best game stories of all time. So get on it.


This one’s way easy – that’s Meteor, the world-ending spell Sephiroth summons to smash into the planet. But why do that? That’s a bit meatier.

Sephiroth incorrectly believes he is the last of the Cetra, an ancient race that gained access to the all-powerful spell Meteor. As a form of misguided revenge, he plans on bringing Meteor down, injuring the planet so badly that its regenerative powers (called the Lifestream) seep through the crust and attempt to repair the damage. Once it’s exposed, Sephiroth will plunge into the Lifestream and attempt to absorb the energy, basically becoming a new god in the process. So yeah, Meteor is a big part of the story.

FFVII’s undying popularity led to Advent Children, the full-length CG movie that picks up two years after the game’s conclusion. At first pass the logo looks the same, but that’s not actually Meteor – it’s Midgar, one of the key cities of Final Fantasy VII. If you look closely you can see its distinct shape, complete with the pillars and tubes that made it such a memorable location.

The first major FFVII spin-off starred Vincent Valentine, one of the game’s minor supporting characters. Vincent favored guns, one of which he named Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of Greek and Roman hell. And would you look at that – there’s three canine-looking heads surrounding the logo.

Apparently Square never had any meetings about the Crisis Core logo, as it’s as plain as can be. On par with the very first one, actually.


Extremely simple – it’s hero Squall Leonhart holding heroine Rinoa Heartilly. Square made it clear early on that FFVIII was going to be a love story, and even though it’s one of the most divisive games in the franchise (for various reasons, from gameplay choices to the actual cast) there’s no denying that Squall and Rinoa are at the heart of it all. Pun assuredly not intended.

This isn’t taken from one specific scene, as the two embrace more than once. However, the ending closely mimics the logo, as well as a moment the two share on the space-faring Ragnarok.


Part IX was advertised with the phrase “The Crystal Comes Back,” a knowing acknowledgement that parts VII and VIII had strayed from the high-fantasy days of the original games. In them, crystals always played an important role in the story, usually saving the day with magical powers or acting as MacGuffins for the cast to track down before the villains could put them to ill use.

In IX, all life comes from the crystals. The entire lifecycle of the planet Gaia and its inhabitants revolves around the health of the crystals – people are born from them, and when they die their memories and essence transport back to the crystal, refreshing and regenerating it for another batch of spirits. The problem is that another world’s crystal is withering away, and the people of that planet (Terra) found a way to move its fading crystal’s souls into Gaia’s. Cue the grand battle for the crystals, as well as the last “fantasy” Final Fantasy.

Next: Finishing out the series, from X to XIV


  • jordaninthesky - December 26, 2012 8:46 p.m.

    FF X's logo depicts Yuna's relationship with Tidus. In the game Tidus and Yuna live in different realities, and the bridge is watery Sin or Tidus' Father. The game is all about Yuna summoning Tidus into her world, and then sending him by the end.
  • grayguwapo - September 30, 2010 5:48 a.m.

    ditto @ Vagrant's comment on Sephiroth... still a great article Brett.. Dissidia 2, XIII Versus, and Agito next...
  • arahman56 - July 20, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    Could have finished with the Versus logo: And then there's Agito: But with so little info out, it would be hard to explain them.
  • shyfonzie - July 18, 2010 6:35 p.m.

    Cool article Elston
  • ArcaneGhost - July 17, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    Craaaaaaaap. I was really wanting to know what FFXIII's logo stood for, and then he says it's a big spoiler, so I had to quickly skip it. *sigh*
  • gatornation1254 - July 17, 2010 8:38 a.m.

    Wow I don't even like Final Fantasy but I found this article fascinating. Their logos are usually pretty though.
  • Irishranger - July 17, 2010 4:07 a.m.

    This is why I love your shit Elston. You taught me that it's okay to geek out over every aspect of my favorite hobby, gaming. Thanks for the hard work.
  • spikester145 - July 16, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    I thought the crisis core logo the clouds were cloud and how in the end zack wanted to fly
  • Burningblade04 - July 16, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    it's missing a couple of final fantasy tactics titles.
  • Xplosive59 - July 16, 2010 12:19 p.m.

    also you should of put tactics on here, cause that is probably the best game from the entire franchise (coming from a complete FF fanboy)and its logo and cover art was extremely different
  • Xplosive59 - July 16, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    kind of a pointless article really, all of the pictures around the logo are obvious if you have played the game because they are either a picture of one of the lead characters or a major plot point in thes story
  • elpurplemonkey - July 16, 2010 3:45 a.m.

    I still don't get what the horse head is doing in the FF XIII logo (I'm not seeing things am I?) Fun article to read though.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 16, 2010 2:15 a.m.

    Thanks Brett! It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who cared about the FF13 logo relating to the last scene- if I recall correctly, they even faded the image with Fang and Vanille into it.
  • smikey - July 16, 2010 2 a.m.

    Kain had top billing on the Japanese FF4 logo? All he did in the game was betray Cecil, and poorly at that.
  • Druffmaul - July 15, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    The FFVII logo got a bit short-changed here. Yeah, it does represent Meteor. But it also represents The Planet itself, and the White Materia i.e. Holy. Three concepts in one little ball. Give it its due credit.
  • Moondoggie1157 - July 15, 2010 9:50 p.m.

    So I haven't played FFXII as of yet, but Judge Gabranth looks mighty similar to Emperor Doel, one of the main villains from Legend of Dragoon A.K.A. "The greatest RPG no one has played because it was completely overshadowed by FFVII"
  • tayls - July 15, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    Great article, Brett! Loved how concisely and respectfully this was written, even as the series has fallen from grace in my eyes.
  • taterboob - July 15, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    I always thought that the FFX logo was Yuna summoning something. I hadn't even considered the "sending" angle. Thanks for clearing that up.
  • Espir - July 15, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    crisis core could be that at the end when zack dies ;-;, hes talking about the sky and flying and being free and what not
  • BigCNuggit - July 15, 2010 4:58 p.m.

    "...representing the dozens of people that still play." Heheheh, more like, the dozens of people that EVER played....

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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