6. Final Fantasy IX
In diverging from the aesthetic absurdity normally present in three-dimensional Final Fantasy games, Square proved that a more traditional fantasy world of swords, armor, castles, and magic could survive and thrive on the modern graphic powerhouse that was the PlayStation. Sure, a certain lack of guns, gun-arms, and gun-swords may have made FF9 less appealing to some (it sold relatively poorly despite the unmatched critical acclaim), but we’ll always remember it as one of the most perfectly cohesive games of the series.
Not only did FF9 manage to surpass its predecessors graphically, but we actually liked the characters this time around and cared about what happened to them. By the end of the smartly evolving story, we were so emotionally invested in the cast and thoroughly satisfied by the old-school, non-convoluted combat system that we couldn’t help but hold FF9 above both of its console brethren. Sorry, almost everyone else.
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