Has there been a better Final Fantasy since Final Fantasy 7? Apparently not, says Square Enix boss

Fans have long debated which Final Fantasy is the best of the series and now Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada has had his - surprisingly honest - say by proclaiming that no Final Fantasy game since VII has been as good as the multi-million selling PlayStation original. 

During a Q&A session at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Wada explained why there hasn’t been a return to Final Fantasy VII: “We’ll make a Final Fantasy VII remake once we’ve made a Final Fantasy game that exceeds the quality of Final Fantasy VII.” And the honesty doesn’t stop there. Wada went on to admit: “If they [the Final Fantasy dev team] were to release a VII remake right now, the Final Fantasy franchise would be done with”. 

Above: It’s a bit blurry, but this is a visual metaphor

While Wada seems to think Final Fantasy VII is as good as the series has gotten over the years, is he right? Even opinion amongst the men who make up the GamesRadar UK offices is divided, with no-one being able to agree on the best Final Fantasy. Dave reckons that Final Fantasy VII is “massively overrated” and VI is “absolutely the best”, while Justin believes that Final Fantasy IX, closely followed by Final Fantasy III are the series’ highest points.

It’s always good to hear a publisher making sure its games are of the highest quality and isn’t content to simply churn out sequel after sequel. Wada’s thoughts on the matter certainly seem to acknowledge the concerns of many gamers that Final Fantasy hasn’t sustained those lofty standards in recent years.

And fans can now enjoy the fact that Final Fantasy’s VIII through XIII are definitely not the best in the series, no matter what any GamesRadar article says.

Source: Andriasang

This article was written by Ben Tyrer who is with GamesRadar on Work Experience from Bournemouth University 


  • vincent-wolf - June 28, 2012 12:01 a.m.

    Yes, he's absolutely correct. There have never been a better FF than 7 and, unfortunately, there never will be. So I think he just officially stated that there will NEVER be a FF7 remake. Real shame. Unless they find a way to somehow make it fast and with as little resources spend as possible.
  • sbisset - June 29, 2012 1:26 a.m.

    Give it another 6 years (2018 me thinks) and you'll see FF7 remake on the shelves. PS3 was never graphically powerful enough to fully realise a genuine remake and there'd be no point even thinking about a release on this gen consoles. It'll be a cross platform ps4/pc/xbox720 release, a couple of years into the next gen life cycle. He's basically saying that at the moment they can flog the proverbial 'dead horse' a while longer while fan support still exists. When all hope is lost, re-release FF7 and rejuvinate hope in the franchise again. Just in time to pump out a bunch of new, second-rate FF games. Thus the cycle continues.
  • Unoriginal - June 27, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    IX, X and XIII are better than VII in my opinion. I don't even consider it the best among the first 7 games. IV and VI are better.
  • Finkle05 - June 27, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    FF VII changed the way people looked at video games as a whole and at the time made it look beautiful. People who played that game got a comedy(kinda), a romantic tragedy, and an amazing story. Which brings me to this, FF games are all anti-government. Simple as that. VII you have Shinra which owns the military and the media, VIII you have quite a few government issues, 9 had an evil queen that wanted to kill her own daughter for the power she has. These are the games we love and will continue to play. So no matter what they remake or how many they remake the only difference will be the graphics.
  • Tjwoods18 - June 27, 2012 8:45 a.m.

    IDK, I remember the Dirge of Cerebus the best so I guess that was my favorite.
  • duskdweller - June 27, 2012 3:28 a.m.

    I'm with Dave, FF VI was the best for me, innovative combat mechanics (for several characters: eg. one with Street Fighterish moves), one of the best antagonists out there, complex belivable story, tons of great playable characters, tons of secondary stuff to do, and as emotional as the seventh (I think FF VI "turning point" shook me more than Aerys demise). But I can absolutely understand if you're playing it for the first time today and the old school graphics holds you back from enjoying it.
  • minimaxi - June 26, 2012 7:30 p.m.

    that's a surprisingly honest response, if not a really clever PR spin. I think they should try to remake FFV you know, because it's pretty much under-the-radar and no overwhelming sentiment attached to it so they can take more risk. If they can prove themselves with that than they can try remaking VI and/or VII
  • CUFCfan616 - June 26, 2012 7:17 p.m.

    FFIX is my favourite. Classic setting, as little steampunk as possible apart from flying ships, a good range of characters and each has a different job. FFVII, VIII, and XIII I didn't really pay attention to the characters stats and attributes that much, as they're all pretty similar at the end of the day and can do the same job. If VII was to be remade though I would like to see it fleshed out a bit more, more towns and villages added for side quests (FFVII fans would probably throw their arms in the air about that though). Exploration really has disappeared from Final Fantasy after the psone games. Yes the world map was introduced due to hardware limitations, but I enjoy wondering from town to town rather than being FMV'd to another location. It'll be interesting to see what direction FF goes in after the Crystal series is finished with (I for one cannot wait to see it done with). Hopefully it'll be more traditional instead of trying to cater for what the developers think Japanese kids want in a game. If they want to continue being steampunk, then FFVII probably had the best balance between a traditional RPG and steampunk.
  • TheVoid - June 26, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    " little steampunk as possible apart from flying ships..." I think you are onto something here. I also really enjoyed FFIX, mainly because it flew in the complete opposite direction of VIII, which laid on the steampunk a little too thick. Hell, VIII was barely steampunk at all - rather sci-fi in a semi-traditional fantasy environment. Not a freaking castle around, unlike the older games. And sadly the trend continued with X and on - even XII for it's reeling it back a bit still painted a largely super-futuristic world for itself. "FFVII probably had the best balance between a traditional RPG and steampunk". Totally agree. While there was always a bit of steampunk in the earlier entries, FFVII definitely took it up several notches, but not at the expense of a wonderfully fantastic world. In fact once you make it out of Midgar (jaw-dropping for its time), it immediately became one of most enjoyable FF worlds to explore in a very traditional sense, again showing FFVII's penchant for effectively balancing old and new - taking the series in new directions without losing any of the goodwill the series had built up by that point. "Exploration really has disappeared from Final Fantasy after the psone games. Yes the world map was introduced due to hardware limitations, but I enjoy wondering from town to town rather than being FMV'd to another location." Amen. Too true and really, too bad.
  • TheVoid - June 26, 2012 7:13 p.m.

    Pssst - Brett's not around anymore, right? Okay then... I would say without a doubt (personally) that VII is the franchise's high point, with IV as a VERY close second. In fact I recently beat IV on my DS, which I started after losing interest in XIII (for the umpteenth time since buying it). As I dive back into XIII in an attempt to beat the damn game once and for all, I can't help but realize it has been a LONG time since there's been a FF with any real sense of charm or character. IX had oodles of charm, but wasn't quite as good as VII for me. Still, it remains one of the series' best. And while I very much enjoyed X and XII, neither seem to hit the lofty heights of the series' heyday (III-VII). While IX gets a pass for it's bringing the series back to it's roots, I think the problem starts with VIII, in my opinion the WORST of the series. VIII was simply too serious, and while the attempt at more life-like characters was impressive for it's time, it ages the game something fierce today. It was boring, convoluted and couldn't bring a smile to my face if it tried despite it's obvious attempt to do everything a little better than VII. Ultimately it forgot about the charm inherit in FF games up to that point. FFX and beyond all suffer similar fates (even X-2 even if it did take an unexpected - and appreciated - grab for whimsy). Simply too serious, all of them. I did love XII's gambit system and more cartoony visuals, but it felt like an attempt at a "return to roots" that didn't quite hit the mark (unlike IX's completely nailing it). It was simply too grounded. So a lack of charm is probably the biggest reason why everything since VII (with the exception of IX) fall short. But what made VII so good when charm was wildly abundant up to that point? Not sure, really. The cinematics were obviously a big step for the series, and the summons animations got the royal treatment they deserved on a stronger platform. And the constant deluge of varied minigames punched up the gameplay by several notches. Snowboarding - real time strategy/tower defense (way ahead of it's time) - submarine combat - navigating a freaking snowstorm - Gold Saucer! Fucking Gold Saucer! I'm not saying that the minigames are what put VII over the top but they certainly helped the cause, especially considering every FF games before/since basically relied on existing mechanics to pull off their own minigames, or only offered one minigame truly unique from the rest of the game (X's blitzball, VIII and IX's card games). In VII each mini game was it's own fully realized game. And there were MANY. Beyond that I think it was also a timing thing. VII took full advantage of the PS1 hardware and elevated everything about the series without losing sight of what made the series so strong in the first place. Sure you didn't travel to as many wild and crazy places as you did in IV (which essentially wrapped with three fully explorable worlds), nor are your characters as customizable as say III or V, but nothing really fell terribly short, even in those regards. The plot was as deep as any previous FF, but not too deep (I'm looking at you X), with a strong cast of memorable characters, both good and bad. The dialogue was accessible - "for children of all ages", as it were - whereas later installments didn't draw me in nearly as much due to the series dropping it's sense of adventure in favor of MORE SERIOUS. And yes dammit I miss my overworld. I miss spotting a huge landmass via my newly acquired airship and seeing several caves/cities ripe for investigation. I miss buying armor in an armor shop and weapons in a weapons shop (always conveniently located right next to each other, although I never cared if I had to hike to the other end of town for sundries or an inn). I give some of the later entries credit for changing things up more than a bit, which is why I stand by the high ratings/scores typically given to the later installments. Compared to other mega-franchises, FF continues to shake it up. Despite having yet to finish it I'm fairly certain XIII will ultimately disappoint, but it's still a better game than most other games out there, hands down. I can see why it got a 10 even if I don't agree (to the point where I'd even give FFVIII - my least favorite in the series - a solid 7/10). Personally I think the series has broken free from it's roots long enough that a return to form (ala IX) would be very welcome at this stage, and likely the "hit" that Wada references. All they have to do is release a game that recaptures the charm and magic that made III, IV, V, VI, VII and IX so completely unforgettable. Oh, and before anyone think otherwise I did not jump on the FF bandwagon with VII. I started with the very first upon release and played every installment except II since. Of course, I don't even count the online offerings, despite their being numbered alongside the rest of the series. Bah!
  • Artur - June 26, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    I like to think of myself as an "open-minded" Final Fantasy fan. While most people just keep waiting the redemption of the series, I don't think the series has ever needed one. FFXIII sits alongside VII, IV, IX and X in my top 5.
  • Moondoggie1157 - June 26, 2012 2:56 p.m.

    The best FF game eh? Well, shit... I really tried to enjoy FFVII, but I just couldn't. Legend of Dragoon beat it out in all aspects I think (yes I know it was a couple years later). I guess I could give it to wither 6 or 10.
  • dcbernman - June 28, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    Well, it beat VII in all aspects but the translation of course ^^ FFVII's translation certainly was the weakest of the PSOne generation FF's, but Legend of Dragoon's translation almost makes me break down and start crying. I swear it was done by someone under the age of 9. To be fair though FFVII DID have Tifa... In terms of direct competition to FFVII, however, I definitely enjoyed Grandia much more. The combat system remains my favorite from that time period, and it's long story allows for smoother character development (also some truley unforgetable music). In the end though, I've enjoyed each and every FF I've ever played, but god DAMN is VII overrated.
  • MrX867 - June 26, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    FF 9 & 10 are better in my opinion
  • Pruman - June 26, 2012 2:16 p.m.

    Also, I am beyond surprised that Square has not put out HD remakes of VII through IX. All of the backgrounds in those games were computer rendered, and I am sure all of the original artwork exists somewhere. Just put it on a disc or PSN at its original or HD resolution, upres the graphics in the battle and airship parts, and boom - instant profit!
  • Pruman - June 26, 2012 2:11 p.m.

    I agree 100%. I was 13 when FF7 came up, and because I loved VI so much, I was already frothing at the mouth to buy it even before Sony's deceptive ad campaign tricked everyone into thinking they'd be playing a video game with the graphics of a Pixar movie. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and the twist of Cloud's real identity was far more memorable and shocking to me than Aeris's death. It's lost some of its shine today, but I still look back on it fondly. VI is superior, though. FFVIII was very pretty, but the gameplay systems never gelled with me. Also, Squall was and remains to this day the most unlikeable dickhead in ANYTHING of all time. Only Harry Potter in the fifth book comes close to his level of awfulness. FFIX was fun, but utterly forgettable aside from the cool redesign of the black mages and shout-outs to the older gamss. FFX was the only one that came close and may have even been better than VII. Sure they took away the world map, but the world they forced you to explore instead was absolutely gorgeous. The plot was nonsense, but you could follow it. Also, am I the only one who loved Blitzball and sank enough time into it to win every game by at least ten points? I didn't play XI because MMOs can suck it. I didn't finish XII because single-player MMOs disguised as main series games can suck it even harder, cool world design notwithstanding.
  • profile0000 - June 27, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Blitzball! Hell yes! I finally found the other FFX blitzball fan! Where have you been these last ten years?
  • Sjoeki - June 26, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    I'm going to get hate for this but I tried VI a couple of times but after billions of people screaming that it's the best FF ever I guess my expectations maybe were to high. I did play the shit out of VII and really liked it but aerith never ment anything to me other then a good reason to get revenge. VIII was way to emo for my taste, and that magic collecting was dumb IMO, IX was okay. X I liked but that laughing part was embarrasing for gamers all around the world. Had to get past that whole grrlpower thing in X-2 but once you're over that it is a pretty good game. I'm not much of an online gamer so I never even tried XI, and as much as I liked chaining those quickenings together in XII the game pretty much played itself for the most part. FF XIII was okay if you ask me, yes it's repetitive but so is grinding in the older FF's, and I don't mind walking in corridors if that means that the game keeps going forward in a steady pace, if you ask me it beats walking the globe for hours till you finally discover where you were supposed to go. And 'm still deep in XIII-2 wich is rather good if you ask me, but I would rather have those lame stores in XIII then ever walking into that choco chick again.
  • RonnyLive19881 - June 26, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    But seven was a step back for the franchise in everything but Graphics... the battle system felt dated compared to Chrono Trigger and even FFVI, the music sounded no better than a lot of SNES games and in some cases worse(DKC, Chrono Trigger, again FFVI, Act Raiser... all sounded better), the story solid BUT the characters were a huge let down for me(never liked Cloud as a character and didn't even care when Aries died... Tifa was way better Lol)... ugh I can believe the CEO said that... personally IX, X and XII are loads better to me...
  • Scoob - June 26, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    The games just got too flashy as the tech got better. The actual games themselves didn't get better. Take for example Super Mario and what it gained in moving to 3-D. What did Final Fantasy gain in terms of gameplay? If you want, go into the first full 3-D release in FFX. The game turned into waypoints and corridors. The combat from IV to IX is largely the same aside from a special gimmick that each one has on it's own. I actually enjoyed X's combat system quite a bit. Very strategic. But XII and XIII? Those games practically play themselves. They look great when you're just watching, but the combat was pretty dull to actually play. I think the solution is quite simple for this series: remember that they are making video games, not movies. Focus on gameplay first. Keep doing what they're doing in the soundtrack department, because if it emotion they are trying to stir, soundtrack is king. Everything else should fall into place. Maybe they should hire Mistwalker to work on the next Final Fantasy's systems and gameplay. That company seems to be doing quite well these days.

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