The Top 7... games that don't deserve nostalgia

Ooookay, here we go.

This was a fine game. Solid battle system, good soundtrack, memorable villain, all the things you want in an RPG. But Jesus Crackers people, let it go. It's not as good as you remember, and it never was as perfect as fanboys have let it become over the years. It's reached this untouchable, unassailable point where you're not even allowed to dislike it, let alone berate it. Well, we are. Right now.

The characters are poorly realized. Compare them to FFVI or even FFIV on the SNES and they're rote, uninteresting stereotypes that pale next to the likes of Cecil, Terra or Rydia. And Aerith, well, she's been immortalized as the biggest shock in all of RPG history somehow, even though most of the people we know barely batted an eye when she bit the dust. Our PC editor even offered this bit of constructive criticism sure to enrage the legions that had never played an RPG prior to FFVII:

"She seems passive, but she’s really passive aggressive and manipulative about her feelings for Cloud. She’s confused and doesn’t know what she wants, which is fine. But she’s too weak to do anything but smile stoically and take a beating like all perfectly tragic princesses should.

"Her death was not an example of how games can invoke a strong emotional response from the player. It’s an example of how a cutscene can trigger an emotional response, and that’s been happening since the introduction of dem dar movin’ pictures. She doesn’t deserve a literal beating. She deserves a symbolic burning in protest of what she stands for, the one dimensional Barbie Doll smiling face that will forever go on feigning optimism and happiness in the name of femininity."

The main thing to take away is that FFVII was the first RPG millions of people played, so it unfairly becomes the standard by which all others should be judged, even though it's impossible for another, better game to actually surpass it. It was a pretty good game with amazing, ahead-of-its-time presentation, enough to shroud the comparatively lame characters and style-over-substance gameplay that would define the franchise for years to come. And for all the dust it kicked up, FFVIII, released just two years later, looked phenomenally better, so even VII's unprecedented delivery was outdated in a matter of months. And if you want to talk strict gameplay, Materia is a poor man's Esper.

We like it fine, but it's nowhere near as good as people make it out to be and doesn't deserve the crushing amount of misty-eyed nostalgia it forcibly extracts - and that's as true today as it was in 1997. 

Wanna get worked up over an entirely different list of videogames you love/hate? Check out our Top 7 Compendium for more of the good stuff.

May 12, 2008


Top 7

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  • familiarrealms6 - February 4, 2009 6:47 p.m.

    FFvii is one of the single greatest games of all time. it was one of the first games i ever played on the ps1 and i stilled played it towards the end of the ps2 era even ocasionally nowadays.I'm now a 360 gamer to the core and i still find that alot of future gaming can learn alot from the deepness of the storylines used in ffvii. OK, the characters were a little stereotypical, and the gameplay was weak in some areas. But people, ffvii was revelutionary at its time,and 12 years onwards i would still say yes to it over anything.
  • RedOutlive10 - February 18, 2009 3:27 a.m.

    Oh my,... jackpot with FFVII. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad game. But have any of the people ready to defend FFVII all the times even played Final Fantasy VI ? It's far more deep, the story is more involving, it doesn't revolve around some oddballs trying to figure what the hell he's supposed to be all the time. The combat is about the same as FFVII. The music is equal, even though the boss tune of FFVI was freaking epic. Even Kefka is more interesting than Sephiroth. FFVII is overrated compared to what Square has offered us before.
  • sepirothpk - March 17, 2009 7:44 a.m.

    To RedOutlive 10: Yes I played Final Fantasy VI. It was a great game. However, I find the stories both equal, though sometimes both annoy me slightly. And Celes is similar to Cloud in some aspects. However, I disagree with the Kefka thing. He was a good villain, but he was the type who was pathetic until he got the ultimate power. Sephiroth was always intimidating. It does deserve nolstagia, jut maybe not as much as everyone gives it. I don't have any for it, because I have only been playing it recently
  • IronicBob - March 17, 2009 5:28 p.m.

    I... Shall... Not... Clown...
  • Gsindahouse - March 17, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    I skipped the Love or Hate games article, cause I didn't feel like logging in, but maaan... I HAVE to comment this one Sonic Adventure, ESPECIALLY DX WAS TIGHT!!! of course the second one crushed it, but that's no reason to demean the first! And when the heck did 'Oregon Trail' get any nostalgia? People LOVED the Final Fantasy 7! and Ninja Turtles 4 for SNES was off the chain, see I aint feelin yall this time
  • killboo - March 18, 2009 6:35 a.m.

    Just get over it fanboy. What GR said about FFVII is quite true.
  • DabilahroNinja - March 20, 2009 11:34 p.m.

    Everyones commenting on FFVII, So shall I. I actually preferred FFVI, as they said, but I still think FFIX is the best in the series. I don't care what people say, and I think that what GR said about Aeris is right. I actually started laughing when she died...actually, waitaminute, I laugh when ANYONE dies in ANY game. Maybe I need a psychiatrist.
  • doolahee - March 21, 2009 6:37 a.m.

    I think everyone is sort of missing the point of the actual meaning of nostalgia. To be nostalgic means to have a sentimental yearning for something that is past or a longing for the happiness of a former time. Just because someone is nostalgic about something doesn't mean that that thing had to be the best or even good. It just had to mean something. I loved Oregon Trail, not because it was good (in fact it sucked), but it was one of my first video game experiences. But I guess I should forget about that because GR doesn't like it and so no one else should either. "You aren't allowed to like something for no reason. We tell you what to think!" The thing that is sad is that kids today won't have the same nostalgic memories for games. Like spending hours (and way too many quarters) playing a really stupid button-mashing arcade with your friends. Even splitscreen multiplayer is being replaced by online gaming and everyone knows it's more fun to play a game with your friend when they're actually in the room. Sorry, this one kind of struck a nerve. All I really wanted to say is that FFVII is awesome.
  • melloe - March 21, 2009 5:46 p.m.

    you're right — Treasure Mountain was much better to play as a kid than Oregon Trail. but dysentery is too funny...
  • NottaFanboY - May 8, 2009 8:34 p.m.

    Lol! FFVII ! I know so many fanboys that would hunt you down for that! The truth hurts and it was long overdue.Don't get me wrong though I love the Final Fantasy franchise
  • YoshiFtJ - May 12, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    VII doesn't deserve this. VI does. Also make a Top 7 Underrated Games with VIII being number 1. ...maybe Beyond Good and Evil.
  • Kittfox - May 25, 2009 7:15 a.m.

    THANK YOU!! I'm sorry, but I've been waiting over a DECADE for someone to say something bad about Final Fantasy 7. All honesty, probably my least favourite of the entire series; angty characters (few of whom were particularly likable), an unnecessarily dark storyline, and the worst villain I've seen in a game since Drakkan in Uninvited. Thank you for finally knocking FFVII down off its high horse a little bit. Thank you also for reading.
  • BattleBuddy - June 22, 2009 7:17 a.m.

    FFVII was a good game period. But! I my favorite of the series will always be FFII. Best rpg of all time for me, well that and Chrono Trigger.
  • Danomeon - July 8, 2009 11:59 p.m.

    Argh. I love how many Final Fantasy fanboys have ravaged these commenting boards, too stupid to realise that gaming is a complete opinion and that GR is entitled to their own opinion. There is no official "These games are better" meter, and it is complete opinion. GR is only sharing their humble opinion, and yet some people are obviously too stupid to accept the fact that just because people's opinions differentiate from theirs, doesn't mean that said people are idiots. Seriously, angry ranters, grow up, and learn to respect one's opinions rather than screaming your own at these people like they are facts. Then you will look less like a fanboy, and more like a human being capable of compassion and understanding.
  • Frostfire - July 20, 2009 5:29 p.m.

    Ya know this really made me see the light, I love ff7 and still do but now that i think about it ff6 was much better. Almost every ff7 character adheres to some stereo type(with the exception of Cid who can be quite interesting), and while the materia system is awesome I'd pick espers any day.
  • Kotsu - July 24, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    I finally found FFVII earlier this year in a random game store. I think I payed about $30 for it (along with the strategy guide. It was worth every penny. I made it halfway through the game when I finally got my PS3. So I restarted and I don't care re-seeing the story. I am glad that I played Crisis Core beforehand though. Sucks that you can buy it on PlayStation Network now for only $10 now though.
  • RickyV300 - July 24, 2009 2:59 a.m.

    FF7 was good, sorta... i did think that Aerith was nothing but a odd character though...
  • PlatypusFan - July 24, 2009 1:07 p.m.

    i might not have any room to tak because ive never played FFVII but i did look up aeris dying and i thought it was pretty funny then i see all the comments about how it was so suprising and shocking but i mean get over it its just a video game also the graphics for it werent even that good
  • Cyberninja - July 24, 2009 8:32 p.m.

    i love Sonic advanture if you dont like it dont talk about it but to me it was a great for Dreamcast period.
  • leftnostril - July 27, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    i can see that most of the people here played final fantasy and forgot how bad it was...

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