Top 7... Final Fantasy spinoffs

As one of the longest-running videogame series with its fair share of spinoffs, Final Fantasy has been a leader in breathtaking cutscenes, complex (and sometimes confusing) storylines, intricate costumes designs and of course, extremely beautiful people. The attention to detail, accessible gameplay and the moving music are all staples of the franchise, and it goes without saying that these admirable qualities have also made their way into numerous spinoffs. We have our seven favorites listed right here. Now what are yours?

7. Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King

We’re going to guess you forgot about Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King the minute it was released. It’s fine, we understand. Not only did it have “Crystal Chronicles” in the name, but it was a WiiWare launch title, and we all know how well that went. But if you skipped My Life as a King, you missed out on one of the freshest Final Fantasy games in years. 

As the name suggests, the downloadable took away your sword and staff and replaced them with a crown – you weren’t the one slaying beasts, you were the one giving out quests and sending young adventurers on journeys. They’d bring back loot, you’d reward them with gold, and you’d slowly expand your kingdom with buildings to train better adventurers. You were an NPC from another game, and it was an absolute treat. It’s still available on the Wii, but we’re holding out hope that Square Enix brings it to iOS or the 3DS soon, as it would be a crying shame to see it left to rot on the digital WiiWare shelves. 

6. Dissidia: Final Fantasy

A Final Fantasy fighting game was something that fans had talked about in hushed tones for years, and when it finally happened, it’d be nothing like what we’d imagined. Dissidia: Final Fantasy was a bizarre little creature that brought together two characters (one good, one evil) from each of the first 10 Final Fantasy universes (plus one each from XI and XII), and pitched them headlong into freeform, mostly aerial duels in big, open arenas filled with cool stuff for them to interact with.

Not only did it bring together beloved heroes from different games, but Dissidia delivered the one thing fans really wanted out of the experience: a story. Where most crossover fighting games were content to just let their characters whale on each other with minimal narrative, Dissidia actually showed us what would happen if the likes of Cloud and Squall and Tidus were to interact and work together. And while the story was filled with formulaic plot points, absurd dialogue and inappropriate mid-sentence pauses, it delivered enough character development, story continuation and fanservice to fuel a sequel, the confusingly named Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy.

Whatever its flaws, Dissidia delivered where it counted: the action was quick, intense and unlike anything else on the market, bringing together button-mashy combos, RPG elements and the massive, apocalypse-level super attacks for which Final Fantasy is known. It wasn’t for everyone, but for those who’d followed Final Fantasy since its inception, it was a fangasm of epic proportions.

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  • amazinglover - February 4, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII was a joke way to easy I won the vast majority of fights while pressing the attack button over and over again while using the other hand to smoke and or drink and only had to look at the screen to move my character in between fights. No way its number 2
  • Zeos - February 2, 2012 7:02 p.m.

    Kingdom Hearts will always hold a special place in my heart for sure but the FF Tactics games are indeed awesome; especially the handheld ones!
  • garyn-greene - February 2, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    jmcgrotty. you are a tool. :) I've played FFT sometime like six times through, so wouldn't that make it 600% playable for me... or at least 100%... That said, I was worried that this list was going to be messed up, as well. I read through the choices, getting more frustrated with each one... in my mind thinking you wouldn't mention SoM and FFT. But, by the time I got to #3, I realized you had done your gaming research. Good list, mad props. Couldn't agree more with the list, especially the top 3 -- and especially the top cut. FFT has a better story than basically any game in history (for me) and a complex set of plots and emotions that leave every character (save Ramza) feeling more toward the center of the moral spectrum than outright good or evil. It was one of the first games that did that, whereas most games pitted "Selfless Hero" A vs "No Compassion Fiber in Their Body Villain" B.
  • jmcgrotty - February 1, 2012 1:30 a.m.

    I was hoping you wouldn't screw up the list, but thought you would. Thank you for not letting me down: You screwed up the list. Please, PLEASE quit saying anything positive about Final Fantasy Tactics. That is almost the absolute low-point of the whole franchise. It's a pathetic POS that people only liked at release because it was different. But, when people actually got past that and into game mechanics, it was an absolute mess. Seriously, the game is 100% unplayable. Freaking pathetic, guys. But, kudos for adding Mana. I'd count it as a valid spin-off.
  • GameManiac - February 1, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Clearly, the FFT series is far too complicated for you. I stand on the complete opposite spectrum of your viewpoint. Haters gonna hate.
  • larkan - February 4, 2012 3:51 p.m.

    Wow....sounds like you never got past the tutorial battle and couldn't figure out how to play the game? Why are you so mad? The game really isn't that complicated to figure out, I guess you should just stick to Final Fantasy XII (or mash one button constantly for win) until you get a bit of intelligence.
  • Balaska - January 31, 2012 11:07 p.m.

    I miss the good old days of beautiful box art and touching stories, good old Secret of Mana. Please Squenix, more of this!
  • GameManiac - January 31, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Tactics FTW!
  • thesteve2 - January 31, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    The first picture for Final Fantasy Tactics is identical to the Kingdom Hearts cover lmao
  • THEBIGJ3 - January 31, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    Secret of Mana :-D (Should be number one really!)
  • xarab4lyfex - January 31, 2012 6:24 a.m.

    Love Kingdom Hearts, it's my second favorite series behind the ace attorney series, and am playing through tactics now, but I could care less for Secret of Mana as I never really enjoyed the mix of RPG and Illusion of Gaia like combat. Personally I think that Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma are better games than Mana, but that's my opinion. Also, Crisis core is a great game with a great story, but pretty shallow combat.
  • sonofskywalker3 - January 31, 2012 6:01 a.m.

    I wasn't waiting for a Final Fantasy fighting game, because I played one that came out ten years before this Dissidia crap. It's called "Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring" and it rocks. You just got learned children.
  • AshLynx - January 31, 2012 4:37 a.m.

    Nice article. Are you guys going to do one for Dragon Quest spinoffs? I don't there are quite as many (and even fewer in America) so maybe a top 7 list couldn't be made, but some sort of list should be, eh?
  • DarthPunk - January 31, 2012 2:14 a.m.

    Was about to say I give up reading this website if you put Kingdom Hearts at no. 1. Thankfully you didn't
  • codystovall - January 31, 2012 1:31 a.m.

    Final has lost all meaning.
  • Oliolioliooo - January 30, 2012 9:37 p.m.

    I thought Super Mario RPG would be in this, Square Enix did make it...and a little FF in it, especially at the end. Then again, it isn't a spinoff of FF
  • TwinHallow - January 30, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    Kingdom Hearts is like in my top 5 games so i would pick that .....and yes im a fanboy and im proud haha
  • TrAnMu - January 30, 2012 9:30 p.m.

  • NightCrawler_358 - January 30, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    I love Kingdom Hearts, and the other entries too, but I didn't really enjoy Crisis Core as much as I'd hoped. My favorite Final Fantasy spin-off game ever might be "Chocobo Racing" on the PS1. It's not very good, but I grew up with it, and love it to bits.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - January 30, 2012 7:13 p.m.

    My beloved Crystal Chronicles FINALLY gets some love. (The original, I never cared much for the sequels)