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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?
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.
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.