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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  • Caenlen25 - January 30, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    agree with this list. cheers.
  • garnsr - January 30, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    I never knew that Seiken Densetsu was supposed to be a spinoff of FF, I thought they just called the American Gameboy game Final Fantasy Adventure to bank on the name, like they did for Legend, instead of calling it SaGa here. I sure loved Secret of Mana, though, and FF Adventure, for that matter. Tactics is the only other game here I've played, and it was pretty good. I'd played Shining Force and Vandal Hearts before it, so I was familiar with the style, but having the FF world was nice.
  • CrKnight - January 30, 2012 3:01 p.m.

    Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is my all time favorite Final Fantasy game. As the prequel to FFVII, you see the origin of the classic characters and are introduced to a few new ones who get some great development. The story really is well done, explaining everything that didn't make sense in FFVII and creating an even greater attachment to them.
  • FlyinMachine - January 30, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    I love Tactics SOOO hard. One of my favorite games of all time! Thought Kingdom Hearts should've been number 2 or so but oh well! Great list, GR!
  • Errrrbo - January 30, 2012 3:09 p.m.

    Crisis Core? Seriously? I didn't like it that much. To each his/her own, though.
  • Ilyere - January 30, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    I love Crisis Core and Dissidia so much. =w=
  • Ilyere - January 30, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    And Kingdom Hearts. Duh. Wish they'd stop with the spin-offs though...
  • D0CCON - January 30, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    It does get odd when you have a crap ton of spin offs for your spin off series.
  • Will.E 304 - January 30, 2012 6:01 p.m.

    I remember i first got my PSP when Dissidia came out. I bought it, as well as Crisis Core and then bought FF7 on PSN. Good times...
  • slimjim441 - January 30, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    Props to Tactics, but I f*cking love Kingdom Hearts.
  • BladedFalcon - January 30, 2012 3:21 p.m.

    Tactics is first place. Good, all is as it should be. FFT is arguably even better than most core games save perhaps FFVI in my opinion. I did shake my head slightly at Crisis core though... Honestly? that game bored me to tears, didn't even finish it. Combat, exploring and side-quests are annoyingly repetitive and story's contrived and not that good. But eh... I didn't finish it, so I can't slam it down completely without knowing the ending.
  • darkrider105 - January 30, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    Gotta say that Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced was one of my most played gameboy games besides Advanced Wars. Never got to play the original :( Great list GR great list
  • MeTimeFreeTime - January 30, 2012 3:26 p.m.

    Absolutely loved the story for FF Tactics Advance on the GBA! The story was simple but the amount of depth to the characters was amazing.
  • Mezolitik - January 30, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    Crisis Core made me cry. I was a 25 year old man, drunk out of my face, crying my eyes out at a video game. I loved Sephiroth in CC. He was such a nice, friendly guy. Then, well...everybody knows the rest. Good times. I remember FF:T fondly too. I was stuck on that bastard Velius (who is now Belias, I believe) for something like three weeks. I had the game on import on the PS. I bought a PSP just to play it again.
  • Darkhawk - January 30, 2012 3:45 p.m.

    Ugh I tried FFTactics but couldn't stand it. It's sitting unplayed on my PSP. I get WHY people like it, but definitely not for me. Also, reC: goatsuckers
  • Yukichin - January 30, 2012 4 p.m.

    Er... you got Utada's name wrong. It's Hikaru, not Hikari.
  • ThatGamerDude - January 30, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    Kingdom Hearts and FFT are my two favorite from this list. Memories!
  • ssj4raditz - January 30, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    I honestly didn't know Secret of Mana was related to FF... You learn something new every day!
  • evilmajikman - January 30, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    Man, I must be the only person in the world that hates Tactics. That game was so freaking boring.
  • Triscuitable - January 30, 2012 4:58 p.m.

    You're not alone. I liked the "spinoff-off" for the iPod (and eventually, iPhone, and yes, it was on the iPod), "Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes". That game actually let you take songs you listen to constantly, and make units out of them, varied by the pitch and BPM of the song, and even genre. The more you listened to a song, the better the unit got. It really made my over-listening of "Ride the Lightning" all the more sweet.

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