10 reasons Final Fantasy XII is RPG royalty

7) The birds talk
If you're a particularly observant player, you may notice that you'll come across the occasional Cockatrice - dumpy little fowl that look like angry chickens that've swallowed a giant bowling ball and get from one place to the other by rolling around. And so begins one of Final Fantasy XII's strangest side-quests: to find all such bizarre creatures strewn across the world, an endeavor that offers plenty of rewards for the hard-working, not least some odd cutscenes.

8) Fran-tasy star
You'll never expect to fall in love with Fran. Maybe you're a Penelo sort of guy, taken by her teen cutie charms, or the foxy royalty and stubbornness of Ashe. But don't fight it. Fran is a quiet weirdo to begin with, but reveals herself to be the sassiest and most alluring of FFXII's intricate ladies, a sexpot to more folk than just the furry fetishists. That luscious, tumbledown hair. Those S&M stilettos. That dusky, freaky voice. No one else looks that good with a giant bow slung across their back. Don’t fight it.

9) See it to believe it
In the few hours before reaching the Phon Coast - about halfway through the game - you might feel hemmed in by the murky Salikawood, a tree-top mini-labyrinth. And then, suddenly you enter the Phon Coast. Miles of Cliffside beach, stretching out as far as the eye can see, basking beneath a brilliant sky. If your enthusiasm was flagging any, the Phon Coast puts it smack back on track.

10) The summon creatures are just amazing
Forget you, Pikachu. This is what you need in your pocket when you go into battle - one of FFXII's strapping summons, the Espers. If you're caught in a tight spot or want to dole out unfair punishment to some standard enemies, you can call upon one of these titans to join you. Keep them alive long enough, and they'll go apocalypse-mental, a sequence that demands to be seen. The catch? You've got to defeat each Esper before you can own it. And most are hidden...