Although we're now coming up on the 16th Final Fantasy game, fans who've played 'em all are hungry for other games like Final Fantasy to keep them occupied until the next big entry. And as we've done with a lot of popular franchises, we've asked one of our resident experts on the franchise to come up with a list of games sure to satisfy.
It's a little harder to define "games like FInal Fantasy," as the 34 year-old-franchise has produced a lot of different games with varying styles, gameplay mechanics, and storylines. For that reason, this list includes games spanning several generations, platforms, and studios. That way, whether you think the Final Fantasy 6 defines the series or Final Fantasy 10, you'll probably find at least one game like Final Fantasy here that suits your tastes.
Players love Final Fantasy for the sprawling stories the franchise tells and the memorable characters and music. If you want a game that’s like Final Fantasy for all these reasons but better, you need to play Chrono Trigger. No surprise, since Chrono Trigger combines the talents of Final Fantasy creator Hinorobu Sakaguchi and Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii (more on that one later). Frequently named one of the best video games of all time, the idea of offering a time travel storyline and thus multiple endings was revolutionary for 1995, combined with the now well-known JRPG themes like friendship and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds that make Final Fantasy so epic.
Available on PC, iOS, Android
Kingdom Hearts 3
As collaboration between Disney and Square Enix, combining Final Fantasy aesthetics and characters with various Disney franchises, Kingdom Hearts can’t be forgotten on this list. While the action combat is its very own thing, you can recognise elements of Final Fantasy characters in protagonist Sora and his friends. That’s because they share a designer in Tetsuya Normura. Some Final Fantasy characters even have cameos in the Kingdom Hearts series. What really makes Kingdom Hearts 3 into something similar to Final Fantasy however, is the story. Some may say that’s because it makes no sense at all, others just get the same feeling from it – Sora is fiercely protective of his friends and would literally go to the edge of the universe to not only save them, but all of existence from darkness.
Available on PS4, Xbox One
Dragon Quest 11
If you play a Dragon Quest, make it the best one. Dragon Quest 11 is in many ways part of the era that Final Fantasy has mostly left behind by now – turn-based combat, bright colours and a slightly medieval feel to its art and story, featuring knights of legend, and a war between countries in each instalment of the long-running franchise. If you’re looking into something you can sink over 80 hours into in the way you did in Final Fantasy, surrounding yourself with a large cast of lovable characters and going on a quest to save a colourful world, you get all of that here (but funnier).
Available on PS4, PC, Switch (as Definitive Editions Dragon Quest XI S)
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
Final Fantasy tends to run on surly player characters. (Let’s forget about Vahn and Tidus. Please.) They’re the kind of people who pretend to not care for a very long time, but who still eventually become the unwilling hero of the people. Vesperia’s Yuri Lowell is such a guy, a dry-witted grump with a big heart. You’ll love following him around the world of Terca Lumireis, and once you’re done there are many other Tales games with their very own story to discover. In another similarity to Final Fantasy, each Tales entry tries something new with the franchise, to varying degrees of success.
Available on PS4, PC, Xbox One, Switch
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
If you enjoy open-world style JRPGs, Xenoblade Chronicles does that admittedly even better than late adopter Final Fantasy XV, as the world of Alrest is simply a treat to explore. Fear not, you don’t have to have played the first Xenoblade Chronicles to start with this one, and should you want to, a remaster of the original Wii U game will land this year. Xenoblade Chronicles is another one of those JRPGs with an epic story that’s at times equal parts impressive and just that bit too much. It features the classic villain hellbent on destroying the world, but of course the game is actually way more intricate than that.
Available on Switch
After leaving Square Enix, Final fantasy creator Hinorobu Sakaguchi formed his own company called Mistwalker to be able to try new things. This one is Mistwalker at its best, but arguably most traditional - using a turn-based battle system, emulating the cool, grown-up look of characters from Final Fantasy games like 8 and 10, and a setting combining the medieval with the first inklings of technological advance. The story is equally as heart-warming as Final fantasy often is, but overall less convoluted.
Available on Xbox One via backwards compatibility (you’ll need the original Xbox 360 disc)
Secret of Mana
The Mana series is another of Square’s early franchises that made it synonymous with great RPGs. The story of Secret of Mana remains immensely engaging, the music is lovely, the world is large. Just do yourself a favour and play the original as part of the Mana collection and not the 2018 remaster.
Available on PS4 (Remastered), Switch (original)
I Am Setsuna
I am Setsuna was developed by Tokyo RPG Factory specifically to bring back the feeling of those early influential Square Enix titles. Specifically, Setsuna uses the oft-seen Active Time Battle (ATB) system, tells an earnest story and gradually introduces you to the party of characters who aid you on your journey. This is a top choice for those looking for games like Final Fantasy.
Available on PS4, PC, Switch
The Last Remnant
This is Final Fantasy with large-scale battles where you control unions. This features one of the few worlds that features a similar variety of races, as well as the mix of European and Asian influences as Final Fantasy. Developed by Final Fantasy alumni, right down to the soundtrack, this game would’ve done much better if it didn’t look so drab. With the remastered version out since 2018, this is the best time to give it a try.
Available on PS4, Switch, Android, iOS
Resonance of Fate
Games like Final Fantasy don't have to feature turn-based combat. If you’re looking for variety and, let’s be honest, a challenge, try Resonance of Fate’s ‘acrobatic gun-based combat’. Apart from that this game features a small but lovable group of protagonists who are just a s stylish as your Final Fantasy favourites. The story is as over the top as the combat, which is likely why this is more of a hidden gem.
Available on PS4, PC