Top 12 "Final Fantasy" Games: Ranked Worst to Best

Updated on December 9, 2019
Richard Paul profile image

Richard enjoys writing about anything that interests him, which is mostly video games. He is particularly interested in "Final Fantasy."

This list counts down the best "Final Fantasy" games.
This list counts down the best "Final Fantasy" games. | Source

This article includes twelve mainline and offline Final Fantasy (FF) games—from I all the way up to XIII. (As they are online games, XI and XIV were excluded from review). Has my opinion on these games changed over the years? A little bit. But generally, I still feel the same about my decisions.


To clarify which games I'm reviewing, here are the guidelines:

  1. Each game must be a "mainline" Final Fantasy, i.e., a numbered entry in the series. FF Tactics and FF Type–0, for example, do not qualify here. Games such as FF Legend II (which was actually a SaGa game, but that's a story for another time) also do not qualify.

  2. Sequel games to specific titles are not listed. X–2 and Lightning Returns: FF XIII do not qualify. Prequel games such as Crisis Core: FF VII do not qualify, either.
  3. This list only considers single-player games. XI and XIV are both online only and are not considered here.
  4. As of writing this, XV has yet to be developed. If you're reading this in a time that it has since been released, please note that I hadn't played it yet.

We shall now start with the 12th best game of those that are eligible.


"Playable on" refers only to international releases of the game. Japanese-only releases are not listed. Virtual Console and PS Store rereleases are also not included—chances are (though not guaranteed) that NES/SNES titles are available on Nintendo's eShop for the Wii (but not the Wii U), and some are available on the PSN.

12. Final Fantasy II

This game was the first to develop its playable characters and have a complex plot. Unfortunately, the game has a very counter-intuitive battle system and features that can cause frustration. It's the only one on this list that I do not enjoy.

Playable on: PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, PSP, Mobile (all of which are the remade version)

11. Final Fantasy IV

This is one beloved by many, many people . . . but it is one of my least favorite mainline FF games. The reasons for this are: the gameplay is very basic and there is no option for customization. (Subsequently, there is no replayability, something later ports and remakes try desperately to amend.) The plot, while it was considered revolutionary and groundbreaking at the time, is very cliche nowadays. So no, I don't think Kain betraying the party time and time again holds up decades later, sorry.

Playable on: SNES, PlayStation, GBA, PSP (original or updated 2D version), DS, Mobile, Steam (3D version)

10. Final Fantasy

The original title is a pretty decent game overall—with a basic but serviceable job system and decent, though somewhat dated, combat. However, the game's plot is both lacking and ridiculous, and there are times where it feels like the game can be a chore to grind through.

Playable on: NES (original), PlayStation, GBA, PSP, Mobile (2D remade version)

9. Final Fantasy XIII

This game derailed the series. It's unfair to lump what's happened to the series since XIII's release, including the two sequels to XIII, to the quality of this game by itself. The gameplay set itself up to make you want to auto-battle everything, and the plot leaves a lot to be desired. But overall, the positive features make the game more enjoyable than the three above it. That's right, I'm saying that I enjoy XIII more than IV. It's more so IV's problems than anything XIII does well, mind you.

Playable on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Steam

Of these twelve, which is your favorite "Final Fantasy"?

See results

8. Final Fantasy III

The biggest barrier preventing this classic from being enjoyed by more people is its difficulty, both in the NES and 3D versions. It also doesn't help that the game hadn't been localized for over 15 years after its release and only its 3D version can be played overseas.

Playable on: DS, PSP, Mobile, Steam (mobile port)

7. Final Fantasy VIII

This game is really hit or miss with most people—it's known to be quite controversial. I enjoy playing through the game from time to time, but the game's plot twists are fairly awful and the game's junction system seems tedious to some but easily breakable to veterans of the game.

Playable on: PlayStation, PC (both Steam and non-Steam)

6. Final Fantasy XII

The game can get pretty boring at times, and the extremely dry plot doesn't help a single shred with that. Those willing to invest in the gameplay, though, will find a rich and hopefully rewarding MMORPG experience. If you're able, try playing the Zodiac Job System version of the game (though it's not available in all regions).

5. Final Fantasy VII

While I believe IV is the big game for nostalgia-goggle people, VII was, undoubtedly, the first FF for many. Even with its dated 3D graphics, time-consuming animations, and somewhat convoluted plot, lots of people still love this game—myself included. Still, I have a feeling not nearly as many people like the VII remake.

Playable on: PlayStation, PC (both Steam and non-Steam)

4. Final Fantasy IX

This game is basically a love letter to fans of the older games. It has a good leveling system and a pretty decent plot. The only things holding this game back are its nearly unbearable loading times, odd card minigame, and how the plot kind of derails near the end.

Playable on: PlayStation, PC via Steam

3. Final Fantasy X

The cutscenes are unbearable. That's pretty much the game's biggest flaw . . . that and its linearity. From a gameplay perspective, though, the battles are among the best in the series and the game's soundtrack is nearly unmatched. It forged a new path for the series.

Playable on: PlayStation 2 (original), PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita (HD Remaster)

Final Fantasy V Japanese Boxart
Final Fantasy V Japanese Boxart | Source

2. Final Fantasy V

Not a lot of people are fans of V, but then again, not many people have played V. The original SNES game was never localized, and the PlayStation version was localized poorly. The GBA version remedies that problem, but the audio is bad. The mobile version remedies that problem, but that version's sprites look terrible. Even so, with its lighthearted story and deep job system, V is a game that deserves more love.

Playable on: PlayStation, GBA, Mobile, PC via Steam (mobile port)

1. Final Fantasy VI

With a massive cast of 14 playable characters, a major plot twist, and a leveling system, there is a fair amount of customization available. A lot of people consider VI to be their favorite title of the series, and looking at how the game presents itself, it's fairly clear why they do. It's one of the best games of its era, and one of the best FF games in the series.

Playable on: SNES, PlayStation, GBA, Mobile, PC via Steam (mobile port)

"Final Fantasy" Logo
"Final Fantasy" Logo

Your Fantasy Awaits

The Final Fantasy series tells an epic tale of good vs evil. While each title includes different gameplay and graphics, the heart of the series remains the same. Which of these 12 games is your favorite? Is there another title that you think should have made the cut? Let me know in the comments below!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • AlexisG profile image


      2 years ago

      Oh cutscenes of Final Fantasy X. When I replayed it as part of the HD remaster, I remembered how painful (and simplistic) some of the dialogue is. Despite that, it's still my favorite game in the series. I also probably make up a minority of Final Fantasy fans who really enjoyed FFII. Really, I loved the battle system!

    • profile image

      Tom Irwin 

      3 years ago

      Not bad. I mostly agree with your ratings, though FF12 (either version) was a real chore.

      I know your scope was strictly limited to the main series titles sans sequels, but FF4's Kane's constant betrayal is actually, imho, redeemed by his storyline in FF4: The After Years. He goes to the shrine for overcoming one's darkness and his darkness goes on a rampage. *Delightful*

      The rest of that game was lamentably crap though...


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)