Hironobu Sakaguchi, the series creator, didn’t have a cinematic RPG plot in mind when Final Fantasy Games first appeared in 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The idea of creating a compelling swords-and-sorcery game that could save Square — the forerunner of today’s Square Enix studio — was literally the last-ditch effort.
How quickly things have changed. After 35 years and 15 numbered Final Fantasies, Square Enix has teamed up with Disney to create crossover blockbusters like Kingdom Hearts, even as it continues to work on Final Fantasy XVI, a highly anticipated product far from its tiny NES predecessor’s obscurity.
What about those pixel-sprite characters from the first Final Fantasy? Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, a new parallel-universe take on the game that started it all, gives them a big modern-day makeover.
This time, though, hero Garland (now known as “Jack”) is all built up in full CGI magnificence, the lead character in a completely fleshed-out game tale that expands the lore canvas that the 1987 game left blank.
Where will Garland take these new Warriors of Light now that he’s ready for a long-awaited date with current-gen consoles? We’re all prepared to discover now that the game has arrived on March 15th.
But Square Enix’s reimagining of a classic Final Fantasy story got us thinking about all the other Final Fantasy games that come with wonderful storylines of their own — stories that are so good, in fact, that they ought to be seen on the big screen.
Final Fantasy has a shaky track record at the movies, despite the fact that each game currently contains more than a movie’s worth of elaborately drawn cutscenes.
Although two early-2000s films, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005), have cult followings today, they never really began a steady tradition of releasing Final Fantasy films in theatres.
However, we believe it is past time to offer the franchise a second chance at greatness, and we have five Final Fantasies to prove it. To get dressed on the red carpet, none of their RPG storylines require even a smidgeon of cosmetics.
5 New Final Fantasy Games
Final Fantasy XV
The title theme of Stand By Me is cued up as four pals — one of whom is a prince — push their busted land yacht of a supercar down a desert highway straight in the game’s opening shots, evoking the movie right from the start.
And, regardless of how you feel about how Final Fantasy XV turned out as a role-playing game, the plot is perfect: The long road trip of this macho foursome took unexpected detours into shockingly tragic human drama.
Ignis, Prompts, Gladius, and Prince Noctis: The all-male crew that centers Final Fantasy XV’s plot grows up in front of our eyes as world-sweeping events drag them out of their carefree adolescence and into adulthood at breakneck speed.
One has gone blind, another has found he isn’t even human, and a third has practically traded his life to save his friends by the end of the adventure (and the entire world, of course).
Final Fantasy XV is essentially a story about sacrificing everything — not for some lofty abstract philosophy or great ideal, but for the friend standing next to you, battling to the death to repay the favor.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Although the original Final Fantasy VII will always be a masterpiece, its broad tale ends up meandering to every far-flung corner of its vast universe. In short, even seasoned fans might easily become disoriented.
That’s where this PlayStation Portable offshoot, created for Sony’s sadly defunct portable PSP, comes in. With a prequel plot that chronicled the tragic life of SOLDIER-in-training Zack Fair as he attempts to become like his hero, Cloud Strife — and ends up obtaining more than anybody in Midgar could have bargained for, Crisis Core slimmed down the FFVII fat.
Zack follows three Shinra super soldiers down the rabbit hole as they search for their maybe supernatural, possibly extraplanetary origins…but he becomes so engrossed in the process that there’s only one way things can finish.
Final Fantasy VII was always about crushing frustration, from Aerith’s serene acceptance of being the last of an extinct ancient race to Sephiroth’s craziness in wanting to reunite with his maker.
Final Fantasy VI
That’s very much what happens about halfway through Final Fantasy VI’s tale, a game whose technical constraints on the Super NES beg for a modern-day remake.
The central premise of Final Fantasy VI is high-concept, exposing the absurdity of considering technology as a one-sided rescuer.
The main villain, Kefka, is a synthetically produced Magitek Knight, and it’s unclear how much of his world-destroying craziness is due to his experimental origins rather than his own volition.
In any case, his strangely Joker-esque court-jester demeanor, along with his disintegrating mental state, makes him one of the series’ greatest villains.
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We wouldn’t wish casting for a Final Fantasy VI film on our worst enemy (not even Kefka): The contrast between his evil craziness and main character Terra Branford’s developing self-assurance is more subtle than a simplistic good-versus-evil battle.
Both were created with the intent of being more than human, but each follows a distinct moral path as they stray further and more from an apparently predetermined fate.
Final Fantasy X
Although there are several in the Final Fantasy series, none make romance such a central plot point as Final Fantasy X.
The classic image of a hopelessly resigned Tidus and a crying Yuna embracing at a moment when their time together is about to fade into memory does the heavy lifting of a full-fledged movie poster in providing newcomers with the conceptual setting for its doomed-by-fate love story in a single glance.
FFX, like most Final Fantasy games, immerses its heroes in a grand plot of good versus evil. However, unlike many others, it mostly uses the larger struggle as a backdrop to define what really matters: Yuna’s fear of losing something — someone — she was never supposed to have.
Sending ghosts to their ultimate rest maybe her day job as a summoner, but the disappearance of the one you love for good is anything but regular.
The out-of-time love tale in Final Fantasy X is infused with a sense of acceptance of fate that contrasts sharply with the game’s beach paradise setting of Spira.
Whereas other Final Fantasies encourage their characters to take on the gods, FFX forces its heroes to fight on territory they don’t have control over.
They go ahead and accomplish it anyhow, but no Final Fantasy hero has ever suffered the bittersweet cost of victory quite like Yuna.
Final Fantasy XII
The world-on-the-move concepts of Final Fantasy XII are massive, but the real drama comes from each character’s unwavering resolve in every conflict. Even the major villain, Vayne, has legitimate reasons for wanting to take the reigns of history from the gods and place them “back in the hands of men.”
And the good guys, guided by the moral standards of sky pirate Balthier and fallen soldier Basch, are committed to doing the right thing every time…even if it means losing their dignity – or their heads.
Her decision has actual ramifications, thanks to the way FFXII vividly brings the continent-spanning world of Ivalice to life: Square Enix is unlikely to have produced another lore-verse that seems as thoroughly realized and lived-in as this one; a place where swords and armor feel perfectly natural partners to enormous airships and techno-infused magic.
All we ask of an FFXII film is that Square reunites the key creators who made it all come together, from composer Hitoshi Saki moto to Alexander O. Smith and Joseph Reeder’s English localization crew. Bringing back a voice cast that includes Gideon Emery and John DiMaggio (aka Futurama’s Bender) would also be beneficial.
Q- Is there a game that compares to Final Fantasy?
A- You should play Chrono Trigger if you want a game that is similar to Final Fantasy but better for all of these reasons. It’s no surprise that Chrono Trigger brings together the skills of Hinorobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy, and Yuji Horii, the creator of Dragon Quest.
Q- How many Final Fantasy games, including remakes, are there?
A- The Final Fantasy series now has 15 main installments, as well as dozens of spin-offs, sequels, remakes, ports, movies, and other media. Final Fantasy I was initially launched in 1987 (JP), and as Square Enix approaches its 30th anniversary, Final Fantasy XV is set to be released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Q- Which Final Fantasy is most like 7?
A- Final Fantasy 10
Q- What is the most recent Final Fantasy?
A- Final Fantasy XV
Q- Which Final Fantasy is Sephiroth in?
A- Final Fantasy VII