Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A Guide To Playing Final Fantasy Games In Order Across All Platforms

As a big Final Fantasy fan, I wish I could tell you when my first experience with the fabled and widely celebrated JRPG series occurred. I know when I absolutely fell in love with the series – that was when I played Final Fantasy VII for the first time on the original PlayStation (much like a lot of people around my age, living in North America). Still, I know that I had exposure to the series earlier than that, but all I have to go on is a vague memory from my childhood of playing a very difficult RPG on my SNES that I rented from a local Blockbuster. I assume the game was Final Fantasy III (or Final Fantasy VI to fans across the Pacific), but my memory is so foggy I can’t be positive.

The memory has haunted me for a long time, because I know I never finished that game long ago, and as big a fan I am of Final Fantasy, I’ve actually only beaten four games in the numbered series (and one of those is a sequel): Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, and Final Fantasy X-2. Honestly, that’s a pretty pathetic list for somebody who claims to be a fan. I can easily chalk it up to my youth when a lot of the games were released (I was born in 1986), but I’ve been an adult for way too long with a steady income to have any more excuses, especially since a lot of games have been ported to other systems for North American audiences.

I then began researching what it would take to play every numbered game in the series in order. As a resident in North America, I’m well aware of the odd releases and numbering surrounding some of the games (like Final Fantasy IV released in North America as Final Fantasy II for the SNES), and I started to realize this might be very befuddling to some gamers and fans of the series. I then decided I would create a helpful guide for those who wish to play any of the Final Fantasy series without the confusion. I’ve included the actual order of the numbered games below, and what systems folks in North America can play the game on, as well as any alternate names. I hope you find this helpful.

  • Nintendo DS (NDS)
  • Smart Phone (iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
  • PlayStation Portable (PSP), via PlayStation Network
  • PC (via Steam)

  • Super Nintendo (SNES), as Final Fantasy III
  • PlayStation (PS1), as Final Fantasy Anthology
  • Game Boy Advance (GBA), as Final Fantasy VI Advance
  • PlayStation Store PS one Classic, as Final Fantasy VI
  • Smart Phone (iOS, Android)

  • PlayStation (PS1)
  • PlayStation Store PS one Classic
  • PC (via Steam)
  • PlayStation 4 (PS4), release date TBA

Final Fantasy X

  • PlayStation 2 (PS2)
  • PC
  • Xbox 360
  • Five expansions and three add-ons available

  • PlayStation 2 (PS2)

  • PC (via download and Steam)
  • PlayStation 3 (PS3)
  • PlayStation 4 (PS4)
  • Additional content released via multiple patches
  • One expansion announced for Spring 2015

There, now you North American fans of the much-loved Final Fantasy series have no more excuses when it comes to playing the numbered series in its entirety (and in order). I’m well aware that there are plenty of sequels and prequels and spin-offs of the main series games, and I have no problem with folks playing the sequels as a part of the experience. However, I believe that the original numbered games in the series are the stars of the show and that is why I’ve only included them in this list. I hope you’ve found this guide helpful, and good luck to any fans out there who plan on tackling this amazing series in order.

*I understand that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is not the original 14th game released. However, seeing as how Final Fantasy XIV Online failed and was eventually overhauled into ARR, and now that the original game servers are down, there is no legitimate way to play Final Fantasy XIV Online. Therefore, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the logical choice for the 14th game in the series. 

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