We gave you the best that Square Enix had to offer in the Final Fantasy series. Now we give you the worst the game company has created in this long-standing franchise. Check them out and you'll find we managed to save you from going through hours of torture. Seriously, we really did.
5. Final Fantasy X-2
If you want to blame one game that started the whole sequel crazy binge that Square Enix seems to be on these days, you can blame Final Fantasy X-2. It wouldn't have been so bad if we actually liked the game but unfortunately this wasn't so.
First there was the story. Ok we admit that after the events of the first game, the world of Spira couldn't stay as depressive as it used to be. That is pretty logical. However we just couldn’t abide with everything else about it. There were a lot of assets that were recycled and the nonsensical plot about ghostly lovers and death machines felt like the game was some fanfic sequel material. Throw in the story and sidequest fillers that had no point to them and you have a game that felt like one long drawn out anime.
It's not just the story either. Final Fantasy X-2 is guilty of introducing a chockfull of vapid mini-games that were pretty much pointless. Why focus on saving the world from another global threat when you could play matchmaker with horny monkeys in the Zanarkand ruins? Why even bother trying to finish the game when you could give backrubs to one of the game’s antagonists while undercover? It’s a shame that you ended up doing a lot more errand handling than fighting because the game had pretty decent fight mechanics.
Still, that couldn't really save it from this list. After all, how would you react if you paid S$50 for a Final Fantasy JRPG experience and was instead confronted by the opening sequence above? Our thoughts exactly.
4. Final Fantasy XIII
Oh my Final Fantasy XIII. Where should we start? You know the game had some pretty good starts. It was to be the flagship title of a new and improved console, the PS3. And it promised next gen graphics that would have blown our minds. The problem was, it took too damn long to create only to underwhelm and dissappoint us.
Let’s start with gameplay. Why oh why Square Enix, did you make us fans go through 30-hours of handholding combat tutorials and straight-line corridor-walking ? If we wanted that, we’d have replayed the tutorial section of Call of Duty over and over again.
And the story! With any Final Fantasy game, the story is a key element that makes the game enjoyable but in the case of Final Fantasy XIII, the plot was so convoluted, we’d need a wiki of it next to us to keep track. Let’s not get started with the annoying characters in the game.
While the last few parts of the game got better, it’s still a trying experience to put up with 30 hours of non-stop linearity, annoying characters and a convoluted plot. It’s the most divisive entry with good reason; it learns nothing from past games and focuses on improving the wrong elements.
And if that wasn’t enough, they had to make not one, but two sequels to it! Really Square Enix, you could have chosen to move on instead of milking this particular dead cow.
More after the break...
3. Final Fantasy II
What Final Fantasy VIII did right by doing things differently, Final Fantasy IIbotched by changing everything.
The changes to the turn-based combat and exploration are so bizarre, one wondered if they were intentionally made bad. How bad was it? The only efficient way to grow in power is to hit your own teammates. What sort of game makes you attack yourself to level up?
That’s not all. The main quests are way too tedious even for late 80s JRPG standards. The number of doors in the dungeons that lead to nowhere were almost endless, you really wouldn’t mind hitting your own team member, if only to end the torture. If that wasn’t bad enough, items that had only a one-time use as a plot device took up precious inventory space.
Its sole contribution to the Final Fantasy series was that it gave us all the JRPG archetypes that we've come to love or hate. However, that still isn’t enough for it to be excluded in this list of Final Fantasy fails. We do have to give Square Enix some credit though. It seems they realised their blunder and remade a better and less-broken version in the Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls collection.
2. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
Honestly, we don't really have any problems with sequels. If done correctly, sequels can really flesh out the original game and even explore new ideas and expand upon an already wide game mythos. Done badly, it'll just spoil the whole game series and leave a pretty bad taste in your mouth. Square Enix, if you've been reading so far, seems to do more of the latter then the former and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is one of the worst offenders of the lot.
Why? Ever watched a movie sequel and felt like everything in it was made to pander to the fanbase? Well, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is the game equivalent to that. It just tries to milk the past, trying to leverage on the popularity and cult status of Final Fantasy IV. It added nothing of value to the concluded story of Final Fantasy IV and its gameplay.
In fact it just repeats a lot of the classic fights and story points from the Final Fantasy IV title. The difference? It uses the previous heroes' sons and daughters to do the job. As for the plot, we'd go so far as to say "what plot"? The game was akin to ramblings scribbled on a Final Fantasy fan site message board thread. Let's not start on the dungeons as they were either rehashed out of Final Fantasy IV, or just poorly designed.
We really expected better of you Square Enix. Final Fantasy IV: The After Yearswas really, really disappointing. Especially how it felt like it was made as a blatant move to prey upon the nostalgia of Final Fantasy IV fans. Shame on you.
1. Final Fantasy: All The Bravest
The worst kind of nostalgia pandering is the one that charges you consistently for it. Final Fantasy: All The Bravest initially seems like a curious screen-tapping app where you fight waves after waves of bosses. But to even make any sort of progress beyond the first few fights, you need to pay for a multitude of micro transactions.
Potions to heal your characters, extra turns, extra characters from past Final Fantasies that can turn the tide of battle; all of these elements that are obviously part of the game's design require in-app purchases. We're talking lots of purchases if you’re planning on going through this in the long run. It’s free-to-play mechanics at its lowest and dirtiest. Did we forget to mention that purchasing characters are randomized? You might want a 16-bit version of Cloud and Squall, but you might end up with Shantoto or an Onion Knight.
If Square Enix had any respect for its audience, it might as well be honest and call it “Final Fantasy: All Your Monies Are Belong To Us”. Tarnishing our memories of a long-standing RPG with iOS “games” like this is not the way to go to gain your respect back from your fans, Square Enix.
So that rounds ups our list of the worst Final Fantasy games ever. Do you agree with us? If not feel free to rant it out and give us your list.