Final Fantasy is a series of role-playing video games that has captured the hearts of gamers for decades. With a rich storyline and engaging characters, it’s no wonder that fans are often left wondering whether they should play the games in order. While some argue that playing the games in order is essential to understanding the story, others believe that it’s not necessary. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of playing the Final Fantasy games in order and help you decide whether it’s worth it for you. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive into the world of Final Fantasy!
Final Fantasy is a series of role-playing video games developed and published by Square Enix. The series has been running for over three decades and consists of over 15 main games, as well as numerous spin-offs and side games.
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order is definitely worth it. The series has a rich and complex storyline that spans across multiple games, and playing them in order will allow you to fully appreciate the narrative and its developments. Additionally, each game in the series offers unique gameplay mechanics and experiences, so playing them all will give you a comprehensive understanding of the genre and its evolution over time.
That being said, the series can be quite time-consuming, and some of the older games may feel outdated compared to the more recent entries. However, the Final Fantasy series is widely regarded as a classic and essential gaming experience, and playing through the games in order is a great way to appreciate their impact and influence on the industry.
The Importance of Final Fantasy Game Order
The Pros of Playing the Games in Order
Improved storytelling experience
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order provides a more immersive and cohesive storytelling experience. By following the chronological order of the games, players can better understand the narrative’s progression and development, as well as the connections between different characters and storylines. This results in a more fulfilling and enjoyable storytelling experience for fans of the series.
Greater understanding of character development
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order allows players to gain a deeper understanding of the characters’ growth and development throughout the series. By experiencing the games in the order they were released, players can observe how characters change and evolve over time, as well as how their actions and decisions impact the world around them. This increased understanding of character development enhances the overall gaming experience and creates a stronger emotional connection between players and the characters they interact with.
Better appreciation for game mechanics and evolution
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order also provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the evolution of the game mechanics and systems. By experiencing the games in the order they were released, players can see how the series has progressed and evolved over time, from the simpler mechanics of the early games to the more complex systems found in later installments. This allows players to gain a better appreciation for the series’ evolution and the improvements made to the gameplay mechanics, enhancing their overall experience and understanding of the Final Fantasy series.
The Cons of Playing the Games in Order
- Potential repetition and monotony
Final Fantasy is a series known for its expansive worlds, intricate storylines, and engaging characters. However, one of the main concerns for players considering playing the games in order is the potential for repetition and monotony. With a total of fourteen mainline games, some players may find themselves becoming increasingly bored with the gameplay mechanics, story arcs, and character designs as they progress through the series.
- Time commitment
Playing all of the Final Fantasy games in order can be a significant time commitment. Each game in the series can range from 20 to 50 hours in length, with some games having multiple endings or side quests that can add even more time to the overall playthrough. This can be especially daunting for players who have other commitments, such as work or school, that take up a significant amount of their time.
- Risk of burnout or fatigue
Playing multiple Final Fantasy games in a row can also lead to burnout or fatigue. The series is known for its emotional and often tragic storylines, and players may find themselves becoming emotionally exhausted by the end of their playthrough. Additionally, the gameplay mechanics can be quite grindy, requiring players to complete repetitive tasks in order to level up or obtain rare items. This can lead to a sense of monotony or boredom, which can cause players to lose interest in the series altogether.
Deciding on the Best Order to Play Final Fantasy Games
Factors to Consider
- Personal preferences and interests: One of the primary factors to consider when deciding the order to play Final Fantasy games is personal preferences and interests. Some players may prefer a particular era of Final Fantasy games, such as the 8-bit or 16-bit era, while others may enjoy the more recent entries in the series. Additionally, players may have specific interests, such as a particular character or storyline, that may influence their decision on the order to play the games.
- Availability of time and resources: Another important factor to consider is the availability of time and resources. The Final Fantasy series is known for its epic length and complexity, with some games taking dozens of hours to complete. Players who are short on time may want to prioritize the most critical storylines or focus on the games that offer the most significant impact on the overall story. Additionally, players may need to consider the cost of purchasing or playing the games, as some titles may be exclusive to certain platforms or require additional fees.
- Familiarity with the franchise: Players who are new to the Final Fantasy series may want to consider starting with the earlier games in the series to gain a better understanding of the franchise’s history and lore. On the other hand, players who are familiar with the series may want to skip over earlier games and focus on the more recent entries that build on the established storylines. Additionally, players may want to consider the differences in gameplay mechanics and systems between the different games, as some entries in the series may be more challenging or complex than others.
Suggested Order for New Players
If you are a new player interested in playing the Final Fantasy games, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. The series has been around for decades, and there are numerous games, spin-offs, and remakes to choose from. However, if you want to experience the main storyline and the most iconic games, here is a suggested order for new players:
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy IX
- Final Fantasy X
- Final Fantasy XII
- Final Fantasy XIV (Shadow of Mhach)
- Final Fantasy XV
- Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy XIV (Heavensward)
- Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
This order is based on the chronological order of the main storyline, with some exceptions to avoid confusing storylines and continuity errors. The games in this order are considered the most essential and iconic in the series, offering a mix of classic gameplay mechanics, memorable characters, and epic storytelling.
Considered by many to be the best game in the series, Final Fantasy VII is a classic JRPG that follows the story of Cloud Strife, a former soldier turned mercenary, as he joins a group of eco-terrorists to stop a megacorporation from destroying the planet. The game features memorable characters, an engaging storyline, and innovative gameplay mechanics, including the iconic limit break system.
A prequel to Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX follows the story of Zidane, a thief who kidnaps Princess Garnet and sets off on a quest to save the world from a dark prophecy. The game features a lighthearted storyline, memorable characters, and a unique gameplay mechanic that allows players to switch between party members in real-time.
The first game in the series to use 3D graphics, Final Fantasy X follows the story of Tidus, a blitzball player who becomes embroiled in a war between two nations. The game features a mature storyline, memorable characters, and innovative gameplay mechanics, including the unique battle system that allows players to summon powerful creatures known as Aeons.
A departure from the traditional JRPG formula, Final Fantasy XII features an open-world environment and a unique gambit system that allows players to customize their party’s abilities. The game follows the story of Vaan, a young man who dreams of becoming a sky pirate, and Ashe, a princess who seeks to reclaim her throne.
The first MMORPG in the series, Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the world of Eorzea, where players can explore, complete quests, and engage in battle with other players. The Shadow of Mhach expansion introduces new storylines, characters, and gameplay mechanics, including the iconic mounts and the powerful Bahamut.
A road trip adventure game, Final Fantasy XV follows the story of Noctis, a prince who sets out on a journey to reclaim his kingdom from an evil empire. The game features an engaging storyline, memorable characters, and a unique battle system that allows players to use a variety of weapons and magic spells.
A polarizing entry in the series, Final Fantasy XIII follows the story of Lightning, a soldier who sets out to save her sister from an evil organization. The game features a unique battle system that focuses on executing a series of button presses to perform powerful attacks, as well as memorable characters and an engaging storyline.
The second expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, Heavensward introduces new storylines, characters, and gameplay mechanics, including the powerful dragon mounts and the
The Advantages of Playing the Final Fantasy Games in Order
Improved Narrative Experience
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order can greatly enhance your overall narrative experience. Here are some ways in which playing the games in sequence can improve your understanding and appreciation of the story:
Greater context for events and characters
By playing the games in the order they were released, you gain a greater understanding of the context in which events and characters exist. For example, playing Final Fantasy I before Final Fantasy II allows you to appreciate how the first game’s characters and storylines are carried over and developed in the second game. Similarly, playing Final Fantasy X before Final Fantasy X-2 gives you a better understanding of the characters and their motivations, making the sequel more satisfying and meaningful.
Deeper understanding of the world and lore
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order also provides a deeper understanding of the world and lore that is central to the series. Each game in the series builds on the one before it, expanding the universe and adding new layers of complexity to its mythology. By playing the games in sequence, you can better follow the evolution of the world and its various factions, as well as the development of key plot points and themes.
Enhanced appreciation for the storytelling
Finally, playing the Final Fantasy games in order can enhance your appreciation for the series’ storytelling. Each game in the series has its own unique narrative style and storytelling techniques, and playing them in sequence allows you to appreciate how these elements are used to create a cohesive and engaging story arc. Additionally, by experiencing the series’ storytelling evolution over time, you can better appreciate the innovations and advancements made by each new game in the series.
Increased Emotional Investment
More meaningful relationships with characters
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order allows players to develop more meaningful relationships with the characters. By experiencing their journeys from the beginning, players witness the growth and development of each character, making their interactions and interactions with the story more impactful. Players can empathize with the characters and understand their motivations, making the experience more immersive and enjoyable.
Stronger attachment to the story
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order also creates a stronger attachment to the story. Players are able to see the overarching narrative unfold from the beginning, which gives them a greater understanding of the world and its history. This knowledge makes the story more engaging and helps players understand the significance of each event. As a result, players become more invested in the story and are more likely to be emotionally affected by the plot twists and character arcs.
Greater satisfaction from seeing character arcs unfold
Finally, playing the Final Fantasy games in order provides a greater sense of satisfaction from seeing character arcs unfold. Players can see how each character’s journey progresses and how their actions affect the story. This creates a sense of investment in the characters and their stories, making the experience more rewarding. By seeing the full progression of each character’s arc, players are able to appreciate the complexity and depth of the story, which enhances their overall experience.
Enhanced Game Mechanics and Evolution
- Understanding the progression of gameplay mechanics
Final Fantasy is a series that has evolved significantly over the years, with each installment introducing new gameplay mechanics and refining existing ones. Playing the games in order allows players to appreciate the evolution of the franchise and how the mechanics have improved over time. This includes aspects such as combat systems, magic and summons, and party management.
- Recognizing the impact of technological advancements
Final Fantasy has always been known for its stunning visuals and soundtracks, and playing the games in order allows players to recognize the impact of technological advancements on the series. From the early 2D sprites to the current-gen 3D models, players can appreciate the significant leap in graphics and animations, which has contributed to the immersive experience.
- Appreciating the evolution of the franchise
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order also allows players to appreciate the evolution of the franchise as a whole. The series has explored various themes and storylines, with each game offering a unique experience. By playing the games in order, players can follow the story arcs and character development, which adds depth to the overall experience.
Additionally, playing the games in order allows players to see how the series has evolved in terms of storytelling, character development, and world-building. The franchise has a rich lore, and playing the games in order helps players to understand the intricate connections between the different games and storylines. This allows players to appreciate the depth and complexity of the Final Fantasy universe, making the experience more rewarding.
The Disadvantages of Playing the Final Fantasy Games in Order
Repetition and Monotony
Potential for gameplay redundancy
One of the main concerns when playing the Final Fantasy games in order is the potential for gameplay redundancy. Many of the games in the series share similar mechanics and gameplay elements, which can lead to a sense of repetition and monotony. This is particularly true for the early games in the series, which lack the innovative gameplay mechanics and unique features of the later titles. As a result, players may find themselves growing bored with the gameplay, even if the story remains engaging.
Repetitive story elements
Another potential issue with playing the Final Fantasy games in order is the repetitive story elements. While each game in the series has its own unique story and characters, there are certain themes and plot points that repeat throughout the series. For example, many of the games feature a group of heroes fighting against an evil force, with a central character who must confront their own personal demons. While these story elements can be compelling, they can also become repetitive and predictable, especially for players who have played multiple Final Fantasy games.
Risk of becoming too formulaic
Finally, there is a risk that playing the Final Fantasy games in order could lead to the series becoming too formulaic. While each game in the series has its own unique elements, there are certain conventions that are common across the series. For example, many of the games feature a party of characters, with each character having their own unique abilities and strengths. Additionally, many of the games feature a turn-based battle system, with players using various spells and abilities to defeat enemies. While these conventions can be enjoyable, they can also make the series feel predictable and formulaic, particularly for players who have played multiple Final Fantasy games.
Playing the Final Fantasy games in order can be a significant time commitment. This can be a daunting prospect for many players, especially those with busy schedules or other responsibilities.
Significant investment of time
The Final Fantasy series is known for its lengthy and complex storylines, with some games clocking in at over 60 hours of gameplay. Playing through the entire series in order can take dozens of hours, and even more if the player wishes to complete all side quests and optional content.
Difficulty in balancing with other activities
Given the time commitment required to play through the Final Fantasy series in order, it can be difficult for players to balance this with other activities in their lives. Work, school, family obligations, and social life can all compete for a player’s time, making it challenging to find the time to dedicate to playing the games.
Risk of neglecting other responsibilities
Playing through the Final Fantasy series in order can be so engrossing that players may find themselves neglecting other responsibilities in their lives. This can include work, school, or family obligations, which can have serious consequences if left unattended. It is important for players to weigh the benefits of playing the games against the potential risks of neglecting other areas of their lives.
Risk of Burnout or Fatigue
- Overexposure to the franchise: One of the main risks of playing the Final Fantasy games in order is the potential for overexposure to the franchise. This can lead to a feeling of familiarity and repetition, which can make the experience less enjoyable over time.
- Potential for diminishing returns: Another risk of playing the Final Fantasy games in order is the potential for diminishing returns. As players progress through the series, they may find that later games offer less in terms of innovation and excitement than the earlier games. This can lead to a feeling of disappointment and disillusionment with the series.
- Risk of losing interest or passion for the series: Finally, playing the Final Fantasy games in order can also pose a risk of losing interest or passion for the series. This can happen if players become tired of the same storylines, characters, and gameplay mechanics appearing in each game. Additionally, the sheer length and complexity of some of the later games in the series can make it difficult for players to maintain their interest and enthusiasm.
Balancing the Pros and Cons
While playing the Final Fantasy games in order has its advantages, it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision. This section will discuss the pros and cons of playing the games in order to help you make an informed decision based on your personal preferences and circumstances.
Pros of Playing the Games in Order
- Improved storytelling experience: Playing the games in order allows you to follow the chronological timeline of events, providing a more cohesive and immersive storytelling experience.
- Familiarity with characters and world: Starting with the first game and progressing through the series in order will enable you to become more familiar with the recurring characters and the lore of the Final Fantasy universe.
- Contextual understanding: Playing the games in order helps you understand the context of each game’s story, characters, and themes, as well as the influence of previous titles on subsequent releases.
Potential Drawbacks of Playing the Games in Order
- Time commitment: The Final Fantasy series consists of numerous games, and playing them all in order can be a significant time commitment. This may not be feasible for everyone, especially if you have other responsibilities or prefer to play games at a more leisurely pace.
- Potential for burnout: Playing multiple games in a row, especially if you are focusing on a specific series, can lead to burnout or fatigue. Taking breaks between games or playing other titles in between Final Fantasy releases can help alleviate this issue.
- Limited replay value: Once you have completed the Final Fantasy series in order, you may find that there is limited replay value, as you may not wish to re-experience the storylines or characters again.
Making an Informed Decision
To make an informed decision about whether playing the Final Fantasy games in order is worth it, consider the following factors:
- Available time: Assess how much time you have available for gaming and whether you can commit to playing multiple games in a row.
- Personal preferences: Reflect on your preferences for storytelling, characters, and gameplay mechanics. If you enjoy immersive narratives and exploring complex worlds, playing the games in order may be a great choice.
- Other commitments: Consider any other responsibilities or interests you have that may conflict with a prolonged gaming session.
By weighing the pros and cons and considering your personal circumstances, you can make an informed decision about whether playing the Final Fantasy games in order is worth it for you.
- Suggested order for new players: If you are a new player and are unsure where to start, a popular recommendation is to begin with Final Fantasy VII, followed by Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, and Final Fantasy XII. These games are considered some of the best in the series and provide a good introduction to the world of Final Fantasy.
- Importance of personal preferences and interests: While there is a suggested order, it is important to remember that every player’s experience with Final Fantasy should be tailored to their own preferences and interests. Some players may prefer a more linear storyline, while others may enjoy a more open-world experience. Some may prefer turn-based combat, while others may enjoy a more action-based system. The beauty of the Final Fantasy franchise is that there is something for everyone.
- Encouragement to explore the franchise at one’s own pace: Playing the Final Fantasy games in order can be a daunting task, especially for those who have never played a single-player RPG before. It is important to remember that there is no rush to complete all the games in a specific order. Players should take their time to explore each game and enjoy the experience. The world of Final Fantasy is vast and full of surprises, so there is always something new to discover, even for veteran players.
1. What is the Final Fantasy series?
The Final Fantasy series is a collection of role-playing video games developed and published by Square Enix. The first game was released in 1987, and since then, the series has grown to include over 15 mainline games, as well as numerous spin-offs and remakes.
2. What is the storyline of the Final Fantasy series?
The storyline of the Final Fantasy series is complex and spans multiple games, with each game having its own unique story and characters. However, there are some overarching themes and plot points that connect the games, such as the struggle between good and evil, the importance of friendship and loyalty, and the power of magic.
3. Should I play the Final Fantasy games in order?
While it is not necessary to play the Final Fantasy games in order, doing so can provide a more cohesive and fulfilling experience. Each game in the series builds on the one before it, with later games referencing events and characters from earlier games. Additionally, playing the games in order will allow you to follow the story and character development of key characters throughout the series.
4. How many Final Fantasy games are there?
There are over 15 mainline Final Fantasy games, with the most recent being Final Fantasy XV, which was released in 2016. In addition to the mainline games, there are also numerous spin-offs and remakes, such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, which was released in 2020.
5. Are the Final Fantasy games connected?
Yes, the Final Fantasy games are connected, with each game building on the one before it and referencing events and characters from earlier games. However, each game also has its own unique story and characters, and new players can still enjoy the games even if they have not played any of the previous ones.
6. How long does it take to complete a Final Fantasy game?
The length of time it takes to complete a Final Fantasy game varies depending on the game and the player’s playstyle. Some games can be completed in under 20 hours, while others can take over 100 hours to finish. Additionally, some games have multiple endings, which can add to the overall length of the game.
7. Can I play a Final Fantasy game without having played any of the others?
Yes, it is possible to play a Final Fantasy game without having played any of the others. Each game in the series has its own unique story and characters, and new players can still enjoy the games even if they have not played any of the previous ones. However, playing the games in order can provide a more cohesive and fulfilling experience.