While the role-playing game (RPG) has become a catch-all genre, now encompassing an almost silly range of games that don’t share much in common, there was one video game franchise in the 1980s that was the quintessential RPG. Yes, we’re talking about Final Fantasy from Square Enix.
The fantasy Japanese RPGs debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987, but they became cultural touchstones in the ’90s as Super Nintendo games. From there, the series made an incredibly successful jump to 3D on the PlayStation 1 before the mainline series started to take more risks, including the elimination of turn-based battles and massively multiplayer online game (MMO) entries, and the latest game, Final Fantasy XVI, becoming a full-on character-action game.
If you’re just getting into Final Fantasy, though, where do you start? Most Final Fantasy games are at the very least good, while many are great — and others are masterpieces which is why we decided to rank all of the best Final Fantasy games.