RANKING EVERY MAJOR STORY
By Matthew Byrd
They're some of the best plots in RPG (and video game) history, but which Final Fantasy story is the best of them all? Here's our ranking of the major Final Fantasy stories.
The first Final Fantasy's story was impressive for its time, but this relatively simple tale of good and evil was just a preview of what was to come.
Final Fantasy 3
Final Fantasy 3 benefits from a slightly smaller story that doesn't try to do too much, but it's ultimately one of the franchise's most forgettable tales.
Final Fantasy 2
While Final Fantasy 2's story doesn't quite hold up to modern standards, this tale of an evil empire and the rebels who opposed them was certainly ahead of its time.
Final Fantasy 5
This game deserves credit for trying to subvert and mock certain fantasy tropes but ultimately struggles to escape some of the genre's biggest cliches.
Final Fantasy 15
Essentially a giant road trip game, the best parts of Final Fantasy 15's deeply personal story are undermined by sloppy storytelling and too much lore.
Final Fantasy 13
Final Fantasy 13's story takes way too long to get going and is burdened by some unlikable characters, but it does eventually turn into something interesting.
Final Fantasy 14
This MMO's story takes a while to get going and suffers through some notable lulls, but it still manages to set an almost impossible standard for storytelling in an online RPG.
Final Fantasy 8
It's weird, it's confusing, and it doesn't always land its biggest ideas, but Final Fantasy 8's story is truly one of the boldest narratives ever told in a blockbuster game.
Final Fantasy 4
Don't be fooled by its age. Final Fantasy 4's simple story is highlighted by some all-time great characters and a few of the best moments in Final Fantasy history.
Final Fantasy 10
The most "cinematic" Final Fantasy game of its time overcomes some awkward production values with an epic tale of romance set against the apparent apocalypse.
Final Fantasy Tactics
This military-driven Final Fantasy story breaks from franchise traditions in the best ways possible. It's an almost Game of Thrones-like tale that never disappoints.
Final Fantasy 7
One of the most beloved RPGs ever made deserves all the credit it's ever received for the quality of its story. It's a truly magical adventure filled with great characters.
Final Fantasy 6
This legendary SNES RPG blew everyone away in 1994, and it still manages to impress today. Few RPG stories have ever been this ambitious and emotional.
Final Fantasy 9
The Final Fantasy franchise's return to "tradition" delivers one of the best medieval fantasy stories ever. It’s an epic narrative that’s easy to love.
Final Fantasy 12
This tale of warring kingdoms and the lives caught in the middle isn't just the most mature and emotionally complex FF story ever made; it happens to be the very best.