Final Fantasy was the first in a series currrently featuring numerous to grace our shelves. Gamers flocked to buy a game that would either make or break Squaresoft. Square's gamble had paid off, and they rose up to be one of the most prominant game developers in Japan, and soon the world. Pushing the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) to it's limits, Square had created a classic.
After the overwhelming success of Final Fantasy I, Square proceeded to make a sequel. At the time this second installment only ever saw the light of day in Japan, but was released on the Playstation as part of FFOrigins in 2003. It followed where Final Fantasy I in regards to graphics, gameplay and sound, but launched the gamer into a whole new world and another enthralling story.
Final Fantasy 3 was the third in the series to the Japanese, but was never not released internationally. Pushing the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) further than ever before, Square delivered another cracker of a game. This was the last Final Fantasy to appear on the NES and by now Square had the strongohld over the RPG market.
1991 was the year of the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and also of Final Fantasy 4. Taking full advantage of the capacity of the new console Square were able to produce a stunning game. This was also released in America but as Final Fantasy 2 (It was the second FF in the US at the time). The US version also had several modifications to the story line.
Until 1999, Final Fantasy V was only ever seen in Japan, where yet again fans came in their droves to get a taste of Square's latest offering. Final Fantasy V is supposedly the darkest of the series, and involves some unexpected twists in the story. Fans later complained that these twists did not make the game as enjoyable as the others, but on the whole it was still an excellent game.
This was seen as the game that launched Square into a dominant position in the international market. This game marked an end with Square's partnership with Nintendo, something which Nintendo will rue to this day. This was the second Final Fantasy to be released simultaneously in the US as well as Japan (the first being FFIV) and pushed the SNES into uncharted territory.
Final Fantasy 7 has somewhat of a cult following, and deservedly so. This was Square's first foray into the world of CD-ROM gaming and was made for the newly released 32-bit Playstation. This was a huge contrast from the old 2Mb cartridges, and Square took up a staggering 3 CDs (approx 1.9Gb) with Final Fantasy VII.
Advent Children is Square-Enix's second attempt to make a movie, the first being The Spirits Within and resulting in massive losses for the company. AC charts events two years after the occurance of Final Fantasy VII and uses state-of-the-art CGI to give a realistic appearance. The voice-actors were also adequately chosen and convey the characters well.
Square-Enix continue to expand their user base with another title in the Final Fantasy VII compilation. Before Crisis is exclusively for mobile phones and additional chapters can be downloaded when released. Before Crisis follows the lives of The Turks 6 years before the events of Final Fantasy 7 and focuses on their rise to power.
The first Final Fantasy outing on the PSP. Crisis Core continues Square-Enix's new direction into Action-RPGs and focuses on Zack during the pre-FF7 years and the events leading up to his demise. The game's storyline takes the player from the war with the Wutai to the events at Nibelheim, and right up to the time just before the Final Fantasy VII beginning
Dirge of Cerberus is the fourth installment in the Final Fantasy 7 compilation and focuses solely on Vincent. Square-Enix is seen branching out from the traditional RPG genre again and giving us a Final Fantasy that is in essence a third-person shooter. It chronicles Vincent going through significant events in his life.
Final Fantasy 8 had a lot to live up to as it's predecessor was the mighty Final Fantasy 7, and while liked amongst fans, there was a sense of disappointment among the few who were expecting it to better FF7. Spanning 4 disks and depicting an enthralling tale, it still make its way into the hearts and hands of FF-fans worldwide.
Square-Enix marked the end of their Playstation releases with Final Fantasy 9, a tale of three warring nations on Gaia. This game was an instant hit and was emotionally appealing to gamers as well as being engaging and featuring an effective and easy to grasp game-system. Popular opinion was that this marked an improvement over Final Fantasy 8 but however the gameplay was considerably shorter.
Final Fantasy 10 was a breakthrough for the Final Fantasy series. One qualm about the games was that the characters had no in-game voices, however FF10 rectified this. As the first Final Fantasy on the Playstation 2, FF10 sported was graphically amazing, as well has having a great game-system in the Sphere Grid.
The first true sequel to an Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy 10-2 picks up from where Final Fantasy 10 left off and follows Yuna, Rikku and now Paine around Spira on their journey. Loved my some and hated by others, FFX-2 boasts a wealth of innovative systems, most prominantly the Dress-Sphere, transforming your character into any class you choose.
Final Fantasy 11 is the result of Square-Enix's combination of the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) genre with a Final Fantasy world. Costing roughly £8.99 ($12.50) a month it gave fans a cheap option to enter an emmersive and engaging world, one that is still going strong today.
Final Fantasy 12 is set in a word where the empire of Archadia is conquering surrounding kingdoms, with the land of Rozarria close to waging an endless war against it with the kingdom of Dalmasca caught in the middle. However, by chance, a Dalmascan orphan named Vaan is caught up in the adventure as he and his band of allies join the Princess Ashe in reclaiming her birthright and rally against the tyranny of the Archadian Empire.
Final Fantasy 13 is the first Final Fantasy to be truly cross platform, featuring on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. it focuses on the world of Pulse which is split into two distinct classes with the higher classed people living in the floating city of Cocoon.
Final Fantasy 14 is the second MMORPG to be released by Square Enix and is set in the world of Eorzea. This game features many innovations and drastic changes to previous Final Fantasies and to the MMORPG genre in general having ridden itself of experience-based level gain and real-time battling.