The Final Fantasy series is synonymous with role-playing games. The average player can't hold a conversation about the genre without mentioning Square's flagship franchise. Since the 1980s, Final Fantasy has been the face of RPGs and has set the standards of the genre. We're taking a brief look at the battle systems of each individual game in the series just to remember the countless hours we dedicated again and again. This Visual History of Final Fantasy Battles should resonate with RPG fans everywhere and should inspire us to continue looking forward as we wait for the 15th entry of the series. While Final Fantasy's recent titles may not have captivated us as much as their predecessors, we have our chocobo saddles ready for whatever adventures Square Enix might throw our way. Don't hold L and R to run away, because we're looking at a Visual History of Final Fantasy Battles.
Final Fantasy 1
NES - 1987
Embarking on the first adventure in this Visual History of Final Fantasy Battles, the original title shocked the world and defined role-playing games for generations to come.
Final Fantasy 2
Famicom - 1988
Unfortunately, we were never introduced to FF2 until it was released in the PlayStation's Final Fantasy Origins bundle. It abandoned experience-based levels and opted to increase player stats through their actions (attacking would raise a specific weapon skill, losing HP would eventually increase the maximum HP, etc).
Final Fantasy 3
Famicom - 1990
Switching back over to the experience point/leveling system, Final Fantasy 3 introduced switching jobs (character classes) and summoning magic.
Final Fantasy 4
SNES - 1991
The first Final Fantasy for the SNES reflected the strength of Nintendo's new system and redefined the RPG experience. While it was ported in the States as Final Fantasy 2, it reminded us that being a "spoony bard" is undesirable.
Final Fantasy 5
Super Famicom - 1992
Vastly building on FF3's job system, Final Fantasy 5 was much more oriented on the player's individual journey, offering a vast array of classes for your characters to become.
Final Fantasy 6
SNES - 1994
Arguably the best of the series, Final Fantasy 6 reflected growth and an amazing, interactive combat system. From fighting in Magitek Armor to Gau's list of mimicing monsters, Sabin's Blitz techniques and Cyan's sword techniques, FF6's battle system is just one of many aspects as to why we consider this title one of the greatest RPGs Ever.
Final Fantasy 7
PlayStation - 1997
What is there to say about Final Fantasy 7 that hasn't been said already? It is the evolution of the RPG and added in a cinematic experience atop an original and unforgettable story. We'll never forget being wide-eyed each time we saw a new summon or Limit Break for the first time.
Final Fantasy 8
PlayStation - 1999
Not all of us were fans of the Guardian Force/Junction system (powerful spells boost your stats? OK! using those spells drop your stats until you draw more? OK!). We remember drawing magic for hours on end just to make sure all three characters would accumulate 100 stacks of every new spell we would come across, and to maximize the stats attached to each spell.
Final Fantasy 9
PlayStation - 2000
Final Fantasy 9 uncomplicated things and brought things back to a system that worked as a combination of FF6 and 7's systems. Unlike FF8, its characters each played significantly different from one another, which would always force you to balance your squad.
Final Fantasy 10
PlayStation 2 - 2001
We'll never forgive Square-Enix for Wakka's lameness or the elimination of the world map (we can't directly control airships anymore!). But the combat system of this entry on our Visual History of Final Fantasy Battles broke boundaries. In particular, FF10 broke the series' infamous, numerical damage cap (9,999 HP).
Final Fantasy 11
PlayStation 2 & PC - 2002
Sure, you were forced into partying with others if you wanted to progress, but FF11 set many MMORPG standards which still exist to this date.
Final Fantasy 12
PlayStation 2 - 2006
Vaan might be the worst protagonist in Final Fantasy history (that's including Mystic Quest!), but FF12's combat system was just as annoying. Random encounters were gone and enemies were visible on the field, but all the lines beaming from enemy to character and character to enemy just to indicate who was targeting who seemed extremely excessive.
Final Fantasy 13
PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 - 2009
Fanal Fantasy 13 tried to kick things into high gear by completely abandoning the traditional turn-by-turn command system of the other parts of the series. Instead, Paradigm Shifts allowed players to instantly automatically switch player job roles of the entire party according to the situation (weak enemies: all three players continuously attack, bosses: one player heals, one player buffs the party/debuffs the boss, one player attacks, etc.).
Final Fantasy 14
PlayStation 3 & PC - 2010
The original version of Final Fantasy 14 will probably go down in history as one of the worst MMORPGs of all time, especially for being such a horrible game that bore the Final Fantasy title. The original version was so bad, we had to put a picture Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn just so we can try to act like the original never happened.
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn
PlayStation 3 & PC - 2013
We decided to throw in a second picture of A Realm Reborn. Why? This Visual History of Final Fantasy Battles wouldn't be complete without referring to the hardest fight Final Fantasy 14 has to offer: logging on.
Final Fantasy 15
PlayStation 4 & Xbox One - TBA
We are very curious as to how Final Fantasy 15 will turn out. From the videos we saw, the action is very over-the-top and draws inspiration from Kingdom Hearts (which is very ironic). Huge behemoths, hiding from gunfire, teleportation, and a giant Leviathan looming above the city are all signs that Final Fantasy 15 will captivate us no matter how different it may be.
next: 10 best final fantasy characters