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Final Fantasy is one of the most important and influential video game series of all time. It is also one of the most varied. Since the first Final Fantasy on the NES, the series has experimented and evolved, often redefining the standards of an entire genre. From new settings and characters, to radically different combat systems, no two Final Fantasy titles are numbered the same. But which entry is the best Final Fantasy game?
With Final Fantasy XVI on the horizon and apparently about to change the series again, we decided to go back to the previous main line, numbered Final Fantasy games and rank our favorites. This means that no spin-offs or direct sequels like Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Final Fantasy X-2, or Final Fantasy Tactics are on this list.
Well, almost every mainline game – we’ve left Final Fantasy XI and XIV off this list because they’re long-running MMOs (yes, Final Fantasy XI is still active) that are hard to compare to their single-player counterparts. But rest assured, many of us play and enjoy both and would place them at the top of our personal Final Fantasy rankings.
For Final Fantasy games, we did rank, however, we will include recommendations on the best ways to play them on modern platforms.
And if you want to see how we rank other iconic video game series, check out our lists for the best Legend of Zelda games, the best Monster Hunter games, and the best Mario games, too.