Final Fantasy games that deviated from the formula

When we play Final Fantasy, they expect a certain type of game. The legendary RPG franchise established and honed many tropes that other JRPGs would use for decades. However, no series lasts that long without making a few changes and shaking things up every once in a while.



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The Final Fantasy the games below all made major departures from the tried and tested formula that cemented the franchise’s legacy. For the most part, these adjustments have had a positive impact. In a few cases, however, the change polarized upon release and caused the game to age poorer than the entries before and behind it. Nevertheless, the developers are to be commended for trying new things.

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seven Final Fantasy 2

The first entry was a surprise hit and saved Square from shutting down after a series of tough times. Because Final Fantasy had yet to be established as a legendary series, the second game in the series takes a lot of liberties with its gameplay systems and feels radically different from the rest of the 2D numbered entries.

Characters do not level up and instead increase their stats by using related skills or effects in battle. It feels like a mix between Final Fantasy and Ancient Scrolls. While this is an interesting idea, it also means that players sometimes attack and heal their own party members to get stronger.

6 Final Fantasy X-2

It took ten main games for any of them to get a proper sequel. Curiously titled Final Fantasy X-2this true sequel to Final Fantasy X directly follows the events of the 2001 RPG, marking a first for the franchise.

That alone is enough to put him on the list. In addition, Final Fantasy X-2 the tone is lighter and happier than almost any other Final Fantasy. It even opens with a musical number. While the job system isn’t new, it’s interesting to see how characters change wardrobes depending on the job.


5 Final Fantasy VIII

Whereas Final Fantasy VII was a huge departure from its predecessors thanks to 3D graphics and a sci-fi aesthetic, it at least keeps the systems intact. Final Fantasy VIII retains the more futuristic tone and also adds a new way to earn abilities.

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The draw mechanic is an ability that players must use on enemies to gain new abilities and strengthen existing ones. It’s interesting, but it also lends itself to tons of grinding. Enemies also scale at the party level, so understanding the coin toss system is key to victory. The system is very time consuming, but at least with the remaster players can speed up the gameplay to streamline the process.


4 Final Fantasy XII

After almost two decades of pure turn-based gameplay, Final Fantasy 12 finally breaks with this tradition by playing the fights in real time. Players still have to wait to take action, but they are still free to move around the map, and battles take place on the world map. Random encounters are also gone.

Although it changes a lot Final Fantasy, the 12th numbered game is huge and will take between 60 and 100 hours to beat. Although this isn’t really the first time this has been done in Final Fantasythe game also lacks a proper world map, though cities and nature are still separated by load times.


3 Final Fantasy Tactics

It’s not a number game, nor is it the first time a spin-off has employed a new genre. However, Final Fantasy Tactics deserves to be mentioned both because of its difference and its popularity over the years. Many consider it better than most numbered entries.

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Yasumi Matsuno directed Tacticalwho has already made another classic turn-based strategy RPG, Ogre Tactics: Let’s Hang Together, making it a sort of spiritual sequel. The complex job system makes this a hugely rewarding progression system that encourages experimentation.


2 Final Fantasy X

Taking advantage of the increased power of the PS2, Final Fantasy X was easily one of the best looking RPGs when it was released. Not only that, but it also does away with traditional levels in favor of the spherical grid and contains no world map. Story progression proceeds in a linear fashion until the end of the game.

This helps keep players focused without sacrificing side quests and exploration. He just saves everything for last. Finally, it removes the ATB combat system used since Final Fantasy 4. Instead, players are free to take however long they want on a round without fear of enemies hitting. Party members can also swap at any time during battle.


1 Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy XI not only represents a huge departure for the franchise, it also revolutionized the MMORPG genre. It was one of the first major MMOs to come out of Japan and also one of the first to be released on a home console. He was bold in every way possible to make it a number Final Fantasy Title.

It was a huge success and is still online today, even long after Final Fantasy XIV launch. Gamers should be weary if they play it now, however, since older MMORPGs lack many modern conveniences, the genre has since been embraced almost universally.

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