Best Final Fantasy Games Worth Playing
Table of Contents
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is a game that takes the best of the Dissidia franchise and the old school Final Fantasy games. It’s mechanics mix flawlessly and gives a really good mixture of the two styles.
This list is going to go over the best Final Fantasy games similar to Opera Omnia that play similarly, possibly inspired the style, or are overall just great Final Fantasy games that deserve recognition.
Spoilers ahead, obviously.
10. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (PSP)
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core is a PSP game released in September 2007. It’s the prequel game to Final Fantasy 7 taking place several years before the events of the main game.
Crisis Core follows the story of Zack Fair, a 1st Class SOLDIER who is kind of the reason the events of Final Fantasy 7 happen in the first place. He’s a SOLDIER that works alongside Angeal and even Sephiroth later on in the game.
The whole story of Crisis Core is meant to expand upon the “5 years ago” Story that Cloud tells the group in Kalm during the first disc of FF7. That entire segment is a massive section of Crisis Core’s story as well.
To big fans of Final Fantasy 7, this game fills in a lot of plot holes and explains some of the lore aspects of the FF7 universe. It also introduces some of the more interesting characters of the series(Zack, Genesis). And shows the beginnings of main characters from FF7, showing who they were in depth before the events of the main game. (Like Aerith before she became a living plot device).
The story of the game is worth going through to understand the missing pieces within FF7. It’s also nice to see Zack’s story expanded instead of being a one-off character in a late game optional cutscene who is entirely responsible for Cloud’s story, motive, and character development.
The gameplay of Crisis Core sets itself apart from the traditional Final Fantasy games. It’s more Action RPG like Kingdom Hearts style instead of the usual turn-based RPG.
You have all the usual tools at your disposal you have in FF7. Materia and all, but realistically you’ll probably run around and smack stuff with your Buster Sword because it’s just fun.
There is also a roulette mechanic that is based on characters you meet in the story. And by winning at the roulette you’ll get special effects that happen during the fight, it’s kind of Crisis Core’s version of Limit Breaks.
The mechanics are pretty simple and a lot like Kingdom Hearts in term of it being semi-open world while still following a pretty linear path. There are side quests, a lot of optional things you can do, and like all Final Fantasy games, there are mini-games. (Looking at you squats).
Overall, Crisis Core does great things for the FF7 universe in terms of story and lore. Its gameplay is fun and for the time pretty innovative.
Graphics and Music
The presentation of Crisis Core is done very well, especially for being on the PSP. Its graphics are what you’d expect from a PSP game and it really pushed the hardware with it’s pre-rendered cutscenes.
It had its issues in some spots, mostly some frame rate issues but again it was on a portable device. But it looked good for its time and it’s aged pretty well.
The music, however, like most Final Fantasy games is a general masterpiece. The games main composer Takeharu Ishimoto is responsible for the original music while a lot of the remixed tracks from Final Fantasy 7 belong to the legend, Nobuo Uematsu. (You’re gonna hear that name a lot on this list).
Some of the best and most underrated songs come from Crisis Core. It’s best and most famous being The Price of Freedom. The song that plays in Zack’s final stand at the end of the game.
The game’s presentation is very good for a PSP game and the music is what really makes it feel like a Final Fantasy game.
Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core is an all around great game even if it wasn’t connected to Final Fantasy 7. The combat style and story are great and engaging.
It came out a year before the first Final Fantasy Dissidia and I like to think that it had an influence on Dissidia and how it’s play style evolved into the arena fighter style it is.
9. Final Fantasy 6 (NES)
Final Fantasy 6 was released in April 1994. It’s widely known as one of the best Final Fantasy games of all time rivaling some of the top favorites among the franchise.
Final Fantasy 6 follows the main character Terra through an incredible story with a colorful cast of characters. She is a magic user which is the main focus of this game and making her a main focus of the games main story.
The game has one of the better stories out of the Final Fantasy franchise but what really makes it memorable is this games, bad guy. Kefka Palazzo is one of the greatest villains of the Final Fantasy series.
His design is menacing, his personality is chaotic, and out of every Final Fantasy, he is one of only a very few who actually achieve their end goal and destroy the entire world. He truly is one of the greatest FF villains out there.
Aside from its great villain and cast the game plays very much like the previous Final Fantasy entries. Its main function is the magic system mostly.
Only two characters start off knowing how to use magic where all the others can learn as the game goes on. The Esper’s in this game is also highly important, they’re the summons in Final Fantasy 6.
The mechanics are pretty much the same as previous Final Fantasy games. Being the most similar to Final Fantasy 4 or the original Final Fantasy.
Graphics and Music
Final Fantasy 6 was the most advanced looking for its time. Having great sprite art and making good use of it during world travel and the battle system.
There isn’t really much to say about the overall look of the game. But the music, it was done by Nobuo Uematsu and that really should be enough.
Final Fantasy 6 has one of the best soundtracks in the franchise and it’s honestly sad how few people have actually played this game. For the music alone it’s worth a playthrough but that’s just coming from a music lover’s standpoint.
Final Fantasy 6 is a gem among the series and deserves the title as one of the best. Anyone who is a fan and hasn’t played this game needs to fix it immediately.
Even if you play the remakes that were made for the iOS/Android and also ported to Steam. It is a game worth your time and should be played at least once by every fan.
8. Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age (PS4)
Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is the remake of the original PS2 version of the game. It is far superior to the original having a better look, updated mechanics, and just generally running better as a game.
Final Fantasy 12 is an interesting one for many different reasons. One of the earliest ones is how it goes about telling its own story.
You are introduced to Ashe, a princess in the story who is by all rights the main character of the story. However, you spend half the game playing as someone else entirely.
Vaan is the male protagonist you spend most of your time with while the story itself seems to focus on Ashe. So it’s kind of strange how the game decides to tell the story of one character while making you play another but it’s an interesting way to go about it.
What’s really interesting about the game is its battle system. It is very hit or miss depending on who you are because it’s nothing like any other Final Fantasy before it.
FF12 uses a sort of real-time action style of gameplay very similar to some MMO’s out there (Final Fantasy 14 is a great example of this). It was a big difference from the franchises usual battle system and it turned a lot of people off from playing this game.
You could move around the map while you were in battle, target different monsters, and use full-on tactical means of battle. It had a kind fo auto attack feel to where you would choose your target and let the character attack while inputting what magic or other commands you wanted them to use.
It really set FF12 apart from the rest of the series and whether that was a good or bad thing doesn’t really matter. The game tried something unique and it paid off in the long run.
Graphics and Music
Final Fantasy 12 was a great looking game on the PS2 and it’s even better on the PS4. Being completely redone all the models and textures look way better than they used to.
The presentation feels like the old school version of the game while coming off as fresh and new. The music also follows this theme having a completely remastered soundtrack as well.
Not nearly being as memorable as some of the other soundtracks from Final Fantasy games but still a good one none the less.
It’s a different game than Final Fantasy fans are used to. There are some definite gripes to be had and it has its issues regarding the battle system.
However, it’s still worth playing if you’re a Final Fantasy fan. I definitely feel like the way targetting is done in this game had an influence on future games and how they went about it.
7. Dissidia 012
Final Fantasy Dissidia 012 was released in March 2011 as the sequel to the first Dissidia game. It was a step up in the Dissidia series having better controls, smoother gameplay, and some new characters added to the roster.
Dissidia 012 pretty much picks up where Dissidia left off in the story. Cosmos and Chaos are still battling each other and some new characters are called into the war to help turn the tide.
You still have all your classics from the first game. A hero and a villain from each final fantasy that was out during this games release.
But the added characters were the ones that everyone plays this game for. Tifa, Kain, and Lightning mostly.
Dissidia 012 fixed better everything that was wrong with Dissidia. A lot of the clunky combat issues were fixed in this game, target tracking is much better, and the game itself runs a lot better than the first one as well.
It came out towards the end of the PSP’s lifespan so a lot of people haven’t actually played 012 before and that’s a shame. Between the two PSP version, it is definitely the superior one because it’s literally just the first Dissidia with some updates and new characters.
Graphics and Music
The presentation of 012 is one of the best parts of it. The entire focus of the game is having dream battles between your favorite Final Fantasy characters and they all look pretty good.
Taking them each to different locations across the Final Fantasy universe, the maps being one of the best parts of this game. And the music is comprised of some original tracks while mostly being remixes of songs from each Final Fantasy.
Dissidia 012 is a joy to play through. It fixes the problems that were in Dissidia but it doesn’t quite match the level that Dissidia NT has. But we’re going to talk about that a bit later.
Note: Check out the mobile game Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia.
6. Final Fantasy 13 (PS3)
Final Fantasy 13 was released December 2009 and it came with a lot of controversies when it first came out. There is a major split in this game between FF fans you either love this game or you hate it. I’ve rarely seen a neutral opinion on this one.
Final Fantasy 13 follows the story of Lightning and her group who become creatures known as l’cie, beings with specific purposes they have to fulfill or risk being turned into crystals. You spend the majority of the game figuring out what the group’s purpose is and making your way through the story to reach it.
The story itself isn’t bad though there is a lot of gripe about character development. A lot of people complain that the characters aren’t written very well and that can be argued in some ways.
The biggest issue FF13 has is the fact that it’s almost completely linear from start to finish. It’s like you’re walking in a hallway the entire game.
You’re going forward to the door at the end of the hallway that leads to the next chapter or back the way you came. You rarely get to free roam in this game and that was a huge turn off to a lot of fans.
It’s kind of like a rail shooter RPG. You’re on a set path for most of the game just kind of following where it leads you and when you get the rare chance to roam around and explore it is for a very short period.
Now, the world mechanics and characters are where the biggest issues seem to come in. However, the battle system is amazing in this game.
It’s beautiful first off, just watching this game is pleasing to the eye. But the way the battle system works is like old school Final Fantasy but with a bit of a twist.
Characters have specific roles they can switch to mid-fight that change the way they act and what abilities they can use. And you can level up these different roles specifically very similar to FFX’s sphere grid.
So what FF13 lacks in the presentation for the world and story itself it definitely makes up for with the actual combat gameplay. But that isn’t enough for a lot of fans to really give this one a chance.
Graphics and Music
The graphics in this game are really good. It was released on the PS3 and a lot of times games of that generation were very hit or miss. This one was a hit.
There is a lot to like about the way this game looks. Each area is unique and stands out in its own way and kind of makes you forget about the whole hallway aspect of the game.
And like most all Final Fantasy games the music is breathtaking. It might be the best part of this game entirely but that is also something that can be argued.
Final Fantasy 13 is a good game for all intents and purposes. It definitely has its problems with the way the story is told and it’s characters, but it’s still worth playing.
It got 2 direct sequels, FF13-2 and Lightning Returns. And both of those games actually improve on FF13’s problems immensely. (Especially Lightning Returns, that’s just a unique fun ride anyone should try at least once).
5. Final Fantasy 7 (PS1)
Final Fantasy 7 was released January 1997. This is the big one that almost every single Final Fantasy game praises with absolutely no flaws and proudly declares it the best Final Fantasy game ever.
Pretty much anyone who’s played a Final Fantasy game has played FF7. There is not a lot of people out there who are fans of the franchise and haven’t touched this game.
There are so many good things about it from the battle system to how massive the world is. But there are also a lot of bad things like certain parts of the story, the way it looks, it’s villain. (Yeah I’m gonna be laying into Sephiroth so be ready).
Let’s start with the good. Final Fantasy 7 has one of the best combat mechanics in the entire franchise and that is Materia.
Being able to collect and equip different Materia to any character completely changes the way you can play it. Want Cloud to be your white mage? Give him Cure and Heal. Want Aerith to be your tank? Give her a bunch of HP ups and defensive materia.
You can essentially build each character in any way you want and that kind of freedom hadn’t been seen before this game. The Materia mechanics alone brings people back to this game to this day just because it’s so much fun.
Next is the open world of FF7. It really is big spanning over 3 discs to tell the story and travel the different continents each with their own locations.
Not only is the open world big, but each place in the world is just as big. Midgar is pretty massive, Golden Saucer is pretty massive, and we’re not even gonna get into the Northern Crater and Forgotten City.
Now we’re gonna talk about the story. There are two major things about the story that is important for anyone to note about this game.
The first is that it is complex and kind of hard to understand but once you figure it out it is really compelling and just overall engaging. The story itself is told strangely but it is a good story at its core.
That second thing is Sephiroth and boy do we have a lot to talk about when it comes to him but I’m gonna narrow it down. Sephiroth is probably the weakest part of the story in FF7. (Yeah I said it).
Design wise he is an amazing character. His look is awesome, his battle animations look great (For their time) and his abilities are memorable.
What’s bad about him is the role he plays in the game’s story. You’re lead to believe that Sephiroth is this big power threat that is just looming overhead the entire game.
Every time he shows up he wipes the floor with anyone and he’s beyond powerful. And yeah, that is all true but you never actually encounter Sephiroth until the very last area of the game.
Through the entire game, the only Sephiroth you see is a fake that is basically just him projecting through pieces of JENOVA. And this kind of thing really takes away any threat from Sephiroth being a villain.
And yeah, a lot of people will argue that Sephiroth’s motive is a little lackluster and I could pick at that all day. The main fact is, design-wise he’s an awesome villain but what he actually brings to the story is very little.
Hojo is a better villain than Sephiroth. Heck, he’s kind of the reason most of the story happens to begin with so I would venture to say he is the main villain of the game.
But to the point, the story of this game is hard to understand but it is a good one. The gameplay is by far the best part of it there is no arguing that.
Graphics and Music
So, just gonna come out and say it. This game looks horrible and it’s 100% because of hardware limitation for the era it was released. Just gonna get in front of that one right now.
The original game has these really blocky lego looking characters that just really take you out of the experience. But back then it was amazing because it was new hardware so for its time there was no issue. It didn’t age well.
However, the HD Remasters do make it look a lot better. There are still blocky lego people but they are polished and cleaned up and are just better to look at.
As for the music, this was one of Nobuo Uematsu’s best works in Final Fantasy. On top of FF7 being praised as one of the best RPG’s of all time, it also gets a lot of love for its soundtrack.
Almost every song is memorable and really puts you in the mindset of what’s happening in the story. It’s one of his best works and really helps the feel of the game’s story.
I could go on about Final Fantasy 7 all day. Literally, there are a lot of points I could make on this game that could fill an entire top 10 by itself.
This is an important game and it needs to be played by Final Fantasy fans. Every Final Fantasy that came after only exists because FF7 was such a major success.
4. Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP)
Dissidia Final Fantasy was released in December 2008. This was the game that kicked off the arena fighter Final Fantasy series and it was a pretty big hit when it first came out.
Dissidia Final Fantasy follows the story of a war between Cosmos and Chaos. Two god-like forces that bring together teams of champions to fight against each other.
The story is very “Good Vs. Evil” and there really isn’t a big spectacular point about it. Dissidia was all about the gameplay and it really delivered on it.
It’s an arena fighter that pits the heroes of Final Fantasy against the villains. The concept was brilliant and it worked very well.
The controls for the game could be a little clunky at times but it was released on the PSP. For the hardware it had, it did a lot of good things.
The best thing about this game is being able to put your favorite characters against each other. Have Squall fight Sephiroth, or play as Kefka and beat down Garland. It really is like a Final Fantasy toy box with a bunch of action figures.
Graphics and Music
For a PSP game, the graphics of this game were very good. Even now, the game actually aged pretty well for what it looked like during its time.
They were improved a little bit in Dissidia 012 but both games ran on the same engine so there wasn’t a massive difference. The music, just like 012, is great and like a love letter to fans.
Full of original pieces for Dissidia but also a lot of tracks that are remixed from other Final Fantasy games. It really is a treat.
Dissidia Final Fantasy kicked off the arena fighter series and it was great. Dissidia NT and Opera Omnia exist because of this game so it deserves props for that.
3. Final Fantasy Tactics (PS1)
Final Fantasy Tactics was released in June 1997 and started the theme of the Tactics strategy style Final Fantasy games. FFT is the first of many Tactics games that have come out in the series and each of them is as good as the last.
FFT was a great game when it was released and still holds up today. The story of it is unique compared to anything we’ve seen in mainline Final Fantasy games.
It takes a real emphasis on the characters in the story making a point for each of them to be relatable and understandable in their motives. And within the story, it has the game does a very good job.
What really draws people to FFT is the gameplay. It’s a grid-based strategy game where you have a team of units that you move across the grid in certain movement blocks.
You can attack other units if you’re close enough, use special attacks, and so much more. The game really required a sort of thought and strategy that was starting to become popular in the late 90s and it probably did it the best way.
Graphics and Music
The art style of FFT is great the whole game has their very charming almost hand-drawn looking style that just really stands out. It looked great for its time and it still does.
And much like every other Final Fantasy out there, the music is superb. Composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata, the two did an amazing job with how this game’s music sounds.
FFT was one of the better strategy games of its era and since then has spawned a list of Tactics style games. I highly suggest everyone play this game and when you’re done go play Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced because it’s just as good.
2.Final Fantasy X (PS2)
Final Fantasy X was released July 2001 for the PS2 and was a massive success on its release. This was the first mainline Final Fantasy game released on next-gen consoles and it set the bar for future Final Fantasy’s.
The story of Final Fantasy follows Tidus, a blitz ball star from Zanarkand who is pulled from his home by a massive beast known as Sin. He’s dropped into a world called Spira where he ends up on an island meeting the games another protagonist, Yuna.
Final Fantasy X has one of the better stories among all of the FF series. It’s deep, it has a lot going on, and there are some pretty heavy twists late in the story.
And it was the first voice-acted Final Fantasy, and that really made a difference for the overall effect of the story. But where the game really shined was the battle system.
A lot of fans would agree that Final Fantasy X perfected the series turn-based combat and that it has been done as good since. It really was some of the best they’d ever done.
The mechanics were all the same as most turn-based RPG’s but there were a few tweaks made. Like turn order, for instance, was extremely important in X.
You could see whose turns were coming up and that gave you time to plan out your moves and figure out who to have to do what when. It added a whole new dimension to the usual style and it really showed.
Graphics and Music
For the PS2, Final Fantasy X looked great. It has a stunning world with so many different areas and environments almost no two areas look the same.
The game has a great immersive feel and atmosphere that really pulls you into the world. And the music is 80% responsible for this.
Final Fantasy X has one of the great soundtracks in FF history. So much so that it’s most popular track, To Zanarkand, is so well known that even people who haven’t played the game know where the song is from.
Final Fantasy X is a great game and it does have its issues with character pacing and some other areas. But overall, it’s one of the best FF games to ever be released.
Even with it’s HD Remaster on the PS4 and Steam, it looks just as good and plays exactly the same. For anyone who hasn’t played this I highly recommend fixing that.
1. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (PS4)
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT was released initially in November 2015 but received a western release in early 2018. This is the big daddy of the Dissidia franchise and the reason that Opera Omnia exists at all.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is everything that the previous Dissidia games were. They are almost entirely the exact same game just on a console, way better graphics, and one major gameplay difference that is either a good or a bad thing depending on who you are.
The story of NT is pretty much the same as Dissidia and 012. The only real difference is some of the characters replacing Cosmos and Chaos with a few plot point changes.
All the matches are completely team based. In previous Dissidia games, you would choose characters for 1 on 1 fights whereas in NT you’re working with 3 characters every fight.
You can really make your dream team of Final Fantasy characters through 3 different spots on your team. And each character has their own role that plays into what they’ll be good at in a fight.
The team aspect adds a sort of strategy to the game by having to come up with good team dynamics that work for each player. But not everyone is a big fan of the 3v3 aspect and that’s understandable.
Graphics and Music
The graphics in this game are astounding. It’s for the PS4 so it looks amazing and really lets you see how a lot of these characters were imagined when they were first released.
Being able to see characters like Kefka, Cloud of Darkness, Warrior of Light, and so many others who started off as nothing but tiny sprite art. Now tuned into full HD 3D Models with personality is a real jarring sight and it’s incredible.
And the music is done the best way in Dissidia NT. You have access to several tracks from every single Final Fantasy game included in NT.
You can buy them in the story with points gotten from battles in the game. This allows you to buy and play whatever tracks you like the best.
And there are even the remixed tracks for NT like the other Dissidia’s have. And the remixes are fantastic just a real big nostalgia trip mixed with a new fresh feel.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is the best Dissidia we’ve gotten so far. The gameplay is smooth, the graphics are amazing, and even the story is pretty neat.
This is the game you absolutely have to play if you’re a fan of Dissidia Opera Omnia. It’s not only responsible for that game even being made but it’s just the best version of Dissidia we’ve ever gotten and deserves the recognition.