How to Play Every Mainline Final Fantasy Game

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise is one of the most recognizable in gaming history. From its iconic turn-based strategy to the active time battle (ATB) systems it pioneered, the game series has dominated RPGs for decades. With the Final Fantasy Remake in full swing and Final Fantasy XVI just around the corner you might be interested in delving into some of the other titles in the series. The series is 29 years old, which means its games have been released on a plethora of different consoles, so finding a way to play them can be tricky. Luckily, there are relatively easy methods of playing every game in the franchise.

Final Fantasy (1987)

The first Final Fantasy game was released in 1987 in Japan on the NES and is known as the one that started it all. It also received a United States release in 1990. The game was also released on the PSP and can be found on the NES Classic and as a mobile game on iOS and Android. It’s worth noting that it was released in conjunction with Final Fantasy II for the Gameboy Advance as Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls as well.

Final Fantasy II (1988)

The second entry in the Final Fantasy series deviated slightly from its predecessor and is known as the worst Final Fantasy game. That said, it is still worth playing, just maybe not the one to start off with. It was originally released on the NES but also received a PSP and PlayStation One release. If you are really into gaming on the go, it is available as a mobile game as well.

Final Fantasy III (1990)

Final Fantasy III was released on the NES, but also received rereleases on the Nintendo DS and the PSP. It can be downloaded on Steam as well as on your mobile device.

Final Fantasy IV (1991)

This was the first game to be released in the West as well as Japan – though it was known as Final Fantasy II in the United states. The game came out on the SNES originally and is known as the game that introduced the ATB system. It received rereleases on the PSP, Nintendo DS, and Gameboy Advance. Like its predecessors, it can also be found on iOS and Android.

Final Fantasy V (1992)

This game is often skipped over because it wasn’t released in the United States, but is well worth playing. It was released on the Super Famicom and later received a rerelease on the Gameboy Advance. Of course, you can also play it on mobile if you so choose.

Final Fantasy VI (1994)

Final Fantasy VI is often in contention for the best Final Fantasy game of all time. It certainly was the pinnacle of the SNES era RPGs, though it faces stiff competition from other entries into the series. It can be played on the SNES, PSP, Nintendo DS, Gameboy Advance, and mobile.

Final Fantasy VII (1997)

This is the one that really moved the Final Fantasy franchise into prominence in the west. It’s nostalgia. It’s great gameplay. It was the first of three PlayStation One greats, but can also be played on the PS4, Steam, mobile, and on Switch. I recently played through the game on Switch, which was amazing to be able to do in handheld mode. The newer releases also have some quality of life improvements such as 3X speed and no encounters. Be careful not to get too under leveled though if you choose to speed through the game without random battles!

Final Fantasy VIII (1999)

The second PlayStation One game is one which many gamers have a love/hate relationship with. It was a departure from the traditional style but if you played all the way through had an outstanding story. You can find it nowadays on the PS4, PC, mobile, and Switch with all the same quality of life improvements as FFVII.

Final Fantasy IX (2000)

Considered a return to the basics, Final Fantasy IX was the last of the OG PlayStation era. You can no longer customize your party with any job (Sorry to those of you who made Cloud your healer), but the game exceled and is considered by many to be the best in the franchise. You can also play it on PS4, PC, mobile, and Switch with significant quality of life improvements.

Final Fantasy X (2001)

The tenth instalment in the series brought Final Fantasy to the PlayStation 2. It was innovative and spawned a sequel, Final Fantasy X-2. It can be played on PS4, PC, mobile, and Switch.

Final Fantasy XI (2002)

Changing up the formula, Final Fantasy XI was the franchise’s first attempt at an MMORPG. While it was terrible to begin with, the game rose in prominence after a huge DLC expansion. The server is still active and there is a dedicated fanbase so if you’re interested there is still a lot of enjoyment to be had from this one, though the only place to play it nowadays is on PC. Rumor has it Square Enix has a surprise up its sleeve for the game’s 10th anniversary next year as well…

Final Fantasy XII (2006)

Final Fantasy XII was released on the PlayStation 2 and additionally received a port on Switch. The game was relatively successful and yielded a sequel on the Nintendo DS, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.

Final Fantasy XIII (2009)

This was the first, and only, main series game to be released on the PlayStation 3, which happens to be the only place other than PC to play it. The game was followed by two sequels on the console which were each less well received than the previous. In my opinion if you like Final Fantasy you’ll enjoy them all, just probably not where you want to start.

Final Fantasy XIV (2010)

This was Square Enix’s second attempt at creating an MMORPG and it has been wildly successful. You can play it on PC and it continuously receives updates and DLC. In fact, Square Enix is expected to announce more information about the newest update in its first Square Enix Presents.

Final Fantasy XV (2016)

Final Fantasy XV was the first game to implement a truly open world. It can be played on PlayStation 4 and PC. There is also a micro version of the game available for mobile and Switch. You can sink hours and hours into the vast swaths of content and side missions here, it’s worth checking out for any fan of the series.

Final Fantasy XVI (2022?)

At long last. Square Enix announced last fall that they would be producing Final Fantasy XVI for PlayStation 5, but didn’t give a release date, which has led people to believe it will be sometime in 2022. It will be a PlayStation exclusive, but perhaps we will see it come to other systems later on.

If you’re a longtime fan of the series or someone just joining the adventure, all of these games can be played relatively easily and provide hours upon hours of battles and quests. Let us know which Final Fantasy game you’re playing (or plan to play) in the comments and which system you’re playing it on!

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