#6 Final Fantasy


One of the most appealing aspects of an RPG, whether video game or game board, is the promise of being pulled into a fantastic adventure within an unusual world. We’re constantly drawn to stories such Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Harry Potter, and even space fantasies like Star Wars. That classic struggle of good versus evil is something that never gets old and makes for fun gameplay in this next pick for gaming’s forgotten favorites:

#6: Final Fantasy

Technically this title may not have any business being on this countdown, seeing how the name “Final Fantasy” is far being forgotten. Since its initial release in December 1987, the series has been the bread and butter flagship of developer Square Enix. Despite there being no sign of this series ever stopping (to the chagrin of some diehard fans), the first game is largely forgotten as not only the game that set the RPG bar but also saved Square Enix. The wildly successful developer, formerly known as ‘Square,’ actually faced bankruptcy and had the resources to produce one final game before they closed their doors for good. The result was the aptly named Final Fantasy and the rest is history.

Final Fantasy takes us back to a much simpler time, when we weren’t bombarded by ultra-high-end graphics, absurd media attention, and dishonest game critics. Final Fantasy sucks you into a very brilliantly colored world in which four heroes must battle the forces of darkness by absorbing power into magical orbs that they each carry with them. Combat is “turn based,” meaning that both sides square off with each one taking turns launching their respective attacks and/or spells. Much like the tabletop RPG’s that inspired these games, whether or not an attack lands, misses, or is deflected is determined through randomization by the game’s AI. Players can interact with many of the non-playable characters (NPC’s) and actually learn some very interesting things about that particular world’s mythos.

Today, many gamers find themselves divided on whether or not Final Fantasy has lost its soul. With each new release the games became more and more ambitious in terms of the scope of storytelling and graphics. However, this has led to what some have declared a classic case of style over substance. The characters of today’s games involve the truly overdone “hero falls in love with team healer” trope and the graphics, while impressive, don’t seem to really add anything to the weight of the story. It’s all come down to a Final Fantasy online game that was rushed through production and turned out a release so broken and messy that Square Enix released an official apology.

Love it, hate it, or have no opinion on it whatsoever, Final Fantasy is one of the most enduring names in video game RPG’s. It played upon what we always did as children; we gathered our closest friends and embarked on epic adventures. The original Final Fantasy captures that old spirit and brings the player back to that timeless tale of good versus evil. Copies of the game are available on Amazon, eBay, and nostalgic game shops. Pop it in, pick up your sword, and save the land!