The Year of Final Fantasy: Wrapping it all up.

Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary

After a full year of playing every single-player offline main title in the Final Fantasy series, in chronological order,

The challenge itself started out easy. I breezed through the first two games so quickly that I had time to do optional content in them. I even did nearly everything there was to do in Final Fantasy II, period.

Final Fantasy III was where it started getting a bit tough. The way I managed to ensure I’d finish the game (and all subsequent ones) was to find a guide on GameFAQs for it that had numbered sections to it. I would then divide the number of sections by the days in that game’s month. For example, if the guide for April’s Final Fantasy IV had 72 sections in it, I simply did 72/30 and ended up with 2.4. This end result was how many sections of the guide I’d have to get through each day at a minimum. It was this way that I was able to keep on track and finish each game on time.

I’m glad I did this challenge, too. It helped me rediscover Final Fantasy V, a game I had not enjoyed my first time to the point that I just stopped playing it. This time, I really enjoyed it, and I think part of that comes from having played Final Fantasy XI Online for so long, which adapts a similar level progression style. The story was also good as well.

Unfortunately, replaying Final Fantasy VIII did not sway my opinion on it, as I still ended up placing it at the bottom of the list, even after playing Final Fantasy XIII. On that note, I gained a better understanding and new perspective on Final Fantasy XIII, a game that was widely criticized in public and outright despised by me when I first played it.

Another prominent moment that this challenge unearthed was the dethroning of a 15-year favorite title of mine, Final Fantasy VII. While I definitely still love it, playing Final Fantasy IX was a gripping experience and I feel that, having played the previous eight immediately before it, it helped establish a new favorite in my mind. I was sad when it ended, but eager for the next game.

Which brings us to Final Fantasy X — a game that again dethroned my previous favorite. As I said in the review, I still feel that Final Fantasy IX could be seen as the best of the series. However, Final Fantasy X ended up as my favorite of the franchise. The cascade of memorable music, captivating imagery, compelling story-telling, and high-level emotions is something that is unsurpassed by previous entries, in my opinion.

Sadly, this is where the magic really ended for me. I skipped Final Fantasy XI Online for this challenge due to its MMO-structure (the same goes for Final Fantasy XIV Online), and moved right on to Final Fantasy XII. Both this game and Final Fantasy XIII were two of my bottom three games at the end of this challenge, and it’s sad that the series seems in such decline. When you look at the fact that there have now been four titles since the good ‘ol days of Final Fantasy, it’s tough to swallow. One can only hope for better in Final Fantasy XV.

Lastly, it was nice to hear the original music of each game. I had seen a Distant Worlds concert for the first time in early March, which was still towards the beginning of this challenge. Hearing the orchestrated pieces was amazing, but I didn’t recognize each as well as I do now, having heard them in their original form. In fact, playing through the games and hearing a song come up that I’d heard played was a cool experience in itself (such as the many memorable tunes from Final Fantasy VI). One of the lasting elements of this franchise will always be its amazing music.

Though I enjoyed this challenge, it was tough to pull off, and something I probably won’t try again until the 30th anniversary or so. I’m excited for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to come out, but I’m also excited to now play a bunch of other games that I’ve either skipped or are coming out in the future. I’m also eager to try out some of the Final Fantasy titles that were not part of this challenge, such as Final Fantasy Tactics, or any of the sequels.

Maybe I’ll even try Final Fantasy XIII-2. I hear it’s improved from its predecessor…


After a full year of playing every single-player offline main title in the Final Fantasy series, in chronological order,

The challenge itself started out easy. I breezed through the first two games so quickly that I had time to do optional content in them. I even did nearly everything there was to do in Final Fantasy II, period.

Final Fantasy III was where it started getting a bit tough. The way I managed to ensure I’d finish the game (and all subsequent ones) was to find a guide on GameFAQs for it that had numbered sections to it. I would then divide the number of sections by the days in that game’s month. For example, if the guide for April’s Final Fantasy IV had 72 sections in it, I simply did 72/30 and ended up with 2.4. This end result was how many sections of the guide I’d have to get through each day at a minimum. It was this way that I was able to keep on track and finish each game on time.

I’m glad I did this challenge, too. It helped me rediscover Final Fantasy V, a game I had not enjoyed my first time to the point that I just stopped playing it. This time, I really enjoyed it, and I think part of that comes from having played Final Fantasy XI Online for so long, which adapts a similar level progression style. The story was also good as well.

Unfortunately, replaying Final Fantasy VIII did not sway my opinion on it, as I still ended up placing it at the bottom of the list, even after playing Final Fantasy XIII. On that note, I gained a better understanding and new perspective on Final Fantasy XIII, a game that was widely criticized in public and outright despised by me when I first played it.

Another prominent moment that this challenge unearthed was the dethroning of a 15-year favorite title of mine, Final Fantasy VII. While I definitely still love it, playing Final Fantasy IX was a gripping experience and I feel that, having played the previous eight immediately before it, it helped establish a new favorite in my mind. I was sad when it ended, but eager for the next game.

Which brings us to Final Fantasy X — a game that again dethroned my previous favorite. As I said in the review, I still feel that Final Fantasy IX could be seen as the best of the series. However, Final Fantasy X ended up as my favorite of the franchise. The cascade of memorable music, captivating imagery, compelling story-telling, and high-level emotions is something that is unsurpassed by previous entries, in my opinion.

Sadly, this is where the magic really ended for me. I skipped Final Fantasy XI Online for this challenge due to its MMO-structure (the same goes for Final Fantasy XIV Online), and moved right on to Final Fantasy XII. Both this game and Final Fantasy XIII were two of my bottom three games at the end of this challenge, and it’s sad that the series seems in such decline. When you look at the fact that there have now been four titles since the good ‘ol days of Final Fantasy, it’s tough to swallow. One can only hope for better in Final Fantasy XV.

Lastly, it was nice to hear the original music of each game. I had seen a Distant Worlds concert for the first time in early March, which was still towards the beginning of this challenge. Hearing the orchestrated pieces was amazing, but I didn’t recognize each as well as I do now, having heard them in their original form. In fact, playing through the games and hearing a song come up that I’d heard played was a cool experience in itself (such as the many memorable tunes from Final Fantasy VI). One of the lasting elements of this franchise will always be its amazing music.

Though I enjoyed this challenge, it was tough to pull off, and something I probably won’t try again until the 30th anniversary or so. I’m excited for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to come out, but I’m also excited to now play a bunch of other games that I’ve either skipped or are coming out in the future. I’m also eager to try out some of the Final Fantasy titles that were not part of this challenge, such as Final Fantasy Tactics, or any of the sequels.

Maybe I’ll even try Final Fantasy XIII-2. I hear it’s improved from its predecessor…


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Jason L. Hubsch

Jason L. Hubsch

I love music, video games, comic books, pro wrestling, politics, and God -- and not necessarily in that order! If you like any of these, chances are we'll get along.

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