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What should be my first Final Fantasy game?


CastletonSnob

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If you're starting that far back, I'd just start with the first one.  If your looking for the more old school JRPG experience, then start with VI as it's considered the best. If you want to start more modern, start with X.  The series has really evolved over the years, so what you're looking for kind of determines the best approach.

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You’ve never played one before I’m going to guess you’ll be more picky with your playing rather than every iteration?  I started with 7.  It was pretty awesome and was a phenomenon back then. Made that franchise a monster.  3 was cool but 🤷‍♂️ it doesn’t beat out 7 for me.  FF Tactics is right up there with 7 for me.  8 gets a lot of shit but I liked it.  Loved X.  Played a lot of Blitzball. 

 

Edited by Hammerfestus
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FF4 is a good starting point.  Classic setting.  Memorable story and characters.  The start of the ATB system which was the gold star standard of combat systems for much of the series.

The SNES version is the Easy type which cuts a lot of features.  It also suffers from translation and censorship issues.  I’d go out of my way to track down the complete collection on PSP or Pixel Remaster (which is on everything.). GBA port is decent.

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FF6 for sure. Best one by a landslide, and was a massive eye-opener for me back when I first played it.
Maybe 4 or 5 if you want something more "classic", as those are still great - going back further than that is more likely to turn you off on the series though. I know FF1 has its hardcore fans, but it's definitely a different beast.

Also if you aren't already too used to JRPGs, menu based combat and/or random encounters, starting out with Chrono Trigger before any of the classic FF games might be a good idea. It's quite "FF adjacent", and at the time it really helped easing me into the genre, which I'd kinda bounced off until then. It's a fantastic game, too.

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8 hours ago, RH said:

Hear me out.

9

I could sing the praises of most FF games up through 10, but I choose 9 because the truth is, though it’s not my favorite, it is the most traditional FF game from that era and at the end of the day, it was still a 2D game, it had a deep story but it wasn’t complex and difficult to learn and the controls and mechanics weren’t super-complex.

You guys keep suggesting 6, but I can’t.  Not because it’s not good but because it has a bit more depth than I’d suggest for a starter RPG into the series, and certainly the genre. For the SNES era, I’d choose… 5.  5 definitely has both traditional experience AND job leveling but it’s not too complex to grasp as an RPG.  Of course, to me FF 4 also had a good story but was generally simpler, so you can’t go wrong with that choosing that one either but I personally prefer 5.

I hesitate to recommend my favorites.  Not because they aren’t good but if you want to get a good, core feel of what makes and FF game an FF game, go with 5 or 9.

And of course, there is nothing wrong with starting at the beginning with the original. Final Fantasy 1 is very much a quintessential Final Fantasy experience, but at this point, it’s only worth starting there if you kind of want to go the route of the historical perspective. I’m not knocking it and it’s a great game, but it’s also a product of it’s time and it definitely shows that Squaresoft had to start somewhere to gain experience on learning how to write RPGs. It was a great first start but they improved a lot after that game with subsequent sequels and other RPGs.

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For a good starter in the "classic era" of Final Fantasy, I think I'd suggest FF4. It's leagues more interesting in the story department than, say, the original game on NES but it is still pretty straightforward in its game play and the difficulty is lower, meaning it's a smoother ride as a "first experience". It also still has that classic fantasy setting with just a few weird, unique twists and isn't spoiled by tedious minigames and such.

Edited by Webhead123
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FF1 on GBA didn't get "quality of life" improvements, they totally overhauled the game, changed central mechanics, and completely removed the threat and resource management tied to delving into a dungeon.

I'm not much of a FF1 fan myself, but the people I know who are fond of it, absolutely hate the GBA and PSP remakes.

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Administrator · Posted
12 minutes ago, Sumez said:

FF1 on GBA didn't get "quality of life" improvements, they totally overhauled the game, changed central mechanics, and completely removed the threat and resource management tied to delving into a dungeon.

I'm not much of a FF1 fan myself, but the people I know who are fond of it, absolutely hate the GBA and PSP remakes.

I'm a huge FF1 fan and I love the GBA remake. You just know weirdos.  😛

But yes - compared to the OG it's far less grindy and much easier overall. That said, the OG can be made quite easy with a combination of the right party and/or grinding. Having 99 heals and a handful of tents will get you to and through most dungeons. I'm playing through the OG game for the billionth time right now actually, and having never done so before I decided to do 3x Fighter and 1x Red Mage; the party is so OP I was able to grind the "Peninsula of Power" at level 4 and got Silver swords for the whole party super quickly, enabling me to gear and level them all up way early. I destroyed the first major dungeon and the follow-up boss (Astos), and I anticipate the rest of the game being a cake walk; having to buy Heals 1 at a time sucks pretty hard though, and it'd be nice if the magic spells that don't work did.

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Editorials Team · Posted
13 hours ago, Strange said:

but I feel like you’re starting at the peak with that one.

What if he only plays one game?

If the backlog challenges have taught me one thing, it's that people overestimate what they can or will do.  Focus on the peaks, because it may be all you have time for.

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1 hour ago, Gloves said:

I'm a huge FF1 fan and I love the GBA remake. You just know weirdos.  😛

But yes - compared to the OG it's far less grindy and much easier overall. That said, the OG can be made quite easy with a combination of the right party and/or grinding. Having 99 heals and a handful of tents will get you to and through most dungeons. I'm playing through the OG game for the billionth time right now actually, and having never done so before I decided to do 3x Fighter and 1x Red Mage; the party is so OP I was able to grind the "Peninsula of Power" at level 4 and got Silver swords for the whole party super quickly, enabling me to gear and level them all up way early. I destroyed the first major dungeon and the follow-up boss (Astos), and I anticipate the rest of the game being a cake walk; having to buy Heals 1 at a time sucks pretty hard though, and it'd be nice if the magic spells that don't work did.

This has been my experience as well. There's no right or wrong way to play this game IMHO. The same people that bitch about the quality of life improvements on the GBA version will bitch about the lack of save system in SMB3, etc. 😎.

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43 minutes ago, NostalgicMachine said:

The same people that bitch about the quality of life improvements on the GBA version will bitch about the lack of save system in SMB3, etc. 😎.

Just don't call complete changes in game design and balance "quality of life improvement", that's all. That's incredibly misleading. 😛 

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5 minutes ago, Sumez said:

Just don't call complete changes in game design and balance "quality of life improvement", that's all. That's incredibly misleading. 😛 

I don't think it's misleading at all. They improved everything that would turn casual players off from the OG. Since OP is new, it's not a stretch to suggest if he's going to start with the first entry, make it the more playable of the two. Acting like a game has to be brutally difficult/needs wonky mechanics or it's not valid for some reason is hilarious to me. I say this as someone that grew up with the OG on the NES.

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3 hours ago, NostalgicMachine said:

I don't think it's misleading at all. They improved everything that would turn casual players off from the OG. Since OP is new, it's not a stretch to suggest if he's going to start with the first entry, make it the more playable of the two. Acting like a game has to be brutally difficult/needs wonky mechanics or it's not valid for some reason is hilarious to me. I say this as someone that grew up with the OG on the NES.

Whether you like the changes or not doesn't change the fact that that's not what the QOL term means.

I agree the GBA remake is definitely more welcoming to new players, but in that case, doesn't that defeat the whole "start at the beginning" argument, and wouldn't it make more sense to just play some of the later games that were actually designed around these changes in the first place, and are equally approachable to casual players?

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