[[caption-width-right:350: [[ArtifactTitle Not being final]] since 1987!]]

->"''I don't think I have what it takes to make a good action game. I think I'm better at telling a story.''"
-->-- '''Hironobu Sakaguchi''', before the creation of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI''

::''(For the first game in the series, please see VideoGame/FinalFantasyI.)''

The pride and joy of Creator/SquareEnix (formerly Squaresoft), ''Final Fantasy'' is a [[RunningGag hand-abradingly popular]] RolePlayingGame series, currently on its fourteenth iteration alongside multiple sequels, spinoffs, remakes and films.

The series is highly regarded for its outstanding production values and gameplay, and for being a pioneer in the EasternRPG genre. Many of the conventions of {{Eastern RPG}}s that didn't originate in the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' line originated with the ''Final Fantasy'' series, which in turn was influenced by ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'' and other Western computer {{role playing game}}s. Even to this day, each new ''Final Fantasy'' game attempts to evolve the genre with new gameplay innovations or approaches, and although [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks this can be divisive to the fanbase]], credit is generally given to their attempts to at least ''try'' something different in the heavily-stagnant and conservative EasternRPG genre.

The series was fairly obscure on Western shores for a long time until its popularity exploded with the release of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', which exposed most people to the EasternRPG genre for the first time and is widely regarded as one of the best {{Role Playing Game}}s of all time. Since then, ''Final Fantasy'' is widely considered as the pioneer of the EasternRPG franchise in the west, held to such a regard that the English localizations are now developed concurrently with the original production.

Tracking the early parts of the ''Final Fantasy'' series can be confusing, as only three of the first six games made it to North America, where the numbers were changed so that the US releases were consecutive numbers. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' was released in America as ''Final Fantasy II'', while ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' was released as ''Final Fantasy III''. The confusion doesn't end there, as four games were [[DolledUpInstallment given the name "Final Fantasy" to increase sales]] in North America: the first three games of the ''VideoGame/MakaiToshiSaGa'' series (released as ''Final Fantasy Legend'' (1-3)) and the first installment in the ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' series (released as ''Final Fantasy Adventure''). ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' broke this trend and was released as "VII" everywhere, and from that point on, every release, including remakes, would bear the original numbering.

This series was also one of the first Japanese games made by someone other than Creator/{{Namco}} or Creator/{{Nintendo}} to reach US shores and see a successful market. Later Japanese games would [[FollowTheLeader see this potential and come onto the scene]]. One equally popular series that saw this potential would eventually be ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'', Enix's flagship franchise. The other is ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'', {{Atlus}}' flagship franchise. Before the Square Enix merger, these franchises have been competing against each other since the NES days; currently, SMT and ''Final Fantasy'' are direct competitors in both markets, while ''Dragon Quest'' has taken a much quieter role outside of Japan, despite remaining king in its home country.

While the series stuck firmly to a policy of one-game-per-number for a long time, in more recent times the franchise has opened up to the idea of sequels and compilations. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' was the first to get a direct sequel, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' was the first to get a whole trilogy, and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' was the first to have a compilation of games set in the [[TheVerse same universe]], known as the IvaliceAlliance.

!!The ''Final Fantasy'' series consists of:


[[folder:Main Series]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Final Fantasy|I}}'': A miasma is sweeping the world. The wind stops, the sea is wild, the earth begins to rot, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking fire's been acting pretty sketchy]], too. It's up to four warriors to rekindle the Crystals that control the elements. But the story contains more surprises than the opening crawl would have one think.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII''[[note]]not to be confused with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', which was originally released in North America as ''Final Fantasy II''[[/note]]: A spoilt Emperor has made a pact with Hell, swarming the world with demonic troops. It's up to a ragtag resistance movement to slow the Empire's progress - stopping the Emperor may prove impossible. Rather than pick warrior classes at the outset, players gradually mold their characters' skills through use of spells and weapons, which is novel. Clubbing yourself with a sword increases HP, which is also novel (or comical). Introduced the concept of [[GuestStarPartyMember guest characters]] joining the party, including the series' very first Dragoon.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' [[note]]not to be confused with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', which was originally released in North America as ''Final Fantasy III''[[/note]]: Four youths are tapped by a mysterious crystal to restore balance to the elements. Took a page from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' by implementing the job system - allowing characters to switch jobs at will - and threw players a curveball with its expanding [[OverworldNotToScale overworld]]. (Though an airship is found early on, upgrades are required to float over [[ChokepointGeography mountains and other nuisances]].) Easily [[NintendoHard the most sadistic]] game in the series.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'': ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/ANewHope'', except from Darth Vader's perspective. When Cecil, the man in charge of TheEmpire's flying battalion of doom, grows weary of harassing innocent people, his paranoid King fires him. Big mistake. FFIV had the most gripping storyline in the series thus far, with a massive rotating cast, multiple overworlds ( la III), and an overarching theme of redemption.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'': The elements are wreaking havoc (again), the King of Tycoon has gone missing, and it somehow all ties into an asteroid which crashed just outside the castle, narrowly missing a young wanderer named Bartz. Zounds! The job system makes another comeback, with a whopping 22 jobs (plus an additional four in the GBA version), making this the most customizable FF title outside of ''Tactics''.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': FF continues its steady march toward cyberpunk with this {{steampunk}} adventure, set in the aftermath of a world-destroying magical war. A quasi-fascist Emperor has discovered a way to replicate magic through artificial means, which can only mean trouble. The job system is shelved, yet again, though the character classes themselves have been rolled into 14 unique player characters. The most aesthetically and musically stunning FF of its time, pushing the SNES to its limits. This marks the point where Square became a god-tier developer.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Set in a gritty DieselPunk world, an eco-terrorist group stage bombings on the facilities of [[MegaCorp an energy conglomerate]] that mines the planet's life force as fuel. Meanwhile, a Japanese version of Norman Bates (with a much longer knife and hair) plots the world's downfall on orders of his Lovecraftian mother. [=FFVII=] marked the peak of the [=JRPG=] craze, and while not a PSX launch title, it was [[KillerApp the biggest incentive for gamers to buy the console]]. It also boasts the largest ExpandedUniverse of any entry.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': VII was a hard act to follow, but VIII proved a solid (if [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs esoteric]]) successor: Teenagers attend a military academy in preparation for war against the Sorceresses, who have this unfortunate habit of rising to power and imposing their iron fist on the world. The "school days" plotlines take a few notes from MegaTen, and are regarded as the game's high points. Gameplay deviated from them norm by using the junction system for battles.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': [[WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles No school like the old-school]]. IX is a throwback to the NES/SNES titles, right down to the SuperDeformed characters, a four-man party, and endless {{call back}}s to past games. The story can be summed up as "roguish thief falls for runaway princess, also aliens".
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': Star athlete is pulled through time, washing up in a ruined future ruled by the bastard child of [[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger Lavos]] and Literature/MobyDick. His only path home, or so it seems, is to accompany a group of pilgrims on their journey to make the land peaceful again. The first fully-voiced FF title, with a competent (though far from stellar) English dub.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'': A MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Vana'diel. Known for being particularly brutal. The most profitable title in the series, by virtue of running a paid subscription service for over ten years.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'': The first game to be published following the merger with Enix. Things are looking grim for Ivalice when Dalmasca, the biggest obstacle to the Archadian Empire, falls overnight after their king is murdered by one of his own knights. However, something about the whole mess doesn't add up, and a team of adventurers - including a destitute princess, a pair of sky pirates, and an orphan from the streets - are compelled to break the supposed traitor out of jail and discover the truth. The gameplay of XII is modeled on an MMORPG, but with linear quests and various characters/races/summons from ''Tactics''.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'': The story takes place in the floating, isolationist mini-Dyson sphere of Cocoon. Several hundred years ago, a "War of Transgression" took place between Cocoon and the vast, lush, primeval surface world, Pulse. Since then, Cocoon's governmental body ruthlessly "purges" anyone who comes into contact with Pulse. A former solider, Lightning (explicitly a GenderFlip of [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud Strife]]), is forced to go on the lam after her sister is branded a Pulse l'Cie, servants of the godlike beings called fal'Cie of the planet below, and nabbed by the government.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'': Another MMORPG, set in the nation of Eorzea, which faces threats from an ongoing UsefulNotes/ColdWar with the ruthless and technologically advanced military state Garlemald and its TinTyrant generals, while also dealing with the beast-tribes and their {{P|hysicalGod}}rimals, as well as the enigmatic Ascians.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'': WarriorPrince Noctis Lucis Caelum goes on a {{road trip|Plot}} to retrieve his kingdom's stolen PowerCrystal from invaders. His kingdom happens to be a sophisticated high-tech metropolis ruled by TheMafia.

[[folder:Sequels & Spin-Offs]]
Games that are directly connected to the Main Series, either as sequels or Spinoffs.

* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears'': Set 17 years after the previous story (yep, the same stretch of time as the real world), Cecil is now King, leaving the protagonist role to his son Ceodore. The second moon returns to orbit after its long voyage, only this time, it's getting [[SwordOfDamocles a little too close for comfort.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAllTheBravest'': A game for mobile devices. Everything, including bonus characters and rapid revival, requires you to spend more money.
* ''Videogame/PictlogicaFinalFantasy'': Another game for mobile devices. [[XMeetsY Final Fantasy meets Picross]] in a nutshell, and even co-developed by Jupiter Co. [[NoExportForYou Unlocalized as of yet]], though you can still download and play regardless of region. Just be prepared to overcome the language barrier and look up (and google translate) the Japanese wiki.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyRecordKeeper'': Another game for mobile devices, developed by [=DeNA=] and released globally for free in April 2015. Notably better gameplay and less reliance on microtransactions than ''All the Bravest'', but best known for its nostalgia-filled trip into all the mainline, non-[=MMORPG=] Final Fantasy games. As a "Keeper" of records of histories of heroes, a player plunges into various worlds reliving (scaled-down, but still featuring some old gameplay gimmicks) battles and retold plot events while recruiting all sorts of characters from the games (starting with Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, all the way to ''Sephiroth'' from the same game and Josef from II) with a variety of abilities and equipment.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' Spinoffs: ''Compilation of Final Fantasy VII''
** ''[[VideoGame/BeforeCrisis Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII]]'': The first prequel in Square's Enix's ''[=FFVII=] Compilation'' puts us in the shoes of a younger (and much larger) Turks unit. AVALANCHE exists in a larger form, too, and they're [[EvilLuddite more psychotic]] than the benevolent group still in embryo.
** ''[[VideoGame/CrisisCore Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII]]'': Zack Fair [[AscendedExtra gets his chance to shine]] in this story, which covers the Wutai-Midgar War, the doomed mission to Nibelheim, and clashes against a Sephiroth 2.0.
** ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'': Midgar has fallen into decay, a virus known as geostigma is scourging the population, and a band of fanatics have styled themselves as Sephiroth's disciples. All in all, things might have been better with Shinra still in charge. Everyone from the game reunites for this CG animated movie, [[HesJustHiding even the dead ones]].
** ''[[VideoGame/DirgeOfCerberus Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII]]'': In this ThirdPersonShooter, Vincent Valentine goes off on his own to face his past and do battle with {{the remnant}} of Shinra's security forces, who are inexplicably trying to summon the final WEAPON and finish Sephiroth's work.
** ''Anime/LastOrderFinalFantasyVII'': A retelling of the Nibelheim incident, as narrated by Tseng.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'': Another throwback game, and Square Enix's first sequel to a mainline ''Final Fantasy''. With her pilgrimage over, Yuna (with Rikku in tow) becomes a {{sky pirate|s}} and travels the world in search of Tidus, who is still MIA. Features the triumphant return of the job system (based on the classic jobs from I-V) and another romp through Spira, now fully-accessible with a GlobalAirship.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' Expansions and Add-Ons:
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess'' [[note]]Known as ''Final Fantasy XI: Crusaders of Altana'' in Japan.[[/note]]
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: A Crystalline Prophecy - Ode of Life Bestowing''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: A Moogle Kupo d'Etat - Evil in Small Doses''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: A Shantotto Ascension - The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Vision of Abyssea''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Scars of Abyssea''
** ''Final Fantasy XI: Heroes of Abyssea''
* ''Franchise/IvaliceAlliance''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIIRevenantWings'': In the aftermath of ''XII'', Vaan has joined Baltheir and Fran as a sky pirate, while Ashe and Larsa work to hold their respective realms together. Easier said than done, as a winged Judge is pummeling Ivalice with a floating continent, hoping to stir up a war between Humes and their winged counterparts, the Aegyls.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'': Two warriors, one a noble, and the other a plebe, follow divergent paths in their quest to free Ivalice from tyranny and corruption. One man will stay true to his ideals, and wind up losing everything; the other will bribe, extort, stab, and screw his way to the top of Ivalice's power structure. [[TwoRoadsBeforeYou Can you guess which?]] An UpdatedRerelease entitled ''War of the Lions'' was released for the PSP.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'': In this, the most {{metafiction}}al FF game yet, an Earth boy named Marche is sucked into a fantasy world based on his classmate's memories of a ''Final Fantasy'' game. Marche must dismantle the world's crystals ("threads") in order to get home, but it will mean destroying the idyllic new lives of his friends and family, who are [[GildedCage trapped in Ivalice]] along with him...
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'': Keeping in canon with the previous title, another resident of '''St'''. Ivalice, Luso, is yanked into a different grimoire and appears in the Ivalice of ''Final Fantasy XII''. Less wordy and political than its predecessors.
** ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'': An elite secret agent pursues a mysterious cult leader to a ruined city permeated by extremely powerful dark magic, uncovering much of his own DarkAndTroubledPast in the process. This game was originally presented as a completely separate title with just a few ''Tactics'' references, until supplementary materials for ''FFXII'' confirmed ''Vagrant Story'' as being set in Ivalice.
** ''VideoGame/CrystalDefenders'': A TowerDefense game with monsters and character classes from the ''Tactics'' games.
* ''Franchise/FabulaNovaCrystallisFinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2''
** ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII''
** ''Final Fantasy Agito''
* Combined Setting: ''Dissidia Final Fantasy''
** ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy''
** ''[[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Dissidia 012 [duodecim]: Final Fantasy]]''
** ''VideoGame/TheatrhythmFinalFantasy''
** ''Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' is also beginning to pick up a list of expansions:
** ''Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn'' [[note]]Technically the relaunching of the game as opposed to a "true" expansion, but it reworked virtually the entire content of the game and has as much or more content than a standard expansion pack, and it did increment the game's versioning from 1.x to 2.x[[/note]]
** ''Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward'' [[note]]The game's first true, "traditional" expansion[[/note]]

Games that are not directly connected to the settings or characters of the Main Series, but are still considered ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' titles.

* ''FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles'': AnAdventurerIsYou, traveling the world in order to gather myrrh droplets to recharge your village's PowerCrystal, which protects it from the poison gas that covers the world. While the art design returns to a very "cute" style, expect many [[PlayerPunch Player Punches]] as you witness and participate in the tragic stories of people you meet along the way.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesRingOfFates'': A prequel to the first game that tells the story of two twins, Yuri and Chelinka, as they are pursued by an evil church that wants to exploit their unique powers.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesEchoesOfTime'': A spiritual successor to ''Ring of Fates'', once again featuring a customizable hero. In a time where the only Crystal left in the world is the one in your village, a simple errand to fetch some medicine by doing a favor for the local scholar turns your entire life upside-down when all the townspeople vanish with out a trace... and that's just the start. Happy sixteenth birthday!
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesMyLifeAsAKing''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesMyLifeAsADarklord''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesCrystalBearers''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure'': Which became the first of the ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' series.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest'': Instead of the usual creators, it was made by the same team who made ''VideoGame/{{SaGa3}}'', as sort of a "entry level" RPG. Standard yarn about a boy hero embarking on a quest to defeat the Dark King who burned down his home.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyThe4HeroesOfLight'': In a world threatened by darkness, the Crystals once again select four youths to bestow job classes on in hopes that they can save the world. Unfortunately, the ones they pick are insecure, haughty, and/or self-centered and split the party as soon as they defeat the first boss. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Try not to break anything]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyBrigade''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyDimensions''
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheCrystals''
* ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'': Not ''formally'' so, but it began life as a straight-up sequel to ''Four Heroes of Light'' and uses tons of elements from the franchise and is, for all intents and purposes, a ''Final Fantasy'' game.
** ''VideoGame/BravelySecond'': The sequel to the above
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyExplorers'': A ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' style ActionRPG for the 3DS where the player and three friends can explore the island of Amostela, fighting monsters and seeking crystals.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfFinalFantasy'': A {{Mons}} game for the PS4 and the Vita.

[[folder:Dolled Up Installments]]
The first three games of the ''VideoGame/{{SaGa}}'' series were retitled and released in America under the ''Final Fantasy Legend'' moniker:

* ''[[VideoGame/MakaiToshiSaGa The Final Fantasy Legend]]''
* ''[[VideoGame/SaGa2 Final Fantasy Legend II]]''
* ''[[VideoGame/SaGa3 Final Fantasy Legend III]]''

[[folder:Chocobo Series]]
A series of LighterAndSofter spinoffs starring the series mascot Chocobo.

* ''Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon''
* ''Chocobo Racing''
* ''Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2''
* ''Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales''
* ''Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon''
* ''Chocobo Racing 3D''

[[VideoGame/ChocobosDungeon The Dungeon games]] are part of the franchise-spanning Mysterious Dungeon series, which are generally simplified {{roguelike}}s with prettier graphics.

[[folder:Misc. Animated Installments]]
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyLegendOfTheCrystals'': A four-episode OVA set 200 years after the events of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', starring the descendants of the heroes.
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin'': A [=CGI=] movie set on [[CrapsackWorld an Earth ruined by malevolent spirits]]. Scientist Aki Ross teams up with some crack commandos to try and solve the problems, while dealing with a GeneralRipper who wants to take a more belligerent stance.
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyUnlimited'': A 26-episode series. Twins whose parents vanished into a dimensional anomaly find themselves traveling through various fantastic worlds, teaming up with a government agent and an aloof summoner-sniper as they are pursued by the villains. Features four Elemental lords, Chaos as the BigBad, chocobos, and a moogle.
* ''Anime/AgnisPhilosophy''[[note]]Actually a technical demo for Square's ''Luminous Engine'' development kit. It has its own unique story and setting, however, and is actually labelled as ''Final Fantasy'', perhaps existing as a concept for next-gen ''FF'' titles.[[/note]]

The series has various subpages, including one on [[GameBreaker/FinalFantasy game breakers]] and [[Narm/FinalFantasy accidentally humorous overwrought moments]]. You can also vote on your favorite game in the series [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/FinalFantasy?open=all#srh8ehjb here]].

!!Tropes Common To The Series:
* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: A general rule-of-thumb is that every game can be completed at around the 50's to 70's while the cap is at 99. {{Bonus Boss}}es, on the other hand, require you to get to this cap. Exceptions to this are ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', which don't use the traditional leveling system. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', despite not using a common leveling system, is a straight example since it has the Sphere Grid, which is [[UpToEleven ridiculously large]].
* AdultFear: For a series known for its young and unrealistically pretty boys, the franchise has its share of AdultFear:
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': Cyan [[spoiler:losing his family when Doma is poisoned. Imagine, you, one of the finest knight in the realm, having no power to save your beloved ones]]. It gets so bad that later [[spoiler:in the World of Ruins, an evil spirit grow powerful by feeding on his agony]].
*** Strago completely lost his mind after [[spoiler:the world come to its end and he become separated from his only family, his grand-daughter Relm]]. Shadow [[spoiler:probably is like this too, if the WMG that he's Relm's father is proven true]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Barrett's adoptive daughter Marlene [[spoiler:is taken hostage by Reeve and is held captive in Shinra HQ]]. OK, [[EveryoneHasStandards that bad guy is]] [[HeelFaceTurn not actually that bad]], but would that make a difference from Barrett's perspective at that moment?
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': Edea [[spoiler:is the adoptive mother of all of player characters except Rinoa. Imagine, you're possessed by an all-powerful Sorceress from the future who forces you to kill your children and unravel all that you built]]. The trauma is so bad that Edea can no longer [[spoiler:act like a mother toward Squall and co]].
* AnAdventurerIsYou: A number of recurring "jobs" with [[ClothesMakeTheLegend similar outfits, even in different settings]]
* AnAesop: about peace, a GreenAesop, ThePowerOfFriendship, or all three at once.
* {{Anthology}}: Almost every installment is an original story set in a different world with similar elements to it (such as chocobos, airships, etc.). Crystals are usually involved somehow.
* AltumVidetur: The series has always loved putting in gratuitous Latin in places, but in recent years game titles have been subject to this as well (''Dissidia'', ''Dissidia Duodecim'' and ''Fabula Nova Crystallis'', among others). An increased usage of Latin in later games may or may not have been due to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'''s FinalBoss theme being a CrowningMusicOfAwesome.
* AnyoneCanDie: So far, no ''Final Fantasy'' game has gotten to the end without the death of at least one major character. Usually this is done via HeroicSacrifice, but not always. Hit full force in ''VII''; Aerith's death was seen as shocking at the time because it came out of nowhere, and WordOfGod is she was chosen as the one to die because she didn't fit the mold of the "hard-boiled last-man-standing warrior" that had been the sacrificial lamb in earlier games. A few games even kill off the main protagonist, though usually not until the end of the story. 2 is especially notable as the player is treated to the deaths of almost half of the playable cast. It and 4 basically used it as justification to make room in the party, though in the latter most characters turn out to be alive in the end.
* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: The series has loved this since ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII VII]]'', with guns often being ''weaker'' than melee weapons like swords and spears. At least the older games were mostly set in a more medival setting with some sci-fi, but there have been a couple of full on sci-fi games since then, yet you won't find more than one main character with an actual firearm... right alongside a sword user and someone who'll happily ''punch robots to death''.
* ArtifactTitle: ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' was going to be series' creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's final game for Square if it didn't sell well, who proclaimed that his "final game" for Square would be a "fantasy RPG". The fact that it is now more than twenty years and forty-seven sequels/spin-offs later provides a slight hint as to whether or not the word "final" still applies (although Sakaguchi is no longer involved in the series after ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''.)
* [[AuthorAppeal Artist Appeal]]:
** Yoshitaka Amano has a fondness for traditional Japanese watercolors. He also loves willowy males with frizzy white hair, pale skin (But that's a trend in Japanese art anyways), purple eyeliner, and blue-purple lipstick. He also loves to put spiked armour, catsuits, and capes whenever he can get away with it. His monsters also look like {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that you would expect to see in art depicting the FairFolk; the monster designs are often the ones that make it into the games unchanged. (Early installments simply scanned his art straight into the game, at least as well as the NES and SNES would allow.)
** Tetsuya Nomura draws most of his characters more 'traditionally' male, but most likely they'll all be teenagers or young adults. Unless he intentionally makes them look middle-age; like [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII Sazh]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cid Highwind, and Barret]]. Nomura also has a thing for [[MemeticMutation belts, zippers]], and ''highly'' detailed clothing to fit the more "UrbanFantasy" setting of the post-VII games (which is why some fans believe his artwork fits ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' much more than ''Final Fantasy'' itself). His monsters also look like {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, but not the kind detailed in old fae-inspired art, like a blend of organic and synthetic features, coming off as UglyCute. Oh yeah, he also loves [[KingdomHearts black coats with hoods - the longer the coat the better]].
** Akihiko Yoshida has a thing for bondage gear, tight pants on men (the tighter the better), caucasian males to fit the more European feel of the games he works on (Specifically, Ivalice Alliance), tight pants on men, and more brown-blonde hair on humans. Oh yeah, [[RuleOfThree and tight pants]].
*** He also loves drawing characters with small noses or none at all. Additionally, he loves drawing large thighs on all his characters. Coupled with wide hips for females, bordering on HartmanHips.
** All of them have a thing for feathers, too.
* AttackBackfire: ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' introduced the idea of monsters absorbing certain elemental attacks to regain health. More directly, the Reflect spell also causes spells to bounce back.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' and onward also used the counter mechanic, introduced early on in many games with a boss that is completely immunue to your attacks in one form and punishing you for attacking until another change. Other bosses may invoke it by countering magic or physical attacks specifically, but they generally still take the damage in the first place.
* AutomaticNewGame: ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' to ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI VI]]'' for the Super Nintendo do this if there are no save files present, jumping you straight into the opening cutscene.
* {{BFS}}: Swords that in real life would be very difficult if not impossible to wield "properly".
** WebVideo/ManAtArms has made several of the series' blades, with Cloud's Buster Sword holding the title of 'most impractical'; it isn't swung, more dropped on the target, and it's made of aluminium for the most part instead of steel, so it's lighter than it should be too.
* BigRedDevil: The recurring summons Diabolos and Ifrit tend to be this.
* [[HorsebackHeroism Birdback Heroism]]: Better not laugh at someone who can send your ass to the cleaners on a yellow ostrich. Kweh!
** Bartz Krauser was the first character to have a chocobo (named Boco) of his very own. He abandons Boco outside the NoobCave, but later reunites with him at the end of the game, whereupon he discovers Boco has gotten hitched and had babies.
** The crusaders in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' have a division called the Chocobo Knights who mount and raise chocobos as their steeds. They reappear as a job class in ''Tactics [=A2=]'', this time while wearing cutesy chocobo outfits.
* {{Bishounen}}: In the hero department, they've been present since [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Amano_Origins.jpg the first game]]. As for villains, [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:FF2_Emperor.jpg Emperor Mateus from the second game]] paved the way for some of the most infamous and infamously beautiful villains of all time.
* BlackMage: ''The'' TropeNamer.
* BossBonanza: Pretty much common in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games as a rule for the series. Perhaps the only semi-aversion is ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' because ''all'' of the bosses in the FinalDungeon save for the Emperor himself were sealed in chests.
* BossInMookClothing: Tonberries are the most universal to the series, although individual games have their own specific ones. Be wary of any random encounter where you face just one enemy, particularly when the earlier games could have as many as nine enemies at once.
* BraggartBoss: A [[IncomingHam ridiculously over-the-top boss]] named "Gilgamesh".
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Flightless ostrich-like birds known as "chocobos" used as [[HorseOfADifferentColor mounts]] and are {{Expy}}s of the Horseclaws from ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind''.
* TheCameo: Two very {{Unexpected Character}}s from other Squaresoft games appear in ''Chocobo Racing'': Aya Brea, from the ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' games, and Jack, from ''VideoGame/The3DBattlesOfWorldRunner''.
* ChangingGameplayPriorities: Almost every game in the series contains a system of magic or [[LimitBreak limit breaks]] that fundamentally alters how the game plays. Often, these systems are not present in the first part of the game and only get introduced later. Even in games where the systems are always present, they almost always undergo a change in importance over time.
* CombatantCooldownSystem:
** The Active Time Battle, used in games four through nine (and ''X-2'' and ''Dimensions''), succeeded the TurnBasedCombat of the first three games. The common feature of all ATB implementations is that each character has an "ATB gauge" that is emptied every time they act and fills up over time, allowing them to act again once it's full. The speed it fills up at depends on the character's stats (and the Battle Speed setting) and some powerful attacks have an additional delay before they are executed and the ATB gauge starts filling again. Whether the game pauses to let the player select commands or not depends on the Active/Wait switch (''VII'' introduced an additional Recommended mode).
** The Charge Time Battle from ''Tactics'' is similar to ATB, except that instead of the ATB gauge, it has the Charge Time meter that has to reach 100 before a character can act again. The CT meter is restored at a rate of the character's Speed stat per turn.
** Conditional Turn-Based Battle from ''FFX'' is an implementation that leans very heavily towards TurnBasedCombat. The order in which the characters and enemies act is determined by the [[VisualInitiativeQueue Act List]], and a combatant's position on it is determined both by their speed and by the cooldown duration of the ability they used last. The game pauses every time when it's a PlayerCharacter's turn, like in the ATB Wait mode.
** Active Dimension Battle from ''XII'' is similar to the ATB but eliminates the FightWoosh and adds the [[CommonTacticalGameplayElements tactical movement]] aspect to battles.
** Command Synergy Battle from ''XIII'' and ''XIII-2'' is ATB with a twist that the player can sequence multiple moves, which only consume parts of the ATB gauge (how much is consumed depends on how powerful the ability is), and does not have to wait until the ATB is filled completely--only until it has filled enough to pull off the desired action sequence. The game does not pause to let you choose commands and you can only control the party leader. Style-Change Active Time Battle from ''Lightning Returns'' is an evolution of CSB built around the single player character idea: the player only ever controls Lightning but each one of her three available Schemas has its own ATB gauge.
* CooldownManipulation:
** Many titles, beginning with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', use an ActiveTimeBattle system in which characters cool down at different rates. Several StandardStatusEffects speed, slow, or stop the rate of cooldown: namely, Haste, Slow, and Stop.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has the attacks Delay Attack and Delay Buster, which increase the amount of time until the targeted enemy can take its next action, and Quick Hit, which has a much faster cooldown than a standard attack.
* CostumePorn: Fancy outfits have been common in the series, even if it was just the artwork in earlier games.
* CuteIsEvil: Tonberries and Cactuars. Oy vey.
* DarkerAndEdgier: It's no accident that the most popular entries are set in a dystopian future. ''IX'' and ''X'' were throwbacks to the swashbuckling adventure of earlier titles. ''IX'' remains obscure, while ''X'''s bubbly lead hero is a walking punchline in the west. Even the later games are getting progressively more dystopian than the last. The ''Fabula Nova Crystallis'' games (the XIII compilation and Type 0; XV used to be but it's current standing is ambiguous) seem to be taking it to new heights, including [[spoiler: TheBadGuyWins and at least two cases of TheHeroDies.]]
* ADayInTheLimelight: Many characters, although Alexander seems to get the most throughout the series. To date:
** An FMV appearance in the PSX remake of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', attacking Kefka;
** An FMV appearance in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', in which he [[spoiler: gallantly defends]] Alexandria Castle (and [[ThemeNaming Princess Garnet]]) [[spoiler: from Bahamut's attack]];
** An appearance as a HumongousMecha in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', being Hope's summon; and finally
** Being the [[spoiler: BigBad and final boss]] of ''VideoGame/BahamutLagoon'', although he's entirely different from his other incarnations and takes the form of a serpentine 4-headed dragon.
*** And all this time, he hasn't said a single word.
** Interestingly enough, the [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080215143717/finalfantasy/images/thumb/a/aa/Amano_Giant_of_Bab-Il.jpg/180px-Amano_Giant_of_Bab-Il.jpg Giant of Bab-il]] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' looks very similar to him as well. Not only does this give a possible origin on Alexander but this [[AMechByAnyOtherName Giant]] also has a limelight moment by [[spoiler: starting the destruction of the Blue Planet, among other things.]]
* DeconstructorFleet: Started (sparingly) with general fantasy tropes as early as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'', and later moved on to more specific RPG tropes that had sprung up in the years following.
* DeceasedParentsAreTheBest: Look back at all the ''Final Fantasy'' protagonists. There's a pretty good chance that one or both their parents are either dead, have disappeared or [[spoiler: die by the end of the story]].
* TheDriver: Cid. Always.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors
* ElementalTiers: Common on the series with the {{Summon Magic}}, since you go finding them in your way, each one tends to be stronger that the previous one regardless of elemental atributes, at the end of the game you'll probably end using only the last summons you got, and maybe some of the weaker ones that are used for a support role. Some of the games avert this by either allowing you to level up the summons or making their power directly proportional to yours on a more balanced way.
* EliteFour: The series has a recurring group of enemies often referred to as the Four Fiends, sometimes the Four Elemental Fiends. They usually double as a FourElementEnsemble, since the individual members are often associated with the elements of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. The characters themselves vary, but some variant of the same "Four Fiends" team has appeared in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasy'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' (and its direct sequel, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears''), ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest'', ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'' (a SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyThe4HeroesOfLight''), ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyDimensions'', ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAllTheBravest''.
* EscapeBattleTechnique: A staple of the series, usually in the form of the "Escape" spell or the occasional consumable item.
* ExploitedImmunity: Most games usually have spells which target everyone and require this trope to use properly;
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', there are many different enemies that will attack the entire battlefield, including themselves, with powerful attacks. However, as they are either immune to the elements of those attacks or actually gain health from them, the disadvantages of these attacks are lost. This can also be done with playable characters, by equipping them with elemental immune items.
** In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyIX'': [[BlackMage Vivi]]'s most powerful spell is Doomsday, which inflicts [[CastingAShadow shadow damage]] on all allies and enemies on the field. Equipping your characters with gear that absorbs shadow will cause them to be healed by the spell instead. The BonusBoss Ozma also tries this, but it's possible to invert it: it has Doomsday in its arsenal and normally absorbs shadow damage, but one sidequest rewards you by making it weak to shadow instead, so if it does use the spell, it'll harm itself.
* FaceHeelTurn: A meta example with the Cids. For the first eleven games and the spin-offs that came out at the same time the Cids were aligned with your party, or at least weren't evil. Beginning with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' and continued in ''XIII'' and ''Type-0'', the Cids have begun to act as antagonists [[spoiler:although the former was [[YouCantFightFate against his will]]]] and the Cid of ''Type-0'' is actually the BigBad.
* {{Fanfare}}: The battle victory theme.
* FantasticNuke: In a weirdly literal example, the Flare spell. It is, in most cases, non-elemental, but in some games FlavorText for the spell refers to its power as coming from either fusion or fission. As well, the spell's name is reminiscent of ''solar'' flare, and we all know what powers the sun. Ironically, the translation of the spell as NUKE in the very first game probably has nothing to do with this.
** That the Flare spell was called NUKE in the English version has to do with the game only providing four characters/signs per spell or item name. That's more than enough when you're using kanji (Japanese lettering) but causes some troubles when you're going to translate those names and are still limited to only four letter.
* FiveManBand: The classes in ''I'' and ''III'', and the characters in ''IV'', ''V'', ''VI'', ''VII'', ''VIII'', ''IX'', ''X'', ''XII'', ''XIII'', ''Tactics'', ''Tactics Advance'', and ''Tactics A2''.
* FixedDamageAttack: The most notable of which is Cactuar's ''1000 Needles'', the former TropeNamer.
* FireIceLightning: There are many recurring types of elemental attacks, but these three are by far the most prominent in the overwhelming majority of Final Fantasy games. FFX puts Water on an equal footing with these three.
* FourIsDeath:
** You can expect any game, character, event, place, etc. with an ''even remote'' connection to the dreaded number to be a {{Deconstruction}} or FromBadToWorse. Expect the game to have massive controversy and UrbanLegendOfZelda centered around that game, etc. Examples: ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII''? A large majority of fourth party members perform a HeroicSacrifice. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''? {{Deconstruction}} with a focus on death. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''? The fourth party character is KilledOffForReal. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2''? The fourth game announced in the ''Fabula Nova Crystallis'' mythology.
** You have a maximum of three party members out on the field in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. You occasionally get Guest Characters, bringing the total to four. The first is Ashe. The second [[spoiler: pulls a FaceHeelTurn and dies.]] The third probably only avoids a bad fate due to plot necessities (like succession) and InfantImmortality. The fourth character has a DarkAndTroubledPast and [[spoiler: commits a pretty explosive HeroicSacrifice]]
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' is notable for a very botched launch which resulted in a reboot that picked up five years after the original version and one of the two moons falling on the land, the plotline for which deals with the aftermath of the calamity. InUniverse, The 4th Grand Company created, the Crystal Braves [[spoiler: betrayed one of its founders and poisoned Ul'Dah's sultana into a death-like coma, framing the Protagonist for the assassination and setting up a series of {{Wham Episode}}s leading up to Heavensward.]]
* FragileSpeedster: Thieves and Ninjas are generally limited to light armor, making them far more fragile than other fighter-types, but high Agility or Speed stats, granting them higher evasion and/or more turns in games with an ActiveTimeBattle system.
* GadgeteerGenius: Likely will be named Cid and invent airships.
* GainaxEnding: The series does this quite a bit. Usually, when this is done, it leaves the player in question whether certain characters are alive or dead.
** Specific and notable examples include ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', which has a [[spoiler: kind of AfterTheEnd feel]], ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' who reveals that [[spoiler: the main character is a dream conjured by a bunch of dead spirits. He ''dies'' but then appears in a post-credit sequence, emerging from the ocean.]] ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' combines this with DownerEnding and [[spoiler: TheBadGuyWins]]. And then its direct sequel, ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII' gives us [[spoiler:a happier example of the trope, as it features Lightning in the new world that was created (read: Earth), stepping off of a train in France, presumably to meet her friends and sister.]]
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: No, you can't use Phoenix Down to revive those killed in cutscenes. Or any NPC at all. [[spoiler: They actually try this in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', though it just doesn't work]]. In most games, though, characters with 0 HP are actually unconscious rather than dead, so Phoenix Down isn't really a resurrection spell.
* GenkiGirl: Starting from FFV (Porom in FFIV was extremely collected so she avoided this completely), the series started employing this trope. We have Krile in FFV, Relm in FFVI, Yuffie in FFVII, Selphie in FFVIII, Eiko in FFIX, Rikku in FFX and FFX-2, Penelo in FFXII, and Vanille in FFXIII.
* GlassCannon:
** Black Mages get some extremely powerful spells, but tend to have much lower health than other classes.
** Ninjas can often deal truly ridiculous amounts of damage with [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks thrown weapons]] or DualWielding, but tend to be restricted to lighter armor than other fighter-types.
* GlobalAirship: You get one at some point during almost any game in the series (some games have several).
* GodIsEvil: If there is a being in a ''Final Fantasy'' game explicitly referred to as a god, you'll be fighting it before the credits roll. The sole exception to this is Etro in the ''XIII'' trilogy, who isn't evil, but does seem to be amazing incompetent and shortsighted, so she still manages to cause problems the party has to deal with.
* GoldColoredSuperiority: The Chocobos. Regular chocobos are yellow-orange, but there are other chocobo types characterized by different colors. Stronger breeds can swim and fly, but the gold chocobo is always the strongest.
* GoldMakesEverythingShiny: Weapons and armor made of gold show up in some of the games.
* GuideDangIt: Possibly the TropeCodifier; like many epic adventure games, certain parts are not easy to figure out without a guide, such as sidequests and how to find a BonusBoss.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Several main characters, [[spoiler: Terra]] of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' and [[spoiler:Cecil]] of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' being the most iconic examples.
* HealingPotion: Usually used for healing set amounts of Hp, and come in a variety of types, from the standard potion to the rare and powerful megalixer.
* HealingSpring: Appearing in every game from ''III'' to ''IX''.
* HelloInsertNameHere: Freely name-able party members (and sometimes summon monsters), resulting in this in every game until it was mostly dropped in the tenth; you could name the protagonist of ten, but none of the other characters (you could still name your summons, and at least one NPC had done so). It was fully discarded in the twelfth installment.
** This concept is played with in the DS remake of ''IV''. In the remakes up to then you could rename the characters, but come the DS release the cutscenes, which had voice acting, would make this confusing. Thus you can't change the names of your party members, causing Namingway, the character who performed this function in past versions of the game, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hedhemk42ZI&feature=player_detailpage#t=389s freak out]] when he tries to rename you and can't, inspiring him to embark on a journey to find a new purpose in life since his old one is now gone.
* HeroesPreferSwords: Not the main character in every game, but most. And there is always at least one party member who specializes in swords, or close to.
* HolyHandGrenade: Holy and the Alexander summon.
* {{Homage}}: This series is famous for making allusions to ''StarWars'', even in the next-gen titles. (One half-expects Gabranth to jab his finger in Ba'Gamnan's chest and bark, "NO DISINTEGRATIONS"). The games contain a few nods to ''[[Film/TheThing1982 The Thing]]'' (VII's Jenova) and ''Film/BladeRunner'' (''IX'''s Genomes and Black Mages) as well.
* HornedHumanoid: The Ifrit summons.
* HPToOne: A favourite tactic used by almost all the {{Final Boss}}es in the series.
** Also an important strategy in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', especially in Selphie's case.
* HumanoidAbomination: Pretty much all of the {{Big Bad}}s count as one in at ''least'' one stage of their life cycle.
* AnIceSuit: Shiva is usually in rather revealing clothing.
* IconicLogo: One that usually reveals some aspect of the overarching plot in a subtle way, usually through illustrating plot events or even by the color of the logo itself.
* IconicOutfit: Many of them, but the most famous and iconic are the outfits of the three core mages -- the striped blue robes and yellow pointed hat for the Black Mage, the white robe with red triangle trim and Cat-Ear Hood for the White Mage, and the red and white robe with a red hat and white feather in it for the Red Mage. Various other jobs have recurring costume motifs, for example Summoners usually have horns or horned headbands, etc.
* IfJesusThenAliens: Several games have gods, demons, dragons, sorcerers, [[FiveRaces standard fantasy races]], [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke genetically-]] or magically-engineered SuperSoldiers, and space aliens (usually of the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens scary dogmatic]] and[=/=]or [[StarfishAliens Starfishy]] type) coexisting.
* JerkassGods: If Final Fantasy has proven one thing as of late, is that [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX the]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI gods]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII are]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII immense]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2 jack]][[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV asses]]. (Even the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI so-called]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII ones]].)
* JokeWeapon: A series tradition, starting with the Spoon weapon and all of its appearances.
** Usually it's parasols/umbrellas, though. This started with VII, where there was a joke weapon for every character.
** Excalipur/Excalipoor makes common appearances. It's just like Excalibur, except it only hits 1s, and it's usually found by Gilgamesh.
** Sometimes it unintentionally extends to items. For instance, the goggles in VI, which [[MemeticMutation do nothing]].
* KillerRabbit: Tonberries and an actual rabbit, Vorpal Bunny, in [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII Final Fantasy XII]].
* KillItWithFire: Fire, Fira, Firaga, sometimes Firaja, sometimes Flare, and the Ifrit summon being the most common.
* KillItWithIce: Blizzard, Blizzara, Blizzaga, sometimes Blizzaja, the Shiva summon.
* KillItWithWater: Water spells only occasionally show up, and even then only comes in one level (no -ra or -ga variants) or the Blue Magic Aqualung. The mid-to-late-game summon Leviathan makes up for this shortcoming.
** The trend was broken in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', which had three levels of water spells and no water-elemental summons.
* LaResistance: [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII The Wild Rose Rebellion]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI the Returners]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII AVALANCHE]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII the Forest Owls]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII The Resistance]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII NORA]], just to name a few.
* TheLastTitle: The (rather ironic) title of the franchise.
* LevelGrinding: Required for several of the Final Fantasy games such as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' but averted with some others.
* LevelMapDisplay: Used in various forms in all the games.
* LivingStructureMonster: The Demon Wall is a recurring enemy in the series.
* LostTechnology: That the schizo tech is frequently based on.
* LowLevelRun: It is quite common to see players on Website/YouTube perform these runs. Several games have the option of doing so to the end.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', since the monsters level up with you, can be played to completion at single-digit levels. It's actually regarded as being ''much easier'' than a high-level run.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' have the NSG (No Sphere Grid) and NCU (No Crystarium Usage), respectively. The idea behind both cases is to use equipment and abilities as effectively as possible.
** A low-level run of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' is commonly called a "122333" run, after the lowest possible levels the party can be [[note]]specifically: Vaan at level 1, Fran and Balthier at level 2, and the others at level 3[[/note]]. There are also No Augment runs (i.e. everyone's stats say the same with no situational bonuses etc.) and No License Board (i.e. everyone is more or less stuck to their starting equipment, also there are no Quickenings or Esper summons).
*** One of the two NewGamePlus modes in the International version of XII locks everyone's level at 1.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' never gives the characters any EXP during boss fights, so it's entirely possible to reach the end of the game with every character, bar Zidane, at level one. This is done by avoiding random encounters, and by only using [[CantDropTheHero Zidane]] during the forced, story based encounters that end up giving you EXP.
* MacGuffin: They're ''everywhere.''
* MagicIsRareHealthIsCheap: As a general rule, MP-restoring items are very rare in any game, and tend to fall into the realm of TooAwesomeToUse.
* MagicMissileStorm: The recurring spells Matra Magic and Holy are sometimes depicted in this manner.
* MagicStaff: Staves and rods are generally exclusive to caster classes.
* ManaPotion: Usually the ethers.
* MechanicallyUnusualClass:
** The Bard, Dancer, Songstress and all their variants in the series. The specifics vary per game and can get complex, but these classes usually focus on entering a state where the player loses direct control of them, and they begin inflicting random effects on the party or enemies. Each song/dance has a specific list of effects they can cause. %%Possibly add a note here regarding the FFIV bard being the former trope namer for SpoonyBard.
** The Mimes, present in various games, whose specialty is the "mimic" abilities where they copy the attacks used by others. They are nearly always an end game class as they can mimic spell and item use at no cost in terms of mana or items, or even charge time in some cases.
* MetalSlime: Cactaurs. They have low health and usually give pretty significant rewards when defeated, but their high evasion makes them near-impossible to hit with either magic or physical attacks, and they often run away after a few rounds if you're unable to defeat them.
* MindScrew: Initially limited by technology, but most games ([[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI FF1 included]]) had it in some capacity.
** Not helping much is the barrier between America and Japan's culture, mannerisms, and, above all else, LANGUAGE.
%%* MightyGlacier: Knight.
* MisbegottenMultiplayerMode: ''V'', ''VI'' and ''IX'' allow you to allocate different party members to different controllers. Naturally, this is only for battles; Player 1 does all the exploring, conversing and menu navigation.
* MonsterCloset: Several games have the "Monster-in-a-box!", special encounters (often with a special opponent and rare loot) whom you face when you open a seemingly innocent treasure box. Why, exactly, are the monsters hiding out in the boxes?
* MonsterModesty: The Seeq often wear just loincloths instead of pants and when they wear shirts they cover very little. Somewhat odd when compared to other races such as the Moogle, Bangaa, Garif, and Nu Mou who are fully or mostly clothed.
* MoraleMechanic: Enemies in some games opt to run away when faced with overwhelming odds.
* MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily: The maw of Malboros had a lot of teeth, the better to focus on their Bad Breath.
* {{Mythology Gag}}s; roundabout references to previous games in the series, some being as subtle as special move names applied in different contexts, some as elaborate as characters being composites of those from other installments (such as [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII Snow]] being modeled off of [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Seifer and Zell]].)
** Nevermind the [[{{BFS}} giant swords]] and [[LastDiscMagic magical holocausts]], it's the [[InfinityPlusOneSword kitchen knives]] you should be [[TheDreaded afraid of]]. You get to wield their devastating might once [[TooAwesomeToUse and only once]] in the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV fourth installment]]. Otherwise, avoid so much as being [[FingerPokeOfDoom poked]] by [[BossInMookClothing one]]. This gag was mostly lost thanks to the weapon being [[BlindIdiotTranslation translated as a spoon]].
* NiceHat: Mages have hats that correspond to their school of magic.
** Black Mages have conical straw hats resting upon their heads that covers their faces in shadows.
** White Mages have white hoods with red fringes.
** Red Mages have red hats with one large white feather.
** Time Mages have pointy red hats, usually emblazoned with stars.
** Green Mages (although they haven't appeared in many titles) have green berets.
** Blue Mages are the lone exception - they get [[CoolMask Cool Masks]] instead. Though they occasionally get hats to fit with a theme based on the game. In most instances it's buccaneer themed, in 11 they wore turbans.
* NonElemental: Most weapons and enemies but spells being non-elemental are for the strongest spells like Flare (sometimes) and Ultima.
* NonStandardSkillLearning: Very often used together with GuideDangIt.
** The [[PowerCopying Blue Mage]] job is basically this. While the rest of the jobs usually learn their skills by by gaining AP, leveling or buying in stores, Blue Mages don't. There are certain monster skills that the Blue Mages can learn. To learn these skills, the Blue Mage needs to be hit by the skill and survive (some games do it differently, like [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX eating the monster]]). The problem is, the game [[GuideDangIt won't bother telling which skills can be learned and which one can't or which monsters carry which skill]]. And if you want more than one Blue Mage where possible, they all need to learn the skills individually (though thankfully in some games they can teach one another by hitting them with those spells).
*** The ''survive'' part can be especially headache inducing when it comes to InstantKill skills. Having a status immunity won't do, you'll generally need to have Auto-Raise on the blue mage. In some games, getting paralyzed by the skill also prevents learning, so you'll need a status immunity for ''that''. And a way to charm monsters for the skills they normally only use on themselves.
** SummonMagic in general is this trope. They are often learned through [[DefeatMeansFriendship defeating the summoned monsters in battle]], but there are many other means.
** Also LimitBreak. Each character usually have their own methods of obtaining their ultimate attacks.
* NotTheIntendedUse: Quite a few examples throughout the series. One common one is hitting yourself to cure Sleep or Confuse, as opposed to waiting for your opponent to hit you.
** More encouraged with certain rods in some of the games that work as a HealingShiv.
** Using Reflect to essentially negate Reflect on your enemy: Cast it on a party member, then cast damage spells on them to be reflected at the enemy.
* NumberedSequel: Main series is numbered for your convenience.
* {{Oculothorax}}: The Ahrimans monsters often are winged eyeballs.
* OneCurseLimit: While ReviveKillsZombie, being afflicted with the status ailment Zombie grants immunity to Poison and Petrify.
* OneTimeDungeon: Nearly every single game in the series (I being the only exception) has several dungeons that the player only gets one shot at visiting. Naturally, there are items that can only be found in these dungeons, so they're LostForever if the player leaves without picking them up.
* OneWingedAngel: Most games have at least one boss who does this. The TropeNamer is from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Plenty of dragons, including Bahamut as a summon monster, usually the most powerful or second-most powerful summon of the game, especially since he deals non-elemental damage.
* OutsideContextVillain: The Cloud of Darkness (III), Zemus (IV), Exdeath (V), Jenova (VII) and the Terrans (IX).
* TheOverworld: The series had the overworld until X, where they started to replace it with tube-like "road" locations.
* PathOfGreatestResistance: If you get stuck, pick a direction and if the enemies are challenging again, you're going in the right direction again.
** Averted horribly in II: in most other Final Fantasies, the sequence in which you visit towns is mainly enforced by geographical features the player cannot overcome until the right transportation is found. In II, you know you strayed from the sequence because the next random encounter killed your party in seconds.
* PauseAbuse: Many games with the "Active Time Battle" system (4 thru 9, and X-2) have an option to pause the ATB clock when a player accesses an in-battle submenu (magic, items, etc.), but any in-progress attack animations will continue to execute. As a result, the player can gain a slight speed advantage by opening the menu whenever a party member executes an action, to prevent enemy turns from coming up while the attack animation takes place.
* PillarOfLight: The usual appearance of the Holy spell.
* PowerCrystal: Frequently represent the force of "light" or "life". They are sometimes sentient, but almost always [[McGuffin drive the plot]].
* PowerOfTheGodHand: Godhand is a common name for a powerful fist-type weapon (usually with a Holy attribute).
* PunkPunk: After 5, the series got down on one knee and asked punk to marry it. 6 and 7 were both DungeonPunk, with 6 leaning towards [[SteamPunk Steam]] and 7 leaning towards [[CyberPunk Cyber]]; as was 8. 9 went back to cuddling with steampunk, and it seems to be Dungeon for "the duration" afterwards.
* RageJudo: In some games, there's a skill called Provoke that effectively functions as an {{inversion}} of this trope: Making the enemies angry at you to keep them away from other party members.
* RagnarokProofing; You can't swing a sword in Final Fantasy games without hitting a fully functional relic of a lost civilization.
* RandomDrop: Enemies give items after battle.
* RandomDropBooster: The games have Treasure Hunter (also known as Master Thief, Rare Item, Item Collector, Pickpocket, or Bandit) ability, that typically allows players to increase the chance of gaining rarer items, from battle, either via item drops or stealing, or both. In terms of its functionality, it shares its traits with the Thief Gloves and the Thief's Hat which also increase the rates of stealing.
* RandomEffectSpell: Numerous throughout the series.
* RandomizedDamageAttack: In several games there's a high-level spell called "Comet" or "Meteor" with a huge variability in its damage output -- it could do 100 points damage one turn and [[OneHitKill 9999]] the next, when other spells are more consistent from one use to the next.
* RecurringElement: Cid, people named Highwind, moogles, chocobos, summons such as Ifrit and Bahamut, monsters such as Bomb and Cactuar, Ultima and Omega Weapons, Gilgamesh, and crystals.
* RecurringRiff: The [[ThemeTune Final Fantasy theme]].[[note]]Informally known the "crystal theme"[[/note]] The song is unusual in that it usually plays over the opening and/or closing credits, and sometimes not at all. Employed as a connecting thread between games, it's considered to be the theme song of the ''Final Fantasy'' as a whole; these days, however, it takes a backseat to original pieces of music, and only pops up during the credits because fans expect it to.
** Every random battle theme for the first six games starts out with the exact same bassline. It was dropped in VII, but it shows up in VIII's final boss theme and made a return in IX before vanishing again.
** The victory fanfare also starts on the same tune in many of the games. To the point that the only game to date which fully replaced it rather than altered the second half (i.e. 7 and 8) was 13.
* TheRedMage: TropeNamer
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent
** Bangaa examples:
*** The Bangaa in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' are pretty cool guys, and have some incredibly BadAss job abilities. However, the NPC Bangaa in the game are almost all soldiers and jailers in the employ of the evil government.
*** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' Vaan's adoptive father figure Migelo is a Bangaa. But, then you have Ba'gam'nan's all-Bangaa hit-squad after you. Tellingly they are common enemies while the [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute cuter tribes]] of Viera, Moogle and Nu Mou are not.
*** Bangaas are the race best integrated within the humes, hence why they're so common in the game. Contrast with the [[PigMan Seeqs]] who also appear as enemies and are treated like second-rate citizens.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has a few different reptile and amphibian enemies, and none are on any peaceful terms (Half the time because [[HumansAreBastards people did something stupid]]):
*** The Lamiae are snake-woman hybrids that routinely slay people and then raise the corpses to make an undead army.
*** The Mamool Ja are lizardmen who had once paid tribute to TheEmpire of Aht Urhgan, but have since tried to destroy it.
*** Poroggos are frogs that were able to walk due to [[AWizardDidIt magic]], and actually were nice to the Tarutaru, thinking they were on good terms with the main races... too bad Windurst got scared of talking, magic-casting frogs and tried to kill them all. Now the Poroggos go around and hit adventurers with party-wiping magic.
*** Quadav are [[TurtlePower turtle]] beastmen who actually had a nice life and weren't very nasty. This, of course, all went to hell when Bastok started taking and destroying the Quadav's homes so that the Republic could get more resources. Now the Quadav attack pretty much anyone they see, defending their homes with extreme prejudice.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' introduced Firion to a half-human half-snake hybrid called the Lamia Queen, [[NeverLiveItDown an encounter he won't soon forget]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' also has elements of this; there are several types of reptilian beastmen, including the game-original Amalj'aa and the returning Mamools, and they all have a fairly rough time of it in Eorzea (though the Amalj'aa are not helped by being Ifrit worshippers, and Ifrit having a tendency to "temper" his followers into fanaticism).
*** [[spoiler: It also seems like Lady Yugiri of Doma is [[GenreSavvy attempting to dodge the trope]]; she keeps her face covered specifically to "avoid shocking [Eorzeans] with her appearance", but her hands and tail suggest that these hidden facial features would be reptilian in nature.]]
* RevisitingTheRoots: ''VI'' was a steampunk world that coined the term {{Magitek}}, ''VII'' and ''VIII'' shifted to a modern-esque setting with electricity spaceships and cities. ''IX'' then brought things back to a medieval setting of castles, airships and villages. As well, while ''VII'' and ''VIII'' had a three-character party system where they were as unique in battle (or not) as the player customized them, ''IX'' went back to the style of four party members with pre-set skills as earlier games had done.
* The class system of the original game was revisited in some form or another every couple of games starting with ''III'' and the first instance of the famous ''job'' system. The 6 classes from the first game are usually the first ones you get access to in those games (even ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'' stuck to that).
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Moogles, who are [[VerbalTic fond of saying "kupo"]].
* RuleOfThree: Before ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' broke the trend, exactly three numbered games [[note]]that is, games which introduced a new universe; sequels and remakes are exempt from this[[/note]] were released for each home console system to host the series [[note]] ''I, II,'' and ''III'' for the [[NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]], ''IV, V,'' and ''VI'' for the [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem SNES]], ''VII, VIII,'' and ''IX'' for the PlayStation, ''X, XI,'' and ''XII'' for the PlayStation2. ''XIII and ''XIV'' hold PlayStation3 grounds, but ''XV'' went to DevelopmentHell long enough for the PlayStation4 to come out.[[/note]]
* SacredBowAndArrows: Many of the higher level bows are named after gods or mythological figures, such as the Artemis Bow, Perseus Bow, and Yoichi Bow.
* SavingTheWorld: What you will end up doing in several ''Final Fantasy'' games. Sometimes with the rest of the universe.
* SceneryPorn: Starting from ''VI'', the series had a focus on rendering beautiful environments.
* SchizoTech: Sometimes you get just a Standard Medieval Fantasy setting, other times, you get High-Tech airships, guns and futuristic stuff sprinkled ontot ha, not to mention the use of swords in even the most modern-leaning settings.
* SequelEscalation: Throughout the series, some sort of hit point inflation seems to be taking place. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'', the final boss has 2000 HP in the original version. By ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' there are a few spells that will generally do 9999 points of damage. In some of the later games, a single attack will do that much. By ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' early enemies have hundreds of thousands, and each form of the final boss has over 5 million. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'''s optional super boss (well, the most powerful of several) has ''FIFTY MILLION'' and is so far still unmatched in the HP department. Make sure you've used the bathroom and gotten a snack before you start one of these battles.
** ''XIII'' continues this in a different way, though no boss approaches even half of 50 million, storyline bosses can reach several million, and Barthandelus, fought roughly halfway through the game, has more HP than the final boss of ''XII''. And the party members have the damage cap raised a digit, allowing normal attacks to hit for 99,999 HP, and with the Genji Glove equipped to raise that, 999,999 is possible, and can be reached fairly easily with maxed-out characters and the right set-up.
* ShockAndAwe: Thunder, Thundara (not [[{{Thundercats}} the planet]]), Thundaga, sometimes Thundaja, and a summon, usually Ramuh, but not always.
* SideQuest: Loads of them.
* SituationalDamageAttack: The Grudge (sometimes called Karma) attack deals damage to a character based on how many kills the character has made. So it'll likely kill the fighters and mages, while the healer will take very little damage (if any).
* SlidingScaleOfContinuity: The series are Level 0 (Non-Linear Installments). A couple of games had sequels or spin-offs; the others are each their own reality with their own characters, their own plot, their own setting... However, they share various nods to one another such as similar monsters, summons, chocobos, and characters named Cid.
** Curiously, the games are sometimes hinted to take place in a {{Multiverse}}, most notably with the character Gilgamesh, who is all but explicitly stated to be the same character across all his appearances, Ultros and Typhon have started getting similar treatment in recent releases (''XIII-2'' and ''XIV''), and the character Shinra from ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 X-2]]'', who seems to go quite a bit further than just a "shout-out" to the company from ''VII''. And then there's ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy''...
*** ''XIV'' also featured Lightning directly from ''XIII'' to help promote ''Lightning Returns'', [[spoiler:while ''XI'''s Iroha seems to have somehow ended in Eorzea instead of returning to her timeline on Vana'diel at the end of ''Rhapsodies of Vana'diel'', and seems to be here to stay.]]
* SmashMook: Particularly the Behemoths.
%%* SolemnEndingTheme
* SpellLevels: Some games have tiers of spells that even have their own set of spell uses. It's a staple to have some more advanced spells under the naming format "[spell]", "[spell](a)ra", "[spell](a)ga", and "[spell](a)ja", though the English translations only began to use it since ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' (before, spells were simply named "[spell] 1", "[spell] 2", etc. due to limited characters). This naming system is carried over to the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series.
* SphereOfDestruction: The trademark design of the Ultima spell.
* SpinningOutOfHere: Several of the earlier games show teleportation this way.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Dissidia'' spawned a subseries of similar CrisisCrossover games that focus on iconic cast of past games. Aside from direct prequel ''Dissidia 012'', there's ''Theatrhythm'', ''Airborne Brigade'', ''All the Bravest'', and to a certain degree the Trading Card Game, all of which borrow gameplay terminology and character designs from ''Dissidia''.
* StockWeaponNames, such as Excalibur, Masamune, and the series' own Ultima weapon.
* StockRPGSpells: Has the core FireIceLightning as offensive spells, a whole slew of ElementalPowers, curative magic, status buffs and debuffs, as well as status effects.
* SummonMagic: Creatures that a particular class of character can invoke, and which represent most of the combat power for that character.
* TakeThat: A recurring enemy is the malboro, which attacks with breath awful enough to inflict almost every ailment on its target.
* TechPoints: Called "AP", and often relates to a quirky new experience and character advancement system in each game.
* ThematicSeries: One of the most notable game examples. None of the numbered titles in the series are related to any of the others except by series-wide hallmarks, like the ATB battle system, Chocobos, Moogles, and the names of spells. Only four[[note]]five, if you count ''Legend of the Crystal'', an OVA set after ''Final Fantasy V''[[/note]] of them have sequels taking place in the same continuity as the original game. There are occasionally hints that one world is related to another, like ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' hinting that it's related to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII the]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2 XIII]] [[VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII trilogy]] having the same mythology as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0''.
* ThemeNaming: A recent trend in ''Final Fantasy'' games, mainly ones written by Nojima, is having the protagonists' names related to weather or the sky, Like [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII Lightning]] or [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud]].
** Chances are that, if you have a Dragoon in a ''Final Fantasy'' game, a weapon or the character will have the name Highwind. The most famous examples are [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV Kain Highwind]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cid Highwind]].
* ThoseTwoGuys: [[StarWars Biggs and Wedge]], who appear in various guises in almost all of the games from ''VI'' onward (and who were retconned into ''IV'' by ''The After Years''), and die horribly about half the time.
* TieredByName: The series in general does this for the spells: Fire -> Fira -> Firaga -> Firaja.
* TornadoMove: Aero is usually a tornado. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' adds the Illusionist spell Tornado. There's also Weak/Cyclonic/Tornado, which are typically used by enemies and removes a ''massive'' [[PercentDamageAttack percentage of your health]].
* UpdatedRerelease: Especially since the new millennium, the first six games of the series have gradually been re-released over time, each time with new features, usually new dungeons and some enhancements to gameplay, occasionally updated graphics, and bonus content like art galleries and bestiaries. ''I'', ''II'', and ''IV'' were remade for the [=WonderSwan Color=]. Five of the six[[note]]''III'' being the odd one out after their [=WonderSwan Color=] remake plans fell through, until the DS remake[[/note]] came to the Playstation (these versions later came to Playstation Network), and then got remade for the Gameboy Advance. With more specific improvements, ''I'', ''II'' and ''IV'' were released for PSP with enhanced 2D graphics, ''III'' has been released in 3D for the DS, PSP, smartphones (and Ouya), and Steam, ''IV'' in 3D for the DS and smartphones, and ''V'' and ''VI'' have been released for smartphones with enhanced 2D graphics. To date, the only main games in the series, barring the MMORPGS, which haven't received this treatment are IX and XIII.
* TheVerse: Each numbered sequel produces a new one (see NonLinearSequel, above); the only established universe to get a large number of games set in it is Ivalice (FFXII and various Tactics games), and even then the links between various games is a little confusing.
** Games getting sequels has increased in recent years including Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
* WarpWhistle: Chocobos, and occasionally airships (on those occasions when the party doesn't own one, but rather pays air fare).
** ''XII'' cuts down on travel by allowing you to warp to previously-visited save crystals.
* WhiteMage: The TropeNamer.
** WhiteMagicianGirl: White Mages throughout the games are unquestionably one of the {{Trope Codifier}}s.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: You see that list of games up there? Every single one of them has at least one character with hair of an unnatural shade, be it blue, green, purple, pink, inhuman shades of red, or--the series' favorite-- silvery-white.
* YourMimeMakesItReal: The Mime class has this as its power. Apparently, they mime any action last performed by an ally or enemy, and it becomes a real repeating of this action.
* ZombifyTheLiving: The Zombie status makes sufferers vulnerable to ReviveKillsZombie without affecting their allegiance.