Final Fantasy X is the first game in the fourth generation of the Final Fantasy series, released on the PS2 in 2001. In my view, not only does it remain the best in it's generation (over XI and XII), but one of the best in the series period. The story is fascinating and beautifully told. I'm fond of stories where characters get drawn into a whole other world and have an adventure there, and this is one of the best examples of these types of stories. There are many emotional twists and turns, and it all feels cohesive and appropriately paced. The biggest revelation that happens midway through the game even changes the whole story's nature when you go back and play through it a second time, catching on to all the prior Foreshadowing. Of course, the story wouldn't work if it didn't have strong characters driving it, and this story has plenty of them. Yes, he spends a good quarter and a half of the game as a whiny Idiot Hero, but Tidus does develop and grow, to the point where he's mature enough to not whine when learning something about himself that would give him damn good reason to complain. Yuna is a great kind, gentle yet strong heroine, arguably even better than Aerith. Wakka, Lulu, Kimahri and Rikku are all likable supporting characters and each have some distinct development. Only Auron doesn't change, but that's because he's past his development already, and now is content being the ultimate Badass mentor. And of course, there's Sin, one of the most terrifying RPG antagonists ever. Combine this with still visually beautiful graphics due to great art direction, a superb musical soundtrack, and fun, fast-paced turn-based gameplay (ignoring that damned Sphere Grid...), and you have an excellent RPG. The one complaint is that it's more linear than past games (with no World Map and all), but that was probably a cost of the upgrade to the PS2 the series had to make. Still, this game is, to me, the last "great" Final Fantasy game, and if it's upcoming HD rerelease proves one thing, it's that it's a classic.
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