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Over 30 years and still nowhere near final!

"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 Final Fantasy I

For the first game in the series, please see Final Fantasy I.

The pride and joy of Square Enix (formerly Squaresoft), Final Fantasy is a hand-rubbingly popular Role-Playing Game series, currently on its fifteenth 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 Eastern RPG (or "JRPG") genre. Many of the conventions that didn't originate in Dragon Quest originated with the Final Fantasy series, which in turn was influenced by Ultima and other Western computer role playing games. Even to this day, each new Final Fantasy game attempts to evolve the genre with new gameplay innovations or approaches, and although 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 JRPG genre.


The series was fairly-obscure for a long time in the west, before exploding in popularity with the release of Final Fantasy VII, which exposed most people to the JRPG genre for the first time. It is still widely regarded as one of the best RPGs (eastern or otherwise) of all time. Since then, Final Fantasy is widely-considered the gold standard of JRPGs in the west, and is held in such 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. Final Fantasy IV was released in America as Final Fantasy II, while Final Fantasy VI was released as Final Fantasy III. The confusion doesn't end there, as four games were given the name "Final Fantasy" to increase sales in North America: the first three games of the Makai Toshi SaGa series (renamed to Final Fantasy Legend I-III) and the first installment in the World of Mana series (released as Final Fantasy Adventure). Final Fantasy VII broke this trend and was released as "VII" everywhere, and from that point on, every release except for the Virtual Console versions of IV and VI (the latter was titled III on the SNES Classic) would bear the original numbering.


This series was also one of the first Japanese games made by someone other than Namco or Nintendo to reach US shores and capitalize on that market. Later Japanese developers would take notice and break onto the US scene; one equally-popular series which took advantage of this trend was Dragon Quest, Enix's Flagship Franchise. (The other was Shin Megami Tensei, Atlus' own flagship franchise.) Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were direct competitors as far back as the the NES days; following the Square-Enix merger, SMT and Final Fantasy are currently competing in both countries. Meanwhile, Dragon Quest has quietly found a niche market outside of Japan, though it remains 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 multimedia spinoffs. Final Fantasy X was the first to get a direct sequel (X-2), XIII was the first to get a whole trilogy, and Final Fantasy Tactics was the first to have a compilation of games set in the same universe, known as the Ivalice Alliance.

The Final Fantasy series consists of:

    open/close all folders 

    Main Series 
  • Final Fantasy (1987): A miasma is sweeping the world. The wind stops, the sea is wild, the earth begins to rot, and 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.
  • Final Fantasy IInote  (1988): 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 the use of spells and weapons. Though novel, most fans remember II as the one where clubbing yourself with a sword increased HP. Introduced the concept of guest characters joining the party, including the series' very first Dragoon.
    • Released on: Famicom (JP, Wii (JP), 3DS (JP), Wii U (JP)), WonderSwan Color (JP), PS1 (PSN), GBA, PSP, Mobile
  • Final Fantasy IIInote  (1990): Four youths are tapped by a mysterious crystal to restore balance to the elements and defeat a sorcerer named Xande who has strengthened himself with a mysterious power. Took a page from Dragon Quest III by implementing a Job System, allowing characters to switch classes at will, and threw players a curveball with its expanding overworld. (Though an airship is found early on, upgrades are required to float over mountains and other nuisances.) Easily has the most sadistic final level in the series, though the rest of the game is actually somewhat easier than the first two titles. Was never released outside of Japan until a full 3D remake on DS in 2006. The original 2D version has still never been officially released in English as of 2019.
    • Original released in Japan on: Famicom (Wii, Wii U, 3DS, Famicom Classic)
    • Remake released on: DS, PSP, Ouya, Mobile, PC
  • Final Fantasy IV (1991): When Cecil, the man in charge of the empire's flying battalion of doom, grows weary of harassing innocent people, his paranoid King fires him. Big mistake. IV had the most gripping storyline in the series thus far, with a massive rotating cast, multiple overworlds (à la III), and an overarching theme of redemption. Like III, it later received a full 3D remake.
  • Final Fantasy V (1992): The elements are wreaking havoc, 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. The job system makes a comeback with a whopping 22 jobs (plus an additional four in the GBA version), making this the most-customizable FF title outside of Tactics.
    • Released on: Super Famicom (JP, Wii (JP), Wii U (JP), 3DS (JP)), PS1 (PSN), GBA, Mobile, PC
  • Final Fantasy VI (1994): FF begins its steady march toward cyberpunk with this steampunk adventure, set in the aftermath of a world-destroying magical war. A warlike Emperor has discovered a way to revive the lost power of magic through artificial means, which serves as the start of foreboding cataclysm. 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 age, pushing the SNES to its limits. This marks the point where Square became a god-tier developer.
    • Released on: SNES (Wii, Wii U (JP), SNES Classic), PS1 (PSN), GBA (Wii U (JP)), Mobile, PC
  • Final Fantasy VII (1997): Set in a gritty Diesel Punk world, an eco-terrorist group stage bombings on the facilities of an energy conglomerate which mines the planet's life force as fuel. Meanwhile, a presumed-deceased mercenary by the name of Sephiroth plots the world's downfall on orders from his Lovecraftian mother. VII marked the peak of the JRPG craze, and while not a PSX launch title, it was the biggest incentive for gamers to buy the console. It also boasts the largest Expanded Universe of any entry, collectively called the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
  • Final Fantasy VIII (1999): VII was a hard act to follow, but VIII proved a solid (if esoteric) successor: Squall Leonhart attends a military academy which prepares teenagers for war against the Sorceress, who has risen to power and is imposing her iron fist on the world. The 'school days' plots borrow a few notes from Shin Megami Tensei, and are regarded by many as the game's high points. Gameplay deviated from the norm by using the "junction" system for battles.
    • Released on: PS1 (PSN), PC, PS4, XB1, Switch
  • Final Fantasy IX (2000): IX is a throwback to the NES/SNES titles, right down to the Super-Deformed characters, a four-man party, a medieval fantasy world, and mythology gags related to past games. A princess engineers her own kidnapping in order to be free of her despotic mother, who has recently come under the influence of a strange Arms Dealer. A world-spanning adventure follows, involving the would-be kidnapper, a princess in disguise, her loyal knight, and a young mage struggling with his existence. Notable for being one of the more philosophical entries in the series despite its bright and cheery packaging.
    • Released on: PS1 (PSN), Mobile, PC, PS4, XB1, Switch
  • Final Fantasy X (2001): Star-athlete Tidus is pulled through time, washing up in a ruined future ruled by the bastard child of two beings of astral origin. 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 English dub. Also experimented with Conditional Turn-Based mechanics (CTB), which affected turn order depending on the action selected. Though successful, it was soon discarded in favor of more modern Active Time Battle systems.
    • Released on PS2, PS3, Vita, PS4, PC, Switch, XB1
  • Final Fantasy XI (2002, expansions released from 2003-2015): A MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Vana'diel. Still reeling from the aftermath of a great war with "the Shadow Lord" twenty years prio, three nations brace themselves when the Shadow Lord's Beast Tribe minions organize themselves into a coherent force once again. Like XIV after it, numerous expansions led to an extensive and evolving storyline. Known for being particularly brutal (amongst the most brutal games in the series, for that matter). The most profitable title in the series, by virtue of running a paid subscription service for over ten years.
    • Released on: PS2, PC, Xbox 360. The service for the console versions was closed in March 2016.
  • Final Fantasy XII (2006): 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 a MMORPG, but with linear quests and various characters/races/summons from Tactics.
    • Released on: PS2, PS4, PC, Switch, XB1
  • Final Fantasy XIII (2009): 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 soldier, Lightning, 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.
    • Released on: PS3, 360 (XB1 via backward compatibility), PC and mobile (JP).
  • Final Fantasy XIV (2010/2013): Another MMORPG, set in the nation of Eorzea, which faces threats from an ongoing war with the ruthless and technologically advanced military state Garlemald and its Tin Tyrant generals, while also dealing with the beast-tribes and their Primals, as well as the enigmatic Ascians.
    • Final Fantasy XIV (2010) was originally released on PC to less than stellar reception. The planned PS3 version was delayed indefinitely and the monthly fee was suspended while Square-Enix completely reworked the game.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (2013) is the completely overhauled re-released version released on PC, PS3 and PS4 to considerably more fanfare.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (2015) was the first expansion and was released on PC, PS3 and PS4. It continued the story in a new region and introduced some new playable Jobs and a new playable race.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (2017) was the second expansion and was released on PC and PS4. It continued the story in another new region and introduced the Red Mage, Samurai, and Blue Mage as playable Jobs. FFXIV's PS3 service was closed upon Stormblood's release.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers (2019) was the third expansion and was released on PC and PS4 on July 2nd, 2019. It will take the story to the world of The First and introduce the Viera and Hrothgar as playable races, and two playable Jobs: Gunbreaker and Dancer.
  • Final Fantasy XV (2016): Warrior Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum goes on a road trip with his friends to marry his fiancee and retrieve his kingdom's stolen Power Crystal from invaders to prevent the world from entering a night of eternal darkness. The game is notable for completely abandoning turn-based combat for action RPG gameplay, along with a Western RPG-style Wide Open Sandbox. The setting itself, Eos, is also significantly different from predecessors: branding itself as a "fantasy based on reality", XV has the most "realistic" setting of the main series, resembling a mid/late-20th century earth with Physical Gods, limited Magitek, and real-world consumer brands. Also has a "Pocket Edition" that simplifies and abridges the game for release on less powerful hardware, but was still released on the same platforms as the original version.
    • Original released on: PS4, XB1, PC
    • Pocket edition released on: Mobile, PC, PS4, XB1, Switch

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

  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years: Set 17 years after the previous story, 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 a little too close for comfort.
  • Final Fantasy VII Spinoffs: Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy X-2: Another throwback game, and Square Enix's first sequelnote  to a mainline Final Fantasy. With her pilgrimage over, Yuna (with Rikku in tow) becomes a sky pirate 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 an airship.
  • Final Fantasy XI 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 
    • 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
    • Final Fantasy XI: Rhapsodies of Vana'diel
  • Ivalice Alliance:
    • Final Fantasy XII
    • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings: In the aftermath of XII, Vaan has joined Balthier 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.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics: 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. Can you guess which? An Updated Re-release entitled War of the Lions was released for the PSP.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: In this, the most metafictional 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 trapped in Ivalice along with him...
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2: 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.
    • Vagrant Story: An elite secret agent pursues a mysterious cult leader to a ruined city permeated by extremely powerful dark magic, uncovering much of his own Dark and Troubled Past 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.
    • Crystal Defenders: A Tower Defense game with monsters and character classes from the Tactics games.
  • Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy: a series of games sharing common themes with Final Fantasy XIII
    • Final Fantasy XIII
    • Final Fantasy Type-0: The world of Orience is at war as the technologically advanced Militese Empire launches an invasion against the Rubrum Dominion. The one thing standing in the Empire's way is Class Zero, a group of magically-empowered Child Soldiers. Notable for being one of the darkest games in the series with themes of warfare and death prevailing, this was one of the last titles released on the PSP. It wouldn't be released overseas until later when it received an HD re-release on PS4 and Xbox One.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2: After the events of XIII, Cocoon is saved and its residents do their best to eke out a living in the land below, Pulse. Though everyone remembers Lightning disappearing at the end of the previous game, her little sister Serah is the only one who remembers what really happened. One day, a young man drops into her life from the future, revealing that he is the last human alive and has come at Lightning's behest to find Serah and help save the world once again. Features a creature summoning system similar to X-2.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Years later, Lightning returns and is tasked by Bhunivelze to guide the souls of the living to the birth of a new world before their own is destroyed in thirteen days. Notable for featuring only Lightning as a playable character, though the rest of the cast is Back for the Finale.
    • Final Fantasy Agito
    • Final Fantasy Awakening
    • Final Fantasy Versus XIII: Originally created as a companion game for Final Fantasy XIII, it would eventually be reworked into Final Fantasy XV.
  • Combined Setting: Dissidia Final Fantasy:
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy: In an alternate dimension, two gods, Cosmos and Chaos, fight a war fated to never end. To this end, each god summons heroes and villains respectively from each of the Final Fantasy games and pit them against each other in endless combat. Realizing the futility of their mission, the heroes strive to discover the truth behind this conflict and end the cycles of war so that everyone may return home. A plot-heavy Mascot Fighter that pits legendary heroes and villains into 3D arena combat with RPG Elements. Also, expect a lot of Continuity Porn and Mythology Gags.
    • Dissidia 012 [duodecim]: Final Fantasy: A prequel/remake of Dissidia: Final Fantasy. In the 12th Cycle, Lightning and her fellow Warriors of Cosmos lead the charge against the Manikins, mysterious pawns that threaten the existence of both heroes and villains alike. Kain has other ideas. Introduces new mechanics, including the Assist Character, as well as new equipment and secondary heroes and villains, such as Laguna Loire, Yuna, and fan-favorite dimension hopper Gilgamesh.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015): A sequel to the PSP titles, released in Japanese arcades in 2015 with a PS4 release dated for early 2018. The heroes and villains of the Final Fantasy series are summoned to face off once more as two new gods, Materia and Spiritus, wage war. In addition to including characters from more games in the series, the gameplay is changed to focus on three-against-three team battles, with summons playing a large role in combat.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia: Free to play mobile game spinoff set in the realm of Dissidia. Unlike its action-based counterparts, Opera Omnia combines Final Fantasy X-style CTB with Dissidia mechanics and Super-Deformed art style. Also developed by Team Ninja, as with Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015). Is set to have virtually every character in the series playable, all of which have a part in the game's main storyline involving an untrustworthy moogle, the two gods Materia and Spiritus (returning from the previous game), and an unknown threat lurking behind them all.
    • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: A Rhythm Game loosely based on the setting of the Dissidia: Final Fantasy games. In a world inhabited by the gods Cosmos and Chaos, the crystal that separates them, the Rhythm, is weakened by a malign force. Champions from both sides are sent to gather Rhythmia and restore power to the Rhythm. Theatrhythm combines a rhythm game with RPG mechanics, allowing players to customize a team of characters comprised of unique Abilities and powers and send them out to battle or explore the world through the rhythm game.
    • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call: An Updated Re-release of the first game, adding a host of new songs and characters, as well as a competitive Versus Mode where you can fight the AI or another player in head-to-head music battles.
    • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: All-Star Carnival: The arcade adaptation of the Theatrhythm series. Features new "Medley" tracks that combine multiple individual songs into a single long stage, as well as local and online co-op modes.
  • Final Fantasy XIV is also beginning to pick up a list of expansions:
    • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn note 
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward note 
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
  • Final Fantasy XV Universe:
    • Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV: Five-episode mini-anime series detailing the backstories of Noctis's travelling partners and their relationships with the Prince.
    • Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV: Taking place between the opening cutscene and the intro of Final Fantasy XV, Kingsglaive is a 3D CGI animated movie that details the exploits of the Kingsglaive, an elite guard of Lucis who draw upon the powers of the crystal, and their (ultimately futile) attempt to protect Insomnia from Niflheim's attack on the Crown City.
    • A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV: 2D sidescrolling Beat 'em Up spinoff included as a bonus in pre-ordered and Day One Edition copies of Final Fantasy XV from certain retailers. Set 30 years before XV, A King's Tale tells the (slightly embellished) story of Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII in his youth, done in the style of 16-bit graphics.
    • Justice Monsters V: Depicted in-universe as a wildly popular pinball-esque game, JustMon doubles as a free to play smartphone game that follows the Justice Monsters, a band of heroic monsters from the galaxy Nova, and their quest to defeat the forces of evil. Playable in-game as well, using a stripped down version of the real deal. The smartphone version was No Export for You in Asian regions outside of Japan (although there were rumors saying that the Japanese version is available for download if you know what to look for), and was eventually retired in March 2017, mere months after launching.
    • King's Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon: A smartphone sequel to King's Knight, an obscure top-down scrolling "formation RPG" shooter released by Squaresoft in 1986. Much like the original, you take control of the warrior Ray Jack, the mystic Kaliva, the monster Barusa, and the thief Toby, as they battle for the kingdom. King's Knight also exists in the XV universe as a popular smartphone game that Noctis and pals play to kill time.
    • Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV: A PSVR fishing game in which the player goes on a fishing trip with Noctis and his companions.
    • Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition: A retelling of the original Final Fantasy XV for portable, and targeting casual gamers. This version of the game basically divides the game down into chapters, provides simplified controls, and gives the characters chibi-style designs. It's developed for iOS and Android, though was eventually brought over to consoles as Pocket Edition HD.

Games that are not directly connected to the settings or characters of the Main Series, but are still considered Final Fantasy titles.

  • Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles 1: An Adventurer Is You, traveling the world in order to gather myrrh droplets to recharge your village's Power Crystal, which protects it from the poison gas that covers the world. While the art design returns to a very "cute" style, expect many Player Punches as you witness and participate in the tragic stories of people you meet along the way.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates: 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.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time: 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 without a trace... and that's just the start. Happy sixteenth birthday!
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King: A spinoff set in the same world, in which the player becomes the king of a castle abandoned by his father and large, empty plots of land. The crystal in the castle grants him the power of Architek, magic that allows him to create buildings. Your job (should you choose to accept it) is to repopulate the city and hire townspeople to become soldiers and uncover dungeons in order to find clues to your father's whereabouts, though the young king is incapable of fighting on his own.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord: Another spinoff, related to My Life as a King. While the first game had the player building towns, Darklord is more of a Tower Defense game, involving a new young Darklord named Mira, the daughter of the Big Bad from King. As the newest villain in town, adventurers from all around the world come forth to try and defeat her and claim the crystal at the top of her tower, so gameplay involves recruiting monsters and gaining powerful artifacts to defend it from wave after wave of heroes.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers: Set some time after the other games, starring a mercenary named Layle, who is one of the last people in the world able to wield magic thanks to the crystal shard embedded in his cheek. When he meets a Yuke - long thought to be extinct - that appears from a portal, it puts into motion a series of events that threaten to shake the hold of the Lilty-dominated Magitek empire.
  • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest: An early spinoff of the series, designed to accustom Western audiences to the JRPG genre. It tells a simple yarn about a young boy named Benjamin who sets out to avenge his hometown, recover the four crystals, and overthrow the Dark King. Doomed to obscurity thanks to its childish difficulty, it also boasted one of the best and most-underrated soundtracks on the platform.
  • Final Fantasy Adventure: Instead of the usual creators, it was developed by the same team who made SaGa 3 a.k.a Final Fantasy Legend III as a sort of entry-level JRPG. This entry became the first of the World of Mana series and as such, the story, action-based combat, and stat-leveling system diverge quite a lot from FF titles.
  • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light: 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. Try not to break anything.
  • Final Fantasy Brigade
  • Final Fantasy Dimensions: Eight youths found themselves separated when the Crystal split the world in two. Now, as the Warriors of Light and the Warriors of Darkness, they travel the separated worlds to find the crystals and fight against The Empire, helping people and gaining allies on the way. A throwback to old-school Final Fantasies, it features a Job System similar to V and contains a ton of Mythology Gags.
  • Final Fantasy Dimensions II: Sequel to the above, but in a different world. The game follows a young man named Morrow who desires to become a famous adventurer. His life is forever changed when a meteorite falls near his home of Navos Village and meets a mysterious girl named Aemo. What lies ahead is an adventure that takes Morrow and his companions through time and space in order to save the world from beings attacking the fabric of history. Similar to the first game, it is a cell phone series, but it evokes nostalgia for another Square game, Chrono Trigger.
  • Final Fantasy: All the Bravest: A game for mobile devices. Everything, including bonus characters and rapid revival, requires you to spend more money.
  • Pictologica Final Fantasy: Another game for mobile devices. Final Fantasy meets Picross in a nutshell, and even co-developed by Jupiter Co. 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.
  • Final Fantasy Record Keeper: 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 Final Fantasy games (even featuring some characters from surprising ones, like Dimensions II and Kingdom Hearts). As a "Keeper" of records of histories of heroes, the player, Tyro, 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.
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: Another game for mobile devices. Brave Frontier, but with Final Fantasy characters. Unlike Record Keeper, which is primarily "Final Fantasy Nostalgia: The Video Game", Brave Exvius features an original story with original characters.
    • War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: A mobile game prequel of Brave Exvius, chronicling the events of the titular war waged on the continent of Ardora in the distant past. Unlike its predecessor, War of the Visions takes a Strategy RPG approach similar to that of Final Fantasy Tactics and does away with the pixel art style of BE in favor of a fully 3D world and characters.
  • Mobius Final Fantasy: Yet another game for mobile devices. A miasma is sweeping the world. The wind stops, the sea is wild, the earth begins to rot, and fire's been acting pretty sketchy, too. The world needs a savior, so a bunch of men with amnesia are summoned to follow a ridiculously vague prophecy in hopes that one of them might become the Warrior of Light. Yes, it's based on Final Fantasy I. The closest the franchise has to a main title on mobile, featuring full 3D CGI graphics and voice-acted cutscenes, backed by several veterans behind the main series.
  • Knights of the Crystals: A social game developed by GREE and released in 2010. Closed its doors in 2012.
  • Final Fantasy Explorers: A Monster Hunter style Action RPG for the 3DS where the player and three friends can explore the island of Amostela, fighting monsters and seeking crystals.
    • Final Fantasy Explorers FORCE: The mobile game spinoff of Explorers, which focuses on the exploits of the warriors of FORCE, an elite team of former Explorers who hunt summoned monsters to protect the world order. Lack of interest killed the game in early 2019.
  • World of Final Fantasy: A Mons game for the PS4 and the Vita. Received an Updated Re-release as World of Final Fantasy Maxima for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The story follows a set of twins named Lann and Reynn, known as Mirage Keepers, who journey through the realm of Grymoire (an amalgamation of many Final Fantasy worlds with characters throughout the series popping up) in an attempt to capture and tame Mirages. The Mirages, or monsters, were once under their control some time back, but an event that transpired (that they don't remember) resulted in them losing their former status as Keepers. Known for its Lighter and Softer world, storyline, and Incredibly Lame Puns abound.

    Dolled Up Installments 
The first three games of the SaGa series were retitled and released in America under the Final Fantasy Legend moniker:

The PS1 version of Chrono Trigger was released in America with Final Fantasy IV as a collection called Final Fantasy Chronicles.

    Chocobo Series 
A series of Lighter and Softer 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's Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy!

The Dungeon games are part of the franchise-spanning Mysterious Dungeon series, which are generally simplified roguelikes with prettier graphics.

    Misc. Installments 
  • Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals: Square's first sequel to a mainline Final Fantasy title overall. It's a four-episode OVA set 200 years after the events of Final Fantasy V, starring the descendants of the heroes.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within: A CGI movie set on 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 General Ripper who wants to take a more belligerent stance.
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited: 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 Big Bad, chocobos, and a moogle.
  • Agni's Philosophynote 
  • Final Fantasy Lost Stranger: An Isekai manga series about a Square Enix employee who dies and is reborn into a Final Fantasy world.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light: An 8-episode Japanese drama series. A young man seeks to reconnect with his emotionally-distant father by inviting him to embark on an adventure together through Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Chocobo Party Up : A Board Game with up four players competing to see who can bring the most Chocobos back to their nest.

    Related Series 
  • World of Mana: The first game was part of the Final Fantasy IP with the name Final Fantasy Adventure, but its sequels divorced themselves from the FF brand.
  • Kingdom Hearts: A crossover series merging Final Fantasy's gameplay and a few guest characters with Disney's franchises.
  • Bravely Default: Began development as a sequel to 4 Heroes of Light and uses tons of elements from the franchise and is, for all intents and purposes, a Final Fantasy game.
    • Bravely Second: The sequel to the above.
    • Bravely Default II: The third entry in the Bravely Default series. Much like Final Fantasy itself, it is distinguished by being a numbered sequel and takes place in a new setting with new characters unrelated to the previous games.
  • Octopath Traveler: Another JRPG from the Bravely team that shares much of Bravely's art style and mechanics, meaning it carries much of Final Fantasy's DNA as well.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Nintendo's Massive Multiplayer Crossover Platform Fighter series, mainly focusing their big franchises with some third party Guest Fighters. Final Fantasy VII's Cloud appears in the fourth game as Downloadable Content (along with a stage based on Midgar), and later returns in Ultimate as part of the game at launch.
  • Tactics Ogre: Though officially part of the Ogre Battle series of games, Tactics Ogre is considered a spiritual predecessor to Final Fantasy Tactics, and has a similar gameplay and tone with several members of the production team who worked on both projects. Some elements from the game, such as the Palace of the Dead and the Necromancer Nybeth Obdilord made it into Final Fantasy XIV.

The series has various subpages, including one on game breakers and accidentally humorous overwrought moments. You can also vote on your favorite game in the series here.

Tropes Common To The Series:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A To F 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: 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 Bosses, on the other hand, require you to get to this cap. Exceptions to this are Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy XIII, which don't use the traditional leveling system. Final Fantasy X, despite not using a common leveling system, is a straight example since it has the Sphere Grid, which is ridiculously large.
  • Acid Attack: The recurring ability Acid, an enemy-exclusive attack that douses the target in corrosive liquid and can inflict status ailments. In some games, Blue Mages can learn it by withstanding the attack.
  • Adult Fear: For a series known for its young and unrealistically pretty boys, the franchise has its share of Adult Fear:
    • Final Fantasy VI: Cyan 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 in the World of Ruins, an evil spirit grow powerful by feeding on his agony.
      • Strago completely lost his mind after the world come to its end and he become separated from his only family, his grand-daughter Relm. Shadow probably is like this too, if the WMG that he's Relm's father is proven true.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Barrett's adoptive daughter Marlene is taken hostage by Reeve and is held captive in Shinra HQ. OK, that bad guy is not actually that bad, but would that make a difference from Barrett's perspective at that moment?
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Edea 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 act like a mother toward Squall and co.
  • An Adventurer Is You: A number of recurring "jobs" with similar outfits, even in different settings
  • An Aesop: about peace, a Green Aesop, The Power of Friendship, 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.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Several characters throughout the series have names that reference lions in some way. Examples include Leon, General Leo, Squall Leonhart, Lion, and Cor Leonis (which literally means "Lion Heart").
  • Anyone Can Die: 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 Heroic Sacrifice, 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 Word of God 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. II is especially notable as the player is treated to the deaths of a whole third of the playable cast. It and IV basically used it as justification to make room in the party, although, in the latter. most characters turn out to be alive in the end.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: The series has loved this since VII, with guns often being weaker than melee weapons like swords and spears. At least the older games were mostly set in a more medieval 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.
  • Artifact Title: Final Fantasy I 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 30 years and 50+ 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 Final Fantasy X.)
  • Author Appeal: 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 Abominations that you would expect to see in art depicting the Fair Folk; 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 Sazh, Cid Highwind, and Barret. Nomura also has a thing for belts, zippers, and highly detailed clothing to fit the more "Urban Fantasy" setting of the post-VII games (which is why some fans believe his artwork fits The World Ends with You much more than Final Fantasy itself). His monsters also look like Eldritch Abominations, but not the kind detailed in old fae-inspired art, like a blend of organic and synthetic features, coming off as Ugly Cute. Oh yeah, he also loves 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-blond hair on humans. Oh yeah, 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 Hartman Hips.
    • All of them have a thing for feathers, too.
  • Attack Backfire: Final Fantasy II introduced the idea of monsters absorbing damage from certain elements and recovering health; particularly nasty is that draining spells work in reverse against enemies that absorb them, harming the caster as well as healing the target. More directly, the Reflect spell also causes incoming spells to bounce back.
    • Final Fantasy IV and onward also used the counter mechanic, introduced early on in many games with a boss that is completely immune 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.
  • Automatic New Game: Final Fantasy IV to VI for the Super Nintendo do this if there are no save files present, jumping you straight into the opening cutscene.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Your White Mages usually don't contribute much to the fighting, instead focusing on healing and support. But then they get Holy/Pearl...
  • BFS: The series has an amplitude of swords that in real life would be very difficult, if not outright impossible, to wield at all, let alone with any semblance of efficacy.
    • Man at Arms 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. (Which fits the idea of going for Massive Damage regardless, if you think about it...)
  • Big Red Devil: The recurring summons Diabolos and Ifrit tend to be this.
  • 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 Noob Cave, but later reunites with him at the end of the game, whereupon he discovers Boco has gotten hitched and had babies.
    • The crusaders in Final Fantasy X 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 the first game. As for villains, Emperor Mateus from the second game paved the way for some of the most infamous and infamously beautiful villains of all time.
  • Black Mage: The Trope Namer.
  • Boss Bonanza: The Final Fantasy series' favorite leadup to its final boss battles. Perhaps the only semi-aversion is Final Fantasy II because all of the bosses in the Final Dungeon, save for the Emperor himself, were sealed in chests and therefore optional to fight.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: 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.
  • Braggart Boss: A ridiculously over-the-top boss named "Gilgamesh".
  • Buxom Is Better: Most games have one female character who is noticeably chestier than the others. It was first made obvious with the improved graphics of Final Fantasy VII, where Tifa is much curvier than Aerith or Yuffie. Lulu of Final Fantasy X is also much more endowed than Yuna or Rikku (and shows it off by bending over deeply in her victory animation), while LeBlanc takes over in X-2 (and Lulu makes a cameo appearance). In art, Rydia of Final Fantasy IV is depicted as chestier than Rosa after the former's Plot-Relevant Age-Up.
  • Cactus Person:
    • Cactuars are enemies, usually found in desert areas, resembling stylized humanoid saguaros, with limbs resembling saguaro branches with a single right-angled joint each and faces consisting of two round holes for eyes and an elongated one for a mouth. They grow continuously over their lives, and particularly old and large ones, known as Gigantuars, appear from time to time as bosses. They're covered in needles, and fire them by the thousand as their signature move. Final Fantasy XIII also has them transform into Flowering Cactuars and flee from battle if not killed within a turn.
    • Final Fantasy XII has Cactides and Cactoids, creatures resembling short cacti with stumpy legs and long, thin, ribbon-like arms; they're distinguished by the two stacked cactus lobes growing from a Cactoid's head, which Cactides lack. They're docile and won't attack unless struck first, and drop bundles of needles and cactus fruits on death. There's a stronger variant, the Flowering Cactoid, which despite its name is a Cactide with a flower on its head. This one is hostile, and unlike the regular ones can shoot volleys of needles as an attack.
  • The Cameo: Two very Unexpected Characters from other Squaresoft games appear in Chocobo Racing: Aya Brea, from the Parasite Eve games, and Jack, from The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: Almost every game in the series contains a system of magic or 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.
  • Classical Chimera: The Chimera appears as a random enemy encounter in multiple games, with various depictions. Sometimes it is bipedal, sometimes it has wings and the amount of heads that is has and with animals they are, are different from series to series.
  • Combatant Cooldown System:
    • The Active Time Battle, used in games four through nine (and X-2 and Dimensions), succeeded the Turn-Based Combat 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 Turn-Based Combat. The order in which the characters and enemies act is determined by the 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 Player Character's turn, like in the ATB Wait mode.
    • Active Dimension Battle from XII is similar to the ATB but eliminates the Fight Woosh and adds the 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.
    • The Active X Battle system in XV does not have a strict cooldown system other than a technique gauge that needs to be filled up before using techniques. The way party damage works however (all damage can be recovered, until the character gets to 0HP, then they start losing maximum HP that needs to be healed in other ways), does encourage the player to back Noctis off whenever he takes too much damage so he can recover.
  • Constructed World: Every game takes place in its own constructed world.
  • Cooldown Manipulation:
    • Many titles, beginning with Final Fantasy IV, use an Active Time Battle system in which characters cool down at different rates. Several Standard Status Effects speed, slow, or stop the rate of cooldown: namely, Haste, Slow, and Stop.
    • Final Fantasy X 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.
  • Costume Porn: Fancy outfits have been common in the series, even if it was just the artwork in earlier games.
  • Cute Is Evil: Tonberries and Cactuars. Oy vey.
  • Darker and Edgier: 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 its current standing is ambiguous) seem to be taking it to new heights, including The Bad Guy Wins and at least two cases of The Hero Dies.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Many characters, although Alexander seems to get the most throughout the series. To date:
  • Death from Above:
    • Dragoons/Dragon Knights with their "Jump" command.
    • Comet and Meteor, dealing usually semi-random amounts of damage.
    • Sometimes, Holy is shown as beams of light falling from the sky.
    • Sometimes lightning-based magic comes from the sky rather than the caster.
    • Final bosses are fond of using cosmic attacks that drop meteors on you, send meteors into the sun, chuck a planet at you, etc.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Started (sparingly) with general fantasy tropes as early as Final Fantasy I, and later moved on to more specific RPG tropes that had sprung up in the years following.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: 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 die by the end of the story.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Quake, whenever it makes an appearance. Also, the Titan summon.
  • The Driver: Cid. Always.
    • Except in XII, but even then, it's his son Ffamran/Balthier.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy III had D&D style Spells per Day. Later games would use MP instead. Those two plus Final Fantasy II also had purely Turn-Based Combat, while later games would opt for a Combatant Cool Down System instead.
  • Elemental Crafting: Armor tends to go in the order of Leather -> Bronze -> Iron -> Mythril -> Gold -> Diamond -> Crystal -> Genji. Depending on the specific game, Steel, Platinum, Silver, Adamant, Dragon, and Onion, may be somewhere in there too.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors:
    • In the earlier games, Fire and Ice play off of each other, Lightning beats Water, Light beats Undead, etc.
    • In the later games, Water and Fire play off of each other, and ice and Lightning play off each other. Light and Darkness as well, and Earth and Wind.
  • Elemental Tiers: Common on the series with the Summon Magic, since you go finding them in your way, each one tends to be stronger than the previous one regardless of elemental attributes, 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.
  • Elite Four: 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 Four-Element Ensemble, 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 Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IV (and its direct sequel, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years), Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Bravely Default (a Spiritual Successor to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light), Final Fantasy Dimensions, Dissidia Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Final in the franchise title gradually begins to refer to how each game deals with an apocalypse descending upon their respective settings.
  • Escape Battle Technique: A staple of the series, usually in the form of the "Escape" spell or the occasional consumable item.
  • Exploited Immunity: Most games usually have spells which target everyone and require this trope to use properly;
    • In Final Fantasy VI, 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 Final Fantasy IX: Vivi's most powerful spell is Doomsday, which inflicts 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 Bonus Boss 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.
  • Face–Heel Turn: 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 Final Fantasy XII and continued in XIII and Type-0, the Cids have begun to act as antagonists although the former was against his will and the Cid of Type-0 is actually the Big Bad.
  • Fanfare: The battle victory theme.
  • Fantastic Nuke: In a weirdly literal example, the Flare spell. It is, in most cases, non-elemental, but in some games Flavor Text 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 kana (Japanese lettering) but causes some troubles when you're going to translate those names and are still limited to only four letters.
  • Five-Man Band: 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.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: The most notable of which is Cactuar's 1000 Needles, the former Trope Namer.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: 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. Final Fantasy II adds Poison as a fourth element to the set, opposed to Lightning in a similar manner to Fire and Ice's obvious dichotomy. Final Fantasy X adds Water to the mix, similarly set in opposition to Lightning.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: There are always a few terrifying enemies with rather innocuous names, such as Carrot, a Malboro Overking mark!
  • Four Is Death:
  • Fragile Speedster: 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 Active Time Battle system.

    Tropes G To O 
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Likely will be named Cid and invent airships.
  • Gainax Ending: 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.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: No, you can't use Phoenix Down to revive those killed in cutscenes. Or any NPC at all. They actually try this in Final Fantasy V, 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.
  • Genki Girl: 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. Iris provides a slightly more subdued variation in FF XV.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: A lot of bosses are either built up with Five-Second Foreshadowing or just plain come out of nowhere. Usually this is just to ensure you are properly leveled to handle the area that comes next, so this isn't a bad thing. However, two of the Final Bosses do this!
    • Cloud of Darkness from III only shows up at the end with zero buildup, gives a vague philosophic Motive Rant, and then tries to kill you.
    • Zeromus from IV. You've spent 95% of the game thinking Golbez was behind it all, only for it to be revealed that Golbez was just being controlled by Zemus, who is sealed in the moon, and when you fight Zemus and use Golbez's crystal on him, he transforms into Zeromus.
    • Necron from IX appears after defeating Trance Kuja. At no point before had he even been alluded to, much less foreshadowed.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • 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 thrown weapons or Dual Wielding, but tend to be restricted to lighter armor than other fighter-types.
  • Global Airship: You get one at some point during almost any game in the series (some games have several).
  • God Is Evil: 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.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: 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.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Weapons and armor made of gold show up in some of the games.
  • Gratuitous Latin: 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 Final Fantasy VII's Final Boss theme.
  • Gravity Is Purple: The spells Gravity/Gravira/Graviga (occasionally known as Demi) are Percent Damage Attacks that are often colored purple and black.
  • Guide Dang It!: Possibly the Trope Codifier; like many epic adventure games, certain parts are not easy to figure out without a guide, such as sidequests and how to find a Bonus Boss.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Several main characters, Terra of Final Fantasy VI and Cecil of Final Fantasy IV being the most iconic examples.
  • Healing Potion: 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.
  • Healing Spring: Appearing in every game from III to IX.
  • Healing Winds:
    • Spells called this or similar have popped up in IX and XIV.
    • The White Wind ability is a monster-exclusive skill that heals the target for an amount equal to the user's current HP. It can also be used by the heroes should the monster be mind controlled into using it on a Blue Mage.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: 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 often, 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, to 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.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Nearly every protagonist in the series whose abilities are predefined specializes in using swords or at least sword-adjacent weapons, like gunblades or daggers. If not the main character, there's nearly always at least one party member in every game who uses swords or something similar.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Several games have "Holy" as an element. Even without it being an element, the most common uses are the Holy spell and the Alexander summon.
  • Homage: This series is famous for making allusions to Star Wars, 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 The Thing (VII's Jenova) and Blade Runner (IX's Genomes and Black Mages) as well.
  • Horned Humanoid: The Ifrit summons.
  • HP to 1: A favourite tactic used by almost all the Final Bosses in the series.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Pretty much all of the Big Bads count as one in at least one stage of their life cycle.
  • An Ice Suit: Shiva is usually in rather revealing clothing.
  • Iconic Logo: 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.
  • Iconic Outfit: 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.
  • Iconic Sequel Song:
    • The Chocobo theme makes its first appearance in II, and later gets expanded in III.
    • The Moogles theme, which makes its first appearance in V.
    • Dancing Mad and One-Winged Angel don't appear until VI and VII respectively despite being the poster-children for final boss themes across the franchise.
  • If Jesus, Then Aliens: Several games have gods, demons, dragons, sorcerers, standard fantasy races, genetically- or magically-engineered Super Soldiers, and space aliens (usually of the scary dogmatic and/or Starfishy type) coexisting.
  • Jerkass Gods: If Final Fantasy has proven one thing as of late, is that the gods are immense jackasses. (Even the so-called ones.)
  • Joke Weapon: 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 features a boost in magic so as to not make it completely useless, and at times you can use it as a form of Loophole Abuse to hit enemies that normally avoid all physical attack but have single digit HP or are vulnerable to a status effect that can be inflicted on them via a Spell Blade.
    • Sometimes it unintentionally extends to items due to bugged stats. For instance, the goggles in VI, which do nothing.note 
  • Kamehame Hadouken: Aura Bolt from VI, and the Scathe spell from XII.
  • Killer Rabbit: Movers, Cactuars, Tonberries and two actual rabbits (Vorpal Bunny and Fury), in Final Fantasy XII.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire, Fira, Firaga, sometimes Firaja, sometimes Flare, and the Ifrit summon being the most common.
  • Kill It with Ice: Blizzard, Blizzara, Blizzaga, sometimes Blizzaja, the Shiva summon.
  • Kill It with Water: 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 Final Fantasy X, which had three levels of water spells and no water-elemental summons.
  • La Résistance: The Wild Rose Rebellion, the Returners, AVALANCHE, the Forest Owls, The Resistance and NORA, just to name a few.
  • Lady of Black Magic: As the Trope Codifier for the Black Mage, there have been many throughout the franchise — Rydia, Lulu, and Ultimecia are a few notable examples.
  • The Last Title: The (rather ironic) title of the franchise.
  • Legacy Character: A fair few familiar names crop up across multiple installments.
    • Every game in the series has a character named Cid. In almost all cases, Cid is an engineer who builds and/or pilots airships.
    • Many games have a duo of characters named Biggs and Wedge. Some of their appearances include being Terra's fellow soldiers in VI, members of AVALANCHE in VII, and Cid's fellow engineers in XIV.
    • Introduced in V, Gilgamesh has appeared across multiple games, in each one searching for the sacred sword Excalibur. Depending on the game, he may be an enemy, an ally, or a summon. Somewhat different from other examples in that, in many cases, Gilgamesh is implied to be the exact same guy as in V, and not a separate individual with the same name and a similar character premise, as is the case with the previous examples.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Often, the "weakest" character in the game turns into the most powerful under the right circumstances, though a combination of the right equipment and proper leveling.
    • Final Fantasy I
      • Thieves feature weaker physical stats than almost every other class, but only their speed stats stand out, which only really helps when attempting to run from enemies. Come their promotion to Ninjas, their ability to wield powerful magic and weapons turns them into one-man armies to rival the likes of Knights and Masters.
      • White Mages are only really effective against the undead with the Dia spells, until they gain access to Holy, after which they turn into pure and total forces of destruction. Plus, they can potentially use Fear on the final boss, Chaos, to make him run away, rather than fight him to the end.
    • While the original game did not feature being able to use him past his story departure, Final Fantasy IV featured Edward, the former Trope Namer for Quirky Bard. He was the weakest and slowest character of your group and got one-shot way too often to be useful. Later releases that featured being able to switch party members around gave you the option to bring him back, and if properly leveled and given Apollo's Harp, he becomes the fastest and strongest character, capable of dishing out 9999s every few seconds. Even in the 3D remake, where he's demoted back to Guest-Star Party Member status, he learns a number of songs that make him quite valuable as a Support Party Member during his tenure as one of Cecil's companions.
    • Cait Sith, the robotic cat riding a moogle doll from Final Fantasy VII was objectively the most useless character. He has the worst stats, as well as the weakest weapon type (aside from Aerith's Simple Staves, although in her case it's forgiven due to her being heavily magic-focused anyway), and it doesn't help that few players really like his character. But if one knows how to use his slots, he can break the game.
  • Level Grinding: Required for several of the Final Fantasy games, such as Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV, but averted with some others.
  • Level-Map Display: Present in various forms in all the games.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: In Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI, scrolls can be used exclusively by ninja to cast elemental spells.
  • Living Structure Monster: The Demon Wall is a recurring enemy in the series.
  • Lost Technology: That the schizo tech is frequently based on.
  • Low-Level Run: It is quite common to see players on YouTube perform these runs. Several games have the option of doing so to the end.
    • Final Fantasy VIII, 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.
    • Final Fantasy IX 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, being inflicted with the Virus status that disables experience and AP gain and by only using Zidane during the forced, story-based encounters that end up giving you EXP.
    • Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII 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 Final Fantasy XII is commonly called a "122333" run, after the lowest possible levels the party can be 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 New Game+ modes in the International version of XII locks everyone's level at 1.
    • Final Fantasy XV has a few features designed deliberately to facilitate this. First, the game doesn't actually apply EXP earned from battle until the party rests at a campsite or lodging establishment, making it possible to play through the whole game at level 1 simply by never using any of those facilities. Additionally, later updates added an accessory called the Nixperience Band which, while equipped, prevents EXP from being tallied even when the party rests for the night, making it simpler than ever to keep the party at level 1.
  • MacGuffin: They're everywhere.
  • Magic Is Rare, Health Is Cheap: As a general rule, MP-restoring items are very rare in any game, and tend to fall into the realm of Too Awesome to Use.
  • Magic Missile Storm: The recurring spells Matra Magic and Holy are sometimes depicted in this manner.
  • Magic Staff: Staves and rods are generally exclusive to caster classes.
  • Make Some Noise: Silence is a Standard Status Effect across all the games in the franchise that prevents the user from speaking and thus casting magic.
  • Mana Potion: Usually the ethers.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Metal Slime: 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.
  • Mind Screw: Initially limited by technology, but most games (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.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: 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.
  • Money Mauling: Several games across the franchise feature the "Spare Change" skill, where the character throws money at the enemy to kill them.
  • Monster Closet: 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?
  • Monster Modesty: 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.
  • Morale Mechanic: Enemies in some games opt to run away when faced with overwhelming odds.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The maw of Malboros had a lot of teeth, the better to focus on their Bad Breath.
  • Mythology Gags; 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 Snow being modeled off of Seifer and Zell.)
  • Mythology Gag: Starting around IX, Square started including references to previous games all over the new installment.
    • Gilgamesh seems to turn up rather often since his debut in V.
    • Garland and Chaos have made irregular appearances since I.
    • Bards being referred to as spoony, referring to the infamous line from Final Fantasy IV.note 
  • Nice Hat: 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 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.
  • Non-Elemental: Most weapons and enemies, but the strongest spells are usually non-elemental, like Flare (sometimes) and Ultima.
  • Non Standard Skill Learning: Very often used together with Guide Dang It!.
    • The 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 eating the monster). The problem is, the game 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 Instant Kill 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.
    • Summon Magic in general is this trope. They are often learned through defeating the summoned monsters in battle, but there are many other means.
    • Also Limit Break. Each character usually have their own methods of obtaining their ultimate attacks.
  • Not the Intended Use: 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 Healing Shiv.
    • 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.
  • Numbered Sequel: Main series is numbered for your convenience.
  • Nurikabe: The recurring Demon Wall boss, which also acts like an Advancing Wall of Doom. In Final Fantasy IV it lies in the Sealed Cave and blocks the way to the last Dark Crystal, and in Final Fantasy VII it's the last obstacle in the Ancient Temple.
  • Oculothorax: The Ahrimans monsters often are winged eyeballs.
  • One Curse Limit: While Revive Kills Zombie, being afflicted with the status ailment Zombie grants immunity to Poison and Petrify.
  • One-Time Dungeon: 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 Permanently Missable if the player leaves without picking them up.
  • One-Winged Angel: Most games have at least one boss who does this. The Trope Namer, Sephiroth, is from Final Fantasy VII.
  • Our Dark Matter Is Mysterious: Dark matter usually takes the form of a rare item that's used in high-end item combinations.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: 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.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Cloud of Darkness (III), Zemus (IV), Exdeath (V), Jenova (VII) and the Terrans (IX).
  • The Overworld: The series had the overworld until X, where they started to replace it with tube-like "road" locations.

    Tropes P To Z 
  • Path of Greatest Resistance: 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.
  • Pause Scumming: 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.
  • Pillar of Light: The usual appearance of the Holy spell.
  • Power Crystal: Frequently represent the force of "light" or "life". They are sometimes sentient, but almost always drive the plot.
  • Power of the God Hand: Godhand is a common name for a powerful fist-type weapon (usually with a Holy attribute).
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: Beginning with Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation, the Final Fantasy series became famous for its high quality pre-rendered cutscenes that integrated flawlessly with the pre-rendered backgrounds. The high production values and visual spectacle of these cutscenes were crucial to popularizing Japanese RPGs with western audiences, who found previous games' 2D sprites unappealing for conveying complex plots and characters.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel:
  • Punk Punk: After 5, the series got down on one knee and asked punk to marry it. 6 and 7 were both Dungeon Punk, with 6 leaning towards Steam and 7 leaning towards Cyber; as was 8. 9 went back to cuddling with steampunk, and it seems to be Dungeon for "the duration" afterwards.
  • Rage Judo: 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.
  • Ragnarök Proofing; You can't swing a sword in Final Fantasy games without hitting a fully functional relic of a lost civilization.
  • Random Drop: Enemies give items after battle.
  • Random Drop Booster: 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.
  • Random Effect Spell: Numerous throughout the series.
  • Randomized Damage Attack: 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 9999 the next, when other spells are more consistent from one use to the next.
  • Recurring Element: Cid, people named Highwind, moogles, chocobos, summons such as Ifrit and Bahamut, monsters such as Bomb and Cactuar, Ultima and Omega Weapons, Gilgamesh, Genji equipment, and crystals.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • The Final Fantasy theme. 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 largely dropped in VII and VIII (beyond appearances in "Birth of a God" and "The Extreme", respectively), made a return in IX, and then dropped 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.
    • The "Prelude"note  appears in one form or another in every mainline game from the very first entry onward, frequently on the title screen or an intro beforehand.
  • The Red Mage: Trope Namer
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent
    • Bangaa examples:
      • The Bangaa in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 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 Final Fantasy XII 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 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 Seeqs who also appear as enemies and are treated like second-rate citizens.
    • Final Fantasy XI has a few different reptile and amphibian enemies, and none are on any peaceful terms (Half the time because 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 The Empire of Aht Urhgan, but have since tried to destroy it.
      • Poroggos are frogs that were able to walk due to 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 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.
    • Final Fantasy II introduced Firion to a half-human half-snake hybrid called the Lamia Queen, an encounter he won't soon forget.
    • Final Fantasy XIV 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).
      • It also seems like Lady Yugiri of Doma is 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.
  • Revisiting the Roots: 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 Bravely Default stuck to that).
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Moogles, who are fond of saying "kupo". In Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, we can visit a Moogle village.
  • Roc Birds: In various games, you get the Zuu — gigantic birdlike monsters — as random encounters. The Rukh are more powerful palette swapped Zuu.
  • Ruder and Cruder:
  • Rule of Three: Before Final Fantasy XV broke the trend, exactly three numbered games note  were released for each home console system to host the series note 
  • Sacred Bow and Arrows: Many of the higher level bows are named after gods or mythological figures, such as the Artemis Bow, Perseus Bow, and Yoichi Bow.
  • Sadly Mythcharacterized: This series often depicts various mythological characters inaccurately.
    • Gilgamesh is the prime offender. He is depicted as a Multi-Armed and Dangerous Oni instead of the Sumerian king and eponymous character of The Epic of Gilgamesh. He's also obsessed with the Arthurian sword Excalibur. His human companion Enkidu also appears in several forms: a green demon, a green dog and a green chicken.
    • As a result of Copying several elements from Dungeons & Dragons, Bahamut is depicted as a dragon instead of the fish from Arabic Mythology. Final Fantasy XV makes him a gigantic Dragon Knight and the most powerful of the Astrals.
    • Odin is depicted as a Black Knight whose Weapon of Choice is not the spear Gungnir, but the sword Zantetsuken. Final Fantasy XIII's incarnation is able to transform into a horse and use lightning powers. Odin in XIII is also the Eidolon of Lightning, who takes on the aesthetics of a Valkyrie in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and effectively the job of one in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Final Fantasy XIV's incarnation of the character gave him attacks referencing Norse Mythology such as Valknut, Einherjar and the aforementioned Gungnir. His horse Sleipnir often does not have the 8 legs associated with him (and in Final Fantasy XII is A Kind of One).
    • Shiva. In Hindu Myth, Shiva the Transformer is a male god who defends and changes the universe. Here Shiva is a female entity with power over Ice who is closer to a Yuki-Onna. The name might be a pun on the word "Shiver". Final Fantasy XIII makes Shiva a pair of twins who can merge into a Motorcycle.
    • Final Fantasy XII included a set of bosses based on The Four Gods. One of those bosses is Fenrir, who is a bipedal white tiger representing Baihu. Fenrir in the original mythology was a wolf and a quadruped, not a tiger.
    • Final Fantasy XIII uses summons different from the traditional mold (though Odin and Alexander are still in the game). Most of which are more akin to Transformers. Among them are Brunhyldr (One of the Valkyries of Norse myth) as an Eidolon who can transform into a sports car.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has a few cases.
      • Heavensward introduces Hraesvelgr of Norse Mythology as a dragon instead of an eagle, as well as related to Nidhogg, Ratatoskr.
      • Also from Heavensward is the Primal Ravana, who is now depicted as an insectoid samurai. The actual Ravana was a Multiple Head Case and less of a Blood Knight and more of a scholar.
  • Saving the World: What you will end up doing in several Final Fantasy games. Sometimes with the rest of the universe. XII bucked this trend, in that Ivalice as a whole is in no danger (outside of the potential collateral damage of a world war), but the main plot involves getting the reins of history back into the hands of man after centuries of the Occuria controlling things.
  • Scenery Porn: Starting from VI, the series had a focus on rendering beautiful environments.
  • Science Fantasy: While the first games were predominantly medieval fantasy, the series began to dabble more with mixing sci-fi trappings in later titles:
    • Final Fantasy I featured light sci-fi elements later in the game, including a prototypical Super Boss in the form of the Warmech.
    • Final Fantasy IV remains largely medieval fantasy throughout, but also features a starship that takes the heroes to the moon, which was home to a long-lost technologically-gifted civilization.
    • Final Fantasy VI introduced the concept of Magitek to the series, with The Empire (which has a strong Steampunk vibe) employing magically-empowered supersoldiers and outfitting their rank-and-file soldiers with magitek armors. One of your party members, Edgar, also makes extensive use of technological "tools" while also being king of a high-tech castle.
    • Final Fantasy VII is set in an Urban Fantasy world with modern infrastructure and cars, motorcycles, and robots powered by The Lifestream.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has a strong Cyber Punk aesthetic, with the game's resident high-tech society of Cocoon being powered by magically-empowered fal'Cie.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has Magic Versus Technology in its setting, with the city-states of Eorzea, technologically lagging yet magically gifted, in a war against the Garlean Empire, whose people are physically incapable of using magic and compensate by making extensive use of magitek.
    • Final Fantasy XV is an Urban Fantasy game that looks otherwise indistinguishable from contemporary reality, with massive cities, cars and highways, and everything that comes with existing alongside Vancian Magic, Summon Magic, daemons, and The Empire using magitek.
  • Schizo Tech: Sometimes you get just a Standard Medieval Fantasy setting, other times, you get High-Tech airships, guns and futuristic stuff sprinkled on to that, not to mention the use of swords in even the most modern-leaning settings.
  • Sea Serpents:
    • One of the series' most recurring entities is Leviathan, a massive finned serpent who rules over the oceans. His (or in two cases, her) signature attack is Tsunami/Tidal Wave, in which Leviathan raises the oceans to send them crashing down on the enemy. Depending on the game, Leviathan may be a good-willed monarch, an evil dragon, a bestial creature, or something in between.
    • Jormungand (sometimes referred to as Midgardsormr) is also recurring monster, but oddly enough it almost never appears in the ocean.
  • Sequel Escalation: Throughout the series, some sort of hit point inflation seems to be taking place. In Final Fantasy I, the final boss has 2000 HP in the original version. By Final Fantasy IV 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 Final Fantasy XIII early enemies have hundreds of thousands, and each form of the final boss has over 5 million. Final Fantasy XII'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.
  • Shock and Awe: Thunder, Thundara (not the planet), Thundaga, sometimes Thundaja, and a summon, usually Ramuh, but not always.
  • Side Quest: Loads of them. For the first few games, they weren't more than "Go here, fight this guy, come back," but starting with IV, they really became deeper and grew to become a staple of the series. Reached its logical conclusion in XII, where doing every sidequest can take longer than doing the main story itself.
  • Situational Damage Attack: 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).
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: 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 X-2, who seems to go quite a bit further than just a "shout-out" to the company from VII. And then there's Dissidia Final Fantasy...
      • XIV also featured Lightning directly from XIII to help promote Lightning Returns, while XI's Iroha seems to have somehow ended in Eorzea instead of returning to her future on Vana'diel at the end of Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, and seems to be here to stay.
    • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years directly connects the first six games in the series through aggressive Canon Welding. Each of those planets exist within the same universe, and their various magic crystals were put in place by the same outside observer.
  • Smash Mook: Particularly the Behemoths.
  • Spell Levels: 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 Final Fantasy VIII (before, spells were simply named "[spell] 1", "[spell] 2", etc. due to limited characters). This naming system is carried over to the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The trademark design of the Ultima spell.
  • Spinning Out of Here: Several of the earlier games show teleportation this way.
  • Spiritual Successor: Dissidia spawned a subseries of similar Crisis Crossover 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.
  • Stock Weapon Names: Names such as Excalibur, Masamune, and the series' own Ultima weapon.
  • Stock RPG Spells: Has the core Fire, Ice, Lightning as offensive spells, a whole slew of Elemental Powers, curative magic, status buffs and debuffs, as well as status effects.
  • Summon Magic: Creatures that a particular class of character can invoke, and which represent most of the combat power for that character.
  • Take That!: A recurring enemy is the malboro, which attacks with breath awful enough to inflict almost every ailment on its target.
  • Tech Points: Usually called "AP", and often relates to a quirky new experience and character advancement system in each game.
  • Thematic Series: 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 fournote  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 Final Fantasy X-2 hinting that it's related to Final Fantasy VII and the XIII trilogy having the same mythology as Final Fantasy Type-0.
  • Theme Naming: A recent trend in Final Fantasy games, mainly ones written by Nojima, is having the protagonists' names related to weather or the sky, Like Lightning or 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 Kain Highwind and Cid Highwind.
  • Those Two Guys: 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.
  • Tiered by Name: The series in general does this for the spells: Fire -> Fira -> Firaga -> Firaja.
  • Tornado Move: Aero is usually a tornado. Final Fantasy Tactics A2 adds the Illusionist spell Tornado. There's also Weak/Cyclonic/Tornado, which are typically used by enemies and removes a massive percentage of your health.
  • Treants: Treants, generally resembling walking trees of various sorts — generally leafless, sometimes with topes broken off into stumps, and with faces in their trunks — appear as monsters in various games, debuting in Final Fantasy IV. They're weak to fire attacks and often found in forest areas, and Triffids, Ents and Elder Treants appear as stronger Palette Swaps of the basic Treant.
  • Unending End Card: Stopped occurring after Final Fantasy VII, but every game at the time ended with a never-ending field of stars after the credits finished up.
  • Updated Re-release: 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 sixnote  came to the PlayStation (these versions later came to Play Station 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 aren't scheduled to receive this treatment are VIII and XIIInote .
  • The 'Verse: Each numbered sequel produces a new one (see Non-Linear Sequel, 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.
  • The War Just Before: XII opens with an elaborate Arranged Marriage intended to merger Nabradia and Dalmasca, sealing their alliance against Archadia should the Empire push westward in its rapid expansion. Unfortunately, Archadian soldiers kill the husband soon after, and his wife swears vengeance on the country. Cue plot.
  • Warp Whistle: 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 Teleport Crystals.
  • White Mage: The Trope Namer.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: 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.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: 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, sometimes without even enacting any cost of said action.
  • Zombify the Living: The Zombie status makes sufferers vulnerable to Revive Kills Zombie without affecting their allegiance.


Video Example(s):


Cloud and Tifa Jump From Train

Cloud and Tifa end up in a intimate embrace after jumping off a train.

How well does it match the trope?

4.76 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuggestiveCollision

Media sources:

Main / SuggestiveCollision