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  • Kingdom Hearts has its flaws, like everything else. I won't deny that- heck, even I'm getting frustrated with Square Enix for not being consistent with the canon. But the series has still been fun to play for me, and even though the retcons get irritating and the Nobodies needed to be explained better I even enjoy the story. It's Disney without being overly kiddy (definitely a dose of sugar and light, yes, but not overly dumbed down or Tastes Like Diabetes) and that makes my inner child squee.
    • ... Plus, Riku was one of my first fictional crushes. So that's got to count for something.
    • The thing is, Disney's brand of feel-good isn't the Tastes Like Diabetes kind, really, and the fact that Mickey Mouse works so well as a Badass Longcoat proves it. The Kingdom Hearts franchise reminds us all of why we like Disney movies in the first place.
    • Indeed, Mickey has proven that characters like him CAN be taken seriously. He pulls it off so well, that it shows the writing genius of the game creators. When Donald and Goofy aren't being used as the comic relief, they can pull it off pretty well, too.
      • Yeah, I know. Bad wording on my part— what I meant was more of a Take That! to the people who expected it to be kid stuff all the way through because Disney was involved.
      • Fair enough. It still bears repeating: Disney =/= Tastes Like Diabetes. Most of the time.
      • As an old-school Disney fan, I was delighted by the care and research they did for the old Disney films. Some of them were genuine Nightmare Fuel (the whale from Pinocchio, Maleficent and the Queen from Snow White), and the bittersweet aspects were played for all they were worth. You could tell they genuinely loved these films, and wanted a new generation to see them with fresh eyes. The last thing I expected was for "Final Fantasy meets Disney" to actually work, but it does and beautifully.
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    • I also love the Kingdom Hearts games. The new games coming out might be iffy (due to Square messing up canon) but the first Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts II are pretty much the most amazing games ever made! They combine the Disney of my childhood with stuff I'm into now almost perfectly. Major awesomeness!
    • Kingdom Hearts was the very first video game, or the first thing I ever really got into. My first taste in fandom, my first cosplay, my first... well, let's just say it made me into the huge geek I am today. Everything about it provokes an emotion in me; I can't not smile when I hear Simple and Clean or cry when I think of "It looks like my summer vacation... is over..." Replaying the games, I won't deny they're flawed, and of course I'm frustrated by the inconsistencies, and the No Export for You stuff, but... Regardless! Just typing this has cheered me up from that stupid Darth Wiki!
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    • I just loved the magic-based puzzles in Kingdom Hearts (the first), though many were optional they were fun to find and only required common sense to complete(like using thunder on the broken wire in Traverse Town, or casting stop on the Big Ben to halt Phantom's doom spell). And magic was so well detailed in a subtle way, like using it on the fireplace in Cid's accessory shop(while the fireplace didn't actually affect anything and wasn't even a puzzle it could still be lit by fire or put out by blizzard and the smoke stack would either release smoke when you went outside or not accordingly).
    • The Organization is one of the greatest band of antagonists of all time. Despite not having a lot of screen time development or individuality, their personalities still come across. They have diverse & interesting fighting styles, & battling them is as much a blade-crossing frenzy as it is a puzzle. Marluxia's plot also proves that they aren't the cliche group that's united in wringing their gloved hands in concern of your every move. Plus, the series even makes you question just how evil or heartless they really are.
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    • The music is beautiful, the characters are amazing, the story is both tragic and uplifting... It sounds weird to say it but I have a huge passion for Kingdom Hearts, and it makes me more emotional than any other game. I love everyone in it and almost everything about it. And I admit, I fangirl some of the characters too. Sometimes I wish that all the characters could have happy endings...
    • Playing Kingdom Hearts was like my childhood manifested into one video game. I have to thank Kingdom Hearts for not only reviving my love for Disney, but also for getting me through some tough times when I first played it. The first game was pure, good-hearted magic and the second game was an epic adventure in a world I didn't want to leave. It's amazing how the game expanded from a simple adventure game to a vast universe of its own without losing much of the charm that made it popular to begin with. This isn't my favorite video game series for nothing!
    • I'm not exaggerating when I say that Kingdom Hearts may be the one thing that helped me the most develop as a person. Before I left for college, I was in a serious funk, not knowing really who I was. My dorm's lounge had a PS2 bolted to the floor, and after watching some friends play KH2, I thought I'd give it a try. I LOVED it. By the time I had finished, I was no longer ashamed of my love of Disney or video games. Before, I was very "closeted" about my hobbies and my nostalgia, but playing KH2, with my friends watching and cheering me on, made me much more open about them and Proud to Be a Geek.
    • Easily one of the most fascinating (and confusing) concepts for a video game I've heard of. I may have never owned any Play Stations, but that's never stopped me from watching hours and hours of cutscenes. The games for the Nintendo handhelds may be considered "not as good" to some, but that never stopped me from trying them out. Although I didn't grow up with Kingdom Hearts, I did grow up with Disney— in fact, it defined my childhood. I love the idea of saving and exploring my favorite childhood movie universes; it fills me with nearly as much nostalgia as those lucky bastards who actually did grow up with the series. After playing Kingdom Hearts, I always have a sudden urge to go binge-watch some Disney movies.
    • One of the best video game series of all time! At least, in my opinion. Out of all of the games, Kingdom Hearts II, especially Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, deserves special mention. The gameplay is so wonderfully unique that I still have not found another game like it. It might seem like a normal hack-and-slash game at first, but it is so much more than that. The glorious combat and different combos, incredible mobility, the combination of combos with mobility, amazing enemy staggering while feeling the weight of the keyblade, revenge value, magic and items shortcut, fun and challenging bosses like Luxord and Xemnas, and the vibrant worlds make the gameplay absolutely amazing. Combine that with the great story and characters, and this is truly a game to behold. I know some fans think that the story is silly, inconsistent, and whatnot, but in actuality, the story has still remained internally consistent, and I love how the games continue to build upon one another for one of the best Myth Arcs I have ever seen in my life. Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix is, in my opinion, the very best Action RPG of the JRPG type.
  • The opera scene (the one where Celes sings) in Final Fantasy VI is quite possibly the most beautiful, most seat-of-your-pants exciting sequence in all of Final Fantasy. You may call this troper a pussy for saying this, but I cry tears of joy every time I play it...
    • Final Fantasy VI is one of the most beautiful games ever made. And I'm not disowning any other games, I'm just saying that people who think the FF series is about girly men with huge swords should try this one.
    • This troper has yet to play a video game that can match the power, depth, and sheer beauty of FFVI. The ending almost brought me to tears. (Manly Tears, even, and I'm a girl!)
    • On the other side of the mood spectrum, Final Fantasy VI has the greatest villain hands-down in the entire series. Kefka's over-the-top flamboyancy and the fact he stands in stark contrast and even lampshades the heroes' angst and posession of The Powerof Friendship stand out in this series. Sure, he's an evil, Ax-Crazy homicidal maniac, but you can't fault a guy for having astronomical job satisfaction, can you?
      • Especially not when he has possibly the best final boss music in the Final Fantasy series.
    • It wasn't the opera scene that got me... it was the Falcon rising out of the sea in the World of Ruin. I was a complete RPG virgin when I played this game, and so I was completely not expecting all the events that unfolded around the halfway point - the Colony Drop, the world ending, the Light of Judgment, the complete helplessness of having all but one character flung to the far corners of the planet. After all that, to finally achieve the first true moment of hope and triumph, seriously made me cry. It's been more than 10 years since I played this game, and I still get goosebumps when I hear the opening chords of "Searching for Friends."
    • This is the game that proved to this troper that video games are an art form. I hold every other RPG to Final Fantasy VI's standards, and find myself frequently disappointed. It was not in the awkward graphics era of Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VIII, had some of the best characters in the series, and Terra's Theme, the "Freebird of video game music". Everyone on the planet should play this game, (and then listen to Terra In Black, for extra credit) and try to say, with complete sincerity, that it is not awesome. This is quite possibly one of the greatest video games of all time, and one of the defining points of the genre. I AM NOT FUCKING AROUND WHEN I SAY THAT.
    • In this troper's humble opinion, Final Fantasy VI is not only the best of the series, but of gaming in general. In addition to what the above tropers brought up, I really enjoyed the Magicite system, allowing the player to fully customize which characters learned what magic and make a diverse party of characters, each with their own role and abilities, rather than making the party members interchangeable like Materia ended up doing. In addition, the brilliant SNES dub is always a treat.
    • As a 2000's-born troper, I can consider myself blessed that I got the opportunity to play Final Fantasy VI. I was so impressed with the plot that I now want to become a plot writer for video games in general! I pretty much owe almost all my appreciation for old games (especially JRP Gs!) to this game (and maybe Chrono Trigger, too.).
    • This troper is a fan of Final Fantasy IX. The entire game is simply STAGGERING. Gameplay that combines simplicity with depth, breathtaking visuals, a story which is comparable to a Shakespearean tragedy (I'm not exaggerating much), and some of the most relateable characters in video game history., not to mention all the in-jokes, large or small ("No cloud, no squall shall hinder us", Doga and Une, Bobby Corwen...). Kuja is still my favourite villain, but you have to give credit to someone who can appear threatening while wearing a thong, a bra-like creation and a cape. Further Final Fantasy fans, feel free to fortify my favouritism. I'll just add something about the music. IT'S THE BEST MUSIC FROM A VIDEO GAME. Each and every song both fits the scene it plays in (You're Not Alone, Freya's Theme), and is FANTASTIC to listen to. My father, no "deaf, dumb and blind kid", heard that. It remains to this day the only good thing about video games he'll concede to. Nobuo Uematsu toured Europe to gain inspiration for the soundtrack, and only now is he recovering from having overworked himself. 'Nuff said (although feel free to elaborate, of course).
      • Also, Memoria is the coolest final dungeon in the series, hands-down. The sparse, but numerous cutscenes make you feel like the story is really coming to a head, and the music is easily one of the top five tracks in the series.
      • FF 9 is also my favorite. There are so many nostalgic references to the previous games that are done so well, it almost feels like a love letter to fans of the first 6 games.
  • Chrono Trigger is worth buying again on the DS. So very very worth it.
  • Xenogears, despite the budgetless second disc, is one of the greatest stories ever told in video game format. I pity the person who has not experienced the awesome that is this game. It has everything, conspiracies, giant robots, magnificient bastards, the works.
    • Square-Enix has just been bringing the Video Game Remake love lately. Final Fantasy IV just rocks the house in it's new form. They actually made it better. I'd have sworn it couldn't be done. Do VI! Do VI! And for the love of all that's reasonable, do VII. It's a license to print money, for pete's sake!
    • This troper wouldn't necessarily mind a VII remake...but ALSO for the love of all that's reasonable, please don't retcon stuff or tie it into the complication, Square!
      • So they should do a remake, but should ignore everything that came after it even though most people would familiar with those games and movies and would be expecting them to appear...makes sense! This troper actually liked most of the Compilation...
      • Can't let anyone forget VIII and IX, now!
      • IX? In HD? My my that sounds like the best idea I've heard all day. The reasons are obvious (at the very least: Zidane in HD), I just have one thing to ask. DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING. AT ALL. Except maybe hire the leading orchestras of the world to co-operate in re-recording the score. The game is brilliant as it is, but an enhanced "perspective" so to speak would bring it over the top and unto video game theosis.
    • Chrono Trigger is a case where I don't know where to start gushing. The fact that it's a time travel story that mostly stands up to logic, the tragic aftershocks of what happened in Zeal kingdom, the music that's heartbreaking and badass and gorgeous as the scenes demand, the friggin' awesome combo attacks, the way every time period had a unique and striking color palette...
    • One of the absolute greatest RPGs ever made.
    • Chrono Trigger is basically a nerd's wet dream come true. Featuring Akira Toriyama (Best known for Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump) as the character designer and artist, Yuji Horii (Dragon Quest) and Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy) as designers, and Yasunori Mitsuda (Xenogear, Mario Party) and Nobou Uematsu (Final Fantasy) as composers, that alone should convince any reader to buy this game straight onto their PSP or DS or iOS or PS3 or Wii or even (My favorite of all) the SNES off of Amazon. Though be warning the PS1/3/P versions have slow loading times. Also, if you hear the terms "New game+" or "multiple endings" and don't immediately think of this game, then you obviously haven't played it.
    • Hate me for saying this if you like, but Crimson Echoes is full of awesome too.
  • Dragon Quest is popular in Japan for good reason. The games have great music, unique graphics and most importantly, the ability to stick to tradition without going stale in the gameplay department.
    • Dragon Quest V is by far one of the greatest games of all time. Despite being released in 1992, the game's story has aged amazingly well and the characters are so endearing. Unlike most silent protagonists, you actually FEEL like you're the main character and what makes the story so amazing is because its not an epic quest to go killing monsters, but a more personal one. It lacks the recognition and fame it truly deserves. Hell, it's Yuji Hori's favorite Dragon Quest!
  • Final Fantasy V Advance. Best, translation, ever.
  • Secret of Mana has been touted by numerous players and reviewers as a pinnacle in gaming design - the ring system, the well-developed characters and motivations, the non-silent protagonist... hell, it's one of very few multi-player RPG's to come out pre-MMO! Someone else take over, since there's far too much greatness to mention about this game in one sitting!
    • BEST RPG EVER!!!
    • The sequel Trials of Mana is one of the more unfortunate examples of No Export for You. This game has excellent replay value. There are six heroes to choose from and three possible final dungeons and Big Bads depending on your choice, and each story is well presented. It has twenty-four final classes and makes them all viable by averting the Antidote Effect. The music is also great, with a South Asian flair on several tracks.
  • Final Fantasy IX. If this game was a woman, I'd make sweet love to her. If it was a man, I'd tearfully tell him what an inspiration he has been to me ever since I got to know him. If it was a child, I'd adopt it and treat it with all the love it deserves, and more. But since it's a videogame, I'll stay content with calling it the best part of the series and the best RPG ever made by anyone, with one of the most touching plots and some of the most sympathetic protagonists. Dreadfully underrated does not even begin to describe it.
    • Agreed! it remains this one's favourite ff game, for it had the most moments that moved me to tears. The music is also this one's favourite of the whole series, what with its melancholy medieval setting and all. AND Vivi need more love <3
    • Agreed as well. Even if the characters, story, setting and gameplay don't do it for you, if you don't like the music you have no SOUL. And Nobuo Uematsu is coming back for XIV, which is going to be MMO... Ho boy...
    • This game was my first for a lot of things. My first Final Fantasy game, which made me absolutely in love with the entire series (and of course, it's still my favorite). The first RPG that I beat by myself. The first game where I realized that magic users are amazing. The first game where I was utterly in awe at the cutscenes. The first game that I played that had a real, deep, heartwrenching story. And the first game to make me want to be a better piano player. When I discovered the sheet music online for free, I instantly printed out Melodies of Life and tried to learn it. I wasn't very good at the piano, but that opened up an entirely new genre of music for me to learn. Around 8 years later, and I'm a damn good piano player, with video game songs making up a large portion of my collection (in fact, I'm learning Eternal Harvest from FFIX right now, and it's tough but incredibly fun to play). This game impacted my life much more than I thought any game ever could.
  • No mention of The World Ends with You? You guys are so zetta slow.
    • This troper loves TWEWY for many reasons (its characters and capacity for self-parody, etc.) but particularly gushes over its style: from the music to the stat-boosting items to armor to the cellphone-menu to monster designs to the pins as weapons to the character designs, everything worked together to form one seamless urban fantasy aesthetic. It's a thing of beauty.
    • Insert shriek of glee here. Definitely one of the most thought provoking games I've ever played, and one of the first games where I actually cared about the characters. Even if Neku was a bit of an emo prick. Plus, some of the most gloriously human villains I've seen in a video game in a good long while. Too bad there's never going to be a sequel. We'll miss you, Minamimoto.
    • TWEWY is the only game this troper has ever pulled a 100% percent completion on. He easily spent 100+ hours on that game, more than he did on KOTOR, KOTOR2, FFIV or Chrono Trigger. The only one he might have spent more time with is Fallout.
    • Another 100%-er? Right on! TWEWY is easily one of the best games I've played or will play. It has the quality you expect from a big name like Square, but it pushed boundaries and is one of the few games in the current market that was new and fun and wasn't just another FPS or a rehash of an old success. It has high production values, an excellent soundtrack and voice cast, a distinctive art style, clean animation. A lot of heart and soul went into this game, and it comes out in the characters and in the atmosphere. Not to mention the revolutionary battle system and the one big enormous lampshade that is the AU bonus chapter. There's nothing I don't love about this game.
  • Final Fantasy VII. Look past the rabid Fan Dumb and the compilation, people. This masterpiece of a game well earned it's immense success and popularity! It's got a deep story, well developed characters, outstanding music, great gameplay, etc. It's simply got everything. Everything!
    • While I have no argument there, even the Compilation can be great. Crisis Core has a story almost as deep as the original, and it feels like the stage is being set for a rather epic story that can diverge from the original, include elements from it, and still turn out okay.
      • Heavily disagree on the story in Crisis Core being on the originals' level (it could've done without the Project G/cloning stuff) but the gameplay is excellent. Fighting enemies in Crisis Core is even more fun than fighting in the original!
      • Say what you will about the Compilation, the ending to Crisis Core is one of the best moments in the whole series. It was playing Crisis Core that introduced me to he world of Final Fantasy VII and got me interested in playing the original game.
    • Furthermore, Sephiroth. Greatest. Villain. Ever. Say what you want about him, he absolutely ruined Cloud. You know you're a great villain when you can completely break the hero. He was regularly screwing over the protagonists, tossing them about like rag dolls, & manipulating them for no reason other than the fact that he could. He also had the first well-explored backstory of any main villain in the series. His plan would have worked if he hadn't been so busy messing with the heroes, & Advent Children had him soar to further Magnificent Bastard levels by conquering death & ressurrecting himself via Geostigma & mere fragments of Jenova. He was a rather unique mix of Cosmic Horror, Serial Killer, Fallen Hero, & some parallels have even been drawn between him & Satan. Every piece of this character is extremely thought out. His name, his themes, his demeanor, everything.
    • Off the subject of Sephiroth, I found the materia system to be absolutely brilliant. Abilities weren't Gotta Learn 'Em All, the focus was on setting up strategic combinations that would also keep your stats in balance. The way it was reintegrated into Crisis Core was just beautiful. You CAN go through the whole game just button mashing, but if you want to get through the missions, you'll have to try a variety of materia & stat-balancing.
    • Dirge of Cerberus is another "say what you want about it" moment. I normally hate shooters, but found myself thoroughly enjoying the gameplay. While the story was the weakest in the Compilation, it was still decent, & every single Tsviet is a derivation of Vincent's characteristics. It also added a nice touch to the mysticism of the Lifestream, making it almost analogous to the human body. Now light was good & dark was evil—but those were rather arbitrary distinctions, & the forces could be manipulated by the other characters, as they were all parts of nature.
  • Final Fantasy VIII will be loved by me until I die and Spoony and the rest of the detractors can take a hike. I love the love story, I love the non-traditional concept of a main character (he's not "I'll just go and save the world now, tee-hee!"), and I love the character-driven story. I love the Junction system too.
    • I am with you all the way!! See this one was my first FF and still remains my alltime favorite, I loved everything about it—over-the-top special attacks, magic and breathtaking summon spells, the bittersweet story, the characters, the whole enchilada. I spent YEARS trying to get 100% Completion on everything (though the whole pocketstation thing made that near impossible). I hate to say like this but...the Spoony One can suck it. This game is fantabulous.
    • Same here, that was honestly the first time I was involved in a story and it inspired me to be a creator and write my own stories. Seriously it is my dream to become famous someday for a story I will write and when they hand me an award for Game of the Year, the only words in my speech will be FUCK SPOONY.
  • Final Fantasy X. This was my third favorite Final Fantasy. The cast was one of the best, & you could really see how they developed. Wakka got over his hatred of the Al Bhed, Yuna learned that self-sacrafice wasn't the only way to help Spira, etc. Plus, there's Auron. Need I say more? And while Seymour wasn't my favorite antagonist, he had understandable motives, & a well-covered past. He managed to be both menacing & sympathetic. Lastly, there's Sin, who became my favorite non-human enemy in the series. This thing could kill you. It could create monsters that killed you. Monsters would follow it around to kill you. It emitted a substance that messed with your head. It could even fly with gravity magic, & recover within a few minutes of having its arms chopped off, which were the source of its entire locomotion.
    • Or how about the battle system? A relatively new spin on turn-based RPGs, the battle system of FFX allowed you to focus on strategies, and the box that shows the turn order allows you to have some insight as to the consequence of the next action you will take and what you should do with your current turn.. Boss turn coming up? Let's bust out those protective spells. A decisive character's turn coming up? Time to buff him up. A summon's overdrive resulting in massive turn delay? Okay, better not do that. I've played through five different FF games, and FFX's battle system remains as my favorite.
    • Ya'll got the characters and the battle system, but what about the soundtrack? It is easily one of the most gorgeous soundtracks for anything I've ever heard; I seriously never get tired of listening to it. Each track amplifies the beauty of the environment of Spira. That's another thing!! The world of Spira was just incredible, from its tiny seaside villages to its scorching desert island to its lonely, snowy mountain that shrouds a city dead for 1000 years. Everywhere you went was like an orgasm for your eyes. Also, the story was amazing. It weaves in so many different things so well and integrates action, romance, suspense, and surprise twists into a nice little package. And the story and the characters in it really make you feel what they're going through. I've never played a game that made me feel so angry or happy or sad or ANY emotion. Easily my favorite Final Fantasy, AND GAME, of all time.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics didn't have the best cast ever. However, it had an amazing story of medieval political intrigue, an ominous group of antagonists in the form of the demonic Lucavi, & just a breathtaking battle system, that relied upon strategic moves in 3D environments. "Extreme Chess," as I like to call it. Furthermore, the way it was set up eliminated any possibility of having a general strategy, reliable for every battle, until you got Orlandeu.
  • Terranigma is a truly amazing game that sadly gets far too little recognition. The story is great, the gameplay is enormously fun, the music is excellent, and it has possibly the most touching Bittersweet Ending of any game out there.
  • Final Fantasy X-2, I don't care if you call it Fanservice incarnate or Character Derailment, I truly deeply love this game! It has it all. And I mean all!
  • Chrono Cross is definitely one of my favorite games and the shining example of Even Better Sequel in video gaming, Chrono Trigger. First off, the battle system is unique from anything I've seen in any other RPG while still being fun in its own right. The characters manage to be mostly unique and interesting (though, I am a sucker for RPG with large casts of characters). The backgrounds are, in a word, stunning and the art style is one of my favorites in a game. The music, if anything, is even better than Chrono Trigger's. I literally cried when I first heard The Stars, Wind, and Waves. In fact, the only major criticism for this game I can think of is the plot, which is endlessly confusing and has some pretty big plot holes. Still, Chrono Cross remains one of my favorites.
  • Haters gonna hate, but I loved Final Fantasy XIII. The music (not Uematsu, but still good), the story (confusing but epic once you get into it), the character development—holy hell, the character development—the top notch voice acting, the absolutely obscenely gorgeous graphics, the fun and challenging battle system... Heck, I even think the linearity is a great change. The main characters feel like an actual family for once, something the Final Fantasy games consistently have difficulty achieving. The ending makes me cry every time I watch it.
    • I'll admit that I hadn't played a Final Fantasy since IV, but I too loved XIII. Especially the soundtrack. Oh good gods, the soundtrack... And the characters! And, and, the plot! And the soundtrack! * flails arms*
    • Late to the party, obviously, and in spite of all the flaws that I can see and the fact I'll probably get stoned to death, Final Fantasy XIII is my first true love. It is not the first great game I've played, but I have a completely irrational love and attachment to the game. I love the world, the music (THE MUSIC! To me, Masashi Hamauzu is more than a worthy successor to Uematsu), the characters (even if there was potential for more development) so much. Special mention to the game mechanics - I love the Paradigm Shift system, especially all the names they give to your paradigms, even the roles themselves. Even if and when a better game comes by, it will be fondly rememberd as my first love, and nothing will ever change that.
    • Oh yes the battle system was amazing once I got used to it, and what is a first for me I loved all the main characters (even if Hope did annoy me at first) and it's just so incredibly beautiful to look at. Screw what the haters say about it's linearity, I thought it was incredible. Edited to add: I have hesitated in making my opinion because it is pure Flame Bait, but: FFXIII has the best FF soundtrack ever. The incredible quality and sheer DIVERSITY of the music is amazing. There is dance/J-pop EarWorms, beautiful orchestral music, interesting and layered electronica, awesome Jazz to go with Ensemble Dark Horse Sazh and the best arrangement of the the chocobo theme ever in Pulse de Chocobo. There's even rock and BLUES. Plus the masterful use of the piano as Masashi Hamauzu's signature instrument, it's not just good VGM, it's just plain good, nuanced music that sounds all the more amazing on your stereo system. Hats off, Mr. Hamauzu.
    • Story-Wise, I was really skeptic about XIII. Reaaaaally skeptic. Since the series shifted from the medieval, steam punk settings for futuristic ones, I thought the overall plots had taken a dire hit. I was very surprised when I realized that... I really liked XIII's story! Sure, it isn't the best plot of the series, and it takes some cues from past games and all, but it is well done. For example, after the first confrontation with Barthandelus, where the Big Bad explains lots of things to the main heroes that supposedly he shouldn't be telling then, I was ready to cast the "bad story telling" stone when, gasp! The characters themselves addressed this fact! And those who played the game will understand the reasoning behind this. In any case, I support the above tropers' opinion wholeheartedly.
  • This page is not going to happen without Final Fantasy XII anymore. Sorry. I'm a huge fan of IX, X, even VII and VI to some extent, but there's something about XII that just feels different. I agree IX has the plot of a Shakespearean tragedy, but XII has the dialogue of a Shakespearean play with the plot of a high-tempo political thriller. The translation is incredible. Character-wise, Balthier is easily one of my top five characters of all time ever, and Ashe is a fantastic female protagonist who belongs in the pantheon with Yuna and Rydia and Celes. Vaan and Penelo are surprisingly easy to ignore if they annoy you, and if they don't they're both fairly sympathetic. The Judges are perhaps the most interesting antagonists in the whole series, especially Drace (who's very nearly a Hero Antagonist) and Gabranth, and Vayne is one of the most brilliant and twisted Big Bad contenders ever. The morality of this game is not straight and easy - those opposing you have understandable if not noble goals, just twisted methods. It only makes it worse that two of the major villains are secretly related to people in your party. Beyond all of that, the locations are vast, varied, and breathtaking, the boss fights are incredible and challenging, and while the music is certainly not on par with To Zanarkand or One-Winged Angel, there are moments in the soundtrack that still give me score chills. Best of all is the battle system, which does away with the curse of random battles and makes you feel like a real hero on a real adventure.
    • This is easily the most underrated game of the series.The writing is good,and the gameplay was the only one in this series which wasn't incredibly frustrating.Even if all VII fans hate me for it,I will dare saying that this is one of my favorite Final Fantasy games,along with VI and V.
  • Christ on toast, Live A Live. I had to emulate it, of course, and after spending some time with it, I don't regret it at all. It's just adorable. The first scenario I played, the prehistoric one, was very innovative in conveying the story without dialog. I am only about halfway through the game, but I think this is one of the most fun games I've played in a while. They don't make 'em like this anymore. The game is like a hybrid of a more-functioning SaGa Frontier and a less-overexposed Chrono Trigger. If you don't have any moral qualms about emulating older games(and let's face it, who does?), then run, don't walk to your nearest computer and get the fan translated ROM from one of those less skeevy emulator sites to get your hands on Live A Live!
  • I don't care how bad it is or how little sense it makes, Legend of Mana will always be one of my favorite games ever. To say nothing of the friggin' awesome soundtrack, regarded by even the composer herself as her best work.
  • Though this may seem like an odd choice of a game to gush about, I adore Theatrhythm Final Fantasy! Fantastic music (of course, it's Final Fantasy), an interesting twist on the Rhythm Game formula by adding RPG elements, and the Chaos Theatre is! I can't stop coming back for more!
  • I think Deus Ex: Human Revolution qualifies for this page. Not as long as the original Deus Ex, not as dense as the original Deus Ex, but if anything brought the brand back to the popular conscious and ensured even more "reinstalls" and fresh new installs from Deus Ex virgins, and it really does feel definitively like a true modern day Deus Ex game. Finally. Thank you, Eidos, for reminding us why Video Games really are art. Seriously, half that game is arguing and debating the merits of various humanist philosophies, I love it.
    • Of special note, I have to quote Extra Credits when they mentioned the social boss battles. Hopefully they'll make the rest of the game companies sit up and take notice that wittling away at a life bar isn't the only way to have a satisfying, pulse pounding confrontation with an antagonist.
  • Final Fantasy XIV had its share of problems. But as End of an Era can show you... no one can tear your heart out and crush it like Square Enix. If you were one of the original 1.0 players, you knew your avatar was down there. Watching. Knowing that they couldn't stop THAT. And then white, nothing but white...
    • A Realm Reborn rose from the ashes of 1.0 a greater game than its predecessor. All the problems that plagued 1.0 were addressed, and more bells and whistles were added as the game continued to grow and thrive.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy is one of the most delightful fighting games of all time, pitting the heavy-hitters from every FF game up to its release in high-flying high-energy duels. Dissidia 012 refined the formula even more, on top of adding more fan favorites to the roster.
  • In a genre that has stagnated a little, 2010's NieR is a much needed breath of fresh-air. While the gameplay is subpar and it's lacking polish in some areas, it makes up for this in spades by having a completely unique, highly memorable cast, arguably one of the greatest localizations of any Japanese game ever (with surprisingly natural dialogue and unusually good voice-acting for the most part), an amazing use of game mechanics as storytelling in several ways (Ending D is one of the most powerful moments of any game I've ever played, period), one of the best soundtracks in video game history. The game completely avoids, subverts, deconstructs, and parodies so many aspects of not only JRPGs, but games, in a way that is completely engaging from beginning to end. Even in the areas that it's strongest I don't think it's perfect, but I feel comfortable calling it one of the best JRPG narratives of all time, easily above most of the other games SE themselves have done, even if that's in part because of "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny. Even the weakest link in the game, the main character, still works in a way that a lot of movie characters do, in that he's not the most complex character, but still very sympathetic and likable, with good relationships with the other characters, especially Yonah. Most JRPGs usually don't even achieve THAT. It's rather surprising that cavia, a studio known for making mostly terrible/mediocre low-budget games (with one that was still arguably bad but at least pretty interesting), actually had it in them to create a game that had this much soul in it. When the sequel to the game was announced in 2015 with literally a dream team of talent I'd want working on my dream JRPG, I almost cried. The fact that SE was willing to fund both Drakengard 3 and that game, with such an all-star development team, shows that they are not nearly as bad as some people think they are, because they still have artistic ambitions that matter to them beyond simply making money.

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