Every Final Fantasy Game Ranked
Image: Square Enix

Every Final Fantasy game, ranked from worst to best

Some are the final thought, while others are a grand finale, but they're all fantasy.

Final Fantasy is quite the franchise for having its ironic name, and with the franchise close to forty years old, there are many games to cover and a simple question to ask: Which ones are the best? Here’s every Final Fantasy game, ranked from worst to best.

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This will only be covering the main series’ games and original versions, or else we’d be here forever. With that in mind, starting from the bottom:

16. Final Fantasy II

Final Fantasy Ii
Image: Square Soft

Sometimes, a universal consensus simply holds: the sequel to the original Final Fantasy does not hold up when compared to all of its peers, and the dislike for it holds to this very day. Perhaps there was a chance for it to become a cult classic at some point, but it feels long past that point now. Two will have to live on in infamy for being poorly executed and designed from a gameplay standpoint, but at least all the entries above prove it was only a fluke.

15. Final Fantasy III

Final Fantasy 3
Image: Square Soft

Though regarded as better than two, we’re ruling out the DS remake on this one, meaning we can only judge it by the original release. While three is a fun game in its own right, it just doesn’t stand out as well on a list that’s also going to have seven, sixteen, and eight on it. Three was an earnest effort to respect, but it didn’t reach its full potential until it was remade.

14. Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy Logo
Image: Square Enix

It’s the original game, and we have it to thank for everything for that. Final Fantasy will always be a classic in that sense, but if we take it for what it is, it’s lacking in anything except iconography. It’s a worthy stepping stone to better games and that’s about it. It was what it needed to be at the time.

13. Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy 15
Image: Square Enix

Perhaps a controversial opinion, but 15 is a lot weaker than it should have been. The scrapping of its spin-off status of an already controversial entry to become its own story just results in an incomplete game that isn’t fully one thing or the other. 15 just has everything going against it, and it shows, but at the least, it could have been a lot worse.

12. Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy 13
Image: Square Enix

Thirteen is one of the most polarizing entries in the franchise. While the critical reception ranged from favorable to phenomenal, the fans have not come to look upon thirteen favorably, and some would even call it the worst. I don’t think Thirteen is anywhere near two — it has its supporters that claim it is a hidden gem — you won’t find me rushing to play it again. I think I would rather pick up almost anything else on this list.

11. Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy 11
Image: Square Enix

Eleven is a perfectly competent MMO in its own lane, but it just doesn’t match up to its MMO competitor in the list by any chance, nor stand out among the rest of the lineup. Eleven is certainly an entry in the franchise, but there’s not too much to say about it with how overshadowed it’s gotten over the years.

10. Final Fantasy XVI

FF 16
Image: Square Enix

I think Sixteen is a perfectly fun and good classic Final Fantasy adventure experience with some great boss designs, a fun world with interesting lore, and in every right of its own, it’s a good game. It’s just got high competition in a Final Fantasy list. Still, Yoshi-P’s passion shows all over the end product, and he was clearly the right choice to direct it. It’s just not as charming as other entries in the series.

9. Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy 12
Image: Square Enix

What Sixteen lacks in plot I feel is far more complete in the narrative of Twelve. Fran alone bumps Twelve to its space in this list, but the rest of the cast is solid and memorable — and so is the setting. Sometimes Final Fantasy just needs a good political drama, and this one is quite solid to make it stand out a bit more.

8. Final Fantasy VIII

FF 8
Image: Square Soft

Eight is not great. It’s not the greatest. This is a known fact about eight in the court of public opinion, but it’s still decent enough. The American Action movie take on a Final Fantasy, like Twelve’s political drama, is interesting and entertaining enough to make it memorable. It just lacks everything else to make it truly stand out as anything more than decent. It’s still worth an occasional replay at the end of the day.

7. Final Fantasy V

Final Fantasy 5
Image: Square Soft

Five is overlooked in the lineup, and for what reason? Between its iconic, charming cast of characters, its memorable villain in Exdeath, and its incredibly solid gameplay, there’s not much not to love about five besides the actual story and tone. It’s also to credit for job-switching mechanics in this franchise, which later games have to thank Five for profusely.

6. Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy 10
Image: Square Enix

The first entry to use voice acting is memorable for more than just that. It perfectly balanced cutscenes so they don’t feel like a movie but remain stunning in quality and presentation. It uses an actual turn-based system, and its story is one of the biggest tearjerkers in the whole series. Everything is here in terms of story and solid gameplay to boot. Ten made a lot of strides for the series, and it shows.

5. Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy Xiv
Image: Square Enix

The objectively better of the MMOs to me, Fourteen manages a great balance between referencing everything else in Final Fantasy and still being an original product you don’t need the other games and their stories to enjoy. If taken by expansion, Endwalker and Shadowbringers are top-tier Final Fantasy in my opinion, followed by Heavensward, Stormblood, and A Realm Reborn/the base game. It’s a lot better now than it was when it came out and is mechanically sound, but being an MMO often holds it back from the greater narrative potential it took until the last two expansions to properly capitalize on anyway. Maybe if Dawntrail is great, it’ll climb even higher in the rankings.

4. Final Fantasy IV

FF 4
Image: Square

To put it simply, Four is just straight-up incredible. It has one of the best stories of the entire franchise, good gameplay, brutal plot twists, and amazing characters. Between Cecil and Golbez alone, Four just has it all. Four represents the franchise at its peak.

3. Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy 6
Image: Square

If we want to talk about quality by memorability, Six is a game where the entire world gets destroyed and the gameplay is some of the best in the series. It went places no other Final Fantasy dared to at the time, and that earns it a spot near the top of the list. Also, Terra is in it.

2. Final Fantasy IX

FF 9
Image: Square Enix

What is there not to like about Nine? It’s heartwrenching, it’s heartwarming, it’s got incredible depth to its story and characters second to almost none, the music and graphics hold up, and the setting is mesmerizing. The battle system is one of the best in the series and more than anything else, it’s simply bursting with heart. If you don’t cry at least once playing Nine, I don’t think you’ll ever cry at a Final Fantasy game.

1. Final Fantasy VII

FF 7
Image: Square Enix

There are no surprises here. It’s Seven. Seven simply cannot be topped in terms of its story, characters, memorable world, and one of the most memorable villains in all of gaming. It’s no wonder it has a remake and a rebirth. Seven is simply the infinitely enjoyable, complete milestone of this franchise, and I don’t think Final Fantasy would ever have been successful without it. It’s not my personal favorite, but it’s a better game than it, so I can’t deny the classics. Seven stays on its throne.

Related: FF7 Rebirth chapter list: how long is Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?

And that was every Final Fantasy game ranked worst to best. The beauty of this franchise is everyone’s lists will look different, allowing for a wider range. What order would you put the numbered fantastical finales in?


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Alexa BeMent
Alexa BeMent is an aspiring media creator and writer who may also secretly be a manatee masquerading as a human. A Virginia Tech graduate with Creative Writing and Cinema degrees, she has been a Freelance Writer for PC Invasion since February 2023, and enjoys writing stories and consuming video essays when she's not planning the Manatee Uprising. Having played video games since before she could read, she is a lover of all things Legend of Zelda, FFXIV, horror games, and can play competitive Pokémon, especially as a Ghost type Gym Leader. We don't discuss how big her Pokémon plush collection is.