News Article

Many Happy Returns, Final Fantasy - You're 25 This Year

Posted by Damien McFerran

A quarter century of turn-based bliss

Square Enix's world famous Final Fantasy series celebrates its 25th birthday this year.

What started life as a last-ditch attempt by series founder Hironobu Sakaguchi to make a success of his then-flagging career in the video game industry - hence the title of the game - Final Fantasy has gone on to sell over 100 million units globally. It's one of the only Japanese RPGs to gain a truly worldwide audience, and is credited by many as popularising the genre in the west.

To mark this momentus occasion, Square Enix is planning various events all over the globe. The company's Senior executive managing officer Shinji Hashimoto told MCV:

We’re preparing to unveil a Final Fantasy exhibition here in Japan. Plans for anniversary projects in Europe and America are also underway and we’d like to extend an invitation to all our fans to celebrate this special year with us.

Hashimoto also responded to questions regarding the success of the series in the west - a region where JRPGs have sometimes struggled to gain mainstream acceptance and commercial triumph:

Perhaps it’s the avid enthusiasm the creators have invested in the Final Fantasy titles and the desire to realise exciting new elements in the series which has captured the imagination of players everywhere.

There could be a variety of different factors involved as to why it’s done well in Europe especially. A couple of important points to consider would be carefully localising the game and ensuring there is as little difference as possible in the release dates across Japan, Europe and America.

How will you be celebrating this event? By plugging in your copy of the NES original, or by picking up one of the more recent efforts on the Nintendo DS or 3DS? Let us know in the comments section below.


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User Comments (54)



Reala said:

I tried the first Final Fantasy but couldn't really get into it; I have beat Phantasy Star 1 but FF1 felt even more old school and grindy than that; may give it another go some day though.



Kholdstare said:

Coincidentally, I just bought Theatrythm. So I guess I'll be celebrating with that.



Pokefanmum82 said:

i've played the old school final fantasy games. but none of the recent ones and I hope that maybe some day they will be on the eShop



bezerker99 said:

Final Fantasy was inspired by Dragon Quest (aka Dragon Warrior here in the states). Happy 25th to ya!!!



Shiryu said:

I do wonder what will become of the series in another 25 years. The SNES outings will never be beat IMO...



iBazly said:

I've already been celebrating! This summer I have played through FF1, 3, 4, 5, and 6. I am currently playing 2, 4: The After Years, and 7. 2 I should be finished soon, followed by The After Years, then 7.

After that if I still feel like playing FF I will move on to 8 and 9! Then we'll see from there!



mamp said:

Oh FF where did you go wrong, don't know if I should feel excited for Versus 13 or not and another sequel for 13 when 13 and 13-2 were pretty bad. sigh.



Squashie said:

Ooh. I suppose I might celebrate in some way! The original games on the 3DS VC would be nice!



AVahne said:

Maybe I'll celebrate by actually beating FF13 this year.
Though, it'd feel weird to celebrate such a famous franchise by playing such a mediocre game.



RR529 said:

I loved FFX and FFIV. I don't currently have any FF games in my library, so I don't know what to play.



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

Oh hey the series that has one of the most scrappy fanbases is going on 25 years strong proud of you square enix keep up the great work and keep on ingoring the ff7 retards and platforming trashies



TrueWiiMaster said:

I'm not sure if "A quarter century of turn-based bliss" is an entirely accurate description of Final Fantasy. A lot of fans would say the "bliss" stopped 5-12 years ago (depending on who you ask). At the very least, most RPG fans wouldn't say this gen's Final Fantasy entries were exactly blissful.



Emaan said:

Happy 25th Final Fantasy! I love FF3 and FF4, I still need to play the others.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Only played FFIII DS, FFX, Crystal Chronicles, and My Life as a Dark Lord. Never really gave the series a fair shake mainly due to other games and I'm more of a Dragon Quest kinda guy anyway, but I liked the little bit I did play. I guess the 25th anniversary is as perfect an excuse as any, just need to decide where to start.

Stupid convoluted timeline, I could have sworn FFIII was one of the ones that had its title changed during localization.



CanisWolfred said:

I've only been playing these games for 5 years, but I do like them a lot. 25 Years is a long time for a series, and I'm glad the series has had such a great run, FFVI aside.

In fact, I think to celebrate, this year I'm going to give 6 one more attempt. It's been at least 2 years since I last played it. Maybe I'll like it more this time around? If I can finally get myself to like the game, I may finally have a series where I can say I honestly enjoyed every game along the main line.



Bass_X0 said:

Never played XI or XIV but enjoyed all the others including the remakes. More remakes, please!



SkywardLink98 said:

I bought Final Fantasy VII on PC for the special occasion. I also plan on getting X-2 tomorrow because I have a $5 off gamestop coupon and it's $7 so y'know why not.



gundam00 said:

One of my favorite franchises!! My favorite FF being the PlayStation era with 7, 8, and 9! FF8 is my favorite because it had T-Rex and I preferred 8's Magic/Summon system, plus Squall was my favorite protagonist.

I have FF 1 and 2 on my iPhone and FF3 on my DS, but I don't enjoy them as much as 7,8,9. I also LOVED Mystic Quest!!!! My SNES copy would crap out when I was on my way to the final boss!! So I never did finish it ;(

I'm still holding out for Versus 13!! Although, I think it's different enough from the 13 universe that it should have it's own number.



triforcepower73 said:

So I guess Hironobu Sakaguchi has had to make 14 last-ditch attempts at making a success of his flagging career....



ueI said:

Maybe I should play 8. It's become my favorite game in the series thanks to theatrhythm. My only worry is that I will like the game less after I play it. Oh well, I'll get around to it eventually...

@Mickeymac Why didn't you like 6? My only problems were grinding for esper abilities and the endgame bosses that deal cheap 9999 damage. Regardless of your reasons, I'm surprised you like every other Final Fantasy. That's quite the accomplishment!



FluttershyGuy said:

I've been celebrating before now, playing Final Fantasy IV for the FF anniversary, and my 20th anniversary of playing my first FF game! Then, I played the vastly underrated FF: Mystic Quest earlier in the year. My next playthroughs are going to be FF IV: The After Years (WiiWare version that I haven't finished, and the other two Super Famicom/SNES originated games, FF V & FF VI.

I was happy to see Final Fantasy Dimensions' release (though I wish it was for 3DS) recently, as I feared not seeing anymore old school-type titles. I'm hoping for its release on 3DS at some point, plus the remakes of V & VI I've waited years for (the only two old school pre-PlayStation titles that have not seen remakes yet). At any rate, we need a regular Final Fantasy title for 3DS (plus the Game Boy games, even though they're actually Mana & SaGa titles).

As for the main series, It'll be a great day to be a Nintendo fan if we see FF XV, or even Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII on Wii U! It's been a dream for many years to see the numbered titles back on a Nintendo console for the first time since FF VI. Square-Enix could make up for abandoning Nintendo for a while by making a FF VII remake Wii U-exclusive. Hopefully XV will be in the works soon, with Lightning Returns being the last FF XIII game. There was a tech demo at E3 that looked like it could turn into XV.

Here, have a historic, iconic image that should forever be remembered by video gamers! Happy birthday, Final Fantasy: One of my all-time favorite video game series (perhaps even my absolute favorite).



CanisWolfred said:

@uel - many different reasons, and different ones each time. I've come to think that everything is bad about the game, except the music. I'm gonna try to keep an open mind next time I play it, though. It's been long enough and my tastes are much different than they were before.



Gamesake said:

To celebrate, I'll be playing FF6 on the VC and trying hard to remember a time when this series was actually worth my time and money.



sinalefa said:

I have been playing Theatrhythm almost daily since the end of July, so I guess I am celebrating that way. I also borrowed VII from a friend to play it on my PS3

Anyway, I have never beaten a single FF game (unless Theat counts) and I don't know if I ever will. And I wish companies like Nintendo or Capcom would do something as nice as celebrating an anniversary with an actual game, and not compilations and stuff like that. I still believe SMG2 was the way that Nintendo celebrated the 25th anniversary, and not the commemorative package they released later.



zezhyrule said:

That was uncalled for — TBD

As for me, I'll be hugging my copy of FFXIII, though I'm not ready to replay it quite yet.

@gundam00: Except that vsXIII uses all the mythos found in FFXIII/-2, the most obvious thing being Etro herself.



Neram said:

I already celebrated a few weeks ago by beating the first NES game on Virtual Console. It was a truly proud moment for me, if I do say so.



Bassman_Q said:

I will be celebrating by continuing Dissidia 012 and FFVIII on PSP and (hopefully) starting FFVII.

... I've been playing FFVIII since last year haha. Still haven't had enough time to focus on it and beat it.



Moonhillwat said:

How about FF I&II: Dawn of Souls, FF IV, V, and VI for 3DS Virtual console?


Pfft. Some anniversary...



misswliu81 said:

final fantasy was a great series up until FF 8 or 9. the series has since jumped the shark. and 13 feels more like a big budget hollywood movie than a game, with a lot of people disliking the plot as well.

yet theatrhythm final fantasy was good though.



Chuie said:

not to be one of them huge fanboys of FFVII but i want a remake for 3ds or FFVI remake for 3ds



LittleIrves said:

This is crazy, but I've never played a FF game. (Sacrilege!) Just wasn't a big RPG guy growing up. But I finally broke down and bought FFIV on DS and am waiting for a chunk of time to sink into it. I still kind of want to just play Theatrhythm for my dose of FF, since I much prefer music-rhythm games to long slogs of grinding and menu choosing.... hopefully hearing the music and seeing the characters will interest me in playing the main games finally. Happy 25th.



TruenoGT said:

Rocking FF3 DS for the last week or so. Really enjoying the challenge and job system. Can't wait to move onto IV remake for DS next... another vote for V and VI 3DS remakes for the future. Not a fan of where Nomura and Co have taken it since Sakaguchi's departure. Too much emphasis on graphics and style, though I appreciate the game design risks they regularly take with the series... definitely can't say it's stale even if I'm not a fan since after VII (IX was OK, but too drawn out and the characters were annoying).



FonistofCruxis said:

Happy anniversary Final fantasy! I have only played one FF game though which is Final fantasy IV which is either the third of fourth best handheld RPG I've played. I'm not sure whether its better than Golden sun or not. I was thinking of skipping the first three FF games due to how basic they are but some people seem to have really enjoyed them so I'm not sure now.

Also, since this got an article on NL, I think there should have been an article last year for the 15th anniversary of the Tales of series, that series doesn't get the appreciation it deserves.



Zombie_Barioth said:

@FonistofCruxis Maybe we have to wait for the 25th too. Thats the only really bad thing about FF, it overshadows the other less popular but equally good series.

Not a traditional FF but I'll probably finish My Life as a Dark Lord and maybe FFIII. I would rather not buy another game seeing as most of my back log is practically made of RPGs as it is, though maybe I can see what the virtual console has to offer anyway.



KeeperBvK said:

@ rockman_zero: Punctuation, grammar and correct spelling would help others to understand your posts better in the future. Just saying.



TheAmazingRaccoon said:

I have never finished a final fantasy game. I own a whole heap of the main cannon and two tactics but I always get distracted from...................................................... oh look another game.

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