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The Year of Final Fantasy is a series by Connor Foss and is a celebration that started on the series’ 29th anniversary, continuing until its 30th. It’s a large-scale retrospective of all the major titles as well as several sequels and spinoffs to discuss what has made the series so popular and long-lasting. It’s incredibly rare to see a series remain in the limelight for such a long time. Clearly, Square Enix’s flagship is doing something right. By taking a deep dive into past titles, hopefully we can uncover the secret of the series!

The major portion of The Year of Final Fantasy is a retrospective of a main series title once a month leading up to Final Fantasy XV in December, but there will be plenty of other content as well. Many titles have sequels that can be looked back on, as well as several popular spinoffs like Theatrhythm, Dissidia, or the myriad of Chocobo-focsued titles. It’s a big celebration that will only get bigger as the 30th anniversary approaches. Until then, we’ll make sure to have plenty for you to read and think about. So come along, step inside, and enjoy the Year of Final Fantasy!

The following is in chronological order with the newest article in the series first.

Final Fantasy V

year of final fantasy v ffv - Year of Final Fantasy

I’m willing to bet many of you haven’t played Final Fantasy V. It’s usually an overlooked title since it was wedged between the only SNES titles to appear in North America. Yes, we’ve discussed how Final Fantasy IV was rebranded as Final Fantasy II in America, and next month we’ll be talking about Final Fantasy VI. However, between those is the bullied middle child that wasn’t allowed to show its face on our shores. Read more here…

Final Fantasy IV

final fantasy iv ffiv year of final fantasy - Year of Final Fantasy

In 1991, a new generation of Final Fantasy began. Final Fantasy IV was released in Japan this year, as well as the United States. However, for us Americans, the leap would be even more impressive than for the Japanese. This was called Final Fantasy II here on the Super Nintendo, as the actual Final Fantasy II and III didn’t come to America until several years later (or, you know, 16 years in the case of III.) Read more here…

Final Fantasy III

final fantasy iii year of final fantasy 3 - Year of Final Fantasy

Remember the beginning of the 90s? They were a great time, and at the start of the decade Americans received a gift from Japan. Final Fantasy made its way overseas and the series that had captured Japan’s heart was now stealing America’s as well. However, while North America was starting their adventures, Japan was knee-deep in it. In fact, Final Fantasy released in North America on July 12, 1990. On April 27th of the same year, however, Japan received Final Fantasy III. Yes, Japan had three Final Fantasy games before we even got the first one. Read more here…

Final Fantasy II

final fantasy ii year of final fantasy 1 - Year of Final Fantasy

After the staggering success of Final Fantasy, Squaresoft tasked creator Hironobu Sakaguchi with developing a sequel. A second last tale from Square–okay look, it’s Final Fantasy II. No more jokes about it, I swear. Read more here…

Final Fantasy I

year of final fantasy - Year of Final Fantasy

We just passed December 18th, 2016 and 29 years prior to that date, the original Final Fantasy released to Japanese audiences. The story is an infamous one by now: After a string of poorly-selling games, young Squaresoft was on the verge of bankruptcy. Programmer Hironobu Sakaguchi wanted to make one more title for the company with the last of its funds. If it failed, he would go back to university and leave the gaming industry forever. So, taking inspiration from RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and Wizardry, Sakaguchi went about with his seven coworkers to make the final game from Squaresoft, a fantasy-based RPG. Read more here…