TR Member Perks!

The Year of Final Fantasy is a series by Connor Foss (and others here and there) 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 XII

year of final fantasy final fantasy xii

Though it had some troubled development, Final Fantasy XII would eventually see a release on the PS2. Later on, Japan received an updated version called the International Zodiac Job System, which massively overhauled the gameplay mechanics in ways that we’ll be discussing later on. However, it wasn’t until just this July that North America would get the chance to see these changes in the remaster, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. Truly, Square Enix had brought us to the light. Read more here…

Final Fantasy X

final fantasy x year of final fantasy ffx

Final Fantasy X had a lot to prove back when it was first released. There was a gigantic audience to please already, and on top of that it was the first PS2 Final Fantasy. Clearly, Squaresoft had their work cut out for them. Unfortunately, for America this would turn out to be Squaresoft’s swan song. Read more here…

Final Fantasy IX

final fantasy ix 9 year of final fantasy

This is the end of an era. So far, we’ve seen a trio of Final Fantasy titles for the 8-bit era and another for the 16-bit days. Today, Final Fantasy IX marks the end of the PS1 days for the franchise. However, in many ways this is a nice bookend to the “classic era” of the series. Hitting stores in 2000, Final Fantasy IX served as one last hurrah for the series on Sony’s first console before it’d make the jump into the future with the next entry. Read more here…

Final Fantasy VIII

final fantasy viii 8 year of final fantasy

It’s 1999 and Square is hard at work on Final Fantasy VIII. It’s been two years since the company changed gaming forever. Can you feel the hype? Can you even begin to understand the hype? If you weren’t around back then, it may be hard to even comprehend. It’s fair to say that hype for Final Fantasy VIII back then is comparable to the hype for the Final Fantasy VII Remake when it was first revealed. Read more here…

Rewind Review – Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

By Courtney Ehrenhofler

crisis core final fantasy vii rewind review 1

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII had a big legacy to fill when it was released. A hotly anticipated story and a prequel to what is still arguably the most popular Final Fantasy game even 20 years after its release, Final Fantasy VII was critically and commercially acclaimed, and Crisis Core had big expectations. Read more here…

Final Fantasy VII

final fantasy vii year of final fantasy

Like a meteor hurtling toward this beloved Planet, Final Fantasy VII has come knocking on our doorstep this fine June afternoon. Without the proper love and care, it could very well destroy TechRaptor or even the entire Internet!

Or … maybe I’m being too melodramatic. Maybe the game is perfectly fine and I’m just overthinking things. But maybe it isn’t! However, there’s only one way to find out. Read more here…

Final Fantasy Tactics’ Legacy 20 Years Later

final fantasy tactics year of final fantasy

By Courtney Ehrenhofler

1997 was a good year for Final Fantasy. It was the tenth anniversary of the release of the first game in the series in Japan, and it also saw the release of Final Fantasy VII, which is arguably still the most popular Final Fantasy game even 20 years on. That year also saw the release of Final Fantasy Tactics, a strategy RPG spin-off from the main series of games and the first entry in the Ivalice Alliance sub-series. Read more here…

Final Fantasy VI

final fantasy vi year of final fantasy

When I started the Year of Final Fantasy, I did it for two reasons. First, because I obviously adore the series and wanted to honor it for its 30 years of entertainment. Secondly, because I needed a boot in the butt to get playing the entries I had missed or not beaten. Despite having beaten Final Fantasy VI a whopping one time about three or four years ago, I shockingly don’t remember much of it. Yes, my first sin of this article is that I only first played Final Fantasy VI in the 2010s. Read more here…

Final Fantasy Vyear of final fantasy v ffv

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

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

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

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

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…