My three favorite words. “Final” “Fantasy” and “Sale” all in one nice headline. Now, it doesn’t really affect me because I’ve caught ’em all, so to speak, but if you’re new to the franchise or are looking to catch up on your backlog, the entire series is available cheaply all week through the PlayStation Store.
Nearly every entry from the venerated series is available through this sale; the only ones absent are Final Fantasy XI, which isn’t playable on modern consoles, Final Fantasy XII, which has never been released digitally but will be this summer, and strangely, Final Fantasy XIII. Its two sequels are there for bargain prices, but the main game itself is not.
As for the games that are available, it’s a little complicated because all of them are great, but certain versions are not. For example, Final Fantasy V and VI have dreadful PlayStation versions and are far superior on the Game Boy Advance. Likewise, it’s always my personal preference to play Final Fantasy IV with the original 16-bit sprites even if some like the higher detailed PSP ones, the only one available through the PlayStation Store.
So, to get the ideal version of the best games from this sale, I would recommend the following:
- Final Fantasy Origins – Excellent remakes of the first two games. Great arrangements for their soundtracks and the ability to set the difficulty gives it more allure for those who want that old school, blistering NES difficulty as well as those who don’t.
- Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions – The PSP port of this classic might have slowdown during battle animations, but it’s a fair trade for the bonus missions and that silky, smooth translation.
- Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster – Aside from a few remixes from its soundtrack that I don’t like and Tidus’ weird face, this is a perfectly fine way to play Final Fantasy X.
- Final Fantasy XV – It’s new, it’s flawed, but it’s so much fun. Chances are this is the reason Square Enix even wants a sale right now, so give it a try if you haven’t yet.
- World of Final Fantasy – I think longtime fans will really enjoy how this one comes together. If you think it’s a goofy, kiddy Final Fantasy, you’re not entirely wrong, but there is a fun JRPG tucked under its candy coating.
There are no bad purchases here, really
Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX are also fine, and these are the optimal way to play them on home consoles. Final Fantasy IX has aged the best I think, but this generation of the series, while probably its most influential, is also the biggest mixed bag when it comes to graphics, story, and music.
Dissidia and Type-0 also have their charming points as well as their flaws, and Final Fantasy XIV is excellent if you’re willing to cough up for the subscription fees. Good luck pouring through the different expansions and bundles.
I still don’t like Final Fantasy XIII, but I would never tell you not to try it. The only purchases I would steer away from here is the Final Fantasy VI PSOne Classic. Buy it for the Wii U instead if you have the option. The only way I would recommend this PSN version is if you had to choose between it and the dreaded mobile/Steam remake.