1. Final Fantasy VI
Some of you are in complete agreement with this choice. Others are no doubt a little surprised. Here are some things to think about.
We see Final Fantasy I through IV as experiments. I and II didn’t have much in terms of a storyline, and they certainly didn’t hold your hand as you progressed in-game (you would typically need a guide to finish them). III and IV started fleshing things out a little more, but they didn’t feature flashy combat or magic systems. All of these games were entertaining in their own way, but the series had yet to find its stride.
Though Final Fantasy V wasn’t without its share of flaws, it felt like the first truly complete game in the series. There was a storyline. The character development system was fun. The music was really good. It served as the pre-cursor to Final Fantasy VI, which is easily one of the best games of all time.
Today, it’s a wonder that everything came together in such a comprehensive way for FFVI. The storyline, the music, the battle system, the Espers, the characters, the side quests, the villains… Everything works so well.
The visuals were just a little on the weak side – even for the time – but even there it had more strengths than weaknesses. It was endearing.
Frankly, they haven’t come up with a better plot and setup before or since. The fact that the entire world map opens up to you in the second half of the game and you can pay Kefka a visit at any time is just brilliant.