The Final Fantasy Mainline in a Nutshell
Or, “How I tried to explain Final Fantasy to my non-gaming friends and family, based from personal experience/knowledge of the top of my head/please don’t message me to correct me, internet.”
Final Fantasy : You are a time-traveling knight and with your four friends you save the world in the past/present and then fight Chaos in the future
Final Fantasy 2: You and your friends are attacked by a Dark Paladin and you form a rebel base against the Empire
Final Fantasy 3: You and your friends change your jobs often and become the Warriors of Light to save the world
Final Fantasy 4: Wars between different races, one of the planets may be earth. Bards are spoony
Final Fantasy 5: Voids, amnesia, Bartz sees a meteor
Final Fantasy 6: You play as Terra, who is an amnesiatic bad-ass super soldier initially, but the game switches you between a robust cast of characters.There is an Opera. Final Fantasy’s resident Joker actually destroys the world. Finally, a villain who keeps their promises. Also, if this was your first final fantasy, you feel obligated to hate on anyone whose fave FF is 7.
Final Fantasy 7: You are a bad-ass super soldier, Cloud Strife, who joins a band of Eco-Terrorists against an evil corporation that you used to work for. Your former superior officer and childhood hero has mommy issues. It’s all fun and games until about mid-way through the game and then shit gets real. Really real. It’s been 20 years and no one who loves this game has recovered. Square Enix continues to milk this franchise because they know they can. Also, you suffer from amnesia.
Final Fantasy 8: You are a bad-ass super soldier who is an orphan with a fated rivalry with a weirdo obsessed with chivalry. It seems that everyone’s dad is involved in some soap-opera level drama. You may have actually died mid-way through the game, and it took the fans ten years after this game’s release to realize this. Also everyone as amnesia. - (thanks @ mezzaleonhart for reminding me!!)
Final Fantasy 9: After two games with Cyberpunk/Dystopia aesthetics, someone at Squeenix thought that what the lineup really needed was fug SD medieval aesthetics. Despite this design choice and sometimes getting lost in the shuffle between 7,8 and 10, 9 is a solid game with an amazing soundtrack. It’s the game that has Vivi. Even if you didn’t play FF9 when it came out, this will be the only fact you know about 9, because your first and probably only interaction with Vivi was in Kingdom Hearts 2.
Final Fantasy 10: You are a dumb goodhearted jock with daddy-issues who gets drafted into escorting a cute priestess and her lovable band of weirdos on what is literally a death march. You teach the priestess how to laugh…it’s a cringe-worthy scene that has become an initiation ritual for all the plebs who’ve pick up this game. There is a cyclical world-destroying terror that forms every decade so it’s a race against time to stop it, but for some reason you have time to compete in the underwater soccer equivalent of the World Cup. You eventually destroy a world’s religion and faith structure. Everything you thought you knew turns out to be a lie, because this is Final Fantasy and therefore, as the main character you can’t have a happy ending, ever…until Squeenix granted your entry the first ever sequel to a main-line game and reunited you with your love interest and gave you a happy ending. Meanwhile the FF7 fans continue to cry and look expectantly at Squeenix, who- like Lucille Bluth, gets off on withholding- only gives the 7 fans breadcrumbs in the form of AU games, movies, and spin-off games which feature near misses between Cloud and Aerith, or if we’re lucky Aerith appearing kinda on screen for 2 seconds. *breathes* Also, everyone in X, is able to breath underwater…why was this never addressed?
Final Fantasy 11: It’s an MMORPG. Bad empire destroys your village…you become a knight…join a guild or something? IDK, it’s an MMROPG, whatevs floats your boat
Final Fantasy 12: There is a war between kingdoms, the princess faked her death, a war hero is branded a traitor, your brother went to war and is now comatose. You are a lovable street urchin who wants to be an air pirate…I think? IDK, I convinced myself this game would be good and played it longer than I should have. Fell asleep after two hours of running around a market place shouting lies at people. Game required me to get licenses for every dumb mechanic…what was the point? The game ended up playing itself. I spent $80 on launch night for what is essentially a movie about airships and blondes…but it actually had a happy-ish ending? Kinda? IDK, it’s been ten years since this game came out and I still have buyer’s remorse. Also it has FF’s version of Han Solo and a sexy playboy bunny Chewbacca. By the time this game came out on PS2, everyone had forgotten about it because Squeenix announced FF 13 and FF13vs for the upcoming PS3. Also, congrats FF12, you killed off my favorite character within the first 5 seconds of the game. You bastards.
Final Fantasy 13: You are a badass super soldier female protag, there are summons, an adorable pretty-much official lesbian couple, awesome parent/child and sibling relationship subplots. Religious Empire is a lie, but after you destroy it, you actually get punished because let’s face it- y’all had selfish and self-serving interests…and run into other selfish assholes who like to fuck around with the time-continuity for their own needs, over the course of three games. Also, you hate your sister’s fiance at first…and I don’t blame you- he dresses like a hobo and is a grown ass man who likes to street fight children. Thank god, he eventually grows up after 5000 years. And there is amazing character development. Amazing game, amazing battle systems, with an intricate story line that was worth it becoming a trilogy. However no one played 13 initially, because haters gonna hate that the story was too “linear” >_> (whatever the fuck that criticism means). Whatever y'all missed out. Seriously go back and play these games, they don’t pull their punches.
Final Fantasy 14: It’s an another MMORPG. You can be whatever class, race, or other customization option the game lets you be. Go nuts.
Final Fantasy 13-vs Final Fantasy 15: I am sure there will be Crystals, Evil Empires, Gods and Goddesses at play, time traveling, shit getting real and possibly amnesia, but after four hours of playing, it’s shaping up to be the love-child between Zoolander (pretty boys and product placement) and the Hangover, minus the booze and drugs and losing the groom, but the car gets fucked up and you, a Prince, are broke af. It’s okay you, and your emo-boyband Wolfpack will push your car to the finish line…because it’s taken you damn long enough to get here.