30 best Final Fantasy games

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Best Final Fantasy Games #15 – Final Fantasy VIII

When it comes to innovation and changing the style of gameplay while maintaining turn-based RPG mechanics, Final Fantasy VIII may be one of the most ambitious of the numbered series. Expectations were high after the series-defining VII, but the story of Squall and Rinoa’s love amid a world falling apart was a worthy title in its own standing.

The Junction system saw players draw energy from enemies to fuel spells or expand the limits of their stats, creating a meta-combat system that lets players tailor their gameplay strategies to how they want to approach each scenario. Not only that, upgrading weapons meant combining materials and a small amount of money, making it more difficult to progress through raw equipment.

As previously mentioned in this list, my absolute favorite part of the game is the Triple Triad system. It completely revolutionized the concept of mini-game systems in gaming for me, as it created its own card game rule system that paved the way for similar minigames such as Pazaak.

The one thing that holds Final Fantasy VIII back from true greatness is the flaws of its systems. The idea that leveling up your characters makes the game harder disincentivized progression while drawing junction cards in such a way to power up your stats was completely broken if applied correctly. You could walk your way to the finish line, as long as you didn’t level up too much.