30 best Final Fantasy games

Square /
20 of 30

Best Final Fantasy Games #11 – Final Fantasy XI

The idea that a beloved (commonly) turn-based RPG series could transport its basic lore and narrative style into an MMORPG was once unthinkable, especially at a time when World of Warcraft hadn’t even launched for public consumption yet. Regardless, Final Fantasy XI proved that not only could Square deliver on a fully functional online gaming experience; it could do so for a very long time.

It was revolutionary and inspirational for future titles, as it introduced an active combat system where enemies found in the wild could attack at a moment’s notice. You would create your character with a multitude of customization options, craft items, create parties to overcome tough challenges, gather loot and explore a world crafted with a Final Fantasy touch.

Paid online services were a fairly new experience at the time, meaning plenty of people (such as myself) overlooked the game in its prime. Regardless, Square Enix dedicated a team to expand on the Job classes offered, missions, story updates and more, never abandoning its vision.

The fact that the game received its last major scenario update, Rhapsodies of Vana’diel in 2015 and shut down its servers in 2016 showed just how much care was put into a bold experiment that spawned an even better follow-up.