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CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
Polygon Ranks the Numbered FFs

Posted: 21st December 2017 15:34

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https://www.polygon.com/features/2017/12/19...l-fantasy-games

This is... a very interesting list, if you ask me. It's difficult to argue with the top slot, but there's definitely some bold choices below that. Does anyone out there actually agree with this list as shown?

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Posted: 21st December 2017 16:06

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Onion Knight
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Hmm FF8 and FF5 getting pretty high ranks on this list - Last day of Square Enix holiday sale... maybe I will have to pick them up for Steam!

Part of me keeps holding out thinking that some of these games might become available on the Switch!
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Posted: 21st December 2017 17:04

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Omega Weapon
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FWIW here's the full list, typed up. Note that they're only considering original release platforms. Further, XIV and XIV:ARR are considered separately.

16. XIV (original) (PC/PS3/PS4, 2010)
15. II (Famicom, 1988)
14. I (NES, 1987)
13. XIII (PS3/XB360, 2010)
12. III (Famicom, 1990)
11. XI (PC/PS2/PS3/XB360, 2002)
10. X (PS2, 2001)
9. XV (PS4/XBone, 2016)
8. VII (PS1, 1997)
7. XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC/PS3/PS4, 2013)
6. IX (PS1 (2000)
5. VIII (PS1, 1999)
4. IV (SFam, 1991)
3. V (SFam, 1992)
2. XII (PS2, 2006)
1. VI (SFam, 1994)

Observations:
* Ah, XII, a game that didn't show up at all in our Regalia championship. I hope it gets a PC release sometime.
* Hanging out here, I'm surprised VIII is so high, but then I remember there are other people out there who don't hate VIII tongue.gif
* I win! V is better-rated than IV [/old feud]
* I'm kinda surprised how poorly VII clocks in. Though I guess they have a point in that it feels dated.
* I'm also surprised how poorly X clocks in.

(I'm trying to not use "higher-rated"/"lower-rated" because higher numbers are in this list also literally higher up the list yet they correspond to a "lower" rating.)

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 21st December 2017 17:08

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Posted: 22nd December 2017 04:39

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Behemoth
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Quote (Glenn Magus Harvey)
Hanging out here, I'm surprised VIII is so high, but then I remember there are other people out there who don't hate VIII
I'm kinda surprised how poorly VII clocks in. Though I guess they have a point in that it feels dated.
* I'm also surprised how poorly X clocks in.


Some people from other websites are also out of their trees! tongue.gif

No, there is a major difference between hating FFVIII (which is unwarranted) and saying it is not one of the best games in the series. Its "unconventional" systems were admirable, but the weakness of its cast, especially the main character, can't be ignored. There's no way that FFVIII can be ranked that much higher than VII and X. For either of those games, it's hard to find 8 JRPGs that are better, not just Final Fantasies.

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Posted: 22nd December 2017 17:59

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Yeah, this list makes some interesting arguments, but the ranking is just...so out there. I can't really follow their logic to anywhere close to the ranking they produce.

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Posted: 23rd December 2017 06:34

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Quote (Stiltzkin @ 22nd December 2017 13:59)
Yeah, this list makes some interesting arguments, but the ranking is just...so out there. I can't really follow their logic to anywhere close to the ranking they produce.

I've been trying to wrap my head around the rationale behind the listings. I mean, I disagree with most of them profoundly, but I have heard some similar arguments before. I want to say before I make this point that it is probably more nuanced than I'm making it sound. But it seems like the list placement of many of the games is determined by a more RPG gameplay perspective. In the entries for VIII and XII, almost all of the commentary is about the gameplay mechanics that each game introduced. Now, if you look at VIII purely for those purposes, you could probably argue that 1) it did some cool things, and 2) it did so by taking some admirable risks. But like I said above, to list it as high as they did, you have to ignore things like plot and characterization. And in VIII's case you have to ignore how some of its gameplay experiments led to a system that is often tedious, whereas other games in the series didn't try to reinvent the wheel and were more solid as a result.

The reason I believe that is that people who tend to look at the games from an RPG gameplay perspective tend to rank games like V highly, as Polygon does, while placing the more simplistic gameplay system lower.

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Posted: 23rd December 2017 21:53

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That might be it, Blitz - when viewed from that perspective the list makes a lot more sense. I suppose it's a fair approach - whereas we can all differ on what stories we prefer, the mechanics of a good game are less subjective (but not completely objective!). Though of course, I agree with you that to rank the games you can't take just game mechanics in isolation.

...I do quite like the plot of VIII though...there, I said it wink.gif

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Posted: 24th December 2017 01:54

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Quote (Stiltzkin)
...I do quite like the plot of VIII though...there, I said it wink.gif


I like it too, though it's a little convoluted (about the same as VII's though). It's just the main characters that are a drag. I would've liked the game much more had it been the characters from the Laguna segments. They're entertaining, interesting, well-rounded. But Squall... and Zell...

I guess gameplay is more objective, but I think the gameplay systems of almost all other Final Fantasies are better designed. VI, VII, X, IV, they all have battle and gameplay systems that are more accessible and are just as challenging and entertaining.

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