10 Forgotten Final Fantasy Games

VOICE OVER: Aaron Brown WRITTEN BY: Aaron Brown
Not every "Final Fantasy" game is destined to be remembered for years. For a franchise that has spanned over 3 decades, there are more than a few titles that managed to slip through the cracks and get overlooked by even the most diehard of fans. Our list includes "Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light" (2010), "Final Fantasy Mythic Quest" (1992), "Final Fantasy Type-0 HD" (2015), and more!
Script written by Aaron Brown

Not every "Final Fantasy" game is destined to be remembered for years. For a franchise that has spanned over 3 decades, there are more than a few titles that managed to slip through the cracks and get overlooked by even the most diehard of fans. Our list includes "Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light" (2010), "Final Fantasy Mythic Quest" (1992), "Final Fantasy Type-0 HD" (2015), and more! Got a Final Fantasy game we forgot about? Tell us about it and your favorite Final Fantasy game down in the comments.

“Pictlogica Final Fantasy” (2013)

The only entry on our list to not make it outside of Japan, Pictlogica Final Fantasy is a puzzle fighting game originally released for mobile before being ported to the 3DS. Pulling characters from the franchise’s storied history, pixel versions of iconic characters like Cloud, Vivi, and Rikku among others battle monsters as you build up their attacks by solving the various Sudoku-like puzzles. The faster you’re able to solve the puzzles, the stronger your attacks. With currently no plans to release the game outside of Japan and online servers for the mobile versions being shut down in 2018, this seems like an experiment that will forever be lost to time.

“Final Fantasy Mystic Quest” (1992)

Renaming this game “Final Fantasy Baby’s First RPG” wouldn’t be the most inaccurate way to describe this forgotten entry in the Final Fantasy pantheon. In an attempt to help boost sales of its RPGs in the West, Square decided that their RPGs were too complex for Western audiences and decided to develop a game with the sole purpose of teaching newcomers how to play RPGs. To say it spectacularly backfired would be an understatement. The game essentially played itself with your NPC companions handling most of the heavy lifting during battles. Gone were the customization options of other titles as well as wide open areas to explore, with the game not only being incredibly linear but spelling out its entire story in the opening crawl. Square learned its lesson and honestly without Mystic Quest we wouldn’t have seen Western releases of Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, or Final Fantasy 6.

“Final Fantasy The Crystal Chronicle: Echoes of Time” (2009)

The Crystal Chronicles series of games began life on the GameCube with crossplay enabled between GameCube and GameBoy Advance, and while the series didn’t quite make the impact Nintendo or Square Enix had intended, it gained enough of a following that the series was able to continue on the Wii and DS, once again allowing crossplay. In a rare instance, the DS title was actually the superior version with the Wii port suffering from unintuitive controls that forced players to use the Wii pointer for what should be quick swapping between characters and abilities. As with most of the Crystal Chronicles titles, this game is far more suited for playing with friends but considering how easily these games are overshadowed by their big cousins on more modern hardware, it’s easy to see why most of these entries are forgotten in time.

“Final Fantasy Tactics Advance” (2003)

While not a direct sequel nor a remake, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance still managed to bring the deep strategic gameplay the series is known for now on the go. The tactical gameplay translated surprisingly well to Nintendo’s handheld and the beautifully detailed sprites popped off the screen. Square went all in with Tactics Advance, even releasing Tactics Advance exclusive merchandise alongside the game. The game was very well received and commercially successful, spawning a sequel on the Nintendo DS in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift which was also a hit. The main issue holding this game back from mainstream appeal is the hardware it’s seemingly trapped on. While it was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2016, there doesn’t seem to be any plan to port the game any further, locking it as a relic of its time.

“Dissidia Final Fantasy” (2009)

Originally only released on PSP before subsequent entries made the jump to modern consoles, Dissidia Final Fantasy is a celebration of the decades long series and pure fan-fare for those who’ve been with the series through its numerous incarnations. Recruiting heroes and villains from the entire catalog of past titles, many of whom are voiced for the first time here, the love and attention to detail on display here makes it feel like this game was made by fans for fans. With a fast paced and surprisingly deep combat system, fans of the more modern real time combat systems of recent releases will definitely feel right at home here. However despite multiple re-releases and even sequels, most of the hype for the series died down quickly after each new release despite the series’ many dedicated players.

“Final Fantasy Explorers” (2016)

Customization is the main draw of Final Fantasy Explorers. Not only can you completely customize your character down to even wearing iconic series favorite costumes from games past, you can even customize the battlefield on which you battle each monster encounter. Unfortunately, giving players all the freedom they could want isn’t the only thing necessary to keep a game fun and engaging. With a barely there narrative and an open world that isn’t really all that open to explore, Final Fantasy Explorers had a lot of great ideas that it wasn’t able to fully capitalize on, whether due to over ambition or hardware limitation. Playing the game with up to 3 friends in co-op keeps the game entertaining, as does the ability to create your own creatures to follow and battle alongside you, but none of this was enough to keep Explorers from fading into obscurity.

“Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light” (2010)

Following closer to the established formula of the older Final Fantasy titles including the return of the Job System, The 4 Heroes of Light is an important title for handheld RPG fans due to its creation and success leading directly to the development of the Bravely Default series which borrowed many of the same features and game mechanics. The game’s beautiful storybook art style and new “Boost” system kept battles and exploration fresh over its lengthy campaign as players guided the titular four heroes in a quest to end a curse plaguing their hometown. The game was well received and a moderate commercial success, and while a sequel was in the planning stages, much of that was folded into the aforementioned Bravely Default series which is still going strong today.

“Final Fantasy Type-0 HD” (2015)

Originally only released in Japan on the PSP, Type-0 got another chance with the HD release on PS4 and Xbox One. Type-0 skews closer to a Persona game than a Final Fantasy one with players needing to juggle time between classes and missions as well as their interpersonal relationships with their fellow students and NPCs. The world of Type-0 was gritty and battle-worn, filled with mechanized war machines of death. Combat was fast and engaging and the ability to swap out multiple playable characters added a strategic level to battles. Unfortunately, this title was released in the looming shadow of the upcoming mainline entry Final Fantasy 15 and had it not been for the playable Final Fantasy 15 demo pre-packaged with Type-0, this game might’ve flown under many fans' radars entirely.

“Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings” (2007)

Final Fantasy X and XIII weren’t the only entries to receive direct sequels but with Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings releasing only on the 3DS, it’s easy to see why it was overlooked. At the time of release, Final Fantasy XII was only available on the PS2, so a direct sequel on not only an entirely different console but a handheld severely limited the game’s exposure. That wasn’t the only change to the formula established by its predecessor either; Revenant Wings was a real-time strategy title following closer to FF Tactics than the ATB system of other mainline titles. The game once again follows Vaan who now commands his own pirate ship and is set on a mission he and company accidentally fell into. The game reviewed well but with much of the fanbase playing the main game on consoles, this title mostly went completely unnoticed by even die-hard fans.

“World of Final Fantasy” (2016)

Calling World of Final Fantasy a love letter to the series is probably the best description and compliment you could give to this title. One of the more recent releases on our list, besides the enhanced version Maxima being released only 2 years after the initial game, World of Final Fantasy came and went without leaving much of an impact. Twins Lann and Reynn traverse their world collecting monsters here called “Mirages” to use in battle ala Pokemon, but also have the ability to call forth not only Summons from the series’ history but also many of the franchise’s most well known heroes, in cute Chibi form no less! The game scored mostly positive reviews and was a moderate commercial success but quickly faded into many gamers’ backlog.