My top 3 favories are 4, 6, and 10. Or, 2, 3& 10 as they were originally released in the US. 4 hooked me on the series. It had IMO, a really neat story, engrossing gameplay, and it holds a special place in my heart as the RPG that started it all for me. Back in the days before strategy guides. It was just me, and the game. And sometimes, you'd be stuck for a few days someplace, and hate it. You wouldn't be able to figure out what to do next, and it would eat you up. You'd dream about it, and upon waking, analyze your dreams to see if there was anything good in yesterday's mind-garbage to help you get farther. Granted, most FF games are fairly straightforward. Talk to too many townspeople, and you're bound to know where to go next... but anyways..
At the heart of every good RPG is a good story.
You have to care about the characters, and care about what happens.
When you introduce too many characters, you run the risk of the player not caring about them. With FF 4, that wasn't a problem, b/c there wern't that many. But, still, you found yourself caring about characters you didn't even get to play that much! Like Cid, or Tellah. I loved Tellah. He was a misguided fool that let me cast Meteo. With FF6, you had a LOT of characters to care about, but I feel that they did a pretty damn good job with the character development on all of them. It made you curious about them. You didn't get to find out about everyone's past.. but the world was ending, and the characters were built through the decisions they made in the game's present. Anyways...
I liked FF7. I really did. I loved Vincent, and there were some really neat ideas in that game. I liked it, and it was a good game, but for me, it just wasn't my FF4 or FF6.
Ahh.. Final Fantasy 8. How I loved to hate you. I didn't like the characters all that much at all. The gameplay was good, but I didn't like the menu. You couldn't really change the colors or anything. It felt artificial. Just like frickin' Squall. Everything was so weird... especially the orphanage thing, amnesia, guardian forces... I just couldnt' get into it, and I wanted to drop ballamb garden on top of Rinoa. I never conquered it. It was the first one I never bothered to finish. There were some really neat gameplay ideas in there, but I kept choking on the characters, so I gave up.
FF9 bought a return to Yoshitaka Amano character designs, and supposedly a more "classic" fantasy setting. It was just the think I needed to get the taste of FF8 out of my mouth. But.. it was a little dissappointing, IMO. I never finished that one, either. I may or may not go back to my old save file.. if I can even find it. I don't remember where I left off, but it was after Garnet became "dagger: (ooh.. dangerous) and I was able to travel somewhat freely around the world map. I remember an annoying minigame with frogs. yeah.
FFX. This is really the only game I wanted to talk about in this post, but it somehow managed to be a history of my FF-experience. I'm not really talking abut the re-released games right now. I was VERY happy they re-released 4. I wanted all the extra stuff. I didn't finish 5, I got stuck in a place, and then a new game released before I had it figured out. I really like Faris, though. The job system is cool, too.
As for 1&2... They just came out, but I'm really liking FF1. IT's silly, cheesey, but I'm enjoying it immensely for some reason.
Anyway.. back to
I have mixed feelings about the upcoming sequel, but I need to play it anyway. I care about these characters.
Some people don't like them, I know.. but somthing resonated with me on this game. It's so colorful...it really sweeps you off to someplace new.
And the whole premis of the game is fascinating. They made this whole other alien world with different laws and bounderies. To me, this is what fantasy games are supposed to be like. The only real dissappointment I had with FFX was that it was terribly linear, and by the time you got to travel around the world to wherever the heck you wanted, it was already the end of the game, and there wern't many places left that you hadn't been to.
In any case..
Tidus. He's such a dork. I love him. He doesn't have much direction, but he found somthing he was good at, and stuck to it. When he's transported to this other place.. he doesn't really have that one thing he's good at anymore, and has to try and figure out what he's all about. Unfortunately, the more he finds out... the worse the future looks for him. It's very tragic.. because I spent over 100 hours watching him grow, become stronger, and celebrate his personal growth and triumph. But you know what's going to happen to him in the end. You just don't know how.
Yuna- I don't like her. XP But She's so much better than Rinoa.
Khimari- He's really nifty. Not a whole lot of characterization, though.. which is kind of sad. They make him out to be this huge silent guardian... and they try to add depth by creating tension with his tribe. He's a neat character. Love his character design and personality, but.. he's kind of flat as a person. I think they could have played him against Lulu a little more, and it would have been neat.
Wakka- I love him. He's such a nutball. I couldn't decide half the time if I was annoyed by his accent, or if I liked it. He had a lot of past story with Lulu, and he had enough charictarization. He was unique, and I liked him.
Lulu- Quiet busty gothy mage chick. Nifty. Like Khimari, she didn't get a lot of charictarization. There were plenty of hints to her past, and her past relationships, which made her a lot more human than Kimari, but ultimately, you don'f find out a whole lot about her motives as a guardian, etc.
Rikku- Hyper spazz. She's funny, bouncy, and is a good contrast to Lulu. She had quite a bit of story, since you deal a lot with the Al Bhed. she's pretty much just the envoy of her people, though, and you don't find out a heck of a lot about her as a person. You just get what you glean through her actions in the game. IE: not a whole lot of flashbacks, but that's ok. It'd probably just consist of her vibrating rapidly around the room anyway.
Auron- Neat Ronin character. You definitely get interested in him due to the jeckt spheres. You get a chance to see that he was very different when he was younger, whihc makes you curious as to how he got where he currently was. I was very sad when the truth about him was revealed T..T
Jeckt! He's great XD All my feelings about him are pretty much summed up in the photo I found of a REALLY REALLY REALLY good cosplayer, standing in a hallway laughing, with hair, makeup.. and a bathrobe XD
Seymour- I love him just for his mother, his character design, and his gay gay voice
I could go on about the support characters, but I guess you get the idea.
Anyways.. I fell in love with these characters... I hate sports games, but I enjoyed blitzball.. and the way they worked some of the things.. like the summoned monsters... that as just really cool..
But the situations they put the characters in just breaks your heart. Everytime I hear the Zanarkand theme music, I remember the end of the game and can't help but cry. And the premise of X-2 equally makes me cry. She's got his sword and she's looking for him!!! T..T BWAAAAAAA
I hope it's a good story, b/c if they ruin things for me, I'm going to become murderous...
I'd go into greater detail about how the story touched me, and what parts tugged at my heartstrings, but I don't really want to give away too much to people who haven't beaten the game yet, and plan to.
AHHH TIDUS! You finally became a man! (kinda)
Why do I keep putting myself through this punishment? I guess I must enjoy it.