|Genres||Role-playing video game|
|Developers||Square Enix (formerly Square)|
|Publishers||Square Enix (formerly Square)|
|Platforms||Cellular phone, Game Boy Advance, iPhone OS, MSX, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo GameCube, Windows, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, Wonderswan Color, Xbox 360|
|Platform of origin||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|First release||Final Fantasy |
December 18, 1987
|Latest release||Final Fantasy XIV |
September 21, 2010
|Spin-offs||Kingdom Hearts series and Mana series|
|Official website||Official Portal|
Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー, Fainaru Fantajī) is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed and owned by Square Enix (formerly Square). The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science-fantasy console role-playing games (RPGs), but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise. The series began in 1987 as an eponymous video game developed to save Square from bankruptcy; the game was a success and spawned sequels. The video game series has since branched into other genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, and racing.
Although most Final Fantasy installments are supposedly independent stories with various different settings and main characters, they feature identical elements that define the franchise. Recurring elements include plot themes, character names, and game mechanics. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while exploring the characters' internal struggles and relationships. Character names are often derived from the history, languages, and mythologies of cultures worldwide.
The series has been commercially and critically successful; it is Square Enix's best selling video game franchise, with more than 97 million units sold, and one of the best-selling video game franchises. It was awarded a star on the Walk of Game in 2006, and holds seven Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. The series is well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full motion videos, photo-realistic character models, and orchestrated music by Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy has been a driving force in the video game industry. The video game series has affected Square's business practices and its relationships with other video game developers. It has also introduced many features now common in console RPGs and has been credited with helping to popularize RPGs in markets outside Japan.
The first installment of the series premiered in Japan on December 18, 1987. Subsequent titles are numbered and given a story unrelated to previous games; consequently, the numbers refer more to volumes than to sequels. Many Final Fantasy games have been localized for markets in North America, Europe, and Australia on numerous video game consoles, personal computers (PC), and mobile phones. Future installments will appear on seventh generation video game consoles; upcoming titles include Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, and Final Fantasy XIV. As of March 2007, there are 28 games in the franchise; this number includes the main installments from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XIII, as well as direct sequels and spin-offs. Most of the older titles have been remade or re-released on multiple platforms.
|1987 –||– Final Fantasy|
|1988 –||– Final Fantasy II|
|1990 –||– Final Fantasy III|
|1991 –||– Final Fantasy IV|
|1992 –||– Final Fantasy V|
|1994 –||– Final Fantasy VI|
|1997 –||– Final Fantasy VII|
|1999 –||– Final Fantasy VIII|
|2000 –||– Final Fantasy IX|
|2001 –||– Final Fantasy X|
|2002 –||– Final Fantasy XI|
|2006 –||– Final Fantasy XII|
|2009 –||– Final Fantasy XIII|
|2010 –||– Final Fantasy XIV|
Three Final Fantasy installments were released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Final Fantasy was released in Japan in 1987 and in North America in 1990. It introduced many concepts to the console RPG genre, and has since been remade on several platforms. Final Fantasy II, released in 1988 in Japan, has been bundled with Final Fantasy in several re-releases. The last of the NES installments, Final Fantasy III, was released in Japan in 1990; however, it was not released elsewhere until a Nintendo DS remake in 2006.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) also featured three installments of the main series, all of which have been re-released on several platforms. Final Fantasy IV was released in 1991; in North America, it was released as Final Fantasy II. It introduced the "Active Time Battle" system. Final Fantasy V, released in 1992 in Japan, was first in the series to spawn a sequel: a short anime series titled Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals. Final Fantasy VI was released in Japan in 1994, but it was titled Final Fantasy III in North America.
The PlayStation console saw the release of three main Final Fantasy games. The 1997 title Final Fantasy VII moved away from the two-dimensional (2D) graphics used in the first six games to three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics; the game features polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. It also introduced a more modern setting, a style that was carried over to the next game. It was also the first in the series to be released in Europe. The eighth installment was published in 1999, and was the first to consistently use realistically proportioned characters and feature a vocal piece as its theme music. Final Fantasy IX, released in 2000, returned to the series' roots by revisiting a more traditional Final Fantasy setting rather than the more modern worlds of VII and VIII.
Three main installments, including one online game, were published for the PlayStation 2 (PS2). The 2001 title Final Fantasy X introduced full 3D areas and voice acting to the series, and was the first to spawn a direct video game sequel (Final Fantasy X-2). Final Fantasy XI was released on the PS2 and PC in 2002, and later on the Xbox 360. The first massive multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the series, Final Fantasy XI also introduced real-time battles instead of random encounters. The twelfth installment, published in 2006, also includes real-time battles in large, interconnected playfields.
Final Fantasy XIII was released in December 2009 in Japan. It was released on March 9, 2010, in North America and Europe. It is the flagship installment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII compilation. Final Fantasy XIV, an MMORPG, was released in September 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and PC.