You should play Final Fantasy I. It’s a good game that should be enjoyed by people today just as it was when it was released. Just as it was the many times it was released. It’s a piece of gaming history as well. Something that may not seem that important but should be. It’s the game I would tell anyone who is looking to get into the series to start with. If you are a Final Fantasy fan and haven’t played it, or even a JRPG fan, you should really consider picking it up and giving it a go. Hopefully these top 5 reasons should help you do so.
5. You get to experience where it all started
Playing Final Fantasy I let’s you experience the beginnings of the series, and sets the tone for the rest of it. You get to see how things advanced and better appreciate the changes that were made to the series. The introduction of the ATB system, the shift to a more sci-fi setting, the change from a turn-based system to more action-like settings. You now have a better idea of how and why fans feel the way they do about the current state of the series. And it’s a part of gaming history, and learning more about that is always fun, right? Right, of course it is.
4. It’s a short game
One great reason to play Final Fantasy I is it’s short. Because of this, you can knock it out in a weekend if you follow a guide. A couple weekends if you like to take your time. This means you can beat the game even if you’re usually super busy. The newer Final Fantasys’ main quests are long, and when you add side quests it gets even longer. If you don’t have a ton of time to play you could end up forgetting what’s going on and have to restart, or just end up abandoning the game. I know it’s happened to me before. With Final Fantasy I you likely wont run into that issue.
3. Every version of the game is good
With some of the other games, specific ports are heavily disliked by fans. The mobile and Steam ports of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI come to mind. You’d be hard pressed to find people who like those ports. They heavily altered the art. The characters sprites in particular were really ugly, and are hated by fans. Final Fantasy I doesn’t really suffer from this. Sure, there are ones that are better than others, but from the original NES version to the Steam port, they all look and play well. Want to really see where the series came from? Play the NES version. Want a close representation of the original experience but with some modern amenities? Play the PlayStation version. You could even play the GBA or PSP or mobile versions for that. Either way, they are all good.
2. The gameplay still holds up today
For being a game released on NES, Final Fantasy I still holds up. Choosing a party of four from the six available classes is fun. The different combinations you can make are awesome, and the amount of challenge runs that have come from that is crazy. The combat in most versions still holds up to modern turn based JRPGs. Unless you are playing the NES version, where there are some bugs, and your characters don’t automatically choose new enemies on the field if the one its targeting dies, causing you to miss. You do get used to it, and aside from that the original NES version, still holds up. The weirdest thing about the NES and PS1 versions is the magic system. Instead of having MP, you have charges. If you’ve played D&D though you should be used to this kind of thing.
1. The story is easy to follow, and beautifully simple
Final Fantasy I was originally released for the NES, because of this the story isn’t this super deep narrative. It’s easy to follow and digest what’s going on. On top of that, despite its simplicity, it’s still a delightful story to play through. The story of collecting the crystals and saving the world is one that doesn’t get old. The beauty of games is that they give even simple stories more depth than a movie or book because you, the player, are driving it, and in some sense living in it.
Final Fantasy I might not be the best Final Fantasy ever made. It’s not my favorite, that probably goes to IX. It also wasn’t my first, that goes to Final Fantasy Tactics and VI. However, despite all of this, Final Fantasy I is what I would recommend to people looking to get into the series. It sets up the whole series and gives you a much better perspective than if you had started with any other game. It’s also a darn good game too. Some first games in a series suck, and get way better with the sequels. Final Fantasy doesn’t suffer from this, which is why I recommend it.