I’m one of those long time Final Fantasy players who has played essentially every numbered game in the series – and plenty of the spin-offs, too. Asking me to pick my favorites is going to result in either weird obscure stuff (like FFII. Yes, II. In Japan, not America.) or really divisive stuff (like FFX. HECK YES, FFX!)
And then there’s this little gem of a game:
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Which, for my money, is not only the finest of the FFT/FFTA games, but one of the finest Final Fantasy games period. (It is also largely responsible for the fact that I paid no attention to my college classes Freshman year, but that’s beside the point.)
This is a tactical squad-based RPG, superficially similar to, say, X-Com, except the focus is on the “RPG” bit rather than the “tactical” bit. The result is a cozy, relaxing game to play which revolves around messing with job classes and customizing them to your liking and playstyle. The job system is one of the Final Fantasy series’ biggest draws (to me, anyway), and FFTA hits the glorious bullseye of having a huge number of classes to have fun with, without going overboard and having so many that you can’t fit them all in your clan.
Combine this with extremely addictive “one more turn” styled battles aaaaaaand yeah remember what I said earlier about not paying attention in school? Yep.
Basically this game is just absurdly fun and well-crafted. I know a lot of die-hard FF fans don’t like this game as much as its predecessor, usually because of the idea that FFTA offered a much more simplified story. Me, I’m not playing this stuff for the story. Sorry guys! I’m here because stuff like this exists:
So yeah. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. If you ask me to pick a favorite Final Fantasy game, it might just be this. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is.
Also, that delicious soundtrack.