By Alexander R. Campbell
Most of the time when I hear or read a conversation about the main, numbered games of Final Fantasy it almost always gravitates towards “which one is the best one?”. To which most people, surprisingly, go onto say the sixth Final Fantasy, and not the seventh, which is, without a doubt, the most well known of the entire Final Fantasy Series.
I myself, with exception to the eleventh of the franchise, have played all of the numbered titles to an extent. Having beaten over half of the games in their entirety, it was this very summer that I finally played and finished the mysteriously famed “Final Fantasy VI” for myself and to be quite honest – I agree with what people say after having seen for myself what sets VI apart.
If I had to sum up what exactly sets this installment of the franchise apart from all the others in one simple word, that word would be “variety”. VI is packed to the brim with all sorts of different things to keep the player fully invested in the gaming experience. With the unique approach that VI takes, for instance having no single main character, but rather, having the narrative shift between the characters frequently as the game goes on, the story never gets a chance to become dull because the next segment is always just around the corner.
On top of having such a powerful story element, VI has an amazing amount of variety when it comes to the battle system. Now, by itself, the battle system is remedial. You have your “attack”, “defend”, “magic”. “flee” etc. However, each and every character has their own unique “gimmick” in battle. For example, the character “Sabin” uses “Blitz Moves”, where the player has to input a specific series of commands, not too much unlike those you would find in a “Fighting game,” in order to unleash devastating moves. This mechanic works in perfect conjunction with the narrative as it often splits up the characters for specific story scenarios, allowing you to see how their “gimmicks” work when used in different combinations.
The two most important elements to an RPG are the story and the battle system, and VI works wonders with both categories, I dare to say more so than any “Final Fantasy” before and after it. VI really knocks it out of the park when compared with the rest of the games’ series, despite being a SNES game. Truly deserving of the title of “Best”.
Not to mention the fact that this is a game where you can suplex a train, which automatically makes it the best game ever anyways.