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The best Final Fantasy games on PC

Ranked in the correct order, finally

We're still waiting for the PC release of Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth while jealously looking over the shoulders of our PS5 brethren. But that doesn't mean we can't ride some other chocobo, so to speak. There are tons of other great Final Fantasy games you can play on PC right now. Below, we've ranked the 10 best Final Fantasy games you can currently play on Steam, putting an end to the debate over which Roman numeral is objectively best.

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Best Final Fantasy games on PC

This enormous JRPG series has changed a lot over the years, and its history on PC has been patchy to say the least. But today we basically have the complete set of Final Fantasy games on PC (with the exception of those newest ones, of course). The list hasn't changed much since our last re-ranking in summer of 2023 but we fancied a reshuffle anyway. It helps to keep Final Fantasy fans on their toes.

In the event that the eternal argument about the best Final Fantasy game keeps on raging, you can summon your own opinions about the clearest crystals or most amenable moogles in the comments. But please remember to be civil. Do you reckon Crisis Core: Reunion should be on this list? Just say so. We won't cave to your demands but we do like to hear your reasoning. In the meantime, here are the actual best Final Fantasy games on PC, ranked in perfect, undisputed order.

10. Final Fantasy XIII

A pink haired woman looks on in disbelief at a blonde man in a black hat in Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII is often decried as the 'corridor game that only gets good after 30 hours'. But that's reductive. Final Fantasy XIII is an absolute stunner on PC, impressing from the off with lush visuals, a gorgeous soundtrack, and its constant, dogged dedication to keeping players on the tips of their toes. It throws together different characters in unlikely pairs and combines new battle techniques every couple of hours, so that no two sections ever feel the same. And besides, it's no more of an endless corridor than Final Fantasy X was several years earlier, so why all the hubbub? It deserves better, is what we're saying, and is absolutely worth revisiting.

Sure, its cast of characters is a somewhat mixed bag. Stoic badass Fang and tired chocobo dad Sazh sit at the top of pile, while perpetual wet blanket Hope can rot in an interminable Coccoon for all we care. But its greatest triumph is the active time battle system. Not only did it ditch dedicated character classes for a more malleable set of roles known as 'paradigms', but it also introduced the concept of staggering enemies before really laying into them. A feature that is still cropping up today in JRPGs. I can't tell you what the plot is about (crystals?) but, as we'll discover, most Final Fantasy plots are bobbins when you really sit down and think about them.

9. Final Fantasy V (Pixel Remaster)

The gang of Final Fantasy V take on an enemy in the Library of the Ancients
Image credit: Square Enix

Final Fantasy V mixes its mythology in the loony manner that would become de rigueur for future Final Fantasies. A dude called Gilgamesh is trying to find the sword Excalibur (what?). It features an antagonist called "Exdeath" (huh!?). The story is a mish-mash of recognisable tropes, yes, but it all stands in service of something greater. Doing your Job!

The "Job" system introduced fresh roles to the turn-based battles, see. The Beast Master, Samurai, Blue Mage, Berserker, and loads more. It let you mix abilities from one job into another to create scrappy little weirdoes that felt like your own. You could even see which character's turn would come next! Don't scoff, it was cool. The battle system of this game was so deeply sound, so well-regarded, that it got the designer responsible, Hiroyuki Ito, promoted to the position of Director for Square's next game. And you can be glad it did.

Final Fantasy V was an underappreciated turning point for the series. In the same way that everyone remembers the exciting Tudor monarchs who chopped heads but never their penny-pinching founder Henry VII, people tend to forget everything before Final Fantasy VI. The perceived wisdom being that the sixth instalment was the moment the series truly blossomed. But Final Fantasy V's influence is unequivocally pivotal. One for the FF historians.

8. Final Fantasy XIV

Two Final Fantasy XIV players face the camera with a welcoming look.

Final Fantasy XIV is an exceptional comeback story in the video games industry. After a disastrous initial launch in 2010, its reincarnation as "A Realm Reborn" has since risen to become one of the best MMORPGs in recent memory. Its medieval stylings can be felt leaking into Final Fantasy XVI too, as oft-lauded Square Enix executive Naoki Yoshida was plucked from his role as director of the MMO to become producer of the latest in the mainline series.

Starting out in Final Fantasy XIV today is, admittedly, a bit of an undertaking - with what four major expansions offering hundreds of hours. But if you play Final Fantasy for the depth and scope of its stories, this online behemoth should not be missed. Indeed, we called it "one of the greatest FF tales of all time" in our Endwalker review .

7. Final Fantasy XV

Two lads from Final Fantasy 15 sit in the back of a car on the open road
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Square Enix

Final Fantasy XV is an absolute mess of a game that has no right to be as good, polished or atmospheric as it is. After a decade of development, its flaws are too many to count, especially when it comes to its disjointed story (countless important moments were outsourced to DLC, films and an anime TV series - god knows why). Despite this, it's still one of our favourite games in the series. A large part of that is down to the four roadtripping boys you accompany: sullen prince Noctis, beefcake muscle-man Gladio, squad chef Ignis, and dearest boy band photographer Prompto.

When you get down to it, there is no greater depiction of laddish companionship in the series. This feeling of camaraderie is constantly being reinforced throughout the game, whether that's Ignis' campfire cooking or Prompto's end of day photography cataloguing your progress. They riff off each other's attacks in battle, and chat incidentally as they amble through the countryside. Forget about getting married (Noctis is basically on his stag do) and never mind saving the world (there's that to sort out too). FFXV makes you just want to hang out with your mates a bit longer and ogle at what's cooking. Hot damn, that Fat Chocobo Triple Decker sandwich looks tasty.

6. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

A group of humans fight fantastical monsters in Final Fantasy XII

A long time ago, in a fantasy far, far away, a dusty street urchin teamed up with a roguish airship captain and his rabbit-eared first mate, to take a backseat in the story of a freedom fighter and a warrior princess. Twelve years later, they all arrived on PC and once again the forums were filled with the cries of: "Hang on, this is Star Wars!" and, "Actually, it's not bad!"

Storywise, Final Fantasy XII tramps around in the middleground of the series. There's a war, an empire and a princess. Crystals, knights and monsters. Perhaps the only distinct thing about this tale is that you aren't playing as a very important person. Vaan and his pal Penelo are just two street kids who get swept up in a larger story. They only end up fighting big Judges in scary armour because the rest of the characters were doing it first.

It's oddly refreshing, as is the fighting system. For the first time, Square threw away their standoffish system of menus and little white gloves. They filled the overworld with enemies to batter in real-time. They gave Vaan and his compatriots the Gambit system, which lets you program all your characters' moves in advance. Healers would heal, tanks would tank, rogues would stab, all according to the rules you created yourself. That Gambit system didn't stick around in later games, but it marked a turning point for the series. Number 12 here ought to be appreciated for branching out and throwing off some stale Final Fantasy traditions.

5. Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster

A party of warriors fight three airborne Grasswyrms in Final Fantasy 6
Image credit: Square Enix

At long last, a version of Final Fantasy VI that's worth playing on PC. Yes, the Pixel Remaster fonts aren't brilliant, but hey, this is a PC game. You think we can't rustle up a few mods to fix that? Please.

Widely regarded as the best of the pre-polygonal Final Fantasies, this remake of the 1994 SNES classic is pretty much what you'd get if you put Final Fantasy and Gundam mechs into a big steampunk blender. Set in a land where extinct magic has been replaced by hulking great machines, the empire in charge starts to feel a bit hot under their large metallic collars when a mysterious woman called Terra shows up bearing magical powers. What follows is a tale of war and rebellion of operatic proportions (I'm not kidding, there's an iconic opera scene).

It remains one of few Final Fantasy games to really put its iconic summon monsters centre stage. They play an enormous role here (alongside your 14 playable party members) and you'll need all the help you can get to take down the game's terrifying, demented clown villain Kefka. Until recently, we would have warned you off playing this on PC, but thanks to the spit and polish of the new Pixel Remaster, you can finally truly enjoy this sensational swansong of the 16-bit era.

4. Final Fantasy IX

It's easy to see why so many continue to rally behind this colourful, characterful tale of heisting actors and clown-faced queens. Gone are the frowning strongmen and hormonal teen mercenaries of the previous games, replaced with a jokey thief, a bumbling bodyguard, a terminally ill puppet, and a sad princess. Ah, Final Fantasy. From fairytales ye have arisen and to fairytale ye shall return.

The battle system, the world map, the potion shops... It's all fairly traditional, only here you get new moves by equipping weapons or armour and 'learning' their powers by heart. This lets you share useful abilities between characters by taking turns with the same equipment, a nice implication that this merry band of friends has each other's back. Final Fantasy IX was also the last in the main series to have those crafty static environments. Let's not grieve overlong for those blurry bits of scenery, but we can still remember them with fondness. There was a peculiar satisfaction to mapping the different scenes in your head. An obsessive joy in roaming around the edges of the scenery, mashing the action button to find chests or trinkets hidden behind immovable props. Since the game's story is partly about a troupe of dodgy actors, it's a fitting end for those theatre-like sets.

3. Final Fantasy X / Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster

Tidus doing a big laugh in Final Fantasy X
Image credit: Square Enix

Final Fantasy loves to do exposition, but Final Fantasy X is arguably the only one to do it convincingly. You play as a sportsball player who has been eaten by a whale monster the size of a city and pooped out in the future. As such, you need to have everything explained to you by your new pals - a ginger man with a Jamaican accent, a walking lion, and a goth lady obsessed with belts. In fiction, the "fish out of water" character is a common means of introducing the reader to a new world. But our hero Tidus has just enough personality, history and curiosity to carry you along. As he learns about the weird anti-technology religion that governs the world of Spira, you learn along with him. When he's asking about monsters, so are you. When he's crying like a big crybaby in a crybaby's nappy, or laughing himself out of downer, so are you. Okay, maybe not that last part, but you get the point.

To us, nothing has quite lived up to Final Fantasy X's scale and ambition since, and the fact we now get its direct sequel (Final Fantasy X-2) bundled in with the HD Remaster feels like icing on the cake. Seeing the once-timid priestess Yuna swap her staff for a pair of guns and kick ass with a killer new haircut was exactly what 15-year-old Katharine wanted from games way back when, not to mention a light-hearted revisit to the realms of FFV's job system dress-up. Also: you are a pop idol now. Just go with it. Power ballads and lost loves were just what the series needed after the heavy themes and heartbreak of its predecessor. The sequel finally gave Final Fantasy X the closure we desired, provided you whistled three times facing east in the netherrealm and clapped your hands twice while rubbing your tummy correctly... That's how all good game endings work, right? RIGHT?

2. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Cloud swipes his sword at a dog-like monster in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake only tells part of the story of the much-loved 1997 original, but as an exercise in nostalgia (and the thwarting thereof), it is a wonderous thing. You start as a half-hearted eco-terrorist, fighting against a vile, planet-sapping corporation. Then you fight for revenge. Then you fight because there's a bad man in a long cloak. Then some terrifying otherworldly force comes to... destroy the world? Oh god, it's nonsense, isn't it? It's nonsense. But psst, here's a secret. They're all nonsense.

So let's appreciate the atmosphere of VII, if not the daftness. Let's remember wandering around the steamy, dirty, semi-robotic city of Midgar. Its factories and slums, its skyscrapers, tunnels and highways. This was a big city, now rendered even larger and more sumptuous than the one you've got lodged in your head. Here we're suggesting the Intergrade edition, which makes the environments look even better, and includes an extra episode featuring materia-pinching side-hustler Yuffie. Final Fantasy VII Remake also has arguably the best modern battle system of the lot, combining the real-time slashy-slashes of Final Fantasy XV with the tactical pause of its own turn-based origins. It's the kind of reimagining you wish Square Enix would give all the PS1-era Final Fantasies. Even if doing so would probably take decades.

1. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

Artwork of Squall Leonhart holding his gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy best-of lists tend to be decided on nostalgia and an outpouring of childlike love. We are not immune to those feelings. So let it be known: Final Fantasy VIII is the best Final Fantasy game. We do not apologise. If you want to dispute our decision, grab your gunblade and we can settle this Squall and Seifer-style.

Final Fantasy VIII is often labelled as the lovey-dovey one. Here we see rich girl-turned-freedom fighter Rinoa transform her romantic interest, Squall, from a series of angry ellipses into a functioning human being. It's simplistically told, a teenager's tale. Yet it's far more affecting than character development elsewhere in the series. It's full of stand-out moments away from the romance too. You get chased through a town by a giant mechanical spider. You go into orbit and annihilate a spaceship's worth of alien dinosaurs. An army of soldiers on motorcycles try to bust up your flying boarding school, and then you get to punch a hole in the villain's enormous, monolithic skyscraper with a rad airship... It's exciting stuff, from an era when the best reward for player progress was a wild CGI cinematic in which you could move your character while all hell breaks loose. Very cool.

The combat system isn't too shabby either. The ability to 'junction' summons and magic spells to individual characters makes battle planning personal and thoughtful. Instead of buying your way to success with throwaway trinkets, here you're actively seeking out new monsters and growing together as a team, learning shiny new attacks from total freaks and then passing those skills onto your friends. Despite the remaster's questionable graphics, Final Fantasy VIII's world of salty schoolkids with pocket guardians remains a charming and essential realm. Okay, it is still fundamentally a game about child soldiers preventing a time-travelling witch from possessing a teenage girl (and her dog) in the future so she can carry out her wish of compressing time and starting the world afresh. But it's also the best and we love it.

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