The final countdown

Every Final Fantasy game, ranked from worst to best

Final Fantasy is one of the most iconic game franchises ever, the gold standard of the epic role-playing genre.

If you're wondering where to start, we've ranked every main Final Fantasy game, from worst to best.

16. Final Fantasy (1987)

The game that started it all is woefully outdated today, with bare-bones combat and narrative.

15. Final Fantasy II (1988)

FF2's unique leveling system improves characters based on their actions, but turns combat into a slog where players are encouraged to attack their own party.

14. Final Fantasy XI (2002)

Final Fantasy's first MMORPG still has devoted fans today, even if it's overshadowed by a vastly improved second attempt.

13. Final Fantasy XV (2016)

FF15 modernizes the series with real-time combat, but removes a lot of what makes the series great and delivers a mostly nonsensical story.

12. Final Fantasy III (1990)

this is where Final Fantasy first hit its stride, introducing the Job system for more customizable characters.

11. Final Fantasy XIII (2009)

FF13's combat system eventually gets good, but only after many long hours of mind-numbing cutscenes and grinding.

10. Final Fantasy IV (1991)

The first Final Fantasy on SNES improved on everything that made its predecessor great, refining the Job system and telling the first interesting story of the series.

9. Final Fantasy VIII (1999)

FF8 gets points for experimenting, but its complicated, poorly explained magic system and confounding story makes it the series' most divisive game.

8. Final Fantasy V (1992)

Despite a shallow story, FF5's further improved Job system makes it one of the most enjoyable early games in the series.

7. Final Fantasy VII (1997)

The most iconic game in the series, FF7 still get props for its incredible story, even if its graphics and combat don't hold up today.

6. Final Fantasy XII (2006)

Fans either love or hate FF12's MMO-influenced real-time combat, but the world of Ivalice is one of the most enduring settings in the series.

5. Final Fantasy IX (2000)

After two bold experiments, FF9 took the series back to its roots with a classic fantasy tale full of great music and likeable characters.

4. Final Fantasy 7 Remake (2020)

FF7 Remake stretches the original's first chapter into a whole game, emphasizing its new action gameplay and the people of Midgar.

3. Final Fantasy X (2001)

FF10's bizarre but compelling story and tactical turn-based battles make it worth coming back to 20 years later.

2. Final Fantasy XIV (2010)

After a much-need relaunch in 2013, FF14 showed that a Final Fantasy MMO can work after all, and it's only gotten better since then.

1. Final Fantasy VI (1994)

The last 16-bit Final Fantasy is an all-time classic with the series' best characters, a satisfying combat system, and a score that pushed the SNES to its limit.