Boss Rush Banter: What Makes a Final Fantasy Game Live Up to its Namesake?

Final Fantasy XVI is finally here and for some, they are ecstatic about the release.

For others, they’re shrugging off this addition to the mainline games for various reasons. One common reason seems to center on the franchise having evolved too far past its roots where many say, “it just doesn’t feel like Final Fantasy.”

This debate on what makes a game live up to its namesake isn’t unique to the long-running Japanese role-playing game series. This debate is around for other series, like The Legend of Zelda with the two most recent 3D games.

We’ll focus on Final Fantasy today. What makes a FF game live up to its namesake for you?

Image Credit: Square Enix (via NPR)

I imagine the answer to this question will differ wildly among everyone. This is largely because the franchise has been around since 1987.

Some have said the franchise is only true to its roots when it embraces the JRPG elements it helped define. These include turn-based combat, party mechanics, in-depth stories, and job systems, among others.

Of course, not all of these were present in the first Final Fantasy game, but they were part of innovations that accompanied the franchise over the years.

There are some who had criticism for Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII for embracing a more futuristic look instead of the medieval setting.

Others had qualms with the shift away from true turn-based combat with the advent of active turn-based combat. This is an interesting one because I’ve seen many on each side of this issue.

Some say the ATB combat is what gives Final Fantasy games their flair while others say it deviated too much from the original format.

Chocobos (Image Credit: Square Enix (via Game Rant)

And then there’s the popular running threads present in the series.

For example, many Final Fantasy game has a character named Cid. The bird-like Chocobos and the bat-like Moogles are also present throughout many games.

There are plenty of other elements people will argue that make a Final Fantasy game live up to its name. These include magic, summons, unique leveling systems, and many others.

Final Fantasy XVI has come under criticism from long-time fans for not being a true Final Fantasy title. Many have derisively said it is just a Devil May Cry game masquerading as a Final Fantasy.

At the end of the day, I believe the diversity is what makes Final Fantasy so great. Each game is unique and innovative in its own right. FFXVI is no different.

Final Fantasy XVI Producer Naoki Yoshida said he’s asked himself numerous times of what a Final Fantasy game live up to its name. He’s even asked the question to Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the series.

In response to the question, Sakaguchi told Yoshida, “Final Fantasy is basically whatever the person making it at the time thinks is best for the series. There are no rules, you have the freedom to create what you want.”

But what do you think? What makes a Final Fantasy game live up to its namesake? Let us know in the comments below or head over to our Discord channel to join the conversation.

Featured Image: Square Enix (via CNN)

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The Boss Rush PodcastThe Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and the Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, Stephanie, LeRon, and their friends from around the internet come together with other creators, developers, and industry veterans to talk about games they’ve been playing, discuss video game and entertainment based topics, and answer questions solicited on social media and the community Discord. 

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