The other day I was sitting with some friends in a pub and the age-old question was addressed: what is the best Final Fantasy game ever released?
Some of talked about pre-3D games, such as Final Fantasy VI, while others talked about Final Fantasy IX or Final Fantasy VII. But the one that shocked us was Final Fantasy Tactics.
Final Fantasy Tactics is a bit different than the “main titles” of the series, because rather than maintaining the classic JRPG feel, Tactics is a tactical RPG much like Fire Emblem. But as we discussed further, I realized that the Tactics games actually have a valid place in the debate.
This is because even though Tactics often takes the backseat to the main titles in the franchise, it is also responsible for taking the franchise in new directions. The world of Final Fantasy XII is directly connected to the Tactics universe, and a lot of the best and most creative races or jobs of the series are explored in great detail within Tactics, Tactics Advance or Tactics A2.
But despite the Tactics games releasing to great reviews — Final Fantasy Tactics has an 83 on Metacritic and Tactics Advance and Tactics A2 maintain an 87 and 80 respectively — the Tactics franchise hasn’t received a fresh release in 10 years.
This is shame to fans of the series and of related titles, as well. Fans have watched Nintendo release Fire Emblem titles nearly every year since 2007, but nothing has come out from Square Enix.
But Fire Emblem’s success continues to prove that there is a market for tactical RPGs, as Nintendo is fresh off the release of Fire Emblem Heroes and has three related titles coming out over the next year.
Based off of that success — and the hype surrounding a return to Ivalice in the upcoming Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood — the environment has never been better for a Tactics release.
Last year Square Enix proved that Final Fantasy still had what it takes to be a major player in the industry, but now it has an opportunity to use that momentum to give new voices to other areas of the series.
Fans of JRPGs waited 10 years for Final Fantasy XV, but now we need Square Enix to prove that it still has what it takes to make great products of other genres. A game like Tactics could fulfill this wish.
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