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Final Fantasy Retrospective: The Seventh Generation Years

The crystal began shedding its light silently....

The Future of Final Fantasy

25 years. Over 100 million units sold. More than 60 titles, including re-releases. Final Fantasy has one of the most storied histories in the video game industry, but where does it go from here? It has been over three years since the most recent game in the series was announced, and as of this writing there have not even been rumors of a Final Fantasy XV. With the seventh generation of consoles drawing to a close, it would be understandable for Square Enix to set their sights on the next big thing for their flagship franchise.

At E3 2012, the company showed off a short demo, titled Agni’s Philosophy. The video was billed as a real time demonstration of what a next generation Final Fantasy game could look like using the new Luminous Engine. While the demo continues the Final Fantasy tradition of top tier graphics, little in the Agni’s Philosophy video is reminiscent of the series, as it depicts a world that shares many aspects of modern day Earth.

In a November 2012 presentation, Square Enix detailed what core components are needed for a Final Fantasy game. They cited these minimum elements as “magic”, “summoning”, “gorgeous beauty”, “refinement”, and “change and challenge”. By those criteria, the Agni’s Philosophy demonstration certainly is what Square Enix requires of a Final Fantasy game, but it should be noted that, historically, the tech demonstrations the company has shown for new consoles has nothing to do with any final retail product.

What about Final Fantasy Versus XIII? Rumors swirled around in 2012 that the game had been quietly cancelled, until president Yoichi Wada stated on Twitter that he had just gotten out of a meeting concerning the game. Since then, no information about Versus has been given, even as new preview coverage of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII begin to emerge.

Even the most stalwart defender of Final Fantasy can see that the series is in a slump. Looking back on the highs and lows of the series’ 25 year history, one cannot but wonder what the future holds. We here at PixlBit hope you’ve enjoyed our extensive look at Final Fantasy. We look forward to reading your fondest memories and hopes for the franchise as it moves into its next quarter century.

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12/28/2012 at 01:56 PM

"By the time that the game had been released in North America, console gamers had been exposed to many successful Western designed RPGs, such as Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Fallout 3."

Nobody cared about bad games like that, final fantasy had its most successful gen ever.

"The market had changed, and the linear progression through a story that was nonsensical to many players cast serious doubt on the future of the series."

The market hasnt changed even slightly


12/28/2012 at 04:57 PM

Nobodyz cared about BAD games lik dat?! HAH you iz retard moron. Suck on it fanboy jezebel


12/28/2012 at 01:57 PM

What a bad generalized article. 


Lets just pretend 90 percent of the final fantasy titles didnt happen this gen. And focus on the 1 percent

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/28/2012 at 02:04 PM

Sorry you feel that way. With this retrospective I chose to focus on only the main 14 games. I've kicked around the idea of a look at the sequels, spin offs, and namesakes but I haven't come to a decision on it.

Our Take

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

12/28/2012 at 03:18 PM

 As big of an FF fan as I am, even I have to admit that, for me, generation was tragic for the core releases.

We've always got Crisis Core and FFTA though, and we did have some great JRPGs come out this gen. I can even cheat a little and say that, since FF XI was released for the 360, we can count that toward the positive side of 7th gen FF (and that makes 3 if you count XIV! the tradition continues!)
All in all, this was the decade that taught me that SE is run by people, not magicians, and they can't hit home runs every time they release a game.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/28/2012 at 04:02 PM

And I'd like to say that my excitement for the core franchise has never wavered. I quite enjoyed FF XIII and XIII-2. XIV bummed me out, but A Realm Reborn is one of my most anticipated 2013 games. I'm less enthused about Lightning Returns, but that stems more from my desire for FF XV than any actual dislike for a third XIII story.


01/06/2013 at 02:29 PM

"We wanted to create a new game, even a new genre. (...) In a lot of senses FFXIII is more like an FPS than an RPG," director Motomu Toriyama added.

He should have been immediately fired for making that statement.  It is now clear to me, that this man is one of the reasons for the series pandering to the FPS crowd.  He is one of the reasons why the series has stumbled so badly.

You better believe that I'll be keeping an eye out for that name.  If I see his name linked to any future Final Fantasy, I will not buy it.


02/24/2013 at 12:46 PM

All the hate towards Final Fantasy XIII has always baffled me. I mean, it wasn't perfect, but no Final Fantasy was ever perfect. I appreciated the fact that SE was willing to try some new approaches because at least with that attitude the Final Fantasy series will never grow stagnant. There were some significant changes to the Final Fantasy formula, and it's not my place to say for sure whether those were changes for good or bad, but at least they're trying to shake things up.

But one thing I will say is, this wait for Final Fantasy Versus XIII is killing me slowly.


02/26/2013 at 12:10 PM

I picked up FFXIII at launch and I only put about 15 hours into it. I loved the Paradigm Shift battle system. I found it very fun and fast-paced, but the story just didn't pull me in, and the linear style didn't match with my old-world expectations from RPGs. I still want to put in the extra time to get passed that "20 hour" demo period, but we'll see.

I wanted to try FFXIV from the get-go, but the tragic launch waylayed that. I'm anxious to see what A Realm Reborn brings to the table.

Excellent retrospective. Don't listen to the anonymous trolls in the other posts.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/26/2013 at 12:41 PM

XIII really does change a lot once you can finally choose who you want in your party and are able to roam around. The story is nonsensical, but I actually liked the cast a lot.

I got a chance to talk about A Realm Reborn with a friend that was in the alpha in a recent episode of Nerds Without Pants. She also played XIV through most of that dark time and talks about how many improvements were made to the game.

Thanks again for all your kind feedback!


03/01/2013 at 09:26 AM

I have played FF all my life (across at least 4 consoles and PC), and indeed this last gen has been the one that finally made me lose all interest in the series. FF X was the last game I really enjoyed, but I played XI and XII quite a bit. XIII is where I just gave up. It's clear to me that SE no longer understands what goes into a good FF, or even a standard RPG for that matter. It's sad, but I have said farewell to the series.

And judging from the comments I can see that pixlbit is not the place for me. Looks like a lot of kids that probably haven't been playing games for longer than this last console generation.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

03/01/2013 at 09:52 AM

I, for one, have been playing games for quite a while.  My first Final Fantasy game was the first Final Fantasy game and I still quite enjoyed XIII.  Should you ever return, know that there are old folk here too even if we don't have the same opinions.


03/01/2013 at 09:55 AM

Yeah I'm a 58 year old  kid. Lol


04/20/2013 at 05:17 AM

I've played every single final fantasy game, in one form or another, excluding the hard to find game boy classic FF.  As far as I'm concerned, the series died off with a swan song in Final Fantasy 6.  Everything beyond that seemed to forget what made the Final Fantasy series so special.  (An approving nod to FF IX for trying to return to it's roots). 

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