Final Fantasy VI arguably perfected the 2D Final Fantasy formula. Ahead of the series' shift to 3D graphics in Final Fantasy VII, the sixth instalment delivered previously unparalleled drama through breakneck plot pacing and a diverse cast of interesting characters. The storytelling that's so often revered in titles like Final Fantasy IX owes its identity to what Square was able to achieve with Final Fantasy VI.
This game is overflowing with memorable moments as a ragtag group of heroes make a stand against an almighty empire. Every scenario offers something new, whether it's a freshly introduced party member, a distinct environment, or a crazy boss fight. Final Fantasy VI simply never lets up, and it's still an absolute joy to play through almost 30 years after its original SNES release.
It's an immaculate example of expert pacing in an RPG. While parts of the game can feel like they're a bit limiting in how linear they are, it's hard not to appreciate the ambition. At various points in the adventure, the story jumps between characters in completely different situations, and it's a narrative technique that works to great effect in terms of world building, and establishing unique character relationships.
Gameplay is married so tightly to these scenarios as well. Each party member has their own set of specialised skills, which are often emphasised during key story moments. The game does an impressive job of introducing a lot of new characters and giving each of them a real purpose, both in and out of combat.
However, things like party composition and character customisation don't really factor into the experience until much later in the game. As such, outside of boss battles that feature unique mechanics, the title's turn-based encounters can feel a little samey sometimes as you make repeated use of certain abilities.
Still, it's so hard to fault Final Fantasy VI. It's a thrill ride of an RPG, and remains one of the most brilliantly paced instalments in the entire series. Combine that with such an endearing cast, deeply engaging gameplay, some amazing sprite work, and a stunning soundtrack, and you've got an all-time classic.
I honestly don’t get it, but it may be because people have nostalgia for it and played it at the time. My first was 7, which I still love, and I’m sure if people played that today they would also not understand it. I’d be curious if someone is trying to play this in 2023 for the first time (like me) and really loving it, because maybe I’m just missing something in it.
I played this one on PS3, but couldn't complete it as my console died. Reached the World of Ruin and did some story quests. The game is truly endearing, the plot is great. I had to check a guide for time to time as it has a lot of missables and it isn't always clear where we have to go. But I can see why it's a eternal classic, so I will return someday and finish it.
so, Kefka or Sephiroth? (because we have to choose one, brains like binary decisions).
As someone who grew up with FF7, FF8 and FF9 onwards, I missed out on any of the SNES FF games, particularly FFVI. I finally gave this game a shot recently and I can finally understand why so many fans loved this game. The characters are so endearing and are quite unique with Locke and Celes being my favorites so far. I only knew what Kefka was like thanks to Dissidia and I got to say that he is exactly how I imagine him in this game, he's pure chaos and I love him for that. But really, each characters so far are so endearing and likeable.
The soundtrack is so good and again, Locke and Celes' themes are by far, my favorites alongside Terra's theme.
Sadly, I've never had the chance to finish the game (not yet at least) but with the pixel remasters, I'm willing to finish this because it's so good.
This seems like the pixel remaster with the most effort put in. Particularly during the opera sequence.
@CthulhuFhtagn Kefka is the best villain in this series, and his evil laugh is still amazing.
The intro to this game is iconic.
It’s just so good. Crazy how much of a leap forwards it is for expansive storytelling in games and the whole World of Ruin non-linear segment is up there with the very best.
@Ralizah I remember the hack with a remastered soundtrack for Game Boy Advance and it makes a huge difference (with headphones LOL). The introduction of this game is incredible because of the music.
Ah, my second favourite JRPG of all time. Finished it three times already though. What's that, newly arranged soundtrack? Hold my beer!
@RatmCky Haven’t played FF 6 yet but I played the OG Final Fantasy and enjoyed that game a lot even though it was made 10 years before me!
@Banjo- It's hard to articulate why, but I actually sort of preferred the way games sounded on GBA vs SNES.
But yeah, even aside from any other changes, the gorgeous orchestral music in these pixel remasters immediately makes them my preferred versions of these games. Square-Enix did a great job arranging them.
Easily a 10/10 for me. This, along with only a handful of other games, is gaming perfection in my book.
Playing through this again, and it makes me miss turn based RPGs. The story was deep, but not artificially inflated to make it seem deeper.
@CthulhuFhtagn Sephiroth is a cool villain…but Kefka easily wins.
Admittedly I came to 6 late, and although I like certain aspects a lot (particularly the music, and the earlier parts of the game) I struggle to enjoy it once you get to the non-linear segment. The set up was cool but given time had passed, it always felt weird how you just joined back up with your pals after a couple of lines of dialogue… somehow I wanted them to go deeper into what everyone had been doing during that period.
Also, playing it as something of a novelty these days, the lack of direction in this part of the game demotivates me.
Overall I struggle to see why people rate this as the best game in the franchise, but I am sure they are on to something. I guess you just had to be there. No contest between this and 7/9 for me, though!
THE GAME IS A 10/10!
@kyleforrester87 at the time, the story was the best rpg story ever by a wide margin. ff6 has one of the most cohesive plots ever. It’s complex and has a ton of characters, but it’s very easy to follow. Even FFX, which has an absolutely amazing storyline, gets a little confusing with the sin and jecht stuff. And if you look at what came before FF6, having that amount of characters and no real “main” character, and the amount they’re all developed, was insane.
One of the best games of all time. Things like Burning Shores and Advance Wars took a back seat so I could play through this again first. Haha
@Niktaw yes, I expect you are right. In a way, it being ahead of its time works against it when playing for the first time now. What I mean is, it clearly broke boundaries at release and you’d have appreciated that when playing at launch, while accepting some of its faults as par for the course for the time. But when playing today without any nostalgia to help smooth things out, it’s perhaps easier to take some of what it does very well for granted, while focusing on the negatives a little more.
Great review, but thats only because 👍
Ffvii was my first back then, and then i played anthology on ps1. Lurve this one.
One of the best games of all time! Truly iconic characters and story, and an amazing (and sometimes terrifying) world to explore. 10/10 for me. 🏆
@GET2SAMMYB Your my hero, to have played through them all 😀
After years of hearing how good this is I think I'm gonna have to play it.
Not only one of the Greatest 2D RPGs of all time but the greatest Final Fantasy of all time. After 6 the Final Fantasy series just became garbage. All graphics no story and their characters have no development or personality.
@CthulhuFhtagn Kefka no contest. Kefka had so much personality where as Sephiroth didn't. Kefka's whole MO is the classic villain story and the fact that he just doesn't give a damn you never know what he's doing next. Where as Sephiroth became a villain cause he has mommy issues, please.
@Tasuki a valid opinion would be to say characters in future FF games have less development or personality I suppose but “no development or personality” is really out there!!
Hmmm. Im unfortunate enough to have a bad mother. Sephiroth just wanted love from Jenova.
And i'm hardly a mummys boy.
On topic, it amazed me the first time with world of balance and ruin. Loving playing it again :
@kyleforrester87 Going back to older games that you didn’t play close to release can be pretty rough, especially if it’s a beloved classic that inspired or influenced so many things that came after it.
The example that I always think of is the movie The Silence of the Lambs. I was only 10 when it came out, so I wasn’t able to watch it then. I never got around to watching it until 15-20 years after its release. By then I had seen so many movies and TV shows that were either inspired by it, copying it, or parodying it. So I watched it and thought “that was it?” It felt like watching a random episode of Law & Order, rather than a lauded thrill-ride.
Games have even more challenges to overcome in said situation. Not only the story elements may have dated, but graphics and mechanics as well. It’s not so bad to go back to the 8 or 16-bit eras, but PlayStation 1 and even a lot of PS2 games are almost impenetrable to experience without nostalgia goggles. Even then, our memories of games might not match the reality of what they actually are.
With all that said, I’m still hoping that FF VI is still good when I buy the pixel remasters. I have never gotten around to playing it in all these years, so I hope I can enjoy it for what it is, instead of what people have been gushing about for decades. 🤞
Looks like its time to grind sand worms again. Good times!
“Mini Review: Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster (PS4) - The Greatest RPG of All Time”
@RatmCky I had the same issue with chrono trigger. Played it around the ps2 era and couldnt understand why it was so beloved and regularly sat in top 5 games ever. We have ff7-10, kotor and loads of western rpgs on PC. Yet they are all beaten out by a rubbish time hopping game with unfinished areas and getting lost on the regular.
Strangely Sonic mania made me realise the pull of nostalgia. It is a great game but I couldnt be bothered learning the routes compared to when I was 10 playing OG sonic. It's not that OG sonic is in any way better. It's that I spent a large portion of my time learning the game, secrets and mechanics.
Coming to chrono I finished it once (it has multiple endings) and couldn't be bothered wasting time on an inferior experience to what was currently available in the likes of ff10. Nostalgia is a big pull.
@Impossibilium yes I agree, I think modern features like auto save will go a long way toward helping you enjoy old games that you’re playing without nostalgia.
I think the last old game I played for the first time recently that I really enjoyed was Max Payne 1. I thought it really held up! As for Silence of the Lambs, I agree. I came to it late and never understood the hype - sort of left me feeling stupid, like what did I miss!
@Tasuki have you actually played FF9? The whole point of that game is its more FF1 to 6 like story and characters.
@awaltzforvenus This is the truth. As much as I love other RPGs, VI is the reigning pinnacle of the genre. Chrono Trigger was a rival that lost by a hair to it, VII came so close to matching it (I’d even go so far as to argue VII started better) but it didn’t sustain quite as strong of a landing, and sure, and X fought valiantly to be the greatest as well, but VI is still unmatched as an RPG.
@ShaiHulud VII is the first?
@DrGonzo Oh here's misery guts slamming everyone who likes this again.
Gaming is going down the toilet apparently! And I'm clapping apparently!
Stop commenting on things just to be negative and try to get a reaction.
This is the 2nd best JRPG ever. I'm so pleased it's available in a very good condition on PlayStation and Switch.
Played this game so many times that the battery died. Also found out about the genji glove and Cyans special which allowed up to 4 hits, followed by Gogo's Mimic ability afterwards. And the cursed shield, vanish then x-zone on bosses, level 99 for each character, so much fun for a wee lad. So I'm not buying this and letting the SNES memory stay golden.
I want to play this, but I wonder if I should wait for it to be on PS+
I really hope Square-Enix will remake this next after 8 and 9.
Still need to play thru the original first though, maybe one of these days...
@dimi It's Skies of Arcadia actually!
stunning game, but i realy regret i got it on the nintendo switch rather then ps5 because of achievements:(
they did a fantastic job with these games, especialy the sfx and reorchestrated music wich is for me a 10 out of 10👌
if you are a fan you must own this collection, iat least some episodes (i reccomend ff6)
on ps plus?
that would be a loooong wait.
this will never get on ps plus i guess.
Played it when it came out with the SNES mini a few years back. One of the best JRPGs of all time. Everything about it is peak Final Fantasy. If your at all a JRPG fan stick with it.
@PALversusNTSC Playing the game is the achievement.
@PALversusNTSC I guess I meant PS+ extra, along with a ton of other FF games
Removed - off-topic
One of the most iconic jrpgs of all time and definitely my favorite from the 2d era
Multi layered story amazing (and very deep and fun) combat with tons of unique abilities for pretty much every party member, great world building fantastic villain etc etc
9 is a great score but personally a 10 for me i can't fault it for anything i had a blast every second of playing that game
i did this one many times already, and i already cant wait to go back at it.
That story and characters. i hope squarenix can go back at this kind of storytelling for FFXVI
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