I remember when Final Fantasy 7 was released for the Sony PlayStation in 1997 and thinking, “Wait, isn’t Final Fantasy a Nintendo franchise?” I didn’t yet own my PS at this point in time but since I was always lukewarm to the games that existed on the NES and SNES, the release of FF7 wasn’t a reason to buy the PlayStation in my mind. Flash forward to 2000 and I finally bought the title used (read: cheap) for my 2 year old PlayStation to give it a try having heard it was really good. I spent much of the winter & spring of 2000 playing through this game and by the time I was done I was a JRPG convert. Final Fantasy 7, like most RPG’s, forces the player to spend a lot of time building up your character’s strength, magic abilities and life meters. When I play RPGs I tend to try to advance through the game with as little farming (spending time killing enemies over and over in order to advance the character’s characteristics) as possible since those are the aspects that I find the most tedious. I never cared for it back in the Zelda and Metroid days and definitely didn’t care for it as an adult with adult responsibilities and time constraints. Thankfully, the plot & characters of FF7 kept me riveted and wanting to press Power on my PlayStation on a nearly daily basis in order to see what would come next. 17 years later, I still recall certain impactful plot developments as if it were a memorable film that I saw but haven’t gotten around to seeing again. I guess anytime you spend as many hours with characters as necessary to complete a lengthy JRPG, it should come as no surprise when you develop a bit of an emotional investment. This is clearly a sign of a well written and thought out game and I believe Final Fantasy 7 aced that aspect. That was something I can honestly say I’d never experienced in 15 years of gaming, even though there were a few titles for the SNES that came close. For this reason and the fact that I found the game incredibly fun and engaging, Final Fantasy 7 will remain as one of my favorite RPGs and PlayStation games of all time.
It should come as no surprise that after the exhausting but rewarding experience I had playing through FF7 that I would leap at the opportunity to play the next games in the series on the PS, Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 9. Well, I bought them with the intention of playing through them but honestly…..a combination of life (the beginning of a long term relationship that eventually led to marriage), exhaustion (these games take a LOT of time to complete) and other hobbies and gaming consoles to play resulted in me having owned these titles for 15+ years yet never playing them. I feel bad that I haven’t as I have heard very good things about them, especially FF9, but the fact is they are on my long list of games I still want to play and just some of the reasons why I no longer buy new consoles/games. I feel like I NEED to play these games someday and if I continue to add time consuming new gen games to my library, I’ll never take the time to play the classics and that would be a shame.
I also added a new copy of Final Fantasy Tactics to my PlayStation library not long after buying FF8 & FF9 thanks to the words “Final Fantasy” being in the title. Once again, FFT has a reputation as being a very good game but it’s not one I’ve spent any time with either.
Currently in my collection:
Final Fantasy 7 – game, manual, case A
Final Fantasy 8 – game, manual, case
Final Fantasy 9 – game, manual, case
Final Fantasy Tactics (Greatest Hits Edition) – game, manual, case