While “Final Fantasy 7” is more widely recognized, it owes an incalculable debt to the successes, breakthroughs, and triumphs of “Final Fantasy 6.” As noted by TheGamer, the debate continues to rage over which title reigns supreme, but “Final Fantasy 6” takes the crown for its mix of epic storytelling, compelling turn-based combat, magi-punk worldbuilding, and its role in establishing the franchise as a household name.
Though none of its individual members are as widely recognized as Cloud from “FF7,” the game’s ensemble cast has a delightful chemistry, distinct identities, and moving personal stories. Like Sephiroth after him, Kefka Palazzo is one of video gaming’s greatest villains, primarily because he succeeds at his evil aspirations to become a god and lay waste to the world. Furthermore, “Final Fantasy 6” introduced more pronounced sci-fi technological elements to the series, which certainly shaped the aesthetics of subsequent entries.
As evidenced by its numerous re-releases and modernizations, the gameplay holds up surprisingly well in contemporary times, and its pixel graphics have aged more gracefully than many subsequent titles in the series’ history. It’s memorable cast employs a mix of distinctive, character-specific abilities, from Sabin’s fighting game-style monk inputs, to Edgar’s arsenal of brutal gadgets, to Strago’s signature swordplay. The game even introduced the series’ Limit Break mechanic, albeit in the subtle form of randomized desperation attacks.
For these reasons, “Final Fantasy 6” still stands as the zenith of the “Final Fantasy” franchise.