The Fantasy Was Born 30 Years Ago, The Final Fantasy
Released: December 18, 1987 (Japan) / July 12, 1990 (North America)
Another big franchise is turning 30 and this time it’s one of my personal favorites, Final Fantasy. Spanning 15 main series installments, tons of sequels and spin-offs, and over 130 million units sold, Final Fantasy is one of the best selling video game series of all time.
The original game draws inspiration from other RPGs released around the same time including Enix’s Dragon Quest, Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda and Origin System’s Ultima. Squaresoft and Enix would eventually merge into the company known today as Square Enix.
Each major release in the series has featured new worlds, new cast of characters (with some names that recur) and an upgraded battle system. The main series games also have their own self contained stories and allow gamers to jump from one to the next without missing out on important story points.
As the story goes, the original Final Fantasy was the make it or break it moment for Hironobu Sakaguchi and the developer Squaresoft. Originally, the game was going to be called Fighting Fantasy (they were looking for the abbreviation of “FF”), but that name was already taken so, to reflect their do-or-die mentality, they went with Final Fantasy (“Final” being a famous word in Japan).
The original has been released for various platforms including:
- NES – 1987 (Japan), 1990 (U.S.)
- MSX2 – 1989 (Japan)
- Wonderswan Color – 2000 (Japan)
- Playstation – 2002 (Japan), 2003 (U.S. and Europe)
- GBA – 2004
- Phone – 2004 & 2006 (Japan), 2010 (U.S.)
- PSP – 2007 (Japan & U.S.), 2008 (Europe)
- Wii Virtual Console – 2009 (Japan & U.S.), 2010 (Europe)
- PSN – 2009 (Japan), 2012 (U.S.)
- iOS – 2010
- Windows Phone – 2012
- Android – 2012
- and others!