Every mainline Final Fantasy logo, ranked from worst to best

Work of art.

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If there is one thing that Final Fantasy is known for, it is its iconic logos. All the mainline Final Fantasy games feature logo artwork by Yoshitaka Amano, the original designer for the early Final Fantasy titles. Amano is known for his feathery linework, creating art with oddly drawn shapes that appear both alien and familiar. The way Amano draws even simple figures like humans and buildings makes them look out of this world. Without an Amano logo, the Final Fantasy brand wouldn’t be what it is now.

Related: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an earnest and enjoyable experience – Review

All Final Fantasy logos ranked, from worst to best

Because of Amano’s unique mix of abstract imagery and loose line art, Final Fantasy logos are often complex to parse what they should be at first glance. The fun thing about logos is playing the games and discovering what scene inspired the image of the logo. Not all Final Fantasy logos are made equal, yet every single one is worth studying. With sixteen of the greatest video game artworks of all time, here are all the Final Fantasy logos ranked from worst to best.

Final Fantasy XI

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The Final Fantasy XI logo represents all the playable races and character types you can select. XI’s logo lacks the appeal seen in most other logos and is disappointingly forgettable, especially compared to the most iconic Final Fantasy logos.

Final Fantasy V

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The Final Fantasy V logo represents a wind drake, a type of dragon you can ride in the game. Though wind drakes serve a gameplay function and have some story significance, having a simple dragon as the main image feels too plain and uninspired for a Final Fantasy logo. Final Fantasy V’s main villain is a demonic tree clad in armor that turns into a horned monster; surely Amano could’ve come up with a more imaginative logo design with that information.

Final Fantasy XIII

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Of all the Final Fantasy logos, XIII’s is the most difficult to decode, and it doesn’t become apparent what it’s supposed to be until the title’s closing hours. The logo is Fang, Vanille, and Ragnarok holding the continent Cocoon up in the sky in frozen stasis. The logo also serves as double symbolism for Serah’s pendant. The discovery of what the logo is supposed to be isn’t entirely satisfying, which makes the entire art piece feel hollow.

Final Fantasy I

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Final Fantasy I, II, and III didn’t initially have logos drawn by Amano. The first three Final Fantasy games had box art with Amano artwork, but the traditional Amano logo wouldn’t solidify until Final Fantasy IV. When the first three games got re-released, Square Enix used pre-existing Amano pieces to serve as the new logos. The first Final Fantasy game received an uninspired drawing of the Warrior of Light as its logo, with later re-releases gaining an updated drawing of the Warrior.

Final Fantasy II

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The first Final Fantasy game had the main protagonist as its logo, and the Final Fantasy II logo had its main antagonist. The main villain of Final Fantasy II is The Emperor, a tyrant who somehow became the lord and ruler of heaven and hell. The striking thing about the II’s logo is the glowing pink color, matching The Emperor’s elegance and regalness.

Final Fantasy XIV

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The Final Fantasy XIV logo features several warriors exploding from a single source, ready to fight. Similarly to Final Fantasy XI, the fighters in XIV’s logo symbolize the playable races and warriors players can choose when starting the game. XIV’s logo is more dynamic than XI’s, yet it isn’t the most exciting Final Fantasy logo among the 16.

Final Fantasy IX

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Final Fantasy IX is one of the best titles in the franchise, filled with plenty of iconic imagery, settings, and scenarios. However, Final Fantasy IX disappointedly goes simple with its logo design. IX’s logo is the crystal from which all life originates, and Kuja attempts to destroy the crystal to end all life in existence.

Final Fantasy III

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Final Fantasy III introduced the battle system where players can use multiple weapons to strike the opponent in one attack. To highlight this new trait, Amano drew the Final Fantasy III box art with an unnamed warrior crossing his arms and dual-wielding swords. The cover art will later be repurposed as III’s logo in re-releases. III is the most action-focused logo, as the drawing makes it seem like the dual-wielding warrior is about to strike the viewer.

Final Fantasy XV

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The Final Fantasy XV logo is Lunafreya sleeping above the title words. Lunafreya is an oracle, which means she can talk to the gods, and she is the main love interest of Noctis, the main protagonist of XV. Beating Final Fantasy XV will reward players with the full logo, which adds Noctis alongside Lunafreya. XV’s logo is one of the most intricate drawings, featuring a lot of lines and extra details like an added wing and a mini Leviathan hanging alongside Lunafreya’s dress.

Final Fantasy IV

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Final Fantasy IV is the first title in the series to use the Amano logo design, becoming a staple within the franchise from then on. The original Final Fantasy IV logo is a straightforward design, presenting the character Kain cutting in between the words “Final Fantasy.”

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The 3DS remake for IV featured a more elaborate logo with Golbez, one of the main antagonists. The Golbez logo is more vigorous, featuring sharper linework and spiked endpoints.

Final Fantasy VI

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The Final Fantasy VI logo spotlights Terra slashing with her blade while riding on top of a magitek armor. Terra and her magitek armor are promoted heavily across the many media relating to Final Fantasy VI, most prominently on the iconic cover art for VI. Terra and the magitek armor is an eye-catching design, but the magitek armor is only relevant in the game’s opening minutes.

Final Fantasy XVI

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The Final Fantasy XVI logo is the newest one unveiled and is already among the best. It shows Phoenix and Ifrit about to clash in an epic battle. Phoenix and Ifrit are giant creatures called Eikons, and the epic battle between the two Eikons is presented in most of the marketing for XVI. The XVI logo is the most electric art piece of all the logos, highlighting the intensity of the Eikon battles in the game.

Final Fantasy VII

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The Final Fantasy VII logo is the most iconic and recognizable of all the logos in the Final Fantasy series. VII’s logo works because of its simplicity and what it represents in the game. When boiled down to it, VII’s logo is just a flaming ball with a streak behind it. However, within the game context, we recognize the logo as Meteor, the spell that will destroy the planet. Meteor represents the incoming mortality of everyone’s lives hanging in the balance. When you see the logo, you recognize what it symbolizes and what you are supposed to feel when looking at it. It’s Meteor, and your life no longer has meaning.

Final Fantasy X

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Final Fantasy X features Yuna performing the Sending, a ritual where a summoner sends the spirits to the Farplane. X’s logo is one of the most elaborate works by Amano. Yuna is colored blue to match the water, illustrating her body as one with the ocean. Further right of the artwork, other colors blends into the waves, including purple, pink, and bright yellow. The brighter colors represent the sun touching the ocean, symbolizing the game’s theme of light returning to a world full of coldness and death. Final Fantasy X’s logo is one of the most beautiful among the full line-up.

Final Fantasy XII

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The Final Fantasy XII logo features Judge Gabranth, one of the main antagonists. XII’s logo feels the angriest and most passionate of all the Final Fantasy logos, spotlighting the aggressiveness and threat of Gabranth. Amano’s artwork makes it look like the armored henchman is screaming to the heavens, exemplifying the hidden anger represented throughout the story of XII. The peach-colored brushwork made the art piece stand out, adding to the extremity of the work.

Final Fantasy VIII

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The Final Fantasy VIII logo is the most intimate of the other FF logos. VIII features lead characters Squall and Rinoa embracing, symbolizing their love for each other, a significant component of VIII’s story. VIII’s logo uses bright colors like yellow and red to make the artwork warmer and more welcoming. The warmer colors contrast the colder colors represented in the Final Fantasy VII logo. Whereas the world of VII is cold and mechanical, the world of VIII is passionate and glowing. VIII’s logo is about love, making it the most personal art in Final Fantasy.