The 10 best Final Fantasy spinoff games
Not every great Final Fantasy game bears a number.
The name of the Final Fantasy series has become increasingly more inaccurate over time, as it seems unlikely that there will ever truly be a final entry, thanks to an endless parade of mainline entries. With that being said, many incredible Final Fantasy games don’t belong to the main franchise, as the spin-off entries can more than hold their own against the biggest names in the series.
Related: Final Fantasy VII Day is now officially recognized in Japan
Final Fantasy spinoff games — our top 10 pick
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
It’s strange to think that one of the best Final Fantasy titles is a fighting game. A few can deny that Dissidia 012 is an incredible experience, packed with iconic characters, high-speed gameplay that feels like a battle anime, and a lengthy storyline that takes players on a journey throughout the multiverse.
It’s just a shame that the last entry in the series, Dissidia NT, was a colossal disappointment and may have scuppered the chances for Dissidia 012 to be given an HD remaster on modern systems, as it is more than deserving of one.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion
Crisis Core is a Final Fantasy VII prequel that puts Zack Fair in the starring role, showing his rise through the ranks of SOLDIER, his view of Sephiroth’s descent into madness, and his tragic fate at the hands of the Shinra army.
The original version of Crisis Core on the PSP was a great game, but the system’s hardware limited it. Luckily, an HD remaster on modern systems fixes the control issues, improves the graphics, and adds QoL features that iron out the problems with the base game. This HD version of Crisis Core is a must-play title for fans of the original Final Fantasy VII and its remake.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
Final Fantasy games rarely deal with stories of soldiers fighting in a war, as the enemies are usually a despot who turns into giant monster for the players to stab. In Type-0, the game gets down into the trenches, with a blood-drenched story of young people fighting in a violent conflict, where cadets of a military academy must use their incredible magical gifts as weapons of war.
The player must guide the legendary Class Zero through countless battles and use each member’s talents in combat, giving every team member a chance to shine in the game’s fast-paced action RPG fights.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Despite being a tactical RPG, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a drastic departure from its predecessor, swapping the War of the Lions for a storybook world that offers an escape from the harsh realities of home. In the fairytale world of Ivalice, all conflicts are ruled over by the mysterious Judges, who can enforce rules on the battlefield and arrest those who break them. This system adds a layer of depth to the turn-based battles, as players must be ready to change tactics to abide by the whims of the law.
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Grimoire of the Rift has many similarities to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, using the storybook Ivalice and a world ruled by the might of the Judges, but it takes a lighter tone with its story and doubles down on the gameplay.
When comparing the two Final Fantasy Tactics Advance games, it’s fair to say that Grimoire of the Rift has a better combat system, with many character options and quests for the player to complete. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has a better story and characters, as it deals with much darker themes.
World of Final Fantasy
The Final Fantasy crossover games on consoles tend to move away from the RPG genre. The rare exception to this is World of Final Fantasy, which involves a hilarious journey through the game worlds of the series and encounters with its famous heroes and villains.
In World of Final Fantasy, two amnesiac twins must explore the universe and uncover the mystery of their past lives. To do this, they ride on the back of iconic Final Fantasy monsters or wear them on their head in a hilarious arrangement that offers many options in combat.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
There are few video game franchises with a music library as acclaimed as the Final Fantasy series, so it was only natural that all of those amazing soundtracks be used as the basis for a music game. Enter Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, which combined RPG battles and character progression with some of the best songs in video gaming history.
Unfortunately, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is currently locked to the Nintendo 3DS, but the series will soon receive a sequel in the form of the upcoming Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
The mainline Final Fantasy games have experimented with their format and changed genre many times over the years, leaving the old-school fans wanting to return to the days of turn-based combat and character classes. The game that answered this prayer was 4 Heroes of Light, which returned to the days of jobs, magic crystals, and exploring dungeons for treasure and experience points.
4 Heroes of Light also has the distinction of being the predecessor of the excellent Bravely Default series, which carries the spirit of old-school JRPGs into the modern era.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
A Final Fantasy Nioh-style action game set in the world of the first game sounds like a dream come true. Unfortunately, Stranger of Paradise became better known for the memes than for its stellar gameplay, as Jack’s quest to destroy Chaos overtook the discourse for the game.
Chaos-hating aside, Strange of Paradise is a fantastic action game with incredible boss fights, massive levels to explore, and a mountain of customization options. The story can be silly, even by Final Fantasy standards, but it’s still incredible to see the world of the first Final Fantasy remade on modern systems.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics is the undisputed king of the Final Fantasy spin-off games, thanks to its incredible story, phenomenal soundtrack, and gameplay system that is both complex and rewarding in equal measures. Despite being overshadowed by Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation during its launch year, Final Fantasy Tactics is regarded by many as the best entry in the series, despite its lack of number.
Final Fantasy Tactics is unavailable on modern consoles, but it might be on the way if the infamous GeForce Now leak is accurate.