Anyone else excited for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII? Or Final Fantasy XV? I know I am. The Final Fantasy games are widely known and amazingly popular, being the most successful franchise for Square Enix. That’s quite a feat, considering how it started.

Shaky Beginnings

The Final Fantasy franchise was created by a man named Hironobu Sakaguchi. He created the game thinking that if the game bombed, he would simply quit working in the video game industry and return to university. The game did great however, and he continued creating the Final Fantasy games up until Final Fantasy V, but he still helped with the production up until Final Fantasy IX (which he called his favorite game).

What The Franchise Is Really About

The characters and the stories always change with each Final Fantasy game, but there are some common themes. The mechanics of the game are mostly similar, which turn-based battle (though some games, most notably Final Fantasy XII, switched this up). And the plot generally follows the same direction. Final Fantasy is all about a group of characters fighting a great evil. Final Fantasy VII has the heroes fighting against Sephiroth and Shinra. In Final Fantasy X, the main enemy was Sin. And in Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning teams up with others to fight against their government, Sanctum.

The games really like to delve deep into the characters as well. Take Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. At the game’s beginning she’s super tough and practical, with her mind set on saving her sister. But throughout the game’s journey, she changes as she bonds with Hope, a young boy who just lost his mother, and even her sister’s boyfriend, despite her initial dislike for him. This woman hardly ever smiles, but at the end of the game she finally flashes a smile and seems truly happy for once. Character development is a huge part of the Final Fantasy games, and as you play any of the games you can see how each character grows in his or her own journey.

So What’s Next?

With the upcoming release of new consoles, Square Enix is ready with their new addition, Final Fantasy XV (formerly called Final Fantasy Versus XIII). The trailer holds a lot of promise, with new gameplay (at least for Final Fantasy, which is usually focused on the turn-based battle system and exploration), amazing graphics, and all new action. The game holds a lot of promise and will be probably be a big hit with other hard-core Final Fantasy fans.

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