Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X was released in 2001 and was re-released and remastered in 2014 in high definition (HD). It was the first of the Final Fantasy series to feature 3D backgrounds as opposed to the pre-rendered backdrops of the former games and was one of the most popular games in the franchise. It was also the first to include an official sequel title (Final Fantasy X-2).
This resource section includes a full walkthrough for the game including screenshots and full walkthroughs for each of the Cloister of Trials. Check out the walkthrough section and the side quests section for more information.
Final Fantasy X is definitely one of the greatest games in the Final Fantasy franchise. The series made the jump from the Playstation console to the Playstation 2 and the developers did a great job of taking everything that made some of the previous Final Fantasy titles great while ditching some of the annoying features that made them terrible.
To start things off, the graphics in the game are fantastic. The move from 2D pre-rendered backgrounds into the realm of 3D was done flawlessly and it gave Final Fantasy X a feeling of immersion that none of the other Final Fantasy games were able to create. On the flip side and as part of this transition, Final Fantasy X left behind one of the key features and signatures of the series, which was the over-world map tying each of the individual locations together. Instead of a world map the game utilized a list of locations allowing players to select a city or story location to return to from the Airship. This gave the game less of an epic feeling that some of the previous titles were able to achieve.
This flaw and loss of an ‘epic’ feeling was not carried over into the story. The plot, the characters, the setting and especially the music left a lasting impact on players which helped spawn the follow up titles to Final Fantasy X including the first true sequel to any game in the series, Final Fantasy X-2. The addition of voice actors added another impactful element to the game, and while some of the lines in the game are particularly cringeworthy (the whistling scene in Luca), they did a fantastic job overall.
Most of the actual gameplay elements were well done and well received. The Sphere Grid system was an interesting twist on the traditional leveling style of previous RPGs but other than looking cool it offered a fairly linear leveling system with very limited customization. The Expert Sphere Grid added some complexity and additional customization, but is only available on your second play through (aside from the HD Remaster version which allows for you to select the Expert Sphere Grid as soon as you start).
The equipment customization feature was annoying. Rather than providing an element of variability to the game you tended to wind up with a mishmash of wacky armor with completely random auto-abilities. It is very tough during your first play through to create armor that is worth keeping without using up your key items building that equipment up. The end result is that you end up not customizing anything for fear of ‘wasting items’ inappropriately.
In addition to the main story, each Final Fantasy title typically has a minigame that can be played along with the regular game that is typically intertwined with the story in some way. This includes games like Chocobo racing, Triple Triad and even the abysmal Tetra Master card game in Final Fantasy IX.
The minigame in Final Fantasy X is Blitzball. Blitzball can be genuinely enjoyable to play and there are some pretty cool rewards that you can pick up by winning tournaments and league matches. All of the side quests (Blitzball included) in the game added up to be a huge myriad of additional end-game content that was a welcome addition for those that wanted to keep playing. The rewards continue to get incrementally better as well which is a refreshing change from some of the previous end-game content (Ruby Weapon in Final Fantasy VII for example).
Final Fantasy X is by no means the best Final Fantasy title, but it is right up there with the best of them. It has great replay value (because it is easy to miss content entirely during the first play through) and I myself have played through it many times. Overall score: 9/10.