The Final Fantasy series is one of the most popular RPG lines you can play today. At this point, there are tons of fantastic games with even more amazing stories to experience across decades. While everyone who loves the series has their favorite, that doesn’t stop you from having a game or two from the series that gives you a real challenge.
Given how much the series has experimented with over the years, it makes sense that you could be in for a big challenge when the entire systems are completely changed. Which game is the hardest is a good question to answer.
10 Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Considering that those who hadn’t touched the Final Fantasy series for a while jumped back into the series with this game, it makes sense that some really struggled. This RPG’s fresh action approach to combat is a serious change from the original game.
Even on easier settings, it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear that you’re fighting some bosses in this game, and that goes double for the extra optional challenges. The adventure may be on the easier side, but the dynamic combat has left a few people stuck in tough fights here and there.
9 Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Crystal Chronicles is a popular and often underrated side game from the series, but it could cause some people a lot of trouble. The gameplay was unlike almost anything the main series offered at the time, creating a bit of a learning curve for dedicated players.
The difficulty of the game does progress quite a bit, but if you struggle with the mechanics and how the combat works, you’ll be fighting for quite some time. Luckily, you can tackle this game with friends, something that might make things easier or at least more fun while you struggle.
8 Final Fantasy 8
Difficulty is a pretty interesting topic when it comes to Final Fantasy 8. Most people probably wouldn’t consider it one of the most difficult games at first glance, but this is another game that bravely took a swing.
If you don’t get to grips with the intersection system, you’re going to have a rough time.
The system is unlike anything Final Fantasy has done before or since, forcing you to learn something fairly complex without a great tool to teach you. Understanding how to use the system well and how the various spells and abilities work will take a lot of practice, so you may end up needing a guide to get you where you want to go.
7 Final Fantasy 4
There seems to be some consensus that Final Fantasy 4 is one of the hardest games in the series. Those who played it on the original SNES or Game Boy Advance may be incredibly confused by this statement, but the truth is that the DS port of the game is what really gets people going.
For whatever reason, the DS version has been modified to be incredibly unforgiving compared to other versions. You’ll want to experiment with non-attacking spells throughout your playthrough and spend a lot of time grinding if you hope to ever see Cecil’s journey through.
6 Final Fantasy Dissidia NT
Unlike the main games in the Final Fantasy series, Dissidia NT is a fighting game. If you’ve ever tried a fighting game, you’ll know exactly why this game can be considered quite difficult.
It takes a lot of practice with multiple characters to be successful in a fighting game. The game is at least manageable on the lower difficulties, but it’s not uncommon to hear people discuss how brutal the game can be as you move up the difficulty rating.
On the other hand, you can enjoy the main story without any unnecessary worries.
5 Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics is, unsurprisingly, a tactical game that requires you to think through every move you make. While such a game may be easy for veterans of the genre, first-timers are likely to have serious problems with the title, especially if they’re playing the original.
The main question is how much the game demands of you in the early hours. If you master the information bombardment and mechanics early on, you’ll likely end up running smoothly through the rest of the game.
4 Final Fantasy 5
If you go into Final Fantasy 5 with no idea of what the game is like and no guide to help you, you’re in for a big challenge. This game uses the famous recruitment system that is so popular, which means you have tons of different character classes available for each of your characters.
If you appreciate that you need to experiment with different tasks and team formations to succeed, you will enjoy the game. The thing is, it can take a long time to figure out the best way to handle complex battles, leading to many game breaks in the process.
3 Final Fantasy 13
People have had a lot of criticism about Final Fantasy 13 over the years, but the game deserves some credit for trying something new. With a very different combat system from what came before, combat in Final Fantasy 13 can be really difficult for players to get the hang of.
Those who think the game plays itself clearly haven’t put in the effort to experiment with the paradigm shift system, which is hard to master but worth learning. A lot of players find themselves stuck in many early game fights because they don’t learn the system, don’t let that be you!
2 Final Fantasy 3
Final Fantasy 3 was the game that introduced the job system to the series in a big way, but many people still haven’t experienced the game. There is a good reason for this, and that reason is the difficulty of the game itself.
Modern versions of the game have made many quality-of-life improvements, but the classic version is staggeringly difficult. You have to grind a lot, and even with all that grinding, it’s not uncommon for enemies to wipe you out when you least expect it, and you lose tons of progress at the same time.
1 Final Fantasy 2
Like many other early Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy 2 has some big ideas that caused a lot of problems. Without the help of a guide, you’ll feel like you’re stuck forever grinding in the oddest ways for meager profits.
It doesn’t help that there seem to be a lot of bugged spells that do nothing or do so little that it’s hard to understand what’s going on. Chocobos and Cid may have made their first appearance in this game, but it might be worth skipping this one if you’re not interested in something this challenging.
Next: Final Fantasy: The Best Versions of Every Main Game and How to Play Them