Final Fantasy is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! One of the most iconic video game franchise of all time, Final Fantasy has been around since the original NES era back in 1987. Like all series, there has been ups and downs from the masterful and fan favorite FFVII to the more recent dismal performing mmorpg FFXIV...but there is not doubt that the series will be remembered for years to come. Let's explore all of the different Final Fantasy logos!
Which ones are your favorite?
The original Final Fantasy logo for the Famicom is not the one that most people recognize, but indeed this was used in the original Japanese release. The logo was remade for the NA release with the red font, and as you know Square assumed that this would be the first and last game in the series, hence the name "final fantasy". Luckily, it was a huge success! Years later, it was remade for the original PS and bundled together with FFII as Final Fantasy Origins and the logo was modernized to show the Warrior of Light. Again, it was remade for the PSP to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary.
Final Fantasy II
The original Famicom version was released in 1988 and logo is again very different from the recognizable logo of the series. The font is still undergoing transition as Square tries to figure out a consistent theme for the series. FFII wasn't released in NA until 2003 when it finally arrived as part of the Final Fantasy Origins bundle. The logo stars the game's major villain "The Emperor". The logo was slightly touched up when it was relaunched for the PSP in 2007.
Final Fantasy III
Released in Japan in 1990 for the Famicom and the US in 2006 for the DS, the 2 logos are very different. Again, with the Japanese logo we see that Square is still tweaking the font for the series. While the main character of this series is Luneth, the logo actually shows an unnamed warrior of light who never makes a debut in the game. This is also where the continuity issues with the numbering of the series starts confusing people as the NA version of FFIII is actually the Japanese version of FFVI.
Final Fantasy IV
Released in 2001, the font and style of the logo have pretty much finalized into what we know of today. The character incorporated into the iconic font and numbering system. For FFIV, the orignal logo shows Kain Highwind. Again, for the NA release, "IV" was changed to "II" to avoid continuity issues, but just made the whole ordeal more confusing. The 2008 DS remake changed the character in the background to be the villain Golbez. The direct sequel of the series was released 2008 for mobile phones in Japan and in 2009 for the WiiWare as episodic DLC. It shows the two moons of the series, "Red" and "True" moons which play vital roles in the lore.
Final Fantasy V
Released for the SNES in 1992 and PS in 1998/1999, the dragon in this logo represents a Wind Drake which is used in game as a means of transportation. FFV is also the first time the series was able to used "kanji" in the text of the game...the NES had character space limitations so they couldn't use it.
Final Fantasy VI
Again, the continuity of the numbering system between Japan and NA poses a problem. In the US, it was known as FFIII where as in Japan it was FFVI. The Japanese FFVI logo features Terra riding atop a Magitek Armor. Arguably, many fans swear that this is the best Final Fantasy in the series.
Final Fantasy VII
Ahh, the infamous Final Fantasy VII. Released on PS in 1997, this is the first 3D final fantasy and perhaps the most popular final fantasy in the franchise. The meteor in the logo is what the main villain Sephiroth summons to destroy the planet. Advent Children, the full length CG movie takes place 2 years after the events of the FFVII and if you look closely the logo is meant to represent the ruins of Midgar within the meteor. Dirge of Cerberus revolves around a popular side character, Vincent, and the logo presents Cerberus which is the name of his guns. Crisis Core was released on PSP, and the relatively plain logo actually has meaning. The blue sky in the background represents Zack Fair, the main character and the white features also symbolize feathers which is a symbol of Angel, Zack's mentor. Blue could also represent Aerith, Zack's love interest. Before Crisis was only released in Japan for mobile phones where it follows the a group of supporting characters in the FFVII saga, the Turks. Lastly, the 10th anniversary logo was used in 2007 and features Cloud, Zack and Sephiroth.
Final Fantasy VIII
Released in 1999 for the PS, the logo shows the protagonist Squall Leonhart holding the heroine Rinoa Heartilly. This one was a huge change from others in the series as it was the first Final Fantasy game focused on a love story at its core. Additionally, this game also changed many of the traditional gameplay mechanics for better or for worse. Personally, I loved this story though Squall was a bit too emo for my taste.
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX brought the emphasis back on the iconic "Crystals" as VII and VIII really didn't have crystals as the core of the story like its predecessors. As such, the crystal is the main focus on the logo which is a slight departure from the character based logos we have been seeing until now.
Final Fantasy X
One of the favorites in the series, FFX was the first of the series to be released on the PS2. The logo features a certain scene in the game where Yuna, one of the protagonist, performing her dance at Kilika port to send spirits into the Farplane. Final Fantasy X-2 is the first in the series showcase an all female cast (Rikku, Yuna, Paine). The game was very bold in its stylistic choices and gameplay, but unfortunately fell a bit flat as an overall package.
Final Fantasy XI
The first MMORPG of the franchise, there have been a total of 11 expansion packs for this game. The logo features the drawing of a huge army comprising the 5 different races of Vana'diel. This MMORPG while not on the scale of WOW has enjoyed a steady player base of about 500,000 and is considered by many to be one of the most challenging MMO focused on PVE. Having played the game for a significant amount of time, I can tell you that this game feels epic and is extremely hard but rewarding and has one of the most close-knit communities.
Final Fantasy XII
Another significant departure from the series, FFXII is the first in the sage to used real-time action gameplay with no random battles. The logo features Judge Gabranth one of the main villains of the game. Final Fansy XII: Revenant Wings is an odd game as it is technically a sequel but the game was initially developed to be a stand-alone game unrelated to the original FFXII. As such, the developers have even said to not consider Revenant Wings as a real sequel. The game was released in 2007 for the DS and the logo resembles the airship Galbana that the characters find in the game.
Final Fantasy XIII
FFXIII logo is really astonishing if you have played the game as it portrays the entire game in a single logo. The characters you see are Vanille and Fang transforming into Ragnarok. The circular thing is the Cocoon which is a floating world within FFXIII. XIII-2 features Lightning in a suit of armor and her rival Caius Ballad facing off. The colors are pretty significant as pink and purple were used throughout the game. Versus XIII is an odd child of the family as it really has nothing to do with FFXIII. The logo is of a woman sleeping, referring to the game's theme song Somnus. In line with the FF series, you can see a crystal sphere behind her. I'm excited for Versus XIII, but development has been bumpy to say the least and there is no release date.
Final Fantasy XIV
Oh my how Square really messed up this MMO game. It's been such a disaster that they had to sort of remake the game once it was released and then relaunched. Anyway, the logo shows 14 warriors of all different races within the world of Eorzea. Unfortunately, the game is pretty much a rehashed, updated FFXI as it used the same characters and world details.
Final Fantasy Dissidia
Dissidia, for the PSP, is a huge departure from other Final Fantasies. There's really no story as it's a Smash Bros style fighting game. The game is all about the forces of good and evil using the champions of the FF universe to gain control. As such, you see in both logos that Cosmos (good) and Chaos (evil) facing off.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Released in 1997 for the PS, it combined the elements of FF with tactical gameplay and was the first of its kind in the series. More recently, it was remade for the PSP and called Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. The logo is a group of soldiers of different classes which was the main feature of the game.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is not related to the previous Tactics game. It was released on the Gameboy Advance and shared the same setting and gameplay as the original Tactics. The logo shows judgemaster Cid riding a chocobo. A2 is a direct sequel of Tactics Advance and the logo shows a Judge and a Grimoire.
Final Fantasy Type-O
Originally part of the FFXIII family called Agito XIII, it was later made into a stand-alone game as it had nothing to do with the XIII universe. This game was released for the PSP in 2011 but has never made it outside of Japan. The logo features the goddesses in the air touching a crystal sphere.
Not quite a Final Fantasy game, but sort of is....these were tower defense games released for iOS, Android, XBL, PSN, and WiiWare,. Players were tasked with defending the crystal.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Crystal Chronicles was the first FF to return to a Nintendo platform (gamecube) since VI. The swooping crescent shape has become the staple for this series. Crystal Chronicles was unique in that it had multiplayer capabilities if people hooked up their Gameboy Advance to the Gamecube. Ring of Fates ia a prequel to the original and released on the DS. It features the twins Yuri and Chelinka. My Life as a King is a weird city-building rpg where you send characters to find resources and then use those resources to build a city. Part simcity, part harvest moon...very weird. The logo is a silhouette of King Leo and the Kingdom of Padarak. Echoes of Time logo features a cat that Sherlotta uses as a substitute body as well as the staple crystal next to the cat. This was the first game that allowed players to play online via Wii and DS. My Life as a Darklord is a sequel to "My Life as a King" and has a Flying Tower which the main character Mira uses to embark on a conquest journey. Crystal Bearers was a departure from other Crystal Chronicles in that it was more realistic and had a darker tone and focuses on a young man named Layle.
Final Fantasy Dimensions
Episode games released for mobile in 2009, these games hark back to the older final fantasies in both art and gameplay. The logo features a warrior of light fighting off a warrior of darkness.
Final Fantasy Theatrhythm
Yet another odd game in the series. Recently released for the 3DS, this is a music game which features many of the music from past Final Fantasies. Similar to Dissidia, the premise is around Good (Cosmos) and Evil (Chaos) fighting off in the music world of Final Fantasy. Similar to Guitar Hero but for the 3DS.,,a fun little game that brings back nostalgia for fans of the series.