10) Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
When Final Fantasy X received a direct sequel, it was dubbed Final Fantasy X-2. Then when Final Fantasy XIII received the same treatment, that sequel followed suit properly with the title Final Fantasy XIII-2. It’s a mystery, then, why the third entry in the FFXIII saga was called Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII instead of the much more obvious, much more sensible Final Fantasy XIII-3.
If Square Enix really wanted to include Lightning Returns in the title, they could have easily made it the subtext, a là Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning Returns. Alas, this may be one of the less bizarre titles within the franchise, but it still doesn’t make much sense.
9) Final Fantasy Agito XIII
In the last decade, Square Enix has used nearly as much Latin in Final Fantasy titles as they have English. The problem is, of course, that the average person doesn’t know Latin. Thus many of these titles sound ridiculous even if they technically make sense.
Case in point, ‘agito’ is Latin for ‘to put in motion,’ ‘move,’ or ‘rouse.’ Essentially this game can be called Final Fantasy Portable XIII, which made sense at the time of its announcement because it was to release for the PSP. However, that may have misled fans into thinking it was merely a portable version of FFXIII, so the decision to shake things up is forgivable. In the end the game was re-named to Final Fantasy Type-0 anyway, making things even more confusing.
8) Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII
Similar to Agito, Fabula Nova Crystallis is Latin. This phrase translates to “The New Tale of the Crystal.” If you’re familiar with older titles in the franchise, you’ll know the importance of crystals in many of the games.
Also similar to Agito though, the title will mean very little to anyone unfamiliar with the foreign language, and it’s a silly way to make the compilation of games sound intriguing and mysterious. There were many factors that contributed to the FNC compilation falling apart, not the least of which had to have been the ridiculous title scheme.
7) Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Just another part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis compilation, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was one of the most curious titles of all. It’s all in English, but that Versus – what does it mean? Is it a fighting game that features the cast of FFXIII? Does Versus refer to opposing forces? How will it connect to FFXIII and FF Agito XIII? Why are there three games with the words Final Fantasy XIII in them that aren’t direct sequels??
2006 was a confusing year. It’s probably just as well this game got officially renamed to Final Fantasy XV in the end.
6) Dissidia 012 [Duodecim] Final Fantasy
And here we are, back to the Latin. Not content with the peculiarly named Dissidia Final Fantasy (dissidia means “to destroy” or “lay to ruin,” for the record), Square Enix opted to complicate matters further with this prequel follow-up.
The 012 in the title is spoken aloud as Duodecim, which is Latin for the number 12. The zero in front of the numbers is superfluous, so really this is Dissidia 12, even though it’s the second game in the series and, as I said, a prequel. Why not just call it Dissidia: The 12th War (which makes more sense in the context of the game’s plot than just a standalone number), or Dissidia Zero?
5) Mevius/Mobius Final Fantasy
This mobile game was originally called Mevius Final Fantasy, which didn’t exactly make a lot of sense because the only other thing called Mevius is a Japanese-owned cigarette company. This might be why the game’s title was updated to Mobius Final Fantasy before launch.
One might assume “mobius” to be a play on the word “mobile,” seeing as it was a game made for mobile phones. While tracking down an official meaning behind it in context of the game is difficult, a mobius strip is a one-sided, non-orientable surface, named for the mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius. Interestingly, there is what appears to be a mobius strip in the title’s logo art, so maybe it’s got a deep and intentional meaning in the game. It’s difficult to say, since the game hasn’t left Japan.
4) Final Fantasy Artniks
Final Fantasy Artniks is a Japanese-exclusive mobile card game made in conjunction with the GREE social network, which isn’t what one might guess with a name like Artniks. One might think it’s a program that teaches you to draw popular Final Fantasy characters; ARTniks. Or perhaps it’s a play on the word ‘technicks,’ used in previous Final Fantasy games as special techniques, and it’s a game that focuses on special abilities.
Nope, it’s a social card game with a made up name.
3) Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
This one almost gets a pass because even though Theatrhythm is also a made up word, at least it’s an amalgamation of two very real words, both of which make sense. Theater and rhythm combine in this music game where you tap and slide the stylus to the beat of popular Final Fantasy tunes.
Still, Square Enix could have quite easily called the game Rhythm Theater Final Fantasy or some such alternate formation of the words instead of insisting on continuing their ever-expanding personal made-up language. Plus, nobody knows how to truly pronounce it. Is it “theater-rhythm” or “thee-at-rhythm”? The world may never know.
2) Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
The ‘Brave’ portion of this title is fine, as the game is a collaboration between Square Enix and Japanese developer A-Lim (Brave Frontier). So we’ve got Final Fantasy Brave… Exvius? Just like Artniks, this is a completely made-up word and makes zero sense. FFV’s Exdeath shows up in the game though, as does FFIX’s Vivi. EXdeath… VIvi… Oh what the hell, just go with it, okay?
1) Final Fantasy Artniks Dive
Final Fantasy Artniks became established enough in Japan to receive a sequel, but Artniks-2 is obviously just too easy. What to do? Final Fantasy 012 [Duodecim] Artniks? No, it’s not a prequel. Artniks Returns: Final Fantasy? Nah, that doesn’t make any sense. Final Fantasy Artniks Dive? Genius.