Top 10 Best Final Fantasy Cover Art, Ranked
Obviousy, YOUR favorite will always be the best one, though.
Since 1987, the creators of Final Fantasy have made it very clear that they know many people judge books by their cover. Naturally, throughout the history of the franchise, there have been many different gorgeous artworks that have graced the boxes of these games with the express purpose of capturing your eyes and imagination. We have deliberated, though, and are here to list the top 10 best Final Fantasy cover art.
10. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles initially released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2003, and it stayed there for 17 years until the Remastered Edition released on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS in 2020. The new version not only brought additional content, quality of life improvements, and a fresh coat of paint, but it also released with this snazzy new cover art featuring our heroes striking a pose in a stunning pencil drawing by the game’s Art Director Toshiyuki Itahana.
Pencil markings and a paper-like background bring these characters to life in a way that feels nostalgic, perfectly encompassing this remaster of a beloved classic.
9. Final Fantasy (Japan Release)
Few artists are as synonymous with the Final Fantasy franchise as Yoshitaka Amano. For the very first Final Fantasy game, back in 1987 for the Famicom (NES), the developer and publisher formerly known only as Square, pushed the envelope with this beautiful piece of art made for the game they thought would be their last.
While the North American release of the game did not feature this cover art, the franchise nevertheless eventually became a resounding success in both territories. Amano’s first hand at the series’ artwork is a great example of a piece that stands on its own, capable of striking the attention of a passersby that in ’87 had never seen these characters before.
8. Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X was a milestone for the franchise, as it was the first in the series to feature fully three-dimensional environments and voice acting. It only serves as appropriate that the cover art for this landmark title would be a beautiful piece of rendered 3D artwork of our protagonist Tidus.
This cover art may not feature an action-packed, dynamic pose– instead, it offers a moment in time of calm and hope, two principal themes in the game. Of course, the render itself let the developer, then known as Square, also show off their technical chops. Final Fantasy X remains one of the most visually impressive games on the PlayStation 2, and this cover certainly conveys that in spades.
7. Final Fantasy III (Nintendo DS Release)
The Nintendo DS remake of Final Fantasy III served as the first time the game had been released outside of Japan. Naturally, the game needed to make a great impression on the rest of the world, and this cover art sealed the deal.
Final Fantasy III’s artwork boasts a beautiful set-piece with desaturated colors, making you feel like you are gazing at art lifted off of an ancient tapestry. The game’s initial setting of a floating continent takes a subtle center-stage in this artwork, with a city enveloped in clouds. It feels grand, it feels mysterious, and it was an excellent re-introduction of this classic title.
6. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Cover art can sometimes have a little fun, as a treat. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call’s cover art consists of an adorable choir of adventurers, many of whom have killed gods. God-killing gets tiring, though– you need to live a little at times.
The pop-up book style is a spectacular fit for the light-hearted tone of the Theatrhythm spin-off series, while also making excellent use of the Nintendo 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D feature. This precious artwork takes a step back, showing the heroes in a wide angle, all together in unison, all together at peace. There is a time and a place for sword-fighting, but this stage is not it. Taking a break from the frequently serious artwork in the series, Curtain Call provides a delightful breath of fresh air.
5. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
A great video game cover art tells a story at a glance. In the cover art for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, our principal characters, four ordinary children are drawn unknowingly peering into the pages of a mysterious book. The brilliant part of this artwork is the use color contrasting color, using warm, comforting tones soon to be engulfed by large, oppressive, cool tones.
These characters are none-the-wiser to the adventure that will soon unfold before them, and the dangers that lie ahead, and this moment in time artwork is a stunning expression of that innocence in wake of something much more perilous. Evoking emotion and intrigue, this cover art stands worthy of representing a fan-favorite in the Tactics spin-off series.
4. Final Fantasy II (Japan Release)
Picture it: 1988. You are Square, and you have released Final Fantasy, expecting the series to begin and end with a single game. The success of the first game, though, resulted in an unexpected opportunity to create a sequel. Learning from their first go, Square decided to make the first Final Fantasy sequel more focused on story, which has remained a central focus in the franchise since then.
Yoshitaka Amano returned for this cover art for the Japanese release with a piece that exudes confidence. The bold new logo design and the protagonist Firion’s striking eyes feel like a victory lap, letting the viewer know that this series is here to stay. Despite not depicting action-packed imagery, few cover art pieces in the franchise feel as visually arresting as Final Fantasy II’s.
3. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Ask a Final Fantasy fan what their favorite entry in the franchise is, and you will likely hear Final Fantasy VII. This iconic entry had such a great cover art that when a remake was released 13 years later, it kept the artwork, albeit with a visual upgrade. Then, when an enhanced version of the remake titled Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade released a year later, developer and publisher Square-Enix used this artwork a third time.
With our hero Cloud Strife staring up at the Shinra Building, this artwork has always featured a phenomenal use of perspective, looking up at the oppressive symbol of greed and corruption. Repeating this artwork is not for the sole purpose of wringing nostalgia out of you, but it truly hits every note, visually and narratively.
2. Final Fantasy XV (Japan Release)
The Japanese release of Final Fantasy XV featured a cover art that encapsulated the game’s atmosphere and theme of brotherhood. With the four heroes alone on an open road, you can hardly see any signs of life in the distance, preparing you for the game’s sprawling landscapes. This piece of artwork invites you to find the answers to the questions of who they are and what lies beyond the horizon.
Final Fantasy XV’s North American cover art opted for a more action-packed scene, but the Japanese artwork’s use of perspective lets you feel like you are peering into lives of these friends, who are the only signs of vibrant hope on a desolate road. This artwork promises a huge adventure, and Final Fantasy XV certainly delivered.
1. Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI’s cover art takes the top spot in this list as an incredible example of stand-alone artwork that nails its storytelling, only amplified by the accompanying classic title. In this cover art, we see the protagonist Terra Branford being one of the only signs of color in a moody setting reminiscent of the works of Zdzisław Beksiński. Terra has been under the mind-control of the Gestahl Empire for much of her life; this cover art gives us a glimpse at Terra larger than the Empire she will dismantle, using their own technology no less.
Giving the oppressor a taste of their own medicine is an enticing endeavor, and letting the player feel the excitement of toppling this sinister evil is an immense satisfaction that this artwork captures with fervor; the use of high-contrast black and white intensify the visuals and call-to-arms behind them. In this cruel world, there are moments of grace, and Yoshitaka Amano makes this statement loud and clear in the best Final Fantasy cover art.
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