No surprise here, critics and fans agree, the original launch of Final Fantasy XIV: Online was a disaster. Divine intervention in the way of the current producer Naoki Yoshida saved the game through a relaunch.
Instead of building on what FFXIII and FFXIII-2 got right, Lightning Returns tried to do something very different. Unfortunately, according to its user score anyway, fans didn’t love the change of pace.
People either really appreciated, or disliked Final Fantasy XIII-2’s changes, and it ended up being just as polarizing as the first game, despite the attempt to right some of its wrongs.
Here is one where the fans and critics really differ. Despite having an 85 critic metascore, and being quite highly ranked on our critic list, Final Fantasy X-2 is down towards the bottom of the user score list, even below XIII, the poster child for for hate in the series.
Despite being a major improvement over the original release of Final Fantasy XIV, a Realm Reborn still took some time to get its footing. Despite the low user score, it grew into itself through a series of patches, and its most recent expansion, Heavensward has a much more respectable 7.7 user score from fans.
Final Fantasy XIII despite its 83 metascore which isn’t too shabby at all, holds a mixed 7.2 user score. Maybe not as low as you would imagine, but still not great.
Final Fantasy XI’s launch outside of Japan was fairly well received by both fans and critics alike. It did well enough to carve a fan base that survived through the launch of World of Warcraft and continues to exist today with updates added each month.
Fans and critics differ big time on Final Fantasy XII. While a 7.6 user score isn’t terrible by any means, it’s a far cry from its 92 metascore.
Well it’s certainly early enough in its life to change, but hey, if you ask Metacritic user reviewers at least, Final Fantasy XV is a top five “modern era” Final Fantasy. A 7.8 user score as of the time of this writing puts it above FF: XII, however there’s a huge jump up to the next set of games.
Final Fantasy VIII marks the first group of games that crack the 8.0 user score and above threshold. Despite being lower than a few others, FF: VIII seems to be in a different category than the games that came before it.
Despite its sequel having a lukewarm response, the original Final Fantasy X, has an excellent user score of 8.7. Other than the characters and setting, there a lot of differences between the two games, and the user score is clear on which fans seem to have preferred.
Final Fantasy IX might top the list of critic reviews, but it falls short of the top spot when it comes to user reviews. Still a user score of 8.9 is nothing to scoff at.
This shouldn’t come as a total shock. Final Fantasy VII, the game that brought us classic characters like Cloud, Sephiroth, and Tifa is the highest ranked Final Fantasy game according to Metacritic user reviews with a hefty score of 9.2. For many that were too young for the Nintendo-era games and came of age in the late 90s, FF: VII was their first Final Fantasy game, which might explain the bump in user score over some other, very worthy games. Although the debate of which is the best will continue to rage on, for now, at least on Metacritic user reviewers, FF: VII reigns supreme.