For me it all began in eight grade, when a kid offered to sell me a NES game he didn’t like for 10 pesos. “The game is boring,” he said, because it was all done with text menus and he didn’t know English. Well, I had heard of those “RPG” games and while my first experience with them, (Dragon Warrior in a disappointing weekend rental) hadn’t been that pleasant, the game was a steal at that price - I only had to skip lunch for a day! It had to be really bad for me not to get my money’s worth.
He handed me a NES cartridge inside a cheap home-made cartridge sleeve made out of a sheet of paper from a math notebook. He also gave me the manual and the maps - and I remember being impatient to get home that day because I opened the map and there was whole world in there. And so many enemies! I was in love with the game before I booted it up. I still have the paper sleeve
The series has been with me my whole life. I remember getting III during a trip to Mexico City, then finally being able to play II and Mystic Quest afterwards when I made friends with people who also were into the series in high school (because rental shops learned not to carry RPGs, natch).
I remember stopping playing games when I moved for college, but getting into the bandwagon again when I saved enough money to get a PSX and, yes, Final Fantasy VII, and then Tactics one month later. I know exactly the point I was in my life when I played the next three games, VIII arriving at my highest point until then and X at the lowest and when I needed it the most.
And then I moved across the ocean to these lands forsaken by the 2D entries. I stopped gaming…. Until XII came out and then I bought a PAL PS2 and got back into the wagon. I got a PS3 to play XIII, and I swore I wouldn’t get XV because what I saw of the game didn’t look that good to me - my resolve lasted about four weeks after the game’s release. And now I’m playing XIV and eagerly waiting for XVI.
What I’m trying to say is, well, the series has been with me my whole life, and I can measure the milestones in my life through the games themselves. I can tell you what Final fantasy I was playing the day before I got married (V GBA). The series is very special to me, so I want to thank you for letting me share this trip down the games with you.
What I love the most about the series is that somehow, despite the changes in creative teams and the 35 years of history, they still feel like the same series of games, no small feat considering every game is different from the last. But I do appreciate their willingness to not get stagnated, to always change. Even when the series releases an entry I don’t like, I can recognize they are still good games and I know the next entry will be totally different, and I’m willing to give it another chance. You always forgive the ones you love.