Final Fantasy is a massive franchise consisting of 14 major titles (with more on the way), game sequels and add-ons, comic books and manga, anime, and even a couple of feature-length films. The main series is primarily RPG-based, but there are tons of spin-offs and additions that focus on other formats.

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ESRB Ratings















Note: The Final Fantasy spin-off series, Crystal Chronicles, is not included here for the sake of brevity. See the ESRB’s catalog for the ratings.


 Most of these games have specific savepoints or locations, with varying times in between them.

Story & Themes

There isn’t much linking one game to the next, but almost all games in the Final Fantasy series involve a combination of technology and magic, references to mythology from around the world, and the presence of crystals. Each game features different characters, different settings, and different storylines. Gameplay differs from one to the next, as well. While most games are action-adventure RPGs, the series has diverged into other formats, including MMO, rhythm, racing, tactical, and fighting games.Final Fantasy is a franchise in the biggest sense of the word, having spawned feature films, comics, manga, novels, merchandise, and spin-offs (such as Kingdom Hearts, which pairs original characters with classic Final Fantasy and Disney characters).Other repeat features are the presence of the Chocobos and Moogles (fantasy creatures), certain attacks and special moves, the presence of a “party” of characters to choose from, and a character named Cid (never the same character, only the same name). Additionally, the series features soundtracks by Nobuo Uematsu in almost all games.

An artist's rendering of a Moogle riding a very cute Chocobo. Source: Judeydey

An artist’s rendering of a Moogle riding a very cute Chocobo. Source: Judeydey

The Creators

 Square Enix (formerly known as Square)


The usual linguistic controversies over the translation of Japanese names to English pronunciations are present here; for instance, “Aerith” became “Aeris” in the English version of Final Fantasy VII due to the Japanese pronunciation of the “th” sound. Some English-speaking gamers maintain that “Aeris” is the correct way to say the name, while others argue that the original “Aerith” is more correct.

Conversation Starters

Although not much is maintained from game to game in the way of storyline, there are a few broad categories that we can discuss with kids:

  •  Do you identify with the protagonists of these games? What about them causes you to identify with them or not?
  • Have you ever seen the technology/magic dichotomy in other fantasy series? Do you think this is something unique to Final Fantasy?


Moogles are white, fluffy mammalian creatures with red balls on their heads.

Chocobo are yellow chicken-like birds, often functioning as mounts for characters.

Cid is a recurring name attributed to a different character in each game.

The Buster Sword is a recurring weapon in different games, and is sometimes present in other franchises (such as Yu-gi-Oh!).


This article was written by

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.