As the most popular Japanese role-playing game franchise, there have been several film adaptations based on Final Fantasy and even though most of these movies haven’t been particularly loved, I think some of them are worth watching. So if you don’t know where to start or if you don’t know which ones to avoid at all costs, here’s s a short list with all the movies in the main series in order of quality.
5. Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals
This original video animation takes place 200 years after the events of Final Fantasy V and is divided into four 30-minute chapters. There’s not a lot to say about the story without referring to specifics, but you should know that animation is nothing special and the story confusing and relies too much on comedy. On top of that, the amount of fan service is noticeable, so I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone other than fans.
Kingsglaive is set parallel to the events of the upcoming RPG Final Fantasy XV and revolves around some of its characters. Since the game’s not even out, those interested in playing it should approach this CGI film with caution. Unfortunately, this spinoff hasn’t been received unfavorably due to its use of stereotyped characters, poor voice acting and confusing story.
This 25-minute OVA retells two important events from Final Fantasy VII: one revolves around Nibelheim and the other follows Cloud and Zack after they escape Shinra. One of the best parts about this short is that it uses traditional animation, adding dimension to two of the most important events from the game. It’s short and there are some changes from the game, but if you’re into Final Fantasy VII, you have to watch this one.
Advent Children was criticized for its fan service, impenetrable plot that had some of the most obscure references to Final Fantasy VII you could think of and the explosive action scenes felt unconnected. That said, the CG visuals looks amazing and seeing the beloved characters in glorious 3D is a sight to behold. If you’re going to watch this film, check out the Complete Version which comes with extra footage, revised scenes, improved visual.
This computer-animated science fiction opera looked stunning thanks to its photo-realistic imagery, but the plot and characters left a lot to be desired. With a budget of $137 million, you could tell right from the start that this was an ambitious project, so it’s sad that it didn’t pay off. We may never see a video game movie this determined to succeed for quite some time and while the story was simply familiar and adequate, Spirits Within was a technical milestone that not Final Fantasy fan or CGI buff should miss.