Despite its name, Final Fantasy was definitely not the last.
Debuting on December 18, 1987, the Final Fantasy series has since generated 15 main franchise entries as well as dozens of spin-offs and even a collection of feature-length CGI movies.
Its early entries codified the classic approach to fantasy role-playing adventures, while later additions became known for graphical sophistication and high-stakes narrative complexities.
So what’s in store for Final Fantasy as it turns 30 years old?
“Our teams are busy working on new titles,” said Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto, in conversation with Edamame Arcade Channel [Japanese.] “They are all gearing up for a big year next year.”
“Next year will be a big one, and we will bring exciting, new Final Fantasy games to the world.”
Though Hashimoto did not offer further details, latest numbered entry “Final Fantasy XV” was released on PlayStation and Xbox consoles in November 2016, with three pieces of additional downloadable content made available in 2017; three more are expected for 2018.
A remake of 1994’s seminal Final Fantasy VII is in development but despite longstanding fan enthusiasm for the project and an official announcement in 2015, a 2018 release is not yet assured.
And if Final Fantasy produced one of the very best games of all time…
Final Fantasy VII has proven so significant to the series that Square Enix was able to start 30th anniversary celebrations not on the first game’s launch anniversary, but on that of FF VII in January 2017.
But if the franchsie has given us one of the best games of all time, it has also resulted in one of the worst. Fortunately, Final Fantasy smartphone games have improved somewhat since 2013’s iOS and Android offering Final Fantasy All the Bravest.
With Square Enix having developed both original titles and classic remakes for mobile, there’s every chance that another Final Fantasy, old or new, will find a portable home in 2018 – perhaps even in the form of a Nintendo Switch release or two.