Final Fantasy has created some of the most beloved heroes, villains, and stories of all time. Square Enix's cash cow isn't just a solid series - it's directly responsible for popularising role playing games in the western world. Because it has endured and inspired so many sequels, spin-offs, and remakes, you'd assume the franchise is flawless.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the RPG's influence, even the most committed fans cannot deny Final Fantasy has its flaws.
And we're not just talking about one or two bad titles. Even the best Final Fantasy games have issues no one will defend. Sometimes, the problem is a specific character or mechanic. Other times, it's a recurring concern in the franchise like the repetitive gameplay, non-sensical twists, or unlikeable heroes.
Occasionally, the issue isn't any game itself, but the mismanagement of the developers. The Final Fantasy creators have made so many bad decisions over the years, it's a miracle Square Enix has stayed afloat.
Even though there are many truly treasured moments in Final Fantasy, we're looking at all the times it pissed the fans off.
11. Swapping Out The Main Villain At The Last Minute
After you've played a Final Fantasy title for a couple of hours, you'll be immersed in the characters and invested in the story. Not only that, you'll find yourself having a deeper relationship with the main villain.
After seeing their sneering grin and hearing their smug put-downs repeatedly throughout your travels, you cannot wait to wipe the floor with them in the final showdown. And if the big bad has kidnapped your lover or killed your family, it gives you even more incentive to defeat them.
But in Final Fantasy, the antagonist is often swapped out for another enemy at the last minute. But since you have no relationship with this new foe, this twist loses all emotional impact.
Even though this is a dumb idea, the franchise keeps doing it! In FFIV, our hero, Cecil, believes his arch-enemy is his brother, Golbez. But in the eleventh hour, Cecil discovers a random wizard called Zemus is behind everything. Halfway through FFVIII, you learn a future-witch called Ultimecia is the villain, not Edea. FFIX concludes with our heroes fighting a baddie that's never been seen or named until two seconds before you face him.
To understand why this is a bad idea, let's look at a villain done right. Sephiroth works as an antagonist, not just because of his badass design, but because he has a direct connection with the hero, Cloud. Their shared history makes the rivalry palpable.
Now imagine if FFVII ended with the revelation that Sephiroth was being controlled by an unseen sorceress, who was never mentioned before.
Not only are bait-and-switch like this pointless and gimmicky, they rob the player of any emotional connection with the final boss.