Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
Buy On
  1. Cheat Code Central
    A bit of a disjoined collage of gameplay elements. One must muddle through seemingly endless bits of stats, rules, and micromanagement but the end result is a very deep game that should keep you and another pal busy for months.
  2. 100
    The big improvement over the PlayStation game is the laws that govern each battlefield... It helps diversify the battles quite a bit and keeps things interesting.
  3. Battles can take upwards of an hour and the micro management can take as long as you're prepared to invest. It's all about longevity and depth, and only you'll know if this is for you.
  4. The character animation is very simple but clean, clear and well done. If you look carefully, you can make out small gestures made by the characters during conversations.
  5. 95
    Fails to live up to its Playstation counter-part, though only by a smidgen. With a compelling storyline, incredibly deep customizing system, superb graphics and grand musical score, FFTA is a game worth picking up… if you are a fan of strategy RPGs.
  6. Edge Magazine
    The game starts slow, a feeling exacerbated - or perhaps caused - by the easiness of the battles. But you'll play it and play it. Every time you try to stop you're just one battle away from mastering that skill, for earning that new job. [Dec 2003, p.105]
  7. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Features unparalleled depth in terms of character customization and on-field tactical arrangment. Plus, FFTA doesn't drown in its own complexity and impenetrable plot. [Oct 2003, p.166]
  8. The Judge System and a few other gripes do keep this game from being truly excellent. But hey! At least there's no slow text like in the original.
  9. If a dictionary definition of "just-another-go" gameplay is ever to be written, this game will have to be featured as an example; and if a list of the best handheld games ever made is written, we'd expect to see this very near the top.
  10. 100
    Once you get a firm grasp on gameplay, you'll be playing a flexible and rewarding game. With its unobtrusive story and mission-based structure, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is perfect for gaming on the go.
  11. Not only is this game incredibly deep, but for a strategy fan like myself, it is addictive enough to destroy your social life. [Sept 2003, p.124]
  12. The worst offender by far, though, is the menu system. For a game with such a simple storyline (which would seem to be designed to appeal to kids), the interface is completely out of whack.
  13. GameNow
    The business, and if you even pretend to like RPGs in their purest form, you have to play it. [Oct 2003, p.51]
  14. 90
    Those who are into strategy/RPGs will find this to be one of the finest, forged in the genre's most perfect (i.e. portable) form. The pacing's right, the world is full of opportunity, and - surprise - the story is actually pretty remarkable!
  15. A triumph. The application of the job system in conjunction with equipment abilities makes developing characters more exciting and quicker than the original.
  16. An impressively large and deep strategy-RPG... Not for the faint hearted, but a pocket masterpiece nonetheless.
  17. Perhaps the single major flaw that stops Final Fantasy Tactics Advance from scoring a straight 10/10 is it's shop/inventory system. Purchasing new weapons and armor for your clan is basically a trial and error experience until you know who can use what type of weapon.
  18. An RPG that will make you think, and keep you busy for hours on end. Now clear your schedule for the next month, and pick up this game.
  19. Although it can get repetitive and lacks variety, this is incredibly deep and a welcome return for Final Fantasy to a Ninty console. [GamesMaster]
  20. FFTA may be more a parallel title to the PSone game than a true sequel but that doesn't mean it can't borrow and build upon the original's well-laid foundations, which it does with aplomb. [Nov 2003, p.109]
  21. What it does offer is a brand new tactical role-playing experience that blows most of the tactical console RPGs out of the water, save "Disgaea" for the PlayStation 2.
  22. Those who fondly remember the original Final Fantasy Tactics won't find a story that's as engrossing or as complex here, but this is still a deep and involving RPG that offers dozens of hours' worth of entertaining tactical battles.
  23. 94
    The gameplay, graphics, sound, and replayability combine to offer an exquisite mélange that fans of strategy and role-playing games must experience.
  24. Remarkably, for a game that is so complex, a mere four buttons or so keeps everything at your fingertips - this truly is accessible strategy.
  25. The abundance of customization featured in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and the myriad types of battles makes this game a definite keeper.
  26. It not only brings the fun of Final Fantasy Tactics to the GBA, complete with the 40 or so gameplay hours, but manages to improve on the original in many aspects as well in the process.
  27. The only blemish on this otherwise fine masterpiece is the God-awful story that they tried to pan off as a serious RPG style story.
  28. As far as replay value is concerned I wouldn't call FFTA a classic, like the original, so I'm not so sure that FFTA would have many people wanting to play it again. It is really fun the first time through though.
  29. The superb integration of a heartfelt storyline, impeccable art design, and addictive tactical gameplay makes Final Fantasy Tactics Advance a reassuring reminder of the past while setting the foundation for an exceptional future.
  30. Simply the best the GBA has offered so far. With an engaging plot, a deep gameplay system that allows for as much customisation as any handheld RPG, and a length that is ridiculously good value, there really is no excuse not to own this game.
  31. GMR Magazine
    A great RPG strong on replay value (the item trading and link-up systems are particularly handy) with great visuals and art style to match (Akihiko Yoshida's character designs have never been better). [Oct 2003, p.79]
  32. 90
    A wonderful RPG-based strategy game with an insane amount of depth, replay value and challenge, and a ton of fun if you're willing to put in the investment of thought and time.
  33. The effects in cutscenes are spectacular and the looks of spells are amazing.
  34. To be frankly honest - this game is just too easy. Instead of giving players a limited number of rounds to revive fallen allies, you can leave them be as they no longer will turn to crystals and are removed from your party within two to three rounds.
  35. netjak
    It's good...but not great. As far as strategy RPG games, this pales in comparison to both "Disgaea" and "Final Fantasy Tactics."
  36. Nintendo Power
    There are easily 150 hours of game play here, and instead of the game becoming old and monotonous, it actually becomes more addictive as you play. I've never played a more in-depth GBA title. [Oct 2003, p.139]
  37. It looks and sounds fantastic, its core gameplay is remarkably addictive, and there is plenty of game to last for quite some time. Unfortunately, major design issues severely damage much of the fun the game has to offer.
  38. Just a little too similar to "Tactics Ogre." The fights got a little too mundane and boring. Perhaps it's because I spent so much time with Ogre that I grew bored of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance quicker. That's not to say that Final Fantasy Tactics Advance isn't worth every penny, because it is.
  39. It's a game with both pedigree and competition, and it doesn't live up to either. It is, however, a generally solid game with tons and tons of missions to complete.
  40. 80
    The story perhaps remains the most poor aspect of the game and the difficulty has been toned down compared to the previous instalment...These niggles are meaningless when compared to the joy the player will gain from the game.
  41. Play Magazine
    Addictive in the most traditional gaming sense, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance insidiously traps you in its strategy-game mechanics, and there's no way you want to get free. [Sept 2003, p.80]
  42. Pocket Games
    A great followup to the original "Final Fantasy Tactics," though somoe design decisions are questionable. [Fall 2003, p.36]
  43. The story is laughable; one could argue about the themes of escapism and loss of innocence, but a group of kids getting sucked into a book pales in comparison to what this game's predecessor showed off.
  44. 90
    Excellent deep portable gaming across the board.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
#6 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 223 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 223
  1. Aug 2, 2013
    Hands down my favorite game for the Game Boy Advance, and definitely in my top five in the Final Fantasy series. The game play is addictive,Hands down my favorite game for the Game Boy Advance, and definitely in my top five in the Final Fantasy series. The game play is addictive, the job system makes you feel like you're actually getting some where with your characters, and the variety of races adds a nice spin to the game. I've lost track of the amount of times I've laid awake in bed, repeating "just one more battle and then I'll sleep.. wait that was over too soon, just one more.." Hours of great game play and a very, very large amount of replay value. I will cherish this game for years to come. Full Review »
  2. Apr 11, 2017
    Un juego magnifico para ser de gmame boy advance mecanica de combate muy intuitiva y facl de llavar a la par que divertida, el metodo deUn juego magnifico para ser de gmame boy advance mecanica de combate muy intuitiva y facl de llavar a la par que divertida, el metodo de clases hace que sea muy divertido cambiar la clase de tu personaje entre ninja, cazador, paladin etc y probar combinaciones.

    Una historia muy divertida y un juego de 10 para mi.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 14, 2016
    El mejor juego de la GBA, sin lugar a dudas. La historia te engancha desde el primer momento y el sistema de juego es agradable y ameno.El mejor juego de la GBA, sin lugar a dudas. La historia te engancha desde el primer momento y el sistema de juego es agradable y ameno. Recomiendo su compra, aun a dia de hoy sigo echandole algunas partidas Full Review »