Final Fantasy XII Image

Universal acclaim - based on 64 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 695 Ratings

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  • Summary: The story takes place in a world called "Ivalice," in an age when magic was commonplace and airships plied the skies - the Archadian Empire, seeking to strengthen its base of power, had been invading and subjugating its neighboring lands one by one- a fate which befell the small Kingdom of Dalmasca. Archadia's invasion and the subsequent death of the Dalmascan king prompted the Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne, to take up arms against the invaders. In her struggle to oust the occupying Archadian forces and restore freedom to her people, Ashe must watch as many of her allies pay the blood price for that freedom. Though tempted to abandon all hope in the face of the Empire's might, her determination keeps her from succumbing before what would seem to be inevitable defeat. Then she meets Vaan, an urchin from the Dalmascan capital of Rabanastre. Vaan dreams of one day becoming a sky pirate, escaping the Empire on his airship. Vaan, Ashe, Vaan's friend Penelo, the sky pirate Balthier, his partner Fran and many more are on an adventure through Ivalice that traces the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire's invasion. Bringing with it a wide array of new gameplay elements, Final Fantasy XII will change the way players think about the Final Fantasy series. Numerous possibilities abound within each scenario, allowing for a less linear, more unique experience for each player. The game also supports Dolby Pro Logic II both in-game and during movie sequences, immersing the player in the middle of the action. [Square Enix] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. 10 / 10 / 10 / 10 - 40 [platinum ; Mar 2006]
  2. A masterpiece of epic proportions. From the innovative battle system to new ways of leveling up; the game gets a hold of you and never lets go. With roughly 50-100 hours playtime, Final Fantasy XII is an experience that you’ll never forget.
  3. Final Fantasy XII revives my love of the Final Fantasy series and proves why the series is one of the best in the world. I would say that this game’s only real competition for RPG of the year would be "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion."
  4. It’s a flawed great game. The battle system is fast and fun, yet it’s a bit simple and repetitive. The license board provides non-linear character growth, yet there aren’t that many ways to raise the characters. The towns feel alive and outdo anything to date, yet the dungeons feel all too similar and repetitive. [JPN Import]
  5. It's an example of master storytellers at the height of their powers, and despite the shadow of its illustrious heritage, Final Fantasy XII is by far and away the best game in the series yet.
  6. Thanks to the strong attention to detail, the world of Ivalice feels less like a video game and more like an actual place. Not only are the actions and motivations of the various characters believable, but the characters themselves are often quite memorable to boot.
  7. 62
    Mind, it’s still a decent game with gorgeous graphics and an incredible environment, but it possesses little of the magic that some of its predecessors have.

See all 64 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 246
  1. DavidJ.
    Jan 30, 2007
    If you look through the reviews, you'll notice that most negative ones are from people who never finished the game. Finish the game, you'll love it. It's a bit slow to pick up, but so was Final Fantasy 9, and it hardly "destroyed the Final Fantasy franchise". In the end, this is flat-out the most fun Final Fantasy to date. Expand
  2. MiG
    Aug 15, 2008
    I'll be the first to admit that this game won't appeal to everyone; however, to claim it's not as good as a prior Final Fantasy is a worthless assertion as each game is completely different. The music in this game does not suffer one bit from Uematsu's departure; it is grand, epic, and pleasant to the ears. The combat system is highly entertaining and ONLYlets you be as lazy as YOU want to be. I just wanted to stress that. Whoever says this game plays itself has not played in excess of the first 5 hours, I can promise you that. The characters in this game are well-developed with their own personalities and quirks. If you've liked the previous FF games, or if you'd just like a wonderful RPG well worth anyone's time, this is for you. Enjoy it for what it is. Expand
  3. ScottB
    Feb 4, 2010
    A very rewarding experience and a majestic soundtrack. Whilst previous Final Fantasy games were rather linear, Final Fantasy 12 lets you go exploring for yourself in a large open world. A fantasic new 'License Board' system brings new depth to levelling up, blowing Final Fantasy 10's 'Sphere Grid' completely out of the water. A true masterpiece. Expand
  4. dz9
    Jul 27, 2011
    I'm going to start my review with the checklist that each RPG game, and Final Fantasy games in particular have to pass. Great cast of characters, immersive world, engaging story, strategic combat, and a good open feeling (but in FF's case, an open yet linear guidance) with presentation. Characters- This is one of the only FF games where I can say I liked every cast member, most FF games only produce 2-4 good characters whereas FF13 only produced one...but this game everyone added their own twist to the story. However, there was one character who fell flat as compared to the others, and sad to say, in this one, it was the main character Vaan. His role in the story is rather irrelevant, especially when you compare him to characters like Cloud, Tidus, and Zidane. Don't get me wrong, his voice actor was great, and he is favorable, but as the main character, he went a little limp. Immersive world- the world of Ivalice is great, maybe not as gorgeous as some of the environments in FF10, but Ivalice is definitely a win. As far as the engaging story...well... this may be up to opinion. Whereas most FF stories are completely "out of this world," and the main characters are chosen to save the realm from one great villain, this FF title focuses more on a "down to earth" approach, for example: most plot points are more politically based with a slight mix of fantasy, whereas its usually the other way around. This may be a killer to hardcore fans, and don't get me wrong, in its essence, it's still not the greatest story Square could've came up with, but it still is deep and engaging with only a few pacing problems. Combat- the combat in the game may also be a killer to hardcore fans because of the lack of the traditional turn base combat. But in its core, it still is turn based, and the new look and feel is exactly what FF needed. However, the gambit system in the game could use some work, gambits range from malfunctioning, annoying, or too easy. Also not at its best is the license board. The license board is basically the sphere grid but with way more freedom to level up as you please. Which sounds good, but without the strategy guide, you can be leveling the completely wrong way and the game never truly gives you any guidance in this department. And to me, the biggest drawback to the combat is the lack of guidance, every weapon is different and have their perks and disadvantages to them....which is a good, but the game never actually tells you anything, and again... without the strategy guide, the overwhelming customization with the license board and armory may in the end, ruin your experience. Freedom- This game is rather linear as compared to earlier titles, but not enough to make the gamer feel "constricted," and is definitely no where near as linear as FF13. Side quests are about "half in half," half of the hunts and other side quests are fun and entertaining, whereas the other half is boring and confusing and are barely good enough to endure. In the end- FF 12 is a great game, sure it has its drawbacks and flaws, but most of them are minor and permissible. The Good: FF12 has great customization of the likes that previous FF games have never even seen, great graphics for a ps2 game, a good cast of characters, great innovation to the combat (but could still use some work), and an above average story. The Bad: FF12 never really teaches the gamer how to utilize the customization options, the main character is rather stale, half of the side quests are more than lackluster, and depending on the gamer... gambits may be best to keep off. Honestly, this is not Square's best title, you will definitely be able to distinguish between the quality of this title, and the likes of FF:6,7,9,& 10. However, this title is definitely worthy of its name and shows great innovation and promise for the future of Final Fantasy (excluding 13) Expand
  5. SophieB.
    Sep 22, 2007
    A very enjoyable game and with interesting new changes for the Final Fantasy series, but unfortunately I do not like the new battle system, and in my opinion neither the characters or storyline are as appealing - and I don't enjoy it as much as the others. A solid game, one of the better games of the year, breathtaking graphics and can be quite fun - but not as good as the previous Final Fantasys. Expand
  6. Oct 7, 2011
    Let's start with a very simple sentence: this game is BORING! Let's start with the plot: even though i didn't follow all of it in 10 hours, I still really didn't get a single bit of it mainly because of the "main protagonists" being extras (literally, Vaan can be kicked out of the plot, and probably nothing would change. I think), and also for the fact that it's kinda boring in general: a good story should hook me into it, but not even my friends could understand it. Second, the gameplay: they said this is a great final fantasy due to the fact they 1) removed random encounters (surely a plus) 2) lots of subquests 3) the combat system. With the exception of the first, I gotta say that this game is more like an the wrong ways, because subquests should be a part of the game, NOT the main part of the game: you'll do constantly subquests because you NEED money, and you'll just lose interest in the game because you'll need to grind!. Right, since it looks like a mmorpg, you need to farm money in order to buy everything (but you need to unlock them first...), and they really are overpriced in my opinion. All this makes this game extremely slow, boring and unappealing. And at last...the combat system. People said the gambit and the fact you could move "freely" on the battlefield was the best thing of all. Yes, you can move freely while fighting. Yes, you can use gambit to improve fighting. No, it's not action-based; it's still turn-based. This detail made me really annoyed because it was the same system used in old final fantasy, except that you had to move too in order to attack...that's where gambit comes in, letting your character be controlled by orders, so he attacks by I'm letting the game play for me now. In general, I don't understand why they had to make this system a "hybrid" when they could have just go for normal turn based (or a proper action-based), since you'll do the same thing as in the other final fantasy games or any other turn-based rpg, and yet people say this is one of the best. Don't even wanna start bragging about the fact that the 6 character are also virtually the same (they can learn the same spells, armor, skills: everything!), so I'm gonna say this: try it if you are a nostalgic, skip it if you're looking for something more fun to play. Expand
  7. Jun 3, 2013
    positives:the game doesn't need you. just let your teams AI do the battling for you and you will win every time.
    negatives: boring to the
    extreme, every person in the game has no personality, they look boring with knockoff clothes from previous characters in the franchise, they even ACT boring and SOUND boring, most of the time they even sound like they only had one voice actor, its that bad and unmemorable, the maps look like flat pieces of barely painted paper, i'm not joking they literally look like flat pieces of paper. the mini map is useless, the maps feel and look barren which isn't helped by the games old school walk to encounter enemies system. the enemies themselves look very boring and generic, the shopping is a confusing mess-what happens is the enemy drops an item, you sell that item and get gold. sounds interesting? nope. you get so little gold that it would take a long time to actually buy something simple as a potion. the leveling/skills system itself is a mess- basically you upgrade via walking on a skills map, like a board game, however skills you would need, say sword for a melee character or magic for a magic user are at the other end of the AP map! and you can only move one space at a time so you can't even just select what you want. the AP requirements for the spaces on the upgrade map is also unbelievably high with most requiring high two or even three digits! this doesn't sound like a lot but you only get 1 AP per battle!for the whole game!!. the story is boring and unmemorable. its only positive point is the summons, who are all cool but brings me to my biggest downpoint, the whole games quest system for everything even the story IS A FETCH QUEST. nearly all of the missions in the game involve going to someplace or fetching something. even monkey quest(a ps1 game lauded for being a fetch quest game) did this better, this isn't some zelda like you must find this before you can advance no the game literally just tells you to go here and get that! or just go there if its feeling lazy! this wouldn't be so bad if there was some kind of transport system but save for one map there isn't! not a vehicle or chocobo in the whole game! you have to literally walk everywhere!the game itself is unfinishable as well. i don't mean unfinishable good like a free roamer, i mean unfinishable as its too long! i was playing for half a year and only got about half way through at most. with a busted gold system and busted AP leveling system this is the one and only game where i say cheating using an action replay or xploder cd or finding a glitch/bug is a requirement!and even then with it being boring to the extreme and unfinishable and not even requiring user input in battle would you even want to try playing this game? if it wasn't for the final fantasy name attached this game would get a lot more hate than it does, i mean its so bad its on par with superman 64/aquaman battle for Atlantis for title of worst game ever made. Expand

See all 246 User Reviews

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