Final Fantasy XII Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 726 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: 50 out of 251
  1. EoghanR.
    Jan 9, 2007
    This game is best game I have ever played, it has amazing visuals. An excellent soundtrack and an utterly brilliant, well thought out story with really interesting characters and locations with the best Final Fantasy battle-system I have ever seen (I still love all Final Fantasy's though!) this has made Final Fantasy look like it should be. p.s. can't wait until Final Fantasy XIII. Expand
  2. JeremyW.
    Jul 12, 2008
    Of all the 3D FF games this is the most original and sophisticated since Cloud Strife premiered. It is different, but unlike many of these childish reviews, I am not going to disregard it simply on the grounds that it is not using materia, and doesn't feature Sephiroth. Each FF game is a unique entity on its own, and should thus be reviewed on its own merits, not on the expectation that it should resemble a prior effort. There are several brilliant design aspects to 12, such as the gambit system. This allows a player to take command of his party instead of being a micromanager of all its aspects. You can interrupt a Gambit sequence anytime you want to take charge in a difficult fight. You can also simply turn them off all together if you so choose. So knocking a game based off an optional feature is not logical nor fair. Secondly, the customization options are fantastic. You can designate any character you chose as a healer or tank etc. The Marks (creature hunts) are also extremely fun and a much better side quest than say Chocobo racing. Graphically speaking this is the best FF to date and the monster designs are original and offer a ton of variety. I have played all the FF games and can say this is a fantastic effort and an instant classic. For true fans who have played the Tactics games you will not be disappointed as this seems to merge the two concepts in some ways. The story is epic and the voice acting is grand. The score is also very good, although not quite as memorable. You will understand why the toughest reviewers (Famitsu) game it a 40/40. 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. Mar 1, 2012
    One of the best directions this series went. Final fantasy XII has what i consider the most enjoyable combat/gameplay/freedom of the entire series by a insurmountable margin. The European shades and character designs clash perfectly with the hint of japanese that peeks out. If my viewpoint had weight, I would suggest they keep this as the next gen look/feel. The world feels grounded and makes the magical have a context - instead of making everything over-the-top and never having the power of that transition between the two. Basically, this game does everything so much better than other final fantasy games except one super important thing - the story itself. It's a little lacking, and the connection to the characters is a little less significant throughout the coarse of the game. World - 10/10 Gameplay - 9/10 - Story - 7/10 Expand
  5. UnknownUnknown
    Dec 21, 2007
    This game has a wonderful world and graphics and interesting new gameplay but also lacks many of the qualities that make a Final Fantasy or a great RPG. Its battle system resembles one from an MMORPG which is fine but it also has a few downsides one such being the gambit system. Though the gambit system is great and fun to play around with, you'll eventually find yourself setting up certain gambits that will probably be used for the whole game which ends in you watching the game play itself rather than you yourself playing it. Gameplay also becomes severely monotonous as you find yourself grinding through similarly structured long dungeons which lost my interest pretty quickly. RPG games should contain a great story with great characters which XII did not. Its story was weak with weak characters, namely Vaan, Penelo and Fran. Vaan goes along the journey to avenge his brother and... thats it. Penelo comes along because Vaan is going while Fran goes along because Balthier is going. Balthier at first doesn't have much depth either at the beginning but it later grows making him one of the tolerable characters along with Basch and Ashe who had importance concerning the story. The story wasn't compelling but not bad. In a more positive note the graphics however are amazing and its gameplay can be enjoyable. However looks and ok gameplay at best alone isn't enough to make a great RPG. Final Fantasy XII is worth it if you tend to dismiss the story and tend to prefer the gameplay itself but if you were hoping for a wonderful RPG you will most likely be disappointed. 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. EternalP.
    Jan 14, 2007
    This game hurts the team. Maybe not the Square team, but you know what I mean. Wasted 25 hrs to realize the game goes nowhere and is completely boring as hell. I could sit the controller down and have my dumb ai party beat the game for me without even leveling up. Old school rpg gamers, don't bother. Newbies to the genre (PS2 and up) and kids keep this crap going hard. Expand

See all 251 User Reviews

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