Final Fantasy XII Image
Metascore
92

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

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 715 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 248
  1. ArC.
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    This is the greatest game I ever played! I never got bored because there was so much to do all the time! The graphics were superb! I Love FF XII!! I wasn't disappointed in buying it. Even the Game Cover was nice. Expand
  2. JeremyW.
    Jul 12, 2008
    10
    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
    10
    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
    8
    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
    7
    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. Jul 12, 2011
    5
    this FF game just didnt do much for me the story i felt was very weak . the voice acting was ok atleast. the combat system i didnt care much for it was almost like they where tryin to hybred FFXI into this . the summoning magic system sucked . i made it all the way to the final boss area and just got bored with it all and didnt feel like finishing it mainly because the story didnt hold alot of intrest for me and thats so key for me pushing foward. i thinki the only reason i made it that far was i was in denial that the story wasnt very good and wanted to believe it was really gona pick up. Expand
  7. EternalP.
    Jan 14, 2007
    0
    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 248 User Reviews

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