Final Fantasy XII Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 692 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 244
  1. Feb 10, 2012
    The plot failed to attract me, and the characters were generally flat (except Balthier or Basch) but the game hooked me since the first moment. The fighting system is excellent, and I never got bored of it throughout the game.

    Another positive point was the length of the game. A lot of secrets and new weapons that required long walks along the huge maps and had a proper difficulty.

    The gambits were well established, although if you abused them, that could worsen the experience of the game.

    I forgot the OST and other themes. I would stand out the boss fight theme, it was extremely EPIC.
  2. Nov 19, 2012
    FFXII creates a sensational world to travel through with it's excellent music always adding to the atmosphere. Very absorbing. The combat system is fresh and gambits allow the player to customize as much or as little as desired for more complex or simple combat. The primary story and character development are subdued for a final fantasy game, but there is a surprising amount of detail involving npcs and lots of rewarding sidequests (especially hunts), which allow you to explore the vivid and vast world of Ivalice. Expand
  3. Dec 30, 2012
    My favorite game of all time. I'm still enamored by it, and find myself replaying it every other year. Great story, graphics, gameplay. Usually the reason people don't like this game is because of previous expectations, or because final fantasy fans are pricks who enjoy arguing about which is best. 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. Feb 25, 2013
    I am writing this review trying to convince myself that the game deserves a higher actually it deserves a lower one but for better or worse I spent 80 hours playing it, therefore I must have loved something right. First of all I am a big fan of FFX, loved the story, the characters (except you know who) even though he was still a much better protagonist than Vaan. I loved the magical world.....okay this review is about FFXII, sorry.... The reason I played 80 hours of this game is that I wanted to immense myself in its world, I wanted to have a great Final Fantasy experience. I was trying realy hard all the time to care for the characters, to care about its bizarre and nonsensical political plot....but actually what where they trying to do? A royal Japanese soap opera?! They couldn't move me one bit, except for maybe the relationship between Balthier and Cid, but then of course these two characters were believable, compelling and INTERESTING (Judge Bergan deserves a nod here for the best impersonation in video games of Darth Vader) As many fellow reviewers have mentioned rightfully the game has a terrible pacing, you can so easily forget what the whole point of the story was, why on earth you were going in that direction, what were the characters and the villians motives, etc. I could continue all day but in short the game falls flat on many high expectations and standards created by the magic of previous FF titles. And if we are looking at this game even as a standalone RPG.....well it is going to receive even a lesser mark....Why?
    Well sometimes dear Square Enix, quantity is not better than quality. Even though you guys have created an enormous world, full of many many side activities, many enemies to be slain, many locations to be explored......the game is very repetitive, the player is forced to spent countless hours in the same old killing of skeletons, bats and wolfs, just so he can afford to buy that precious new gear and new magicks, thus unnecessarily prolonging the game to an unimaginable lenght. From those 80 hours I spent, probably in only 20 I was having actual fun, by slaying bosses, by hunting marks, or by losing myself in some dungeon full of overpowered creatures, fighting for my survival One game is NOT measured by the amount of filler time it contains but by the thrilling moments it presents the player with. In this game unfortunately these moments were far too rare and spread unevenly.
    FFX had also shortcomings of course but it presents the player with MANY epic and memorable moments, an engaging and hearth-whelming story, comprised of great characters in a magical world. Unfortunately FFXII lacks many of these key components to feel like an epic and memorable game.
    I am sorry but unlike Vaan when I play a game I am not there just for the journey, I am there for the EXPERIENCE.
  6. Oct 3, 2010
    This game starts off slow then after a while you get used to the controls and combat and for a while I was even having some fun but that doesn't last long. This game marks the first Final Fantasy I could not play to the end and I think this is a good indicator as to when SE started to lose their quality in RPG making. 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 244 User Reviews

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