Universal acclaim - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. 10 / 10 / 10 / 10 - 40 [platinum ; Mar 2006]
  2. 100
    It's not hard to see us looking back in five years time and seeing FFXII as a pivotal, changing moment in how RPGs are designed; a game which drew on the experience of Final Fantasy's branches into tactical strategy and massively multiplayer, as well as on the more mature storytelling of other mediums, and folded it back into the number series, to wonderful result.
  3. 100
    An exceptional title in every way. It has all the elements you need for a potential classic; massive production values, jaw-dropping visuals and sound, intricate and engaging storyline, fast-paced and immersive gameplay.
  4. FFXII is the apex of adventuring; gaming doesn't get any better than this. [Jan 2007, p.68]
  5. Either way, Final Fantasy XII is a fitting send-off for the series on the PS2, and it justifiably has a chance to proclaim itself the best Final Fantasy on the Playstation. [Nov. 2006, p.106]
  6. The scale of FFXII is so grand, so overwhelming, so vast, that comparisons to other video games--a proper review, in other words--borders on the impossible. [Jun 2006, p.69]
  7. With an engaging story, incredible visuals, great audio, and a cohesive and epic experience, FFXII is easily one of the best RPGs available now.
  8. Deviations from past Final Fantasies may turn off some players, but this game is so classy, it’s like mouthwash for the nasty taste FFX/X-2 left in gamers’ mouths. It redeems a hallowed series which had begun to spiral into teeny-bopper, pop-idol-infested hell.
  9. 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.
  10. This isn't a crowning moment only for the PS2 generation, but for all of the Final Fantasy series. Long after the PS2 is forgotten, this installment will live in the memories of those who experienced it.
  11. 100
    As for the adventure, it demands to be savored and not discussed. Amazing graphics power gorgeous cut-scenes filled with sky-choking ships, huge vaguely futuristic cities, and stunning natural landscapes. And, as beautiful as it looks, it plays even better.
  12. 100
    The game looks great, sounds great, has great writing, offers a lengthy and satisfying journey, has a great technical element and engaging sword-swinging and spell-slinging. It would be difficult to find a game out there with better production values, or that meets its goals so successfully while still introducing new ideas and innovations.
  13. Beautiful, involving, impeccably designed and outstanding value, this is a grand game that is difficult to fault. It will captivate even those who have been immune to Final Fantasy's spell.
  14. 100
    Not only are the characters well designed, but once you step out into the huge world, you'll be amazed by the wide array of creatures and landscapes the game has. This is a PS2 game, but it's really pushed to the limits.
  15. 100
    With amazing improvements and incredible gameplay, FFXII is without a doubt the best Final Fantasy game in over a decade. Put simply, this is what all RPGs, regardless of platform or subject matter, should aspire to be.
  16. It takes a lot of guts to completely change the entire formula of a well established and beloved series such as this. The developers took on this monumental task and proved that it is a great chan[g]e of pace.
  17. 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."
  18. FFXII has my vote for Game of the Year for 2006, and I'd even go as far as to call it my personal Game of the Generation.
  19. Simply the best game available on any system right now and is the best Final Fantasy to date.
  20. Even if you rush through the story you can anticipate spending at least 50 hours to complete it. Rushing through is not as much fun, however, and you should take time to do the extra side quests, hunts, exploration, levelling up, etc.
  21. This is absolutely my favorite Final Fantasy title, a claim I probably would have laughed at two years ago when rumors about the game’s battle system began to circulate.
  22. 97
    Final Fantasy's final swan song for the PlayStation 2 is a complete masterpiece. Square Enix's attention to detail and love for their craft is embodied through and through. This is an adventure that will, without a doubt, stand the tests of time.
  23. 95
    A fantastic RPG. It blows all of its PS2 competition this year right out of the water and is among the all time elite role-players ever made for the system. "Kingdom Hearts," "Devil Summoner," "Xenosaga III," "Tales of the Abyss"... none of them are on the same level as Square Enix's bold and riveting move in a new direction.
  24. Even without any special incentives to replay through it once it's over, Final Fantasy XII offers a beautiful, well written, fun RPG experience that is both long and rewarding. Matsuno's team took some real chances with the gameplay this time around, but the results are pleasantly surprising. [Oct 2006, p.56]
  25. 95
    From beginning to end, this is the most complex Final Fantasy game yet, and it's just as evident in its plot as in its mechanics.
  26. 95
    This is an extremely well-crafted game and the time taken to create it is highly evident. [JPN Import]
  27. 95
    Squeenix once again delivers a grand adventure, with the main quest being at least 60 hours. In a genre which many think has become redundant and stale, FFXII stands out with a unique battle system, endearing characters, and a beautifully crafted, well presented story.
  28. The number of side quests offered makes leveling up fun instead of boring. FFXII also happens to be one of the most challenging Final Fantasy games I’ve played.
  29. An outstanding RPG. It's unmistakably Final Fantasy, but feels as fresh as any adventure on PS2. [Christmas 2006, p.73]
  30. Where this games shines the brightest is in the new path it blazes, not the traditions it revisits. [Nov. 2006, p.132]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 732 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 251
  1. 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 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. Full Review »
  2. CristianoM.
    Mar 2, 2008
    Boring... and boring... and boring. I can't believe my eyes when I read what most reviewers wrote about it. I have played through half Boring... and boring... and boring. I can't believe my eyes when I read what most reviewers wrote about it. I have played through half of the game more or less (I checked a walkthrough to see where I was) before I really called it a goner. I couldn't play anymore. In short: the music is poor, the visuals are uninspired (just like the music) with shabby colours and strong pixelation but worst of all: the gameplay is extremely repetitive, unoriginal, incapable of keeping a person awake for too long. The characters are on par with few exception. Never felt anything for practically any of them (with the only exception of Balthiar). I should have stopped at Final Fantasy VII (92% for me), a real Masterpice. Instead the parabol had just started to go then reach abysimal levels, Final Fantasy VIII (78%), Final Fantasy IX (70%), Final Fantasy X (61%), Final Fantasy XII (42%). Sqauresoft Enix won't get money from me anymore. Full Review »
  3. Nov 18, 2010
    Good things first.
    + The story is adequately complex with a number of turns, and it goes with the whole style of the game. Without going into
    Good things first.
    + The story is adequately complex with a number of turns, and it goes with the whole style of the game. Without going into detail, I think Square came up with something exceptional here.
    + You better believe the aesthetics were brilliant, cutscenes no exception. Square's usual originality was apparent in the world of Ivalice - the sandsea, for instance, or the Giza plains becoming a swamp/marsh. Besides Penelo, who I thought was a bit flat, the voice acting was superb. I liked the royalty obvious in Ashe's voice, the down-to-earth quality of Vaan's voice, and I fell in love with the uniqueness of Fran's voice. Going from FF10 to FF12 there is definitely more graphical detail and polish all around.
    + The gameplay was not what I was expecting, which is a good thing in general. It has more elements than most games: Multiple types of magick, many technicks, quickenings/summonings, and gambits. There are 5 things each character can equp, and each combination has advantages or disadvantage, such as a ninja sword versus a dagger/shield. The six characters can potentially use any weapon and gain any ability with the License Board, much like the Sphere Grid in FF10, but where the Sphere Grid forces you to differentiate the characters first (ie: LuLu learns black magic, Yuna learns white magic, Tidus gains strength/speed, etc.) the License Board lets you change up their weapons and abilities at virtually any point in the game. Not better or worse - just new and different. The fighting system is a fresh update as well. While the gambits could automate the fighting entirely, you have the option of turning them off, so no complaints there. Where FF10 had a passive, turn-based fight system, FF12 has an active, real-time fight system. Again, no worse or better. Both are refined.

    Now for the critiques.
    - The characters themselves were great. They were obviously deep people with complex pasts and stories to tell. That much was clear. But those stories never came to light. 30 hours into the game, I was still meeting new characters, and I was still expecting guy/girl to hook up or someone to reveal some shocking truth. There could have been a flashback, a description of some special memory, anything, please! Before the final battle, I was still waiting for something to happen. Then the game was over. Nothing happened. My favorite character was Fran. Why? You get to see the village she's from, you meet her sister, find out why she's with Balthier. Besides that, Ashe is a princess, Vaan's a citizen of Rabanastre, Penelo is a friend of Vaan's (or a sister? Idk!). And that's all you need to know about them.
    - I know I said the story was good, and it is, but not entirely. FF12 really piles it on at the beginning with cutscenes and a guy reading paragraphs, which is incredibly rushed. Then it's Dalmasca this and Nethicite that...and Nethicite this and Nethicite that. It's like Star Wars in many ways. Brilliant, but it makes you wish you had a friend there so you could whisper, "Uh...what's going on again? ... Oh, so nothing's happened still?"
    - I felt like I was fighting the same monsters over and over, just with different colors with different names in different places.

    Why a 6?
    The main reason I give FF12 a 6 and not higher is that after about twenty hours of playing, part of me wanted to quit. I'm putting 50 hours of my life into this game, basically spending 50 hours with the characters. I don't do that just to see the next beautiful city or a cutscene of old men talking around a table. I want to be immersed in it. Nobody spends 50 hours reading the Harry Potter series just to look at the pictures she puts at the start of each chapter. They want to know the characters, how they react to situations, how they came to be. Harry Potter is an example of good character development in addition to original and stunning surroundings. FF12 has the aesthetics, and it has good characters, but you never get to know them and it fails to bring you into the story.
    Besides that, I have few complaints. The gameplay is great, although it can become mostly automated, further disconnecting the player from the game. The visuals are great, and the music was good, though I expected more. FF12 is not your typical Final Fantasy, even if it does carry on features from previous FFs. It's a different style (think knight-era) which refreshes some of the same old typical things in Final Fantasy.
    Bottom line, it's worth a play through. But start playing this and then start playing FF10 and you'll see where FF12 is lacking (you'll also see spots where FF10 is lacking).
    Full Review »