User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 716 Ratings

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  1. Jun 12, 2011
    4
    This game is terrible; its high metacritic score is the result of the name of the game and the producer. In reality, this game is ****

    The problem arises on many fronts.

    Firstly, the main character, Vaan, sucks. Indeed, he, along with Penelo, were shoehorned into the game late in development because they had concerns that the original main character, Basch, was too manly for the
    Japanese. It shows. He is basically uninvolved with the story and uninteresting in general, and he basically stands back whenever story sequences occur and is completely irrelevant. He should never have been in there in the first place.

    Secondly, the pacing of this game is abominable. You run for hours and hours for a fifteen minute bit of dialogue, then do it again. At one point, you go through four or six huge areas just to get to the next plot point; it is simply awful and you lose all interest in the game.

    Thirdly, the gameplay is bad. The game is insanely easy and boring in its ease, and indeed, you can turn on gambits and cruise through the whole game - your input is barely required, really, and that is just bad.

    Fourthly, the bonus content, such as the extra bosses, are just meaningless grind fests with millions of hit points which take hours to kill but are uninteresting in being fought; they just are an endurance challenge, as they are not particularly difficult to beat, just incredibly time consuming.

    All in all, this game is bad, and marks the start of Final Fantasy games just not getting it.
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  2. Oct 7, 2013
    1
    EVERY single character in FF12 is bland and boring, the most important characters are actually the worst ones and the least developed. You don't really get to learn much about any character's life or history and you never really care about them. There are very few NPCs to interact with and even they don't have anything good to say. Most areas are really boring because there is nothing interesting in these areas and most of the game is just fighting your way through some boring enemies and when you actually get to the point where it seems like the game might actually provide something substantial story-wise, you get dirt thrown in your face, a cut-scene where nobody says anything. When you level up, you just level up, woopdeedoo. The final boss is a piece of cake. There is zero memorable about FF12 except the lovely sun in one area and Penelo's face. Expand
  3. Nov 25, 2010
    3
    Some people prefer the classic Pokemon style controls. Some people prefer full-free control. If you like one or the other, you will not enjoy this game's battle style. If you decide, however, to look past the quite annoying battle system in this episode of the never ending franchise you may just find, well... the storyline also sucks. While it isn't as bland as some stories, this video game just doesn't reach expectations. Maybe it is because the story of, say FFX, set the bar so high, or maybe FFXII's story is just overall dull. I recommend NOT playing this game to FF fans and non-fans alike. Expand
  4. Mar 27, 2014
    1
    Final Fantasy XII is a rather innovative title in the long-running series, but not a very good game. There is less user involvement in battles, and the game has questionable design decisions, such as not being able to obtain the strongest weapon due to your looting random chests earlier in the game. The biggest problem with FF XII is the inconsistent pacing. At times the story moves far too quickly, at times it moves like molasses. Worst, the dialogue has no depth. We're told and shown how unfortunate the characters are, but we don't really feel for any of them. Further, there are also two completely unnecessary characters on the roster, and those characters take up way too much of the story.

    Commendable for changing the stale FF formula; it's a shame the game is awful.
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  5. Apr 26, 2012
    0
    Everything about this game speaks of mediocrity. I've tried to play this game three times and it is simply impossible to do. I was a huge final fantasy fan and I picked this game up on it's release and played for a few hours before becoming disappointed and not touching it for a year. I tried again and struggled up to the Stillshrine of Merriam where I simply couldn't get any further because I didn't grind. I picked it up again and March to play through because I simply wondered if I did not give this game a fair try. I spent hours grinding in the Lhusu mines and didn't struggle any longer but then of course it just became so boring. I'll try to give a run down of what I experienced in my last game.

    The characters were indeed as bad I remembered, Vaan is in the top 10 of worst video game characters PERIOD. No one on the cast was really likable as none of them have any development. Baltheir, the character many cite as the best, is little more than a generic jerk. It's clear that Bashe was intended to be the main character at one point and when they scrapped that for Vaan they were unable to fix the dialogue and characters before releasing the game. The bad guys get multiple times more character development than the characters you use do.

    The combat is BORING. You don't actually do much of anything you sit there and watch your character do all the work. There are no interesting abilities, gone are monk, dragoon and other abilities you might be familiar with and instead you get 3 abilities you need a math degree to use properly and another "dark" attack that takes health to use which is basically juts an auto attack. In fact magic is gimped in a variety of was, the biggest being you don't get the gambits you need for it until the end of the game. Because magic is gimped what you get is a "tank" a melee attacker and a healer which is quite boring. And for a game that has a "aggro" mechanic it's terrible, you have no way to control it until you get decoy which is just a spell you're going to have one of your characters spam on your tank every time it runs out which automatically makes him have all the aggro. The story seems confused and disjointed. It starts out with a good back drop but then stagnates. FFXII all but lacks the epic sceenes and emotional story twists one would come to expect from this series. It didn't help that some environments like the Sand Sea were so pointlessly huge that by the time you got to your destination you could forget why you were going there in the first place.

    Grinding, why would they go back to this? I didn't play any other RPG on the PS or the PS2 that required me to grind. Why after 7, 8, 9, and 10 would they go back to the SNES era of grinding in order to progress?

    I've never made it past the Stillshrine of Merriam it simply becomes impossible to care about getting further the combat is pointlessly boring, the story moves slower than a snail, and I really don't care what happens to any of these characters. This game is one of the biggest disappointments in the history of gaming, by no strech of logic can I understand how this game has such a high score. I started this review calling it mediocre and it is, but for a game so boring and pointlessly long that I can't even complete this game deserves the low score I'm giving it.
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  6. Jan 4, 2012
    2
    This game = horrible! Vaan, can anyone say Tidus? Actually, the even lamer version of Tidus... WTF is up with the gambit system? I would rather play some stupid hack n slash where I mash a button, as opposed to running around doing nothing but watching animations on screen. I didn't get far enough into it to know where the story goes, nor do I really care. The gameplay is just so stupid and boring that I just can't immerse myself into the story. By the time I get to the next cut-scene, dialogue, etc, I am so bored that I am more worried about finding a save point (just in case I get bored enough to try and play this again) than pay any attention to what any of these people have to say. FF XIII, same thing, a button masher disguised as a 'fast-paced turn based system'. Square, rid yourself of that disease known as Enix, and please have some sense in creating the great games you were once known for! If you really want to change your battle system, take notes from the Shadow Hearts franchise. Those games had by far the best turn based mechanics, EVER! Not the dumbed down 'play the game for you' mechanics of this trash! Expand
  7. Oct 25, 2013
    2
    I am a Final Fantasy fanboy and maybe cause of that I didn't like this game at all...
    The Combat system with the Gambit makes the game too easy. you don't even play anymore you just enter the battle and watch the fight, boss after boss, after boss. Van and Penelo is annoying characters and Square enix should have goe with thier first idéa of never creating them and having Basch as a main
    character along with Balthier. instead of copy-pasting the both annoying immature chars that are only in the way and trying to make the game a little "funny" for kids.
    The story is perfect. Love that I can finally come back to Ivalice and now I'm preparing for another war.
    As I started the game I really thought and hoped for playing as Basch insteand I end up with some pre-puberty, wannabe sky pirate called Vaan, who's somehow always saying wrong things at the wrong moments but still tryies to be that *I belive* hero. and sure it works but id doesen't fit in the script considering he is as I said earlier a copy-paste character.
    So if you can outstand him. I'm glad that you don't have to play him. /Thank god for that) you will enjoy the enviorment, the story and the music. that's the 3 points I give for this game.
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  8. Jul 19, 2013
    0
    Preview:
    I was really surprised by how high the metacritic rating for this game was. It actually inspired me to create an account just so give my take on this game. First, I'm a huge ff fan. Here is my ranking of the ff games I've played from best to worst. Ff6, ff tactics, ff9, ff7, ff8 (squalls dead theory), ff4, ff1, ff10, ff 2, ff 3, FF12, ff 13, ff tactics advanced. So you can see I
    don't think that highly of final fantasy 12 compared to other games in the series. Ill simply break it downs to pros and cons. Pros: The graphics are some of the best on the ps2. The art style is very good. Of course, there are some good musical tracks which are good, but pretty similar to the rest of the series. Cons: This game feels like it was a ten hour long game and the designers decided to make it a 200hr long video game. There is simply too much padding and filler in this game. The story is okay (convoluted like many of recent square enix games). But how the story is told is just awful. It is a slow progressing political story but it near impossible to follow it on your first play-through since it literally can take 5 to 10 hrs to get to the next story point. To walk from one side of the map to another it seems like it takes 45 minutes to do so. I suppose if you want to get lost in a game, this game has the potential because it is so big but I prefer quality of quantity. Also the main character is terrible. He is very uninteresting and so secondary to the plot it makes you curious what point he serves. Also how people equip armor in this game may be my least favorite of the series. It's possible for your character to have a weapon that he/she cannot use because you have not got that exact square of this semi random grid. Overall, there are some fun aspects to this game but most of the gameplay seems like it was tailored to waste your time. Too much padding between towns, dungeons are way too big and there are too many of them. The towns aren't fun because the leading character is so unlikable. I understand that the series is trying to adapt and change but I think this game was a step back for the series. That's why I wish the critic score would reflect that. Expand
  9. Jul 14, 2011
    4
    As a big Final Fantasy fan (played most including XI which is fairly similar to this game), I found XII to be very disappointing. What makes the auto-attack feature in XI tolerable is that the fun comes with playing and cooperating with other players and micromanaging other tasks rather than the basic attack. XII being a single player game lacks any of those other elements but keeps the battle system which requires very little to no input for your average random encounter (which there is ALOT of everywhere in between the cut scenes)

    While the story had potential the characters for the most part (except Basch) were extremely boring and uninteresting, Vaan is by far the worst main character in FF history.

    The License system (similar to the grid system in X) is a mess where players need to not only spend their points to unlock abilities, spells, and equipment but must also find a locations that sells that particular item or ability or whatever, and also have the gil to spend across many different characters. What ends up happening is needing to grind ALOT through extremely uninteresting battles that require little to no input. While every FF game has grinding, in this game it is excruciatingly boring.

    My advice is if you want to play a game similar to this one and have a PS3, pick up White Knight Chronicles, which while is not a perfect game by any means (pretty weak story) the gameplay is at least much more fun than how XII set it up. If you really want to stick with Final Fantasy pick up XI or XII:Revenant wings, XI essentially plays like XII: Online (read: fun) while revenant wings is a completely different game style that retains the same characters (also pretty fun).

    Avoid this game unless you're an absolute die hard FF fan, I've played through 3 5 7 8 10 11 and 13 and could barely play through12.
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  10. Jul 30, 2011
    4
    As a critic, I take pride in keeping an open mind, but games like this discourage me. I won't say this game is awful because at its core is the makings of the decent role playing game. Memorable characters, a unique landscape, and a plotline. But what earned this game a 4 is what it lacks. The classic battle system is gone. The new one is rubbish. the weapon proficiencies always end badly, and lead to overpowering players. It also has a horrible soundtrack compared to the earlier games in the genre. By far the worst thing about this game is the length. It really starts to get boring after 200 hours of playtime. If you plan on playing the game, I encourage you. Try it. maybe you will find something that I missed in the endless void that is Final Fantasy 12 Expand
  11. Jun 3, 2013
    0
    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
  12. Oct 15, 2010
    3
    I don't want to seem like I just hate the newer Final Fantasy games, but honestly, I really don't know how this game got the high scores that it did. Sure, the game is presented beautifully, but after a few hours in, this game begins to fall apart. The cast of characters in this game is definitely the worst of all Final Fantasy games. No one has a personality. If I had to choose a person who came closest to having one it would maybe be Balthier. Everyone's emotions for doing something in the story are told to you, either by the characters themselves or the narrator. No one actually makes you feel for their cause through their own expressed emotions or actions. As for the story itself... it seems like there's this big conflict going on in Ivalice, yet the characters are running back and forth in the desert, having no part of it. The music in this game starts off strong, but after playing the game for a while, they all seem to blend together and end up just as dull and lifeless as the characters and story. The graphics are its only high point, which are exceptional for a PlayStation 2 game. The new battle system they added is an iffy one, considering that you can get the game to essentially play itself. However, it was an interesting addition, but I feel that the Active Time Battle was fine, so there was no reason to fix/change it. The license system however, is just... awful. It gives you no sense of direction at all, so you could end up wasting points early on in the game that could affect the development of your characters abilities early on in the game. Arguably, Final Fantasy XII is the worst game in the series. (Final Fantasy XIII is a contender as well) Expand
  13. Jun 26, 2013
    3
    As someone who has played every numbered release of the final fantasy franchise I can easily say this is the worst and the only one that I truly hate. The story is ok, the cutscenes are amazing for a playstation 2 game, but the battle system makes this game unplayable. There are simply no words to describe how truly awful the battle mechanics are.
  14. Sep 14, 2010
    4
    A lot can be said about this game with comparison to its predecessors. The Final Fantasy series has always traditionally excelled in the areas that make a great rpg, particularly in bringing to life memorable characters and a compelling story. But in virtually every area where FFX, for example, succeeded, Final Fantasy XII categorically fails. At the heart of every story is a protagonist one can root for, and an antagonist to root against. This game has neither. In fact, the entire ensemble is lifeless and one-dimensional. At best, it glosses over Vaan's and Balthier's backgrounds as the convoluted plot flounces about like a headless snake. The voice acting is adequate, though the script itself is weak, and the dialogue, affected and clunky.

    Sound is one of XII's meagre strengths, with lavish sound effects and a reasonably well-written score (Dalmasca Eastersand's sweeping Williams-esque theme a rare treat). The graphics are also to be commended.

    Gameplay has suffered considerably in this overhaul of the series. I personally found myself plumbing through relentless waves of enemies without ever having to actually perform any action manually. It is as if they encourage the player to take as passive a role in the 'experience' as possible. And that ain't gaming, Joe. It is just proof that change is not always preferable (or necessary).

    Square Enix, you really dropped the ball with this one. Back to the drawing board, here's hoping!
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  15. Dec 6, 2012
    4
    Final Fantasy XII is easily the black sheep of the Final Fantasy series, the battle system is radically different, the story and characters take a backseat to the world at large, and the whole operation has much more in common with MMORPGs in general than the Final Fantasy series in particular. Needless to say, your mileage may vary.

    FFXII is set in the world of Ivalice, originally seen
    in Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. Ivalice is a huge, boring, uninspired, ill-defined fantasy world filled with dozens of races that lack personality and charm (none of whom join your party anyway), and interesting, but painfully pastiche art design. FFXII seems to take the Star Wars prequel approach to world-building in that it operates under the pretension that you Expand
  16. May 15, 2013
    4
    Boring !
    Playing a game without having to fight is just frustrating The gambit system does everything, you just have to chose your path The Star Wars influence is just too important the music, the creature, ....
    Well, I don't want to play a star wars game (or I'll get one I want to play a FF game, and by play I mean PLAY Not just lead the characters
  17. Sep 16, 2013
    3
    2 hours into the game and I am scratching my head, the story has potential but the execution is seriously bad. The combat system is awful, why fix something that isn't broken
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. The story soars, but not so often. The dungeons are long and meandering. The gameplay is effective, but not engrossing. It's a staggeringly well-made game that throws more at you than any other RPG on the PS2... but well-made doesn't necessarily mean "fun."
  2. 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.
  3. One of those rare games that can be appreciated by both hardcore and casual fans alike, Final Fantasy XII may very well be Square's last great adventure, and a fitting sendoff, for the PlayStation 2.