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Generally favorable reviews- based on 726 Ratings

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  1. Jul 22, 2013
    With its overhauled (and improved) battle system Final Fantasy XII is certainly faster paced, and arguably more accessible to JPRG novices, than its predecessors. Unfortunately it also continues the series trend of having increasingly unmemorable characters and story-lines, two things that are of vital importance if you are going to invest 50+ hours in a game. Sitting here now I could still name every playable character from Final Fantasy VII but couldn't tell you a single one from this game despite it being nearly a decade more recent.

    It's still a good game but not one that'll ever be considered a true classic of the genre.
  2. Sep 11, 2013
    FF 12 is perhaps my least favorite FF game. It isn't bad, just rather generic and forgettable.

    Graphics are beautiful and has some of the prettiest scenery pieces of all the FF games. The combat system was a little rough around the edges, but I liked it and thought it was a bold step changing the tried and true JRPG battle system.

    The lead character Vaan is as bland as they get and
    completely forgettable. Side characters on the other hand are a bit more distinguished and have a bit more depth, even if their designs are a little odd and feel a little out of place.

    FF XII has some of the best creature battles of the series. The creatures are rich, varied and extremely challenging.

    Final Fantasy XII is decent enough for a FF game, but also feels like the designers just put the same level of love and care into it as they did with the previous games. Fun to play, but you won't remember too much about it once you're done.
  3. May 27, 2012
    A masterpiece game. One of my favorite final fantasies and favorite games of all time. You feel like everything happening in this world is happening in real time. You really care about your characters and the outcome of their journey!
  4. Jul 12, 2011
    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
  5. 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.
  6. Jun 25, 2013
    The first six hours were a bit of a trudge; to begin with it didn't "feel" like (previous) Final Fantasy but once I got used to the mechanics FFXII really grew on me, possibly due to the innumerable similarities to Star Wars or the fact that it resembles western RPG "dungeon crawlers" in places (the influence on the Dragon Age games is huge). Characters are a bit flat thus excluding any sufficient emotional engagement to them (or the story), but not so it prevented me from enjoying either. The politicking, scheming and manoeuvring amongst the antagonists was well done. Impressive visual design, a common criticism is the lack of a Nobuo Uematsu score; which is noticeable at first, though Hitoshi Sakimoto's music fits the game perfectly and certainly grew on me enough that I had to buy the soundtrack. Gameplay can get repetitive in places and the new battle system negates any sort of strategy (the free camera is also an annoyance in confined areas) but the game is well worth playing through to the satisfying (and spectacular) finalé. Expand
  7. 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
  8. Jun 24, 2013
    The gambit system is the best KI system to date. You can tell your characters exactly what and when they should do something. The battle system by itself is also very good having a nice tempo and style to it. The world is bigger than in previous ff´s and beautiful. The OST backs the atmosphere of the game having some really nice tracks in it. Easily best RPG in the PS 2 Era.
  9. Nov 2, 2014
    For a Final Fantasy game, it's not great. Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty good game, but not FF VI or VII quality. I started to question the series when XI came out. I'm not a big fan of MMORPG's and when I looked at the combat in this game, and saw how similar it looked to XI, I was hesitant to get it. But I got it because of my inner fanboy. The gameplay worked out well in the end, although it's not the most engaging for me. The story took a lot of ideas from Star Wars making this game pretty unoriginal. Although, the environments, and the lengthy gameplay made up for some of its flaws. One of my biggest complaints though, would have to be the main character. Like many people have said, he's pretty much pointless to the story and you can finish the game without even leveling him up after getting more party members. But again, a lot of its strong points make up for these flaws in the game. If you're looking for a game to start the FF series with, don't start with this. But, if you are already familiar with the series, then give this a try. 9/10 Expand
  10. 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
  11. Dec 26, 2013
    I really enjoyed this one! Final Fantasy XII has a great political fantasy story. The story stays compelling and interesting and it doesn't fall on it's self. Diverse cast of characters and they are all memorable. Also the character development is great. Licenceboard system is great and new gameplay is very deep. Every RPG fun should check this out.
  12. Sep 2, 2012
    I will start off by saying that this game for me is definitely better than FF10 and FF10-2, but I wouldn't place it on the exact level as FF 1-9, mostly due to authenticity. FF 1 - FF 9 will always be a special set for me and I consider these games "classic." Final Fantasy 12 does a much better job than 10 or 10-2 in trying something new and not loosing all its authenticity. First, FF12 does look pretty nice on the PS2 and I do enjoy the new combat system where it is not as turn-based and you can move around while attacking. Also, even though the maps aren't completely non-linear, they do a much better job compared to 10 and 10-2. This game is a challenge for sure, you will get stuck in certain places and have to train to progress. There is nothing wrong with this, its the way the game is meant to be. Anyone remember how hard FF1 was at first? It was actually unbearable at certain points :) FF 12 brings in fresh ideas, but I am not a huge fan of the crystarium leveling and I think this is where I miss the other games the most. There are many people though that really enjoy this system, you may be one of them! I also have to say that I am really not a fan of the time spent on Cocoon, kind of a slow start to a FF game and this is the linear part of the game. If you are a fan of the series though, I believe they did make some improvements but they can even take it further. Expand
  13. Jan 16, 2012
    Many fans of Final Fantasy will bash this game because of its dramatically different Gambit battle system. While this is definitely unlike any Final Fantasy game you have experienced, the Gambit system really is an extremely well done battle system that even went on to inspire games like Dragon Age Origins. If you take the time to learn it you will appreciate the strategic aspects of planning your battle commands beforehand but in the event you really do not like the battle system, Gambits can be turned off for a more traditional Final Fantasy style of gameplay. Once Gamebits have been turned off, the battle system becomes Final Fantasy except with a controllable character and seamless battles, both of which are enormous improvements to the game. I fear many people have dismissed this game far too early, and if they had taken the time to appreciate the mechanics of the game they would have been able to experience one of the most intricate stories and deep characters ever created in a Final Fantasy game. Expand
  14. Mar 20, 2012
    This is not a Final Fantasy game. It´s a Star Wars game. The history is bored and slow. FFXII has good graphical, good music and the game play is entertained. As adventure, it is a great game, but as Final Fantasy not.
  15. Jun 12, 2011
    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.
  16. Jul 3, 2011
    I like the visuals and everything about the game. It's the work put into it that leaves me catching some "z"s. I definitely think there is too much work for too little of a plot to actually spend my 80-100 hours of gameplay on.
  17. Oct 7, 2013
    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
  18. dz9
    Jul 27, 2011
    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) Collapse
  19. Jan 1, 2014
    Games in the series FF are my favorite. I burn with love for Final Fantasy VIII, but XII is also great! Games differ radically: Final Fantasy XII has new characters, story, combat system, open and different world, and of course the graphics and music. Twelfth part series leading Square Enix uses all the possibilities PS2 and more! Rendered animations are just beautiful, moreover, the same goes for textures. The characters are designed with the idea and I curiously followed their fate. The new combat system was difficult for me to get used to but I managed, and finally I really liked.It is very different from that of the eighth part of the FF but I really liked him. I believe that the game 100 percent deserved 10/10 from PlayStation magazine. I hope you enjoy it too Expand
  20. Oct 6, 2011
    Not necessarily a bad game, if you can ignore the fact that the game has a hard time deciding who we should care about, in terms of the story. That is to say that Vaan was dead weight. The gameplay was surprisingly addicting though. As a dungeon-crawler, it's a really enjoyable experience advancing through the many beautifully-rendered levels, battling all of these amazing creatures in real-time. I certainly think that on a technical level it pushed the PS2 to its limit. Technicalities aside, Final Fantasy XII is like any other Final Fantasy: a new story, battle system, music etc. It just so happens to be a "western" RPG. Not the kind of change I was expecting to see. Expand
  21. Nov 22, 2012
    some people say this game is bad......... WHAT!? most of the things they say are opinion, like "I DON'T LIKE IT BECAUSE THE BATTLE SYSTEM IS DIFFERENT" yeah its different and its BETTER. square enix tried to give us a new battle system that actually made sense, before you were forced into a battle after taking a few steps which was ANNOYING. it wasn't too bad, but i'd say this battle system is BETTER. another thing, people complain about the soundtrack saying it was not as good as previous games................ heres something you should try........... TURN UP THE VOLUME! Expand
  22. Dec 6, 2011
    The best game of my gamer life. Final Fantasy XII has a rich world, amazing party and beautiful graphics. Haters gonna hater but the majority liked this game. Just look at 92/100 and 77/100 on user score.
  23. Oct 14, 2011
    I thought the battle system was awkward, but this is a pretty solid game. I used to play Final Fantasy XI, and honestly - Final Fantasy XII is what Final Fantasy XI should have been. I can go out and fight whenever I want, without having to seek help for a few hours. It would be fun if Square made an online game where you control a party, not a single character. I think that's where they went wrong in their online games. Could you imagine playing any Final Fantasy, just with a 1 character party? Exactly. Onto the review. The battle system lets you basically program how your characters are to act. The skill grid is great, if you invest enough time into the game each character can obtain all the skills, except for the summons, which are one per character. They let you build your characters however you see fit. If you liked Final Fantasy XI , this is like playing that, except single player, no subscription fees, and straight out more fun. The story left me confused though, I wasn't sure exactly what I was fighting for. Still a solid score, however. Expand
  24. Jul 14, 2012
    Another miss-score Final Fantasy XII is awesome and done the best out of all FF titles on PS2 for its epic story and FMV's which help immerse players into the game
  25. Feb 20, 2012
    When all is said and done with the Final Fantasy franchise, I won't be surprised if VII and XII still stand out to me as the games that completely consumed me while I was playing them. Granted, it took me a couple tries to establish any momentum with this game (but that's fairly common for me). Once I did, I fell in love with the gambit system. It has become the measuring stick by which I judge every combat mechanic in a game that goes beyond needing a single player and single character to accomplish everything. I wish ever MMO I played let me set up a FF12-like gambit system for as many characters as I need to fill out a party or raid. Any game that does....just reminds me how much I loved FF12. I finished all but the last hunt (as I could only stomach one four-hour attempt, only to have it end when a rez didn't happen quickly enough while the guy was one-shotting the group), which is more effort I've put into a non-MMO since FF7. Near perfection, this game's only shortcoming, from my perspective, is the vacuous story that was heavy on pageantry and light on having a point. Expand
  26. Mar 16, 2012
    Final fantasy 12, the one where I give up on the franchise. Starting with 10 I noticed a decrease in quality but this in particular killed it. Hopefully with 13 and 13-2 the name has been redeemed. Back in topic, the first hours are actually ok, I dare to say enjoyable. Users are introduced to the new battle system that it's actually more interesting that most people give credit for. People complain that the game plays itself, but it's not true, it's up to the player. If you choose to focus on attacking the nearest enemy of course that's what the characters will do. People forget that they can manually input commands for each character, but hey! Haters gonna hate no matter what. Areas are also huge to explore, one can literally get lost while traveling with branching paths, hidden paths and so on. So, with a good battle system, good exploration, why I disliked this game? Because of one simple thing:reward. The pacing is awful, you can spend hours when nothing happens and when finally you see a cutscene, most of the time is :" we arrived here, now we're going there". The story is lacking, I felt that the plot was moving forward but the characters had nothing to do with it, it doesn't help that Vaan, the main character, stays in the background during nothing most of the time. With character I couldn't care about, a lacking-story, side-quests relegated to monster-hunting, it's not difficult to understand why I gave up. It was impossible, almost inconceivable that a final fantasy lover like me could do such a thing. I finished the game only because I didn't want to have the feel of having wasted 60 euros on such it. Nothing in this game really stands out, nor the characters, nor the story, nor the music, the most interesting things happen during the prologue. Some may like it, if they manage to stay awake. Expand
  27. Jun 29, 2011
    Lots of potential, little follow through. So many missed opportunities for greatness. The problem is that this game had a great set up and the first 20 hours are packed with intrigue and excitement, then after that first 20 hours it simply falls off, and settles into this grindy MMO feel. You'll be traversing miles of game world killing random mobs with little effort for 10 hours at a time, or so it feels. It's tedious.

    The combat system is in some ways brilliant but at other times cripples the game because it will simply play itself with little to no attention from the player. I think a difficulty overhaul would have done wonders, because the game is fun when you have to actually think about what you're doing with your Gambits and such, but for the most part it's just on auto-pilot. Sadly, the game really doesn't offer much past the first 20 hours, and I can't really recommend it to anyone. It also has one of the worst endings in Final Fantasy history, mostly because it comes out nowhere, but that could mostly be attributed to the awful storyline which never really gets you to care about anything, but that's no surprise when you're randomly running around a massive world mindlessly grinding on mobs.

    A true shame really. What could have been...
  28. Jan 8, 2013
    Final Fantasy XII is an amazing game, like all Square Enix games. This game is probably the best Final Fantasy in terms of things to do. You could spend 50 hours on the main story line, and then have content worth another 100 hours still left to do, and whats great about it is that it gives you ultimate freedom. Tired of doing the story line? You can go do mark missions, or find side quests, or just explore and level up. The game has some of the best boss battles of the FF series, and wonderful areas to explore. A lot of people seem to hate the new combat system, but I for one love it and think it was a great change new change to their games up until this point. Expand
  29. Sep 14, 2014
    Epico e grandioso, com uma grande historia , jogabilidade e suas sideguest o jogo o prende por horas sem vc nem ao menos perceber. Mas um grande Final Fantasy da Square.
  30. Nov 25, 2010
    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
  31. Sep 10, 2013
    I'm gonna be blunt since this game has been out for a long time, I've played it twice at its release and I've played through it again and I can only say this game is amazing. Not only is the battle system progressive, it even lets you choose how your AI functions (it's still better than FFXIII's). The story is deep and even though the characters aren't that profound (according to some), you never wonder why the hell they're there instead of just leaving. This game really is an improvement for the Final Fantasy series and I seriously can't help but wonder why there are so many haters. I can see alot of fans are disappointed because there's no cliche romance in this chapter of the series but there's absolutely no need for one. Crying over spilt milk is what all the babies are doing, grown ups LOVE Final Fantasy XII Expand
  32. Nov 5, 2010
    The JRPG market has been dead and foul-smelling for a long time. Growing up in the 90's I first got my taste of their rpg's back when it was a fresh concept, with Final Fantasy IV and Phantasy Star I being my first, but it's a sad thing to see that their combat mechanics have changed in the way that evolution changes organisms...extremely freakin slow. In that time I've slogged through FF VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI and with each new addition, I've felt the same way about their new "changed mechanics" for their combat: It still sucks. I don't know if the developers had a hair up their ass this time, but whatever the case XII is a refreshing new look at this series. First for me is that the combat was actually fun and strategic, as well as engaging. The ability to program your characters routines, via the Gambit System, is an excellent addition to help alleviate the grinding that inevitably dawns on a JRPG, but is still flexible enough to allow you to take control of your characters at any moment. Options is the key, as options can be taken or left depending on your tastes. So you don't have to use the Gambits if you don't want to, but it will always be accessible if you change your mind. This is good. Many people seem to hate the characters, and I do agree Vaan is pretty annoying at times, but in XII the main characters are less obvious. You play through the view point of Vaan, but you'll quickly learn that two of the other characters that join you are the true protagonists of the story. This didn't bother me one bit, and I found the characters to be really different from previous Final Fantasies, and although Penelo seems kind of a throw back, most of the characters are very human and believable. The story is very in-depth and more of one about nations vying for power, politics, and grey areas for motivations, which are all elements that I love. The pacing is pretty fast at times, although there are moments where it does lag and lose focus, but I think it servers as a good moment to side quest to break up the constant advance of the story. These side quests are obviously optional, so you could just rush through the story as quickly as possible, but I wouldn't recommend it. FF XII is as close to a sandbox as you're gonna get for a JRPG, and I really appreciated their attempt to not conform to typical JRPG standards. This is probably the most western approach they've taken that I can recall. One of the things that makes this game shine is the voice over's, which are amazing when compared to pretty much anything. The quality of the voices and the accents are interesting (I can never get enough of Fran's accent) and it makes you look forward to those moments when the characters speak. I can't say the same about the music, however. It isn't bad, but it isn't the best of the series, and sometimes I don't even notice it's there. Overall if you are interested in a non-linear JRPG, with open exploration, great combat mechanics, an interesting and highly political story, and a mostly memorable (if somewhat small) main cast, then this will make you smile. It did for me and renewed my interest in a decrepit and ailing series. (Insert obligatory Final Fantasy XIII jab here) Expand
  33. Mar 27, 2014
    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.
  34. Sep 22, 2010
    All of it's elements combined Final Fantasy XII had the potential to be an amazing game, just like those before it, and from a gameplay perspective it is a worthy title. It makes some great changes to the standard role playing combat system that just plain work and leave you wondering why it hasn't been done before. Considering the gameplay combined with the visuals FF XII is one of the greatest games you could pick up for the PS2. However unlike the series titles before it FF XII doesn't have a story or characters of nearly equal quality and in the end it's only the lack of story and poorly developed characters that hold this title back from being as good as the Final Fantasy games that created the hordes of fans the series enjoys. If you play this game looking for an epic story with great characters it pains me to say that you will be extremely disappointed. However if your looking for a game that you can play for hours on end and not necessarily be sick of by the seventy hour mark you'll find that Final Fantasy XII certainly delivers. Expand
  35. Sep 28, 2010
    It's a bit late to write a review for this game for I'll just hop in the wagon anyway. It's simple, it's like Final Fantasy XIII, the breaks boundaries when it comes to graphics and gameplay, but snoozes on plot and characters. The score for Final Fantasy XII is easily one of the weakest in the series, but to me gamplay is the heart of all games, and Final Fantasy shines by giving us a similar to MMOPRG style gameplay. I just want to say that I give props to whatever game that's willing to take risk so Square Enix, good for you. Expand
  36. Ogr
    Jun 28, 2014
    To make it short: FFXII is a great game and in my opinion better than FFX, critics show that they are equal but many fans seem to be disappointed by FFXII... I think it's because the usual Final Fantasy Fan wants a love story and doesn't like a more free to explore world and a political based story, FFXII is more adult than FFX.

    FFXII has the better combat system, tons of stuff to do
    and explore, a great looking world and a nice (not great) story with no real main character... what I actually like. Expand
  37. Jan 20, 2012
    I love the game so much. It is the the second best final fantasy game next to FF 13. Up until now. I am still playing it. I'd finished this 11 times. Still ain't boring.
  38. Oct 29, 2013
    This is probably the best Final Fantasy game so far, in my opinion, this great tale of deception and political war games bring true thrill to those who seek the finest in storytelling. The battle system is different from it's predecessors, but it works very well. You don't need to worry about cheesy clichés that plague your average RPG, this is a grown up Final Fantasy title and it is waiting for open minds to play it. Expand
  39. Mar 9, 2011
    A beautiful, engrossing experience, and a downright fun game to play. While the character development is somewhat lacking and the voice acting is spotty, at best, the game's strengths more than make up for its weaknesses. The combat system is crisp and fulfilling. While you only control one character at the time, you can easily hop between characters to insert a necessary command, although the extensive "Gambit" system allows you to customize the actions of your non-controlled party members with such specificity that you usually won't have to. The special move system is also interesting, although a little too random and costly, in my opinion. Using up your entire party's MP on a chain of moves that might not work out in the end can be really annoying. Also, summons weren't all that effective, and didn't seem to play too important a role in the game. Generally, though, the difficulty always seems to be just right, which makes for a challenging RPG that isn't frustrating. The world is massive, varied and intricately detailed. Unlike many RPGs that have come since, you will never encounter a recycled environment or cookie-cutter dungeon. Additionally, enemy designs are interesting and fairly varied.

    There are side quests to be had, though none as fulfilling as those from FFVI, VII, IX and X. The side quests are essentially a series of "Hunts," where you go to various places in the world to kill a particular monster. There isn't much depth to many of them, though they can be very challenging. Fans of past FF games will be slightly disappointed with the fairly limited number of end-game, open-world options.

    The experience and leveling system is also interesting, unique and rewarding. It is sort of a combination of Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy X. You have your standard leveling, which increases all your standard stats, but you also accrue points which you can spend to purchase abilities from a skill grid that is far less linear than FFX's sphere grid. As you work your way to edges of the grid, abilities become more expensive and more powerful. Unlocking the grid is rewarding and interesting.

    Overall, a great game with a few flaws. Definitely a fulfilling way to spend 45+ hours of your life.

    Overall, this is a great game.
  40. Nov 26, 2013
    On the subject of the game play only, FF-XII introduces a new type of battle mechanic unique to the Final Fantasy games. It gives an air of pseudo-real time combat which strays from Final Fantasy's traditional turn-based actions. Its innovative and adds to the level of immersion because it deliberately demands one's attention. The player technically only ever controls one of the three characters at a time, as the other two are governed by AI and a new system called "Gambits" which are basically a set of instructions and priorities programmed by the player for the character AIs to follow. This allows the player to essentially control their entire team at once while being in an pseudo-real time battle. Understanding the functionality of gambits will consume time, as it requires experimentation and strategy. Players will need carefully crafted gambits to tackle the most difficult of bosses. Expand
  41. Apr 16, 2014
    People have been saying that every Final Fantasy under the Square Enix title has sucked, but with XII it is not so. With a great story, an incredibly large open world, a well designed combat system, good soundtrack, and an extremely complex but very fun gameplay. Final Fantasy 12 is definitely my favorite of all the Final Fantasy games.
  42. Apr 26, 2012
    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.
  43. 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 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).
  44. Nov 13, 2013
    A near masterpiece that will enthral you in it's countless moments of magnificence. Aside from the slow start (which might have trended certain people away from the game's true beauty), the game deserves all the praises it gets, as once you pass those sluggish hours, you'll find yourself spending countless, unregrettable hours in the endless, outstanding world of Final Fantasy XII.
  45. Mar 25, 2014
    When I started a game I was shocked with number of critics about this FF. I wanted to try it and... damn, that's a great game! At the moment I'm after hmm, around 20 hours of playing and I must admit that it's really hard to get bored with this FF. For me new battle style, leveling method etc., all this things are just perfect. For me, now, it's definitely the best FF out there. Story and characters are great too. Main char is empty and boring? Please... he's 100x better and less annoying than Tidus! He could be his father as well, in the mature of the nature meaning. Open world is great too! Generally, this is THE MUST PLAY jRPG for console. Absolutely. Expand
  46. Jan 4, 2012
    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
  47. Oct 25, 2013
    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.
  48. Nov 12, 2014
    I've played nearly every core game in the Final Fantasy, and this one has my favorite battle system. Your characters run around and fight in real time instead of having to wait through a cut scene animation for every battle.

    The story is a bit weak compared to other games in the series. There are amazing characters, but I don't feel like the game spent enough time developing them. That
    is to say, the story was still better than what you'll find in most other games, but it wasn't Final Fantasy quality. However, the battle system totally makes up for it. 10/10 for enjoyment. Expand
  49. Jul 21, 2011
    Pretty sweet game. So much to do, awesome battle system. Interesting characters (some are annoying but most are great). One of my faves for Playstation 2
  50. Mar 16, 2013
    By far my favorite of the "modern" (PS2/PS3) Final Fantasies. I absolutely love the Gambit system, I cannot say enough about it. The customizability of character AI is beyond anything seen before or since. Although character roles are rather genericb since any character can acquire basically any skill, individual characters are still very tailored towards certain specializations because of base stats and early in the game their different starting positions on the License Board

    I thought the story was much more mature than most Final Fantasies (and JRPGs in general). Nothing overly special but it kept me moving forward and I really enjoyed the character developtment and underlying political intrigue. Like I said it's not mind blowing but it is very well toldThe world is large with lots to do, although some areas do feel rather empty.

    I can see where some wouldn't like the Gambit system. You'll love it or hate. If you like absolute control over everything your party does under absolutely any situation, you will love it. If you want the old school RPG status quo of on-your-toes turn based menu selections, this may not be for you.

    Last but not least, the first 2-3 hours (as with many RPGs) are extremely slow, IMO. Once you get full party control and start acquiring Gambits and Licenses, the game absolutely shines. Do not judge this game until you are a few hours in.
  51. May 25, 2013
    Some fans does not like FFXII because it is not like previous FF games but i think it is the best one, It does have much of what a FF game is. FF needs change to it so that it doesen´t become clones of each other like COD has.
  52. Jul 19, 2013
    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
  53. Jul 14, 2011
    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.
  54. Sep 3, 2011
    FFXII is a step in the right direction. Its the most dynamic Final Fantasy to date, which can make it good or bad depending on how you play it. If you have to do alot of grinding then you are not using all of the tools available correctly.
  55. Sep 20, 2013
    I only played this in 2013 on a ps2 emulator (4x resolution) and it was one the best game experiences I"ve had in a long time! (and I play a sht ton of games) It truly is a beautiful RPG with a very good story, massive world and deep gameplay.
    I didn't mind at all the supposedly negative MMO influences, at the contrary it feels so natural in the context of open world mechanics. Nice new
    touch compared to the usual ATB/RTB battle systems and I even loved the gambit system which a lot of people seem to complain about.

    Graphics are unbelievably good for a ps2 game and one of the best examples where an increased internal resolution on the emulator can make a huge difference in overall quality to the point it doesn't seem you are playing a 2006 game at all.

    The music is simply perfect, I may be old style but it's hard to beat well made symphonic soundtracks. (compared to most of the electronic uninspired garbage 99% of games use today)

    It may have some minor gameplay issues but overall I just love everything about this game, I don't really care if it is a "true" FF game or not, it simply is a wonderful experience and I strongly encourage anyone to give it a try on the pcsx2 emulator on pc even if you have played it 9 years ago.
  56. Mar 6, 2013
    I think one of the reasons people are so critical is because it is a final fantasy game. If it would be a new series then evrybody would say: ''Did you hear of this game? It's really good, you should try it out.''
    And they would be correct. The game is really good. The environments are beautiful, the characters are okay, the story is good... My problem is with the gameplay. It's boring
    because you control only one character instead of all of them and when an enemy appears your party members attack on their own accord and during the fight you can hardly evade the attacks of the enemies. What is the point of creating real time battles (the opposite of turn based battles in which you stand in a row and await your turn) if you can't evade. You can run away while you wait for your bar to charge but you will recieve damage of a swordslash 4 meters away from you. Another thing is the large amount of grinding before a boss battle because you aren't strong enough yet to beat him. It happens multiple times that you have to grind for 2 to 3 hours and that isn't fun. To conclude with a positve note: The instructions you can give your party members are really extensive and there is very very much to do in this game. Expand
  57. Mar 24, 2013
    The FF XII storyline is one of the best and most mature FF storylines. The story isn't melodramatic or geared toward preteen girls. The dialog in the game is beautiful. The music is beautiful. The gameplay gambit system is fun enough although perhaps not interactive enough. I've played a lot of PS2 games (especially via PCSX2), but I keep coming back to this game in particular. I'd have to say it's by far my favorite PS2 game. Expand
  58. Jul 18, 2013
    Simply put, this game just leaves you wanting while scratching your head at the end. Starts off great and the combat system was innovative (though annoying after awhile). Story is great in the beginning then just kinda falls flat.
  59. Jul 30, 2011
    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
  60. Jan 19, 2012
    Overall I think final fantasy XII is a good game.That being said, it has it's down points.The story is adequate but not as interesting as some of it's predecessors and the main character could be a bit more interesting. The battles are challenging, but sometimes I'd wonder if they're fair in certain areas or battles. Items are sometimes almost impossible to obtain. Likewise, side quest some enemies are almost impossible to find. To sum it up, it seems you're just a little to limited in this final fantasy. If you like challenging side quest and battles you should try this. After all, it's not a bad game. You may like it even. Expand
  61. 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
  62. Dec 12, 2013
    Totally awesome game. Its quite a change from the turn base combat system. It feels MMO-like but you build the AI via gambits. Takes a little time to get used to the gambit system, but it become very powerful and handy for grinding exp.
  63. Aug 31, 2014
    One of the if not THE best game on PS2.
    +This game features an exceptional open world with easily the best graphics on PS2. One of the best soundtracks ever (approx 5 hours of top quality OST).
    +The combat system is the most innovative and original I have ever seen in an RPG. (the gambit system rules). It may be a bit complex at first, but you soon get used to it.
    +The game itself is
    full of content (well over 200 hours of gameplay without getting bored).
    +The characters are very likeable (balthier ftw).
    Frankly, if you have a PS2 or an emulator on your PC or just want to check this game out, don't hesitate. It deserves it's critic rating and is easily one of the best games ever made.
    You can see that the developpers made everything in detail for example when you see that weather conditions affect the usefullness of your weapons, or that some enemies will detect you based on smell, some on hearing, some on vision, and some (like the undead for example) when you have less than 40% HP.
    I think this is enough to see at what extent the developpers wanted to make the perfect game and its really not far from that.
    If there was a negative point I could come up with it's that there are some things that you can not know without going on the wiki or having a walkthrough.
    Apart from that, this game is 10++/10. Definitely a must have.
  64. May 18, 2011
    This game pretty much did everything right. Amazing story(older audience), endearing characters, for it's time good graphics, amazing battle system (FFXI style) and great open world experience. Now, the only reason I didn't give this game a 10 is more due to a personal preference and that's the language. They speak in the old shakespearean dialect which i never took time to learn so I missed some parts. Aside from that this was a great game with an insane amount of side content. Expand
  65. May 20, 2011
    First things first. The story sucks, its all kings and queens and castles, urgh! it's almost as bad as FF9!! The characters are also quite poor, Balthier being the only decent one. That however is where the bad points end. The gameplay is everything that a great FF should be. A massive world to explore, to be able to go anywhere you want, LOTS of side quests, LOADS of character upgrades through licenses, new weapons, amour you name it. Plenty of grinding to be done, and a game that will eat up your time. In terms of gameplay, it is everything FF13 wasn't!! The battle system was fine. It was essentially the same as FF7 or FF8, but you could move around. This however did not really effect the battle at all, so its a moo point!

    If you can over look the horrible story (and I know that is an important element) and bland characters, there is a great a large enough game to make that forgivable! No FF7 or FFX, but most RPG fans will find something that captures their attention in this game
  66. Apr 6, 2014
    Is there something wrong? Why do I see all the negatives? The hate? Have the other Final Fantasies turned you all haters into fanboys/fangirls? Peace friends!

    For one, I love this game. It develops an imaginatory, that's right, storyline and YOU decide the story for your characters. It was time Square let people imagine, not just sit lazy and take in the video game itself. The story is
    full of betrayal, drama, humor (Balthier), and unpredictability... So don't your dare review FF XII without completing it!

    I can assume the haters are rushing the game to simply put it, skipping plotlines and not caring to enjoy the scenery. Why? Well guaranteed you are in favor of another Final Fantasy (VII, like always...) But anyway, the story needs your imagination. That's what Square did. Really smart eh?

    As for the gameplay... Gambits unlock a whole ton of options/accessibility for the players to experiment with and test with. A ton. Thousands of limitless ideas.... As for that, you can also toggle gambits off if you aren't in favor of that general idea.

    The scenery and visuals, are in one word, stunning. Have you ever took the time to look at the architecture of each city? Dungeon? You should.

    The soundtrack takes time to listen to and stick it to your head. Eventually, it will fit in with the theme like a puzzle piece. It is performed orchestrally unlike its predecessors instead of using computerized music which was the case for all the earlier Final Fantasy series.

    I won't spoil the secondaries, but there are a TON of things to do in FF XII... Filling your bestiary/monsterpedia, obtaining all items, completing the "bounties" ( Won't spoil the name), and items to find et cetera.

    The beginning starts out as a Star Wars replica like stated before, but eventually the pod blooms and the story opens up... into the Final Fantasy XII. The beginning isn't even a fun game, but that was Square's smart move. After you continue the story of FF XII the story all ties in together and oh my, the goosebumps you will get later on. After you finish the game you'll hit the climax and will really miss the game...

    Whoever reviewed this game poorly probably is suffering from a long-term headache, is a fanboy/fangirl of another Final Fantasy game, did not get into the "fun boundary", as I stated above, or simply did not complete the game. I am a laxative person and I enjoy games and dislike games, but this game is a like, or love, for me.
  67. Oct 15, 2010
    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
  68. Mar 3, 2012
    I have played this game and overall the graphics were pretty good, the storyline was not as bad as I thought(still not good though), the characters weren't really engaging and I did not really care for any of them, also the music was just average for me too. I would like to add that the battle system is also not too bad since I like to avoid monsters when I don't want to fight, I like the turn base system since I kinda hate waiting while I want to defeat certain weak monsters as soon as possible without the need for spamming though I would like to point out that I kinda hate the License Point since most of them were pretty bland but overall i'll just wrap it up and say it's a decent game though not really worthy to be called Final Fantasy title but atleast it's not the worse Final Fantasy title(Final Fantasy XIII or -2) . Expand
  69. Aug 25, 2012
    A game people seem to either love or hate. I loved it, loved the characters, story and more importantly gameplay and the world you explore. I disagree about the music from some comments, as i thought it was excellent and matched the zones perfectly, Feywood is a great example, plus the different weather was a great idea and how it changed areas. Lots of exploring to do and some places are shockingly hard if you stumble upon them too soon, which makes for a challenge. The best since FFVII, and different armour and weapon bonuses. Great game. Expand
  70. Aug 26, 2012
    This is one of my favorite final fantasies, it has a rich storyline, some memorable characters (but i don´t really like Vaan, Balthier is my favorite character in the game though), the battle system is one of the best in the series, it has a good musical score, and the graphics are amazing.
  71. Sep 17, 2012
    One of the most controversial Final Fantasy game (for its battle system) but (probably) the best Final Fantasy game ever made and one of the best video games for PS2.
  72. 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.
  73. Jun 1, 2013
    Story is the hallmark of the final fantasy games. This game, however, does not have any. The characters do not have any personality. Only character with a personality is Balthier, rest is just there to fill up the screen. There no is character development. There is nothing to make you care about the characters you are playing. The only redeeming quality is that this game is really big. I mean really big. You have a lot of stuff to do. You have dungeons to explore and side quests to accomplish. The game mechanic has a mmorpg feel to it without being an actual mmorpg, which in my opinion is a bad thing. So if all you care about is game play and customizing your character with tons of equipment and abilities, go ahead and pick it up. If you have played any other previous final fantasy games, you will find yourself glaring at your screen and gritting your teeth as the computer fight your battle for you. Expand
  74. Jun 26, 2013
    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.
  75. Sep 14, 2010
    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!
  76. Oct 5, 2010
    This is the best final fantasy in almost every aspect, its even artistically superior to XIII, however its not the best overall, because the story and characters plays a fundamental role in Final Fantasy and this entry fails in that department, there is a lack of side quest and minigames that not involves kill monsters, and sidequest that add pieces to the story.

    The music is good but not
    the most memorable. the battle system is great , funniest grinding ever in a final fantasy, the character customization system is good enough but could be better Expand
  77. Jan 6, 2011
    Im not going to lie here, the gameplay itself is ok, but the game is more passive due to all the gambits. If you wanted to lvl up in the game and you have enough gambits you can basiclly just go to one map and leave the room because the gambits will do all the work for you. Also, the way they have you moving from one end of the map all the way to the other is kind of annoying. I liked the storyline to the game even though it follows Vaan and Bashe. I like the game mainly because you also need skill to play and not just a very high lvl, i like games when i can go up against a boss that is like 10 or 15 lvls higher than me because makes the game more difficult. In this game you dont need to lvl up to go to certain areas and live, also the new way to flee from a battle is ok, i always hated FFVII because when i was trying to get to a save spot I would run into like 50 battles at least Expand
  78. 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.

    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.
  79. 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
  80. Dec 6, 2012
    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
  81. 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.
  82. May 15, 2013
    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
  83. Sep 16, 2013
    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
  84. Mar 10, 2014
    Back in the day this was one of the greatest games in the PS2 era, sadly it was bashed by a lot of hate because of the direction it took, and although the main character wasn't main at all, this game screams FF all over it.
  85. Sep 22, 2014
    This really is a vegemite game; you either love it or hate it.

    The gameplay is probably the biggest argue point of the entire game. I found the Gambit system to be truly refreshing, easy to work with, versatile and fun. It allowed for so many combinations, and your Gambit setup truly does reflect your play style. That being said, many people hated it with a passion, and I can see why.
    Yes, it had all these great points, but at times it did feel as if you were taking a back seat and just watching your characters do all the work. I do think that these people screaming 'IT'S THE WORST SYSTEM EVER IT'S SO BORING' are exaggerating and need to sit down and take a breath, however.

    The storyline is far different from the other Final Fantasy's. While I didn't like the massive amounts of text at the start and in big events, and got a bit bored with having to read paragraphs at a time all to end up skimming over it, getting confused later on, and having to Wiki what I missed, the storyline was a fairly strong one, allowing the player to be immersed in the world of Ivalice.

    Characters were a high point of the game. Vaan reminded me of Tidus a lot, and Penelo was cute and all, but where I really fell in love with the characters was with Fran and Balthier. Their relationship was better than any we see between characters in the latest FF games. I must admit, they're my OTP.

    Graphics, not much needs to be said here, they were absolutely great for a PS2 game, and even for today's standards.

    Overall, 8/10. 7/10 for gameplay, 8/10 for story, 9/10 for characters, and 9/10 for graphics. Recommend for anyone with patience and who can recognise a good game.
  86. Oct 19, 2014
    This game is my favorite PS2 game of all time! I know there are many people that don't like this game, but thats probably because they are used to the old style final fantasy games of turn-based and random encounters. Final Fantasy XII gets rid of that and lets you choose which enemies to fight, when to fight them, and how to fight them. The "how to fight them" part is where the gambits come into play. Gambits are automatic commands that excute under certain conditions and can be set up for each of the characters. For example, instead of repeatedly pressing attack when your ATB gauge fills up, you can set up a gambit to do that for you. This eliminates the repetitive and time consuming process of navigating through the menus to find the action you wish to take. Gambits are prioritized with the most important at the top of the list and the least important at the bottom. As you progress through the game however, the large diversity of gambits combined with the growing number of gambits you can set up can make the game (if done properly) play by itself without needing your input. So I recommend that you only use a few basic gambits to make sure that doesn't happen.

    Here are some pros and cons to the game:

    - excellent battle system (no random encounters; enemies are seen from a distance and battles are done in real time without switching between exploration mode and battle mode)
    - gambits make battles much more convenient
    - open world; many large areas in the game to explore (and freedom to do so)
    - many optional quests gives more gameplay value
    - boss fights are fun
    - freedom to customize characters' weapons, armor, and abilities.
    - graphics are amazing! (for PS2)
    - great diverse soundtrack
    - story is good (if understood)
    - The world of Ivalice and its history is excellently created
    - lots of optional character interaction

    - gambits may make the game play by itself
    - story is boring and sometimes confusing
    - main characters aren't really interesting and don't go through much change througout the story
    - boss fights can be very long at times (but depending on your play-style, it can be a pro or con)

    Basically, this is kind of like a single player MMO because of all the freedoms this game allows you to have. If you are a fan of MMOs and don't mind the single player aspect, this is the game for you!

    A masterpiece of the PS2 era and a definite 10/10!
  87. Oct 30, 2014
    Well, if nothing else I thank this game for convincing me to check out of the Final Fantasy series before 13 rolled around. Not sure I could have put up with that.

    First, I will say that this game finally allowed combat to happen in the same place as the real wold, so that was a major plus. As well, all of the main characters were reasonable and generally pleasant enough to have around.

    It just had one major crippling problem: It made no sense for the characters to be together. Let me clarify, the characters worked in teams of two, and in that they made sense; there was the main character and his childhood friend, the pirate and his partner, and the princess and her knight. In pairs, they made sense. The only glue supposedly holding the group together though was the main character being a massive fanboy.

    The main character left such a big impression on me I've totally forgotten his name and can't be bothered to look it up. I never used him anyway, he was totally forgettable and utterly pointless to the story. His friend had slightly more personality but was just as pointless to the story. The only reason I can think of for his existence is an "everyman" but Final Fantasy games are terrible at those, and it shows. Ashe should have been the main character; it focused mainly on her story anyway, so what was the point of splitting the focus to some kid spasticaly flailing around?

    Then there was the combat. The lone gold star for keeping it in world rather than being a potential fever dream is immediately taken away by the obnoxious design and flow. Combat comes way to often, but thankfully leaves just as quickly most of the time. I never had any trouble except with a few random boss fights. The thing is, those boss fights are often on you just as quickly as the randoms, and there usually isn't time to react or coordinate actions, so you're at the mercy of the auto-battle system. That isn't as bad as it sounds most of the time, since it will handle 95% of battles better than you could, but I found many bosses wrecked my **** and I had no idea what to do since my net interaction with fights up to that point was to move the left analog stick around until the battle started, then wait, then move it some more when it was over. When I fought a damn T-Rex I lost 3 characters early on just because I'd forgotten how to pause and issue orders, which left me with the 3 back-ups I hadn't bothered to train up. That was with grinding, by the way; I had a late night job so I would go and grind while trying to fall asleep on the couch after getting home. I can't count that against the game too much, but I can complain about getting insta-killed a few times despite being over-leveled. The combat is just inconsistent, silly, mostly pointless, and way too frequent.

    If you want a good JRPG, play FF 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10; give this one a pass.
  88. dz9
    Jul 27, 2011
    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) Collapse

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.