We are less than a month away from the release of the Final Fantasy VII remake. Players have anticipated the game since Square Enix’s announcement in 2015. We have waited five years to finally play it. However, it is not the only Final Fantasy game that deserves a remake. The franchise has another title of higher quality that deserves another look. That game is Final Fantasy VI.
I argue Final Fantasy VI is more deserving of a full remake than Final Fantasy VII. Both games are widely considered to be two of the best RPGs in gaming history.
What makes Final Fantasy VI better than Final Fantasy VII?
Final Fantasy VI has a better story, cast of characters, design, and music in my opinion. I played the game for countless hours on my SNES when I was a child and I continue to play it on occasion.
This article includes some spoilers, but I’ll do my best to keep them to a minimum.
The History of Final Fantasy VI
Square Enix (Square Soft at the time) changed the title of Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy III on the SNES for western audiences. Square Enix was not releasing games in the series in chronological order during this time. This was the third game in the West so the executives at the American branch decided to label it as the third game. The incorrect title caused confusion when Final Fantasy VII was released with the correct title. Western players learned they missed a lot of games in the series.
Later, Final Fantasy VI was re-released with the correct title for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance. This resolved the confusion of the incorrect title from the original release. Both versions have proper translations and offer the full experience. Despite the PlayStation version being very good, I recommend playing the version released on the Game Boy Advance.
A Memorable Adventure
Many players remember Final Fantasy VII’s one epic moment of Sephiroth killing Aeris. That one moment does not compare to the many epic scenes from Final Fantasy VI. The game delivers the perfect adventure. Every act in Final Fantasy VI evokes fun and are packed with exciting moments throughout the game.
One of the best scenes in the game is Kefka destroying the world. It was one of the darkest moments in gaming during the 16-bit era. The game’s tone quickly changes to despair and the world’s structure completely changes shape, forcing players to re-learn the game’s map. Some scenes show people dying and falling in deep pits. Many towns are left in ruins, and plants are slowly dying in the new world.
Final Fantasy has two well-known villains. First, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII is a very popular character in the series and probably the most recognised. Secondly, however, is Final Fantasy VI’s Kefka. This madman is one of the most destructive and yet colorful villains in video games. Kefka is the Joker of Final Fantasy. He kills comrades, burns empires, and poisons an entire empire with only one survivor.
Kefka is not the only evil star in the game. Many members of the Gestahlian Empire leave memorable impressions. Emperor Gestahl, who appears to be the main antagonist, desires to rule the world with a combination of magic and technology. General Leo is a loyal member of the Gestahlian Empire, and his loyalty is challenged by Kefka’s war crimes. Then, Ultros provides comic relief in many battles throughout the game.
Final Fantasy VI features fourteen permanent and playable characters and a few temporary playable characters. Each character has a unique ability for combat. Edgar has powerful tools, Locke Cole steals items from enemies, Setzer Gabbiani uses the powers of gambling to defeat his foes. Every unique ability adds depth to each character, and fits their personalities in the game.
Furthermore, Final Fantasy VI is the first game in the franchise to allow the player to swap party members. This system was necessary due to the large cast of characters. The system added strategy, challenging the player to pick the best characters for particular missions and boss battles. I recommend trying a variety of parties to get the full experience.
However, the battle system is not free from flaws. One common criticism is the game can become easy because every character can learn every spell. This system has its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, you will always have a character with the ability to cast Cure III. On the other hand, there is less strategy in choosing a party for a mission in the second half of the game.
Many games in the Final Fantasy series have multiple worlds such as Final Fantasy IV. These secondary worlds are often in different locations. Final Fantasy VI has a very dark version of this concept. The game’s second world is a dark and dying world that was the first world in the game. Every location changes from lively areas to towns in ruins and restructured caves.
Furthermore, this is one of the rare moments in games with the antagonist successfully destroying the world during the game. The heroes fail to save many lives. Most games begin with the villain winning the first battle, and accomplishing an important goal. Final Fantasy VI tells the full story of the conflict, climax, and conclusion with Kefka’s defeat. It has a satisfying story as it answers many questions in the game’s adventure.
Finally, I cannot discuss Final Fantasy VI without mentioning its amazing soundtrack. This is one of the strongest soundtracks in the franchise. Dancing Mad is the theme for the game’s final battle. It is a beautiful composition. I dare say Dancing Mad is a better theme than One-Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII.
Final Fantasy VI is a legendary game, and it is one of the best RPGs of all time. It is a perfect composition of story, gameplay, and design. Maybe one day Final Fantasy VI will get the full remake that it deserves. No one expected the announcement of Final Fantasy VII’s remake, so there is hope that the best game in the franchise also will also get one down the line.
Which Final Fantasy title would you like see receive the remake treatment?