Some things never end. What starts as a new idea lands with such an impact that it becomes not only a successful work, but a formative one. Final Fantasy is one of those.
Running since the Famicom days with over 16 “core” entries and countless spinoffs, remakes, and remasters, a new generation inspired by Final Fantasy follows each game.
The Perfect Holiday Gift Ideas for the Final Fantasy Fan in 2020
So if you have gamers in your life who use the phrase “RPG” out loud, then they’re probably interested in Final Fantasy. And Final Fantasy is such a huge, monolithic property with a complex history, you can bet we were easily able to fill a 2020 holiday gift guide with this stuff.
Below you’ll see gift suggestions all across Final Fantasy fandom, from relevant other videogames more casual fans might enjoy, to items that cost hundreds or even thousands of United States Dollarydoos.
Final Fantasy Ultimania Archives - a series of coffee table-style tomes from Dark Horse that take readers through the series’ history, recapping the stories and characters. Also contains design documents, information on game releases, and more.
Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future - This novel, released earlier this year, followed the cancellation of Final Fantasy XV’s planned DLC. It seems like this book was produced instead (you can never truly tell with Square Enix) to at least get those lingering story concepts out in the open. It’s interesting stuff, especially for such a divisive release.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: World Preview - Japan gets this sort of thing all the time, and we rarely do over in North America. This is sort of like an elaborate digest that was originally released on the way to Final Fantasy VII Remake, introducing all kinds of detail on what this adaptation of an all-time classic had in store. It’s more of a behind the scenes retrospective sort of deal at this point, but it’s full of lore.
Final Fantasy: Memory of Heroes - It isn’t often you see games like Final Fantasy II get some love. This is a novel of three stories set in the worlds of the very first three Final Fantasy games. And it just came out this year! This book is notable simply because of its setting, if not the actual content!
Final Fantasy V (Boss Fight Books) - Boss Fight Books is a series of unofficial books from critics, developers, and other industry personalities, ranging from narrative nonfiction to essay collections. Chris Kohler’s Final Fantasy V has a much more unique angle, chronicling the weird story of an old GameFAQs guide and connecting it to a critical examination of an oft-forgotten entry in the series.
Lost Stranger - Final Fantasy Isekai. Depending on who’s reading this I may not need to say more. A pair of low-ranking Square Enix employees dream of one day having creative input in a Final Fantasy game, until they get hit by a truck. But instead of being road pizza, they wake up in a world similar to Final Fantasy XIV’s, but more… real. This series is weird in so many ways, but absolutely worth some curiosity.
Dragon Quest Monsters+ - We’re going to veer away from Final Fantasy a bit in this guide as well. Dragon Quest is often seen as Final Fantasy’s older sibling, a pioneer of the genre and an even bigger cultural phenomenon in Japan. This series is a cute sequel to an old Game Boy game, that incorporates tons of Dragon Quest past and present at every opportunity.
Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy! - It’s Mystery Dungeon, but with Final Fantasy stuff. This is a re-release of the third game, and readily available on Switch and PS4.
World of Final Fantasy Maxima - It took a while, but Square Enix finally did a Pokemon with Final Fantasy. This updated version of the game is on PS4, Switch, and even the Xbox One.
Collection of Mana - Originally conceived as a Final Fantasy “gaiden,” the Mana series eventually took on an identity of its own. A fascinating branch of the Final Fantasy tree, this is the most accessible and wallet-friendly way to try these classic action-RPGs from the golden age of 2D RPGs.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory - Kingdom Hearts is obviously connected to Final Fantasy, although that link arguably gets a lot weaker over time. Still, if you’ve been one of the folks keeping up with this nonsense over the years, Melody of Memory is a nice little reward.
Collection of SaGa: Final Fantasy Legend - In similar fashion to Mana, the SaGa series is connectable to Final Fantasy (albeit less literally). SaGa was the first RPG series on the Game Boy, and its bizarre, unique mechanics and abstract storytelling helped make it a Square Enix staple.
No seriously, if you have a big Final Fantasy fan in your life who needs a cool gift, fire up your favorite marketplace app and get them a PSP. Square Enix supported the crap out of that thing, and several games are still locked behind its oddly-shaped screen.
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - A prequel of sorts to the Big One, Crisis Core might end up being pretty important to what’s going on with Final Fantasy VII Remake. So of course it was never released digitally in North America. Makes sense!
Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection - This game has been remade several times, and even got a sequel a decade or two later. This PSP remake is the definitive version of FF IV, with both games, a bridge between them, and awesome sprite-based visuals.
PSOne Classics - This isn’t the best way to play nearly every game in the series, but it’s definitely the most cost effective outside of emulation. It’s annoying to buy these in 2020, but it’s still possible with some effort.
Parasite Eve - Square Enix’s answer to Resident Evil was led by Tetsuya Nomura of Kingdom Hearts notoriety, and as a result it’s super weird and changes drastically with each entry. But they’re all fascinating games, and only officially available on the PSP (or Vita in this case).
Dissidia - You can get the most recent Dissidia on PC or PS4, but that’s a weird port of an arcade game that isn’t super popular. Meanwhile, the PSP games are still playable and pretty awesome. A fighting/RPG hybrid, the Dissidia series is all about the fanservice.
Fancy Sh*t From the Square Enix Store
We won’t go into as much detail here, because you don’t have to look very hard for this stuff. Square Enix has its own online storefront, from which you can buy things like T-Shirts, games, and other paraphernalia. It’s also home to statues that cost a few thousand bucks, expensive-ass jewelry, neckties, and music Blu Rays imported from Japan. There’s affordable content on the site too, but the stuff here is for shoppers with deep pockets.
- Final Fantasy XIV merch
The Nerdy Stuff
They have all the video games. They have the figures, the shirts, the novels, the works. What do you get for the Final Fantasy fan who already blew their lunch money on everything? You have to get weird. The Final Fantasy Trading Card Game has been trucking along for years, and it’s a fairly interesting game with a lot of cool art and deep cuts.
Art books are art books; most folks will look through them once (props to the exceptions) but they look badass on shelves. Etsy is home to handmade items ranging from jewelry to like, cigarette holders and stuff. Giving to someone who plays piano? Hit ‘em with some official or unofficial sheet music books.
Finally, your MMO-loving friends are easy to shop for. Just buy ‘em some time.
- Art Books
- FF XIV time codes
- Sheet Music
- Etsy Fan-crafted Goods
Thanks for reading! And a special thanks to my weird life for letting me turn my Amazon browsing history into an article. These are only a few examples of what the world of Final Fantasy and Square Enix merchandise offers, and we didn’t even bother trying to tackle other kinds of adjacent recommendations.