It’s one of the best strategy RPGs ever created and today is its tenth birthday. When Squaresoft took a gamble releasing Final Fantasy Tactics in 1998 they probably didn’t expect it be such a hit. Copies flew off store shelves and for a few years after its release it was a “rare” game commanding double the $50 market price on eBay. Eventually it was reprinted as a Greatest Hits game, prices bottomed out and many people got their first taste of a SRPG.
The story is part of what made Final Fantasy Tactics so great. It starts out like a coming of age tale where you play as Ramza, a military academy student, but eventually it… maybe I shouldn’t spoil it for people who haven’t played it and are about to pick up the remake Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions later this year. Final Fantasy Tactics also brought the job system to North America. For the first time in a Final Fantasy game players could switch between classes and mix up abilities. If you set an archer with knight skills he can break armor from a distance. Or if you want you can make a samurai with black magic, a versatile amalgamation.
After ten years things have changed. The world of Ivalice encompasses multiple games, the strategy RPG genre blew up and Final Fantasy Tactics has a pencil sketched cinemas instead of the CG movies Squaresoft was known for. Who would have guessed this would be a supporting pillar in Square-Enix’s pocket ten years ago?