Are the Final Fantasy games connected? - Upcomer
Final Fantasy 16 official artwork

Are the Final Fantasy games connected?

Learn how stories are tied together in the Final Fantasy franchise

The Final Fantasy series is one of the longest-running video game series that is still regularly receiving new games, with the first iteration in the franchise launching more than 35 years ago. As a result, it has been widely influential for the role-playing game genre and is overall considered by many to be an icon of gaming history.

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With the Final Fantasy XVI release date set for June of 2023, newcomers to the series may be wondering how intertwined the series’ numerous installments are. Do newcomers really need to play the first 15 games in the series before jumping into the 16th? Here’s what you need to know about whether the Final Fantasy games are connected.

Are the Final Fantasy games connected?

Final Fantasy IV, which is connected to Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.
Final Fantasy IV is one of the few games in the series to receive a direct sequel. | Provided by Steam

Generally speaking, each game in the Final Fantasy series is its own self-contained story. While there are several recurring elements that appear to suggest that the Final Fantasy games are connected in some ways, there is not an overarching plot that spans across the entire series. As a result, the Final Fantasy games are usually considered to take place in their own universes with their own independent characters and stories.

That said, there are some games in the series that definitively do take place in the same universe. For example, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is a direct sequel that builds upon the events established in Final Fantasy IV. Similarly, the story that began in Final Fantasy X was resumed in Final Fantasy X-2.

However, the main series games with only a Roman numeral in their title are generally not directly related to previous entries in the franchise. As a result, you should be able to hop right into Final Fantasy XVI even if you haven’t ever played a Final Fantasy game before.

FF16 story

Since it is not directly connected to any other games in the series, Final Fantasy XVI’s plot revolves around a new set of characters. Specifically, the most important characters in this game are a pair of royal brothers named Joshua and Clive Rosfield.

Clive is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy XVI and the caretaker of his younger brother, Joshua. A powerful entity known as the Phoenix lives inside of Joshua despite the fact that Joshua isn’t a warrior and believes Clive would be a better fit for the Phoenix’s host. Even so, Clive can take advantage of the strengths of multiple other magical creatures known as Eikons.

Throughout the game, players will cross paths with a number of supporting characters who work together to shape the overarching plot of the game. The line-up of important characters includes Torgal, a wolf who is the Rosfield brothers’ childhood pet. Another important member of the cast is Jill Warrick. Much like Joshua is inhabited by the Phoenix, Jill has access to the powers of a beast named Shiva.

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Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.