Why put these two Final Fantasy games in competition with one another? Both what fans and critics think of a good reason is true. Final Fantasy IX has a score of 94 on Metacritic. It is the fourth-best PS1 game, after Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, Tekken 3, and Gran Turismo.
This makes it the best-rated RPG on the system. With a score of 92, Final Fantasy VII is the worst game. But from the fans’ point of view, this game is the best. Well, it came out a month after the PS2 did, in November 2000.
At that point, gamers were ready to move on to the next generation of games. That is an important point, but anyone who has played Final Fantasy IX knows how magical it is. So let’s look at how each stands up today by comparing the two.
Music in Final Fantasy VII
The music in both games is memorable, but Final Fantasy VII’s music is just a little bit better. Thanks to Jenova’s multiple boss fight cues and Sephiroth’s theme, a great bit of that. The boss and regular battle themes are also great enough to make your heart beat faster. The battle music in Final Fantasy IX, from simple to boss, isn’t as interesting.
Graphics in Final Fantasy IX
Nostalgia can see beyond the jagged polygons that make Cloud’s arms look like Popeye’s for a good time. From a technical point of view, Final Fantasy IX is the better-looking game. Even this game has pre-rendered textures in modern games that look out of place. Even though the character designs and enemies are made of pixels, their overall designs are much better than in Final Fantasy VII. There could be a beautiful PS1 game out there.
Side Quests in Final Fantasy VII
With Final Fantasy VII, Square went all out. Most of the time, the side quests in a JRPG are legendary. Some of them, like breeding Chocobos, could be called boring, but they were still memorable. More than that, the minigames in Final Fantasy VII stood out, whether it was the motorcycle chase, the snowboarding, or the battle in the submarine.
Chocobos is from Final Fantasy IX.
As memorable as it was to breed and race Chocobos, the big fluffy birds were used better in Final Fantasy IX. Final Fantasy VII had more minigames and quests, but Chocobo Hot and Cold in Final Fantasy IX were more in-depth. It lets Zidane get close to a bird and takes him, more or less, to Chocobo heaven. It was an adventure.
Final Fantasy VII: Characters to Remember
Fans might not love any other group of characters as much as the ones in Final Fantasy VII. Cloud is so well-known that he has become the face of the whole series. He is as much a part of Final Fantasy as Moogles and Chocobos. Cloud has made cameos in games outside of Square Enix’s control, like Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, and in games that are part of this series, like Final Fantasy Tactics.
Final Fantasy IX: Characters Get Clearer
Even though Cloud and the others are more well-known, the main characters and supporting characters in Final Fantasy IX have more depth. Because the game shows both sides of the story from different points of view, players get to understand Zidane, Steiner, Vivi, and the rest of the characters better. Romantic comedies are just extras that make the book even better.
Material System in Final Fantasy VII
You could say that the Materia system is just a copy of the Magicite system from Final Fantasy VI. This is partly true, but the Materia system gets better and more complicated. It was always fun to play around with the game by changing load-outs and combining magic to make powerful attacks that could end the game. If executed correctly, it could lead to the most potent spells and skills in any game in the series.
Combat System for Final Fantasy IX
Even though Materia is cool, this made Cloud and Tifa pretty much the same in battle. Even though Barret sometimes used long-range attacks and Limit Breaks could be used in different ways, most of the time, they were all the same. The Material is the most important part of fighting in Final Fantasy VII. In Final Fantasy IX, that’s not the case because each character can feel like a unique class, like the Job systems in the other games in the series.
Legacy of Final Fantasy VII
There’s no doubt that Final Fantasy VII is the most influential game ever made. It has been turned into books, movies, and spinoffs, and it just got a new version for the PlayStation 4. Final Fantasy IX hasn’t had much since its original release, except for a few re-releases and a remaster. Well, Japan did have this weird Coke commercial. At least, that’s something.
The Swan Song of Final Fantasy IX
Even though it doesn’t have as many songs as Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX is a good way to end the series. It was the last classic, fairytale-like game in the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy IX is a tribute to the first game in the series. In this way, too, it has a strong history. For now, at least. Maybe Final Fantasy XVI will give us a new way to reflect on the series.