Since 1987, the Final Fantasy franchise has delighted gamers around the globe. With a plethora of games and spin-offs released over the last 30 years, everyone is bound to have a favorite game in the franchise. Japanese gamers were recently polled about their favorite game in the franchise, and the number one pick will likely come as a big surprise to a lot of long-time fans. According to the poll, Final Fantasy X is the most beloved game in the region, edging out fan favorites Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy VI, which rounded out the rest of the top three.
Of course, Final Fantasy X's popularity is well-documented. The game released to rave reviews. Fans seemed to love the world inhabited by Tidus and Yuna so much that Square released a direct sequel just two years later, a first for the franchise.
While Final Fantasy VII might not have taken the top spot, Cloud Strife did take home the title of favorite Final Fantasy character. Since appearing in the game back in 1997, Cloud has become the closest thing the series has to a mascot (outside of Chocobos, at least). Cloud even represents the franchise in Nintendo's popular Super Smash Bros. series. Cloud's placement on the list was followed by the aforementioned Yuna at number two, while Cloud's doomed co-star Aerith took the number three spot.
The survey was conducted by Japan's national broadcasting organization, NHK. Notably, the survey included 30 games for voters to choose from, and 75 characters, in total. 468,654 people participated in the vote. Those 30 games included a number of spin-offs. While numbered franchise entries took the top 10 spots on the list, the first entry in the Final Fantasy Tactics spin-off series placed at number 11.
It would be interesting to see how similar polls would turn out in other regions. It seems likely Cloud would remain in the top spot on the character list in North America and Europe, but perhaps a different series entry would take home the top spot. It's hard to imagine any game other than Final Fantasy VII taking number one, but Final Fantasy VI has a large number of supporters. Square Enix should let the fans in other regions make their voices heard!
What's your favorite entry in the Final Fantasy franchise? Which character should have taken the top spot? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!