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Final Fantasy Tactics

aka: FFT, Final Fantasy Tactics: Shishi Sensō, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
PlayStation Specs [ all ]

Description official descriptions

Final Fantasy Tactics was a big move for the whole Final Fantasy franchise into different fields. Tactics combines traditional elements of the Final Fantasy series with a completely different game mechanics and battle system. It was the 1st game during the Final Fantasy 32-bit era using a 3D, isometric, rotatable playing field, with bitmap sprite characters and a turn based strategy system.

In the game you build up a team by recruiting many available characters you meet during your travels and stocking up plenty of items, to defeat various enemies waiting on your path. The game features a very complex character class(job) system where each character begins his way with a job such as Squire or Chemist. Successfully participating in battles, characters can later select one of more advanced jobs, with a total of 19 to choose from. In addition there are certain monsters and computer controlled "guests" with their own jobs and special abilities available to learn. In total, over 400 abilities are available which leads to nearly endless combinations.

The PSP version of the game mostly reiterates the original for the PSOne. Visual presentation is almost a 1:1 copy, looking like the old version with a zoomed-in camera to make it fit the PSP screen. Port developer Tose added cel-shaded introduction movies and numerous animation sequences played after each chapter ends. Some maps were completely remade as well, but you still cannot skip event scenes.

Also the PSP version features two new playable characters: Balthier, from Final Fantasy XII and Luso from Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Two new job classes have been added - the completely new Onion Knight and the Dark Knight class which was available on the PSOne only after using a cheat code. There are two wireless multiplayer options available once you've reached the world map (just go into a bar in any town). One is Coliseum (Versus Battle Mode), the second is Cooperative Challenge (team mission).


  • ファイナルファンタジータクティクス 獅子戦争 - Japanese PSP spelling

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Credits (PlayStation version)

100 People (95 developers, 5 thanks) · View all



Average score: 87% (based on 62 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 106 ratings with 5 reviews)

Impressive Strategy-Rpg Hybrid

The Good
Well-thought battle system and nuanced characters personality. The game's job system allows for a wide array of characters' advancement options which are mostly cool and fun to play. Fascinating plot that slowly unravels through many twists. Nicely drawn Super-Deformed graphics.

The Bad
Long, tedious, sometimes stilted and badly translated dialogue that really drag down the atmosphere and very interesting plot. Cryptic characters' "levelling" system and skills selection make for a steep learning curve, some of the skills are crap and some classes feel overpowered. The battles can sometime last very long and be very difficult, this leads to repeating key battles and backtracking a lot. Repetitive music score.

The Bottom Line
Addictive Strategy-Rpg Hybrid, hard to master but even harder to put down.

PlayStation · by Paolo Cumin (11) · 2005

Not perfect, but certainly a very fun game to play

The Good
Squaresoft is usually criticized for making their recent games very flashy, filled with fancy graphics and big movies, but lacking in gameplay. Tactics is a step away from that direction, with real solid gameplay and hours of fun, without the flash. Square has also succeeded in combining two genres -- roleplaying and strategy -- with good results. Getting into random battles and levelling up are important aspects of the game, but at the same time shear strength won't let you win all your battles; you need to really strategize and think about every move. I like that.

In a way, Tactics is like chess. And because of that, there are an infinite number of ways a battle can be fought. There is no secret or trick to beating any of the fights -- each time you battle, things are different. This makes replay value very high. It also breaks up the monotony of random battles. Each player, through their job, acts differently -- just like chess pieces. Some stand still and shoot at faraway targets, while others run around hacking with their swords or healing their comrades with magic. Using the job system to customize characters is quite rewarding, and gives you different people with different skills and abilities. It adds great depth to the game and, once again, ensures that no two battles are alike.

The graphics are quite aesthetically pleasing. You can visit grand castles, dense forests, dark caves, and other areas in full 3D. The terrain also affects battles, so fighting in a swamp presents different challenges than fighting in a village. This adds great depth to the game.

So, to sum everything up, I like the shear depth of the game, the innovation, and the high level of "fun-ness." Tactics is just a game that I keep going back to play, even when it beats me to the ground. It's fun. Really fun.

The Bad
Well, firstly, the graphics and sound in Tactics are pretty simple, almost a bit retro. I got used to them quickly, but they aren't exactly on par with other Final Fantasy titles, or many other PSX games for that matter. Don't expect many FMVs or orchestrated music tracks, because they don't exist. Even with the simple media, though, load times are occasionally long, which can get annoying.

The storyline is filled with as many cliches as possible, and can be quite confusing at times. Playing the game over again clears up the plot a bit, but it's still very cliche, and unoriginal. Dialogue sequences appear right in the middle of battles sometimes, and drudging through them can be rather boring if it's the fifth time you're fighting a particular battle, so you've read the dialogue four times already, and you don't feel like reading through it yet again. Which brings me to another point -- difficulty. Tactics is very difficult, oftentimes needlessly so. Beating a battle on your first try is pretty rare, and once I've been killed by Gafgarion or Wiegraf or some other shmuck eight times already, I really don't feel like going at him again. It certainly gets annoying. The difficulty level is enhanced by the fact that you're usually very outnumbered in every battle you face. It's often "four of you versus six of them" or "five of you versus nine of them." With the turn-based battles, this means that the enemy gets many more turns than you, and can crush you like a fly with shear numbers.

The job system is a good idea, but navigating through it can be difficult, confusing, and annoying. It's very hard to make a character with a broad array of abilities, because they can only use two job skills at a time, and have a very limited number of other slots to use the abilities they learned from their jobs. There is also a slight lack of balance. Magic users are useful, but are very easy to kill, so they often fall in battle before they become useful. The slow speed at which spells are cast also greatly hampers their use, and makes them even more prone to serious injury or death. I often find myself only putting knights and archers and such into battle, because other classes die so easily it's just not worth it.

To sum things up, there aren't really any major gameplay flaws, just lots of little things that really get annoying, and often frustrate me.

The Bottom Line
Hmmm, my 'con' review is longer than my 'pro' review. Don't let that fool you, though. I love Final Fantasy Tactics. It can be annoying and frustrating, but for some reason I always go back to it, to play it again. In some ways the difficulty actually enhances the gameplay, making me really want to beat that unbeatable battle.

Here's a three-word description: "frustrating but fun." If you can't handle frustration, don't go for Tactics. If you can handle being annoyed and frustrated to no end, you might be a candidate to play one of the coolest games ever made.

Final Fantasy Tactics is part of the 'Playstation Greatest Hits' collection, and with good cause. It combines innovative strategic gameplay with solid roleplaying goodness, providing countless hours of fun. That's the key word here: 'fun'. I often find myself wondering why I enjoy it, why I payed 25 hard-earned dollars for it. After all, my negative review really is longer than the positive review (above). Then I sit down, turn my Playstation on, and all doubt is erased from my mind.

PlayStation · by Alkhanzel (3) · 2001

The love child of Final Fantasy and Shakespear's Macbeth

The Good
The storyline is original and full of surprises, if you feel like following it. Aside from that, all players will enjoy the ability to fully customize their party, unlike in other console strategy games like the Shining Force series. There is no shortage of sidequests, which is always an asset. In fact, about half the game can be played in sidequests, such as the recruitment of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII and the exploration of the Deep Dungeon.

The Bad
Well, it doesn't look like anybody put much time into the translation. It's not as bad as that famous "all your base are belong to us" but some phrases don't exactly flow together and there are inconsistencies such names being spelled differently throughout the game and names of skills being different in various instances. Also, the final boss is WAY too easy. the hardest battle takes place about halfway through the game.

The Bottom Line
If you like RPGs, you'll like this game. If you like strategy, you'll like this game. If you like video games and Shakespear, you'll like this game. Not a perfect gem of a game, but certainly one to add to the collection.

PlayStation · by Sam Tinianow (113) · 2001

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Final Fantasy Tactics appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


None of the characters in the game have noses. Not even the main characters or the guest appearance from Cloud.


Cloud Strife and Aeris Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII make cameos in Final Fantasy Tactics. Cloud is a playable character; Aeris is a flowerseller in Zarghidas Trade City.


The game was re-released as part of the Playstation "Greatest Hits" collection. Unfortunately, the first batch of CDs for the re-release were defective and would not work on the Playstation. Oddly enough, they worked fine on Playstation emulators for the PC, such as Bleem or Virtual Game Station.

Save games

The game counter for number of hours played on a saved game does not display above 99:59:59 (1 second away from 100 hours).


For some unknown reason, perhaps an error in translation, the Glacier Gun shoots Fire spells while the Blaze Gun shoots Ice spells.

Tactics Ogre (Spoiler!)

This game actually bears striking similarities to Tactics Ogre, another tactical RPG that was released for the Super Famicom (the Japanese equivalent of the Super Nintendo) two years before Final Fantasy Tactics was made. This is not surprising, as many members of the Tactics Ogre staff were also programmers of Final Fantasy Tactics.

Both games have a similar menu layout, consist of four chapters, and feature "Zodiac Stones" as a prominent part of their storyline. There's also quite a bit of similarity between the game's main characters, as Ramza, Delita, and Alma are more or less mirrored in personality and role as their Tactics Ogre counterparts. To top it off, in both games the final battle features the resurrection of a long-dead legendary hero (often mentioned in the course of the game) who turns out to actually be a demonic jerk.


  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #45 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #2 Handheld Game of the Year
    • 2007 – PSP Game of the Year
    • 2007 – PSP Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2007 – PSP Turn-Based Strategy Game of the Year

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, atadota and WildKard

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Related Sites +

  • FF-Fan
    A fansite that offers all kinds of information on the entire Final Fantasy franchise, including walkthroughs, game media, discussion boards and fan art.
  • Final Fantasy Hacktics
    A modding community for the game, providing downloads of patches, tools and other resources (English)
  • Final Fantasy Online Strategy Guides
    Tips, tricks, walkthroughs, and just really useful information for Final Fantasy VII.
  • Wikipedia: Final Fantasy Tactics
    Information about Final Fantasy Tactics at Wikipedia

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 4522


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

iPad, PS Vita added by Fred VT. PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0. Android added by GTramp. iPhone added by CrankyStorming. PSP added by Stratege.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Shoddyan, SAGA_, DreinIX, —-, Trypticon, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added July 15th, 2001. Last modified June 16th, 2023.