Final Fantasy XVI arrives in stores this week, bearing a title that might lead you to conclude “Damn, that’s a lot of Final Fantasys.” But you don’t know the half of it, swear-prone reader—and we mean that literally. After all, the main-line numbered entries in Square-Enix’s long-running role-playing game franchise account for less than half of the games to bear the Final Fantasy name, which, as one of the planet’s most prolific gaming series, has lent its wildly inaccurate moniker to action games, card games, rhythm games, racing games, and more.
But while only 16 of those games have had the honor of calling themselves “main” Final Fantasys, that’s no reason to leave those other weirdos huddled and numberless out in the cold. And so we’ve deigned to toss them some numbers ourselves, in the form of ranking the 10 best non-numbered games in the Final Fantasy series.
For the purposes of consolidation, we’ve made a couple of necessary cuts here—most notably, by eliminating any game that bear a direct, sequel-style relationship to one of those aforementioned number-games. (Which means we have to bid adieu to fascinating oddball Lightning Returns, all of the various Final Fantasy VII spin-offs, and, most tragically, the Final Fantasy XV VR fishing game.) We’ve also skipped out on any of the games that had their origins on smartphones, including FF: Record Breaker and free-to-play hit Mobius Final Fantasy. That still leaves us with a hefty catalogue of side-path games to rank and explore, though, each one making the series’ title a little more unbelievable than the last. And so, without further ado: Let’s get to applying a little numerical rigor to these numberless orphans.