- Final Fantasy intros captivate with visual spectacle and action-packed setpieces, enticing players to dive into the game.
- Each intro cinematic in the series has its own style, intrigue, and mystery, that makes them iconic among the fanbase.
- From breathtaking visuals in Final Fantasy 13 to the emotional tone in Final Fantasy 10, each intro leaves a lasting impact.
While there are many games that will feature an intro cinematic to introduce players to the world and characters, not many can make them quite as captivating and memorable as the Final Fantasy series. Although they are usually fairly short, Square Enix still pours a tremendous amount of love and care into these FMV cinematics, dazzling players with their visual spectacle and action-packed setpieces to prepare fans for what they’re about to jump into once they press start.
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Nearly every single mainline Final Fantasy game has its own intro movie that will play before the start screen appears, or if the player remains idle for too long, and while they’re all unique in their own ways, there are some that have become iconic among the fanbase. With that being said, these are the Final Fantasy intros that do the best job at encouraging players to jump into the experience thanks to their style, intrigue, and mystery.
7 Final Fantasy 13
From A Visual Standpoint, Final Fantasy 13’s Intro Movie Is Absolutely Breathtaking
Final Fantasy 13
- March 9, 2010
- Square Enix
By the time that Final Fantasy 13 was released in 2010, Square Enix’s FMV cutscenes had received a massive upgrade and almost looked like they were ripped straight out of a Pixar movie, and they certainly weren’t shy about showing this off in the game’s intro. The entire sequence is a mash-up of several in-game FMVs that showcase each of the characters duking it out against Sanctum soldiers, with a few more somber scenes scattered throughout as well.
There are a few stunning shots of both Cocoon and Pulse which showcase just how vastly different they are when side by side, along with some subtle world-building in the form of the Fal’Cie and Eidolons who are showcased. It can seem a little jarring at times considering how random a lot of the scenes are, but the visual spectacle of this intro alone makes it quite a memorable one for a lot of fans.
6 Final Fantasy 2
This Eerie Cinematic Lets Players Know How Dark And Gruesome The World Of Final Fantasy 2 Really Is
Final Fantasy 2
- December 17, 1988
The intro cinematic to Final Fantasy 2 is dark, gloomy, and extremely violent, which perfectly encapsulates the tone of the game while also adding a lot of intrigue as to how exactly the world and its characters ended up like this in the first place. The intro starts off centering on Emperor Palamecia, the primary antagonist of the game, who can be seen admiring a blue flame that he’s conjured up in his palm.
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After the flame turns bright red, the camera switches to a scene of the main trio evacuating their village as it burns to the ground around them. It even shows an intense moment where the heroes are being approached by a group of knights marching towards them through a whirlwind of flames, which is an incredibly creepy image. It might be on the shorter side, but this introduction scene still makes one hell of a statement, letting the player know that the world they’re about to explore is a very dangerous and unforgiving one, while also granting a glimpse into the maniacal main antagonist himself.
5 Final Fantasy 6
Every Character Gets A Moment To Shine In The Stunning Final Fantasy 6 Intro
Final Fantasy 6
- October 11, 1994
- Square Enix , Square
Final Fantasy 6’s intro does an excellent job of giving each of the main cast a chance to shine without actually spelling too much about the story or the premise. While the majority of the sequence focuses on Terra as she enters the Magitek Armor Hanger at the beginning of the game, there are quick flashes of some of her future companions, including Edgar, Locke, and Shadow, who are all staring out at the sky as they dream about a better future.
The shots of the Magitek armor hanger look absolutely astonishing thanks to the sheer amount of detail on display, letting players know right off the bat how industrial the setting of this game is going to be, and also how advanced the Empire actually is compared to the rest of the world. There’s even a very small scene of Kefka who can be seen donning a devilish smile as he watches Terra, Biggs, and Wedge gearing up in their Magitek Armor, kicking off the beginning of the game.
4 Final Fantasy 9
Square Enix Used Clever Camera Techniques To Instantly Grab The Player’s Attention With This Epic Cinematic
Final Fantasy 9
- July 7, 2000
For the Final Fantasy 9 intro FMV, Square Enix decided to focus on creating parallels through the cinematography, which ended up making the whole sequence very eye-catching and engaging from beginning to end. The beginning of the sequence shows a small and ragged boat that is being tossed around in the sea, but the camera then immediately switches to Princess Garnet who can be seen sitting quietly in her room before pushing open the window, with the camera then zooming out to showcase the world of Gaia in all its beauty.
The intro ends with an absolutely stunning shot of a gigantic ship which Zidane is riding on to make his way to the princess before cutting to the plucky young adventurer opening the doors, ready to start his adventure. There’s so much world-building that is achieved through this single cinematic alone, and the juxtaposition between the different shots is a clever way to get players interested in the characters and their plight right from the beginning.
3 Final Fantasy 10
The Somber And Melancholy Tone Of The Final Fantasy 10 Intro Makes It Very Unique And Memorable
Final Fantasy 10
- December 17, 2001
Despite it being a lot more subdued and basic, the intro to Final Fantasy 10 still manages to be incredibly emotional thanks to the amazing score by Nobuo Uematsu and the visual storytelling that takes place throughout. The scene opens by focusing on a collection of the party’s weapons all being huddled together, before showing each of the characters themselves sitting around, with uncertainty and despair written across their faces.
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As Tidus places his hand on Yuna’s shoulder to reassure her, he gazes over at a destroyed Zanarkand before speaking to the viewer directly by asking them to “Listen to my story”. Despite having barely any dialogue and no action to speak of, it’s hard to deny just how impactful the general tone and atmosphere of this sequence is, especially with Uematsu’s gentle melody playing in the background. It shows just enough to give players a taste of what they can come to expect but never goes as far as to spoil any major events, providing an excellent hook that packs quite the emotional punch, especially when seeing it again after completing the game.
2 Final Fantasy 7
This Visually Stunning Cutscene Made Midgar Feel Alive And Believable As An Area
Final Fantasy 7
- January 31, 1997
No longtime Final Fantasy fan can ever forget the first time they saw the camera pan out to show the entirety of Midgar during Final Fantasy 7’s intro cinematic. Although the intro does initially focus on Aerith, the camera slowly begins to move upwards as it showcases the entire city, which is packed full of people, shops, and landmarks. Because the camera never cuts during this sequence, it goes a long way in making Midgar feel believable and alive as an area, and it’s really all that is needed to get players interested.
As the camera then starts to pan down to the train station, there are a few very hard cuts of a train charging across the rails at a blistering speed, granting a sense of urgency and intensity to the sequence which perfectly sets up the beginning of the game with Cloud and Barret. This intro sequence was clearly Square Enix showcasing just how far the series had come from a technical standpoint, but it still stands as one of the most memorable openings of any video game to this day.
1 Final Fantasy 8
The Intro To Final Fantasy 8 Manages To Perfectly Blend Romance And Action Into One Epic FMV
Final Fantasy 8
- February 11, 1999
It seems virtually impossible that anyone could watch the intro to Final Fantasy 8 and not want to jump straight into the game as soon as it’s over. There’s so much to love about this intro, especially the intense duel between Squall and Seifer which gives players a good idea of who Squall is as the protagonist and the passionate rivalry that he’s a part of. At certain points throughout the fight though, the camera will fade into scenes of other characters, primarily Rinoa, who can be seen staring out at the sea while “Waiting” for someone to find her.
Although the intro mixes the romantic storyline with a thrilling action set piece, the two never feel incompatible or jarring when put up against one another, and a big reason why is because of the epic orchestra that bellows out in the background that helps to gel everything together. It’s an iconic intro that just never seems to get old, and the final shot of Rinoa falling into Squall’s arms is one of the most recognizable images of the entire series.
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