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My Top 1 Game of All Time

1. Final Fantasy X

Everybody has their own personal favorite games, but if you had to rank them, I’d imagine it would be rather challenging. Personally, I don’t think I would be able to do it. Lists are hard. However, I do know what game would proudly sit in the number one spot, letting all of my other games know who’s “da best”.  For me, Final Fantasy X towers above any other game. It’s been my number one game since I bought it and its position on my non-existent list hasn’t changed. I didn’t realize it until recently, but I even have a yearly tradition of playing through it. It is a tradition I intend on keeping alive.

Why do I love this game so much? A lot of it probably has to do with how blown away with it I was as a kid. I saw my friend’s brother playing it and thought, “yeah, that’s pretty cool looking.” When I got it for myself, it was indeed pretty cool looking. Seeing the first cutscene inside the Zanarkand Dome had me hooked instantly. I had never seen graphics that insane before! I was hooked, but I knew that good looks aren’t everything and it is what’s on the inside that counts. I’m pretty sure people are referring to games when they say stuff like that.

What reeled me into this game were the story and its characters. Every character has something different to contribute in terms of personality and skills. Even the NPCs you encounter throughout the game give Spira a depth that makes what you’re doing feel real and like it matters. For example, you get to decipher and learn the language of the Al Bhed as you play through the game. Bnaddy luum, rir? As the game progresses, you can feel yourself starting to become emotionally invested in what happens with the characters. You become a part of Yuna’s pilgrimage.  Sure, you may get tired of Tidus whining along the way, but I have to admit, he has a little reason to complain.  Plus, Auron being a complete bad ass kind of balances things out.

I love the story and it keeps me coming back, but it is helped immensely by the gameplay. There is so much to do and explore in Spira that it’s difficult to get to everything. Each time the game is played, it can be played a different way. One of the main ways to do this is through the sphere grid, which serves as the method of leveling your party.  Once you get to a certain point on the sphere grid, characters can be moved around. It’s fun to experiment and see what kind of stats and abilities work with different characters. You could move Yuna into Lulu’s sphere grid so she can basically dominate or you can move her into Auron’s sphere grid to gain some physical attack. Of course, some pairings make much more sense than others, but nobody can tell you how to play the game. All of the sidequests keep you busy as well. Between making sure you find all of the Jecht Spheres, finding items for ultimate weapons, collecting hidden Aeons (Anima is my favorite), and playing blitzball, a massive amount of hours are put into this game.

There’s so much I can say about this game, but there’s no way for me to do it justice by just writing about it. For me, Final Fantasy X is what a game should be. It blew me away as a kid and continues to do so every time I play it. Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s probably time for another runthrough. I’ll just play myself out with the beauty that is “To Zanarkand”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-0G_FI61a8&w=420&h=315]

-Nick Smith