Games of the Year 2022: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin has a wild and non-descriptive name that you almost instantly forget as soon as you here it.  Which is kind of fitting for a series with spin offs that are extremely hit or miss.

This one is no exception.  In a lot of ways, this game is extremely rough around the edges.  So many things aren't up to modern standards including the graphics, voice acting, story, script, level design, and more.  But, despite all that, there's something here that hooked me and kept me playing until the end.

The core of what kept me interested was a combination of the story and the job system.  The story isn't well told but it does function as a true prequel to Final Fantasy I.  There are almost no spin-off games that tie directly into mainline games.  Because I'm so invested in the mainline Final Fantasy games, just knowing that this tied into the very first one of the series had me intrigued.

The other piece that held my interest in the moment to moment of gameplay was the job system.  This game has a ton of jobs and they all pull from series history.  At any point you can have two different jobs equipped and swap between them with a push of a button.  It encouraged me to change things up and experiment with different jobs while always working on leveling into new, more advanced, jobs as well.  It scratched the same kind of itch that  previous Final Fantasy job systems did.

With Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin being such a mixed bag, it ends up in the middle of the pack for me, slotting in right underneath Vampire Survivors and above Cyberpunk 2077.

  1. Elden Ring
  2. FFXIV Endwalker
  3. Citizen Sleeper
  4. The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe
  5. Horizon Forbidden West
  6. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
  7. Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition
  8. Halo Infinite
  9. Vampire Survivors
  10. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
  11. Cyberpunk 2077
  12. Triangle Strategy
  13. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  14. Nobody Saves the World
  15. Unpacking
  16. Total War: Warhammer 3
  17. Tunic
This feels like a very middle of the pack game and I expect it to stay fairly middle-ish as this list continues to build out in the back half of the year (we're almost half way through the year already!).


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