In the wake of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, in all its fanfare, it feels like an auspicious time to look back on the long, winding road that got us to this point. Final Fantasy is a series that evokes wildly complicated feelings. Deep nostalgia, and a love for the clever mechanics and grand, operatic stories draw generations of fans to the series, but the series has grown, to a certain extent, into a bloated parody of itself. Micro-management, linearity, atrocious character design, and incomprehensible motivation have become some of the series hallmarks. Final Fantasy XV seems to acknowledge and seek a departure from the sins of the past, breaking with the turn based gameplay of previous titles. However, it’s worth seeing what brought us to this point. Reader be warned, this retrospective will be spoiler heavy.