To those unfamiliar with the history of video game developer Square (now merged with former rival Enix and renamed Square Enix), the title of the prolific Final Fantasy series must seem pretty ironic. After all, the franchise’s Roman numeral-numbered sequels now go all the way up to XV, and by the time you add in the sequel’s sequels, like the recently rereleased Final Fantasy X-2, and spinoffs like Final Fantasy Tactics (which of course has a sequel of its own, too), there doesn’t seem to be anything “final” about the series at all.
Some gamers will be quick to point out, though, that had the original Final Fantasy not been a hit, Square wouldn’t have had the financial resources to keep going and would have had to shut its doors, and the title is a nod to that desperation. Others will correct them, saying that in fact the “Final” portion of the title was chosen because Hironobu Sakaguchi, the driving force behind the creation of the series and its most popular installments, was going to quit the gaming industry if the first Final Fantasy wasn’t a success.
But as Sakaguchi himself recently revealed, neither of those was really the reason Square decided to call what would go on to be its defining game series Final Fantasy.