The name Hironobu Sakaguchi may not be as recognizable as some of the other influential Japanese game developers who have helped shape the industry. His greatest work, however, is celebrated worldwide as one of the greatest JRPG series to ever grace the world of gaming. Now, after a career that has spanned five different decades, the man responsible for the creation of Final Fantasy has revealed that his current project may well be his last. If so, Fantasian will serve as the final footnote on what is arguably one of the most impressive resumes in gaming.
In a recent interview with VGC, Sakaguchi revealed that he'd been thinking about stepping away from full time game development since work on Fantasian first began. The 58 year old didn't rule out the possibility of overseeing future projects at his Mistwalker studio, although he would likely do so in more of an advisory capacity than anything else. Before making a final decision though, he plans to take a much needed vacation once work on the current game has finally been completed.
Sakaguchi has been working almost none stop since he first broke into the industry in 1984. He's had a hand in the creation of 66 games since then, including big hits like Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG and Parasite Eve. His crowning achievement, however, is undoubtedly Final Fantasy, with Sakaguchi not only coming up with the idea for the series, but also directing its first five entries himself. If Fantasian does prove to be his last game, it will have to be quite something to even come close to rivaling Sakaguchi's past work.
Interestingly, the veteran developer is not the only person thinking about stepping back from the industry following Fantasian's release. His comments come just mere weeks after legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu revealed that the game's soundtrack could end up being his last. Like Sakaguchi, Uematsu found fame as a result of his excellent work on the Final Fantasy series and has gone on to compose many of the most beloved Final Fantasy soundtracks.
While no less disappointing, Uematsu's retirement announcement perhaps comes as less of a surprise due both to his age and his past health concerns. The 62 year old took time off in 2018 to focus on his health, although returned shortly after to complete work on the soundtrack for Final Fantasy VII Remake. What exactly his comments mean for future parts of the project remains to be seen, but, given his strong ties to the series, it would be a little surprising if Uematsu is not involved in some capacity.
To the casual gamer, Japanese RPGs are usually synonymous with Pokemon or Final Fantasy. But the genre offers up much more than ball-dwelling monsters, and blonde spiky-haired swordsmen. With Final Fantasy XV set to rejuvenate everyone's interest in JRPGs on September 30, gamers will have a few months to brush up on their JRPG chops before Noctis and his entourage take over.
That's where we come in. From the classic SNES era to the recent gaming generations, here are what we consider to be 10 of the greatest JRPG's ever created.
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