Without a shadow of a doubt, Final Fantasy VI was the most ambitious game to be developed for the Super Nintendo. The only games to come close might be Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG—two more Squaresoft masterpieces. But there is no one thing that makes FFVI such a grand work; it is a collaboration of all its elements, jam-packing a well thought-out plot, an unforgettable cast of characters, and a dynamic, moving soundtrack all into one humble cartridge.
Square had exploded in popularity by this time thanks to their success with the Final Fantasy series and other budding projects, and the company had grown accordingly. The development for FFVI made use of an expanded team due to Hironobu Sakaguchi working on other titles simultaneously and being unable to direct. The results are visually and aurally spectacular, and the proof is in the pudding: this installment is unanimously popular with fans of the series, and considered a must play for any narrative-loving gamer.
Game six boasts the largest cast of playable characters in a main series game to date. What is amazing is that each one—save, perhaps the 3 optional characters—has his or her own intricate backstory that can be further investigated through optional quests and scenes throughout the game that also advance the overarching plot. We are also treated to a well refined magic system that takes all of the most effective ideas of the previous 5 titles and combines them into a fresh new presentation that is not only extremely deep and opens a large window for strategy, but is also plot-driven by the events relating to the Espers. The world was also introduced to one of the most sinister, hilarious, and memorable villains in gaming history: Kefka.
The bar had been raised even higher this time. Final Fantasy VI is a sprawling, praiseworthy epic.