No, Most 'Final Fantasy' Games Aren’t Connected — What to Know Before Starting 'Final Fantasy XVI'

They might share a similar name, but not all the 'Final Fantasy' games are connected to each other. Here's what you need to know.

Jon Bitner - Author

Jun. 15 2023, Published 3:54 p.m. ET

Clive from Final Fantasy XVI standing in front of a stylized background.
Source: Square Enix

If you’re thinking about picking up Final Fantasy XVI on June 22, you might be wondering if the Final Fantasy games are connected. Square Enix has been launching new games in the series regularly for more than three decades — and there’s a lot of history behind the iconic franchise.

But are all the Final Fantasy games connected, and should you play another one before starting Final Fantasy XVI? Here’s everything you need to know.

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Clive attacking an enemy in Final Fantasy XVI.
Source: Square Enix

Are the 'Final Fantasy' games connected?

For the most part, the Final Fantasy games are not connected to each other. You can go from playing Final Fantasy X to playing Final Fantasy XVI without missing a beat. Very few characters, locations, or concepts carry from one title to the next, and most titles can be fully enjoyed as standalone experiences.

That’s probably for the best, too, as there are over a dozen Final Fantasy games available. And if you want to play through them all, you’re looking at well over 200 hours of game time.

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As for Final Fantasy XVI, the game isn’t designed to build off any past entries. That means you can dive into the adventure on June 22 without any prior knowledge of the Final Fantasy series.

Fans had been speculating for a while that Valisthea from FFXVI was connected to Eorzea from FFXIV — but producer Naoki Yoshida has since clarified that the two are not related in any way.

Final Fantasy XVI will follow Clive Rosfield, a character that’s brand new to the series. The world of Valisthea is also new to the series — although some of its inhabitants, such as Ifrit and Shiva, have previously appeared in other titles. However, their role this time is slightly different from how they’ve been portrayed in the past, and you won’t be missing any plot points if you don’t understand their history.

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Everything you need to know about Final Fantasy XVI will be explained in-game, and it won’t expect you to know anything about the franchise before diving into the fast-paced action.

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Which 'Final Fantasy' games are connected?

While the vast majority of Final Fantasy games are not connected to each other, a handful of titles are. This includes Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, with the latter continuing the journey of the former and bringing dozens of familiar faces back into the action.

A battle scene from Final Fantasy X.
Source: Square Enix
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There are also loose references to similar names, locations, and concepts across the series, with the aforementioned Shiva and Ifrit appearing in multiple titles (in a variety of capacities), Garland appearing in both Final Fantasy and Stranger of Paradise, and there are plenty of fan theories that try to further connect these universes.

But for the most part, you can jump into any Final Fantasy game and be perfectly caught up with all the action. Final Fantasy XVI is a great point to jump into the series, as it’s the first “fully-fledge action-RPG in the mainline Final Fantasy series.”

Final Fantasy XVI will launch as a PS5 exclusive on June 22.

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