In this history of gaming, few other developers have made a bigger impact across multiple genres as Square Enix. Whether it's from the publisher's roots as two separate developers — Square Soft and Enix — or the powerhouse it is today, this company is responsible for some of our favorite gaming memories.
While they're known for their JRPGs, Square Enix has a very rich and diverse library, and we want to highlight that today. While this will surely cause a stir, here are The 10 Best Video Games Made By Square Enix, Ranked. Both games developed and published by the company will be considered.
10 Final Fantasy: Tactics
When Square Enix makes a spin-off title, they go all-in. Case and point, Final Fantasy Tactics. Taking the turn-based nature of the classic Final Fantasy titles and tweaking it to fit the isometric strategy RPG genre, fans are treated to a title that gives them everything they want from the long-running franchise, while also breaking ground in a genre that's unfamiliar for the series.
Somehow, they made it all work. Developed by the same mind that brought us Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre, the strategy component is very present, making players think before every move. Compounded on top of that is the deep job system Final Fantasy is known for and players are given a title that they can tailor to their preference. It's a great blending of genres, and it's one of the best Final Fantasy experiences you can ask for.
9 Parasite Eve II
When we think of survival horror, Square Enix isn't really the first developer to come to mind. With that said, the Parasite Eve series sticks out like a sore thumb. Yet, even though the genre is relatively unfamiliar for the publisher, Square put its own spin on it by introducing many familiar RPG elements when the first title released.
Parasite Eve II took that idea but leaned heavier into the horror side. Ditching the Active Time Battle system implemented in the first game, Parasite Eve II feels a lot more like Resident Evil — but that's for the best.
That's because the story revolves around FBI agent Aya Brea, who's sent to investigate a monster outbreak in a city. The story lends itself better to real-time controls and that classic Survival Horror scheme that restricts movement makes the game that much more intense.
8 The World Ends With You
The World Ends With You is one of the most unique RPGs ever made. The game tells the story of Neku Sakuraba, a teenager who finds himself in the middle of the Shibuya district in Tokyo Japan. Upon learning he's part of a life or death game, it's up to him to save himself, his friends, and ultimately the world.
Originally released on the Nintendo DS, this Square Enix title oozes personality from its more animated art style and soundtrack, to its battle system that blends traditional JRPG elements with rhythm genre sequences. It's really one of the best titles you can find for the DS, but its availability on both iOS and Switch makes it more accessible than ever.
7 Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of the Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
OK, choosing the best Dragon Quest game isn't easy, and you could swap this title out with any number of games created by Enix. However, it's hard to make an argument against Echoes of the Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, which really feels like the best possible version of the title from a content perspective.
The plot follows the reincarnated Luminary, a hero prophesized to fight back an unknown evil. While that's not really groundbreaking, it's enough to keep you playing. What makes the Definitive Edition on the Switch so great is the amount of content. Not only is there the massive story campaign, but there are also multiple beasts to ride, and a 16-bit version to play through as well.
6 Rise Of The Tomb Raider
With Crystal Dynamics at the helm, the Tomb Raider franchise has never been better. Rise of The Tomb Raider is the perfect example of how great the franchise can be.
Following the iconic Lara Croft, as she ventures to Siberia in search of treasure and probably tombs to raid, Rise of The Tomb Raider is an action-packed title that moves at a breakneck pace, barely allowing players to catch their breath as they move from sequence to sequence. Yet, even the slower parts of the game that require more stealth and precision are incredibly well-made. This is a master-class in game design.
5 NieR: Automata
Sometimes, video games are better the weirder they're allowed to be, and NieR: Automata serves as the perfect example of this. Telling a tale from the perspective of three androids — 2B, 9S, and A2— who are caught in the middle of a machine war, players are treated to a complex and thoughtful plot that takes them across a lush-open world.
To complement the story is equally entertaining gameplay that takes bits from the bullet hell, action-adventure, and RPG genres and blends them seamlessly in one of the most varied experiences we've ever played. This is easily one of the best games from the PlayStation 4/Xbox One genre and needs to be played by everyone.
4 Kingdom Hearts
After following the love of his life into an abyss, Sora found himself in a strange land with Goofy and Donald Duck. With an unrivaled musical score, breathtaking visuals, and combat that, at the time, was pretty top-notch, Kingdom Hearts is a celebration of why we love video games.
Explaining the plot to Kingdom Hearts may be a headache these days, but when Square Enix first announced they were going to combine the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy in a way that doesn't make much sense, we were excited.
3 Super Mario RPG
There was a time when Mario took part in every conceivable gaming genre except one: The turn-based RPG. So when the time came to finally do something about that, Nintendo turned to the best studio in the business — Squaresoft. With revolutionary — for the time — graphics and an intuitive battle system that blends active commands with that traditional turn-based style we're used to, it's one of the best RPGs on the SNES.
Mix that with a pretty great story, and you have an experience that's unique, original, and full of personality.
2 Final Fantasy VI (Or III in North America)
There's really nothing better than a 16-bit Square Enix RPG from the 1990s, and Final Fantasy VI is a prime example. With a massive cast of memorable playable characters, some seriously forward-thinking segments, branching storylines, and the fantastic ATB battle system, this entry in the series has it all.
Mix that with that classic 16-bit art direction that emphasizes steam-punk aesthetics and a fantastic musical score, and you have yourself the best game in the series, and a master-class in JRPG game design.
1 Chrono Trigger
As if any other game could be considered Square Enix's best. Yet, it's not just the best game by this developer/publisher, it's arguably the best JRPG ever made — and it's not hard to see why. Developed by a super team of game makers, including the artist behind Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest, Square went all out with Chrono Trigger.
With a unique plot focused on time travel, there's a strong emphasis on character development, and the sidequests are almost as captivating as the main plot! Mix in a timeless ATB system, and you have the most complete classic RPG. Chrono Trigger is the culmination of everything we love about RPGs and Square Enix.