Final Fantasy X is my favorite game in the franchise and has been for years. The first Final Fantasy game to have full voice acting, it was able to immerse players in another new way–with three-dimensional areas to explore instead of simple pre-rendered backgrounds. Considered by many to be one of the greatest video games in history, Final Fantasy X gave us a glimpse of what games would start to look like in the new millennium.
Though there is no shortage of memes relating to the voiceover work, Final Fantasy X continues to delight fans nearly two decades later, with the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster being released across basically every possible platform over the last few years. Such an important game could never be left in the dust, and if you haven’t had the pleasure, now’s the time to live a bit of gaming history.
So what can you expect when jumping into Final Fantasy X? Here’s a primer to help you appreciate Tidus and Yuna’s journey a little more.
The Quest to Stop a Beast Created by our Own Wickedness
Tidus, a popular blitzball star in his hometown of Zanarkand, has made quite the name for himself as a sports hero. Badgered for autographs and late for a game, he rushes through a crowd of fans for the stadium–only to have strange beasts attack and to be sucked into a vortex in the sky.
After awakening in an unfamiliar place, Tidus is rescued and told that Zanarkand was destroyed nearly 1,000 years ago. Unsure how to get back home, and even more unsure of those around him, Tidus soon learns that a great beast called Sin is terrorizing the lands of Spira and that this Sin is known by the locals as the result of their own hubris.
The only one who will be able to stop Sin is Yuna, a young summoner whom Tidus befriends and later grows to love. Joining her and her guardians on the journey to the ancient ruins of Zanarkand, Tidus searches for a way home and soon realizes that things are more complicated than they seem. Defeating Sin may cost more than he is ready to pay.
The story of Final Fantasy X, like most games in the franchise, is deep, complex, and winding, and above all meant to be experienced for yourself. If you’ve gone 20 years without spoilers, I congratulate you and urge you to enjoy every twist and turn on your own terms.
The Distinctive Characters of Final Fantasy X
- Tidus – The main male character of Final Fantasy X, Tidus is sent to the strange land of Spira after the sudden destruction of Zanarkand, his hometown. Completely lost in a strange land, he becomes one of Yuna’s guardians on her quest to defeat Sin, also searching for a way home along the way.
- Yuna – The main female character, Yuna is a young summoner from the island of Besaid on a pilgrimage to defeat Sin. The daughter of the last High Summoner, Lord Braska, she has the ability to call forth incredibly powerful Aeons to fight on her behalf and also has the power of healing.
- Wakka – One of Yuna’s oldest friends, Wakka is the captain of the Besaid Aurochs blitzball team–one of the worst in the league. Deciding to hang up his uniform for good to become a guardian, he also becomes one of Tidus’s first friends in Spira.
- Lulu – Another of Yuna’s childhood friends, Lulu is a black mage and another of her guardians. She has accompanied other summoners in the past and is very educated in the world of Spira and its people.
- Kimahri Ronso – Perhaps the quietest of the guardians, Kimahri is a Ronso and the only non-human character in Yuna’s inner circle. Covered in blue fur and looking very much like a lion on two legs, he has protected Yuna since she was a child, and is still fiercely protective.
- Rikku – Sassy and opinionated, Rikku is the first person Tidus meets in Spira. She is very comfortable around machines, and while her beliefs and goals may differ from the rest of the guardians, she wants nothing more than to keep Yuna safe. She also loves grenades.
- Auron – One of Lord Braska’s guardians ten years ago, Auron is a man shrouded in mystery. Present when Zanarkand was destroyed and Tidus was sent to Spira, he watches over the party, and doesn’t offer much personal information.
- Seymour Guado – A major antagonist in Final Fantasy X, Seymour is half-human and half-Guado, a somewhat elven race that lives among the trees. Holding a high religious position, Seymour has influence throughout the world of Spira and is aiming things towards a very dangerous end.
Like Every Other Final Fantasy Game, X Has an Incredible OST
Final Fantasy X wasn’t cheap. Adjusting for inflation, it cost nearly $50 million to create, as the jump from 2D to 3D required a team of over 100 people. Eager to try new things, the game was also the first in the franchise to not be completely scored by legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu.
Joining Uematsu on the classic OST was Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu, chosen due to their vastly different musical style. While they each brought something completely new to the table, the three were able to mix their unique sound together, creating many of the series’ most beloved tracks.
The vocal theme of the game, Suteki da ne, has a J-pop vibe, while the opening Otherworld is classic hard metal. To Zanarkand is a delicate classical piece, while the recurring track Hymn of the Fayth sounds like a gentle gospel song. You’d think these would clash, but they work together in a way that only a Final Fantasy soundtrack can.
Hamauzu went on to act as the sole composer for Final Fantasy XIII and contributed new arrangements to the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster along with Nakano. He also composed for 2020’s mega-hit Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Final Fantasy X was the First Game in the Franchise to Get an Actual Sequel
Fans of Final Fantasy know that while there seems to be a vast neverending story happening, each game actually stands on its own. Final Fantasy X changed this when a direct sequel was released in 2003.
Final Fantasy X-2 follows Yuna two years after the events of X, on her quest to find Tidus and reunite Spira after it is torn apart by various factions. While the gameplay is somewhat similar, it added new additions, including the ability to change classes at will, while also changing outfits. Yes, X-2 is all about girl power.
X-2 brings back plenty of familiar characters, and while it is often the butt of jokes, it’s enormously fun and worth a playthrough, if only to experience what may be the strangest game in the series.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is the perfect way to experience both games with updated graphics, new content for the west, and a revised soundtrack.
The Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Brings the Classic to Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC
As with most other Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy X has been released on plenty of modern systems, making it easy to pick up wherever you’d like to play.
Also, the Final Fantasy X soundtrack is available to stream on Spotify, along with every other Final Fantasy OST.