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Change YoY: =    My Rating: 9.4 / 10

Final Fantasy VIII is probably the most divisive main entry in the whole series. While every game in it has both its fans and detractors, there's usually at least some level of consensus when it comes to the general opinion the fanbase has on any given game. You can usually expect to see certain games at or near the top of any list of the best FF games, if not in the same order, regardless of who makes it, just with one common exception. Opinions regarding Final Fantasy VIII vary wildly from person to person, some considering it the best in the whole series, while others put it at the bottom of the list. I don't belong to either group, though obviously going by this ranking you can probably guess that I consider it an excellent game, though not quite the best in the series. I'd say it's roughly on par with VI and VII, and a little behind two others I'll talk about later.

Final Fantasy VIII was the first game in the series I ever played, though I had seen someone else play VII before that, so I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. I was very new to JRPGs in general at the time, having only played a few of them on the SNES at one of my friend's, and none to completion. As a result, Final Fantasy VIII was very much like stepping into an entirely new world for me when it came to video games. From the moment the first notes of 'Liberi Fatali' hit and that opening cinematic started, I was hooked. I had simply never seen anything quite like it before, and to this day it remains one of my favourite intros to any video game. 

In general, the music was something that immediately stood out to me from the game. Each new track was just perfect for the moment and location it played in, hitting an early game crescendo with The Landing-cutscene, and only really improving from there. The rest of the elements, from the story to the characters and gameplay slowly fell into place over time, and by the end it had became my then-favourite game of all time. Obviously, other titles have since overtaken it, but this is one of the games that I can still go back and replay without any problems whenever I feel like it, which is something I did just earlier this year with the remastered version. The game still holds up remarkably well, and with the improved graphics the remaster is a great way to experience the game, though it does have some minor issues that were not present in the original.