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Change YoY: =   My Rating: 9.9 / 10

In my opinion, there is no such thing as a perfect game. No matter how great a game is, how amazing an experience it is, there's always going to be something in it that could be improved. In the end, it's just a question of how little there is to improve when you think back on the experience as a whole, and out of all the games I've ever played the one that I can think of almost nothing that I would change about is Final Fantasy IX. This has remained true for over two decades now, and no matter how many times I play through it, my opinion has never changed. It remains to this day the best game I've ever played.

Final Fantasy IX was the second game in the series I played, and one of the first JPRGs in general I ever experienced as well. This meant that at the time I didn't really realize that it was essentially a love letter to the entire Final Fantasy series, with countless elements, allusions, and minor details that refer to one or more of the games that came before. It was simply a game that hooked me within 30 minutes of starting, and never really let go. It was completely different from both FFVIII (which I'd played before) and FFVII (which I'd seen one of my friends play), and I absolutely loved that. While FFVIII was one of my favourite games already at the time, I wanted something different with the next game, and I definitely got that.

The fantasy setting was perfect, and to this day is among my favourite video game worlds ever created. I still remember nearly every detail about Alexandria, Lindblum, Burmecia, Cleyra, Treno, and all the other cities, dungeons, and places found around the game's vast world. I scoured the overworld for every tiny detail I could find, hunted every treasure and secret until I could find no more. I remember the feeling of discovering hidden treasures on the world map with a chocobo, stumbling on an entire hidden town on the side of a mountain while riding an airship, and finding secret pathways in places I thought I already knew. Now, when I go back and replay it every few years, I can still visit almost any location in the game and instantly know where everything in it can be found, including secrets, hidden collectibles, and Easter eggs that the game is filled with. It is an experience I will likely never forget, and one I can always return to and enjoy just as much as the first time I stepped onto the streets of Alexandria almost 22 years ago.

And that's it for my top 50. I'll still write a recap about my whole list, but that's the last write-up done. Hopefully at least some people find these interesting.