Final Fantasy X is one of the most popular games in the series to date, and many fans would say that it’s the greatest Final Fantasy ever released. It was the first Final Fantasy for the PS2, having a huge graphical upgrade, and being the first in the series to feature voice acting for the major characters. In it, players take control of Tidus, who suddenly gets pulled from his home in Zanarkand and taken to an unknown land. He joins a Summoner named Yuna on her Pilgrimage to save the world from Sin, while also trying to find a way back home. With its amazing story, strategic turn-based combat, and highly customizable Sphere Grid system, Final Fantasy X is a great entry in the series for both old and new fans.
Final Fantasy X-2 is the first direct sequel in the series and made a lot of big changes from the original game. The story takes place two years after the events of FFX and follows Yuna as she begins a new journey. The tonal shift may be off putting to some, but the game expands on the world of Spira, and allows you the freedom to explore it as much as you’d like. The combat for X-2 is much more fast paced compared to its predecessor, featuring an ATB (Active Time Battle) system, and the Dressphere system, allowing characters in your party to change their roles mid battle. While not as highly regard as FFX, its sequel is a fun game that’s worth playing, and its multiple endings and New Game+ even encourage multiple playthroughs.
The Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster bundles both of these games into one package and adds many new features to the game to give even veterans a fresh experience.
Graphical and Music Upgrades
Probably the most obvious improvement from this remaster is the graphical upgrade. Since this isn’t a full remake, the PS2 models are still used, but everything is retextured and smoothed out, adding much more detail to the environment, and making all of the character models look much better. Major characters are also remodeled, but the only thing that suffers from this are the faces. Some of the faces feel off compared to the original, and their eyes look less expressive, especially when the camera zooms in on them.
The music for Final Fantasy X has been given a complete overhaul. Just about every song in the game has a new arrangement to it, giving a new feel to areas and cutscenes. If you prefer the original versions of the music, you can easily toggle between the original and new soundtracks within FFX’s menu.
The most exciting thing about the remaster is that we get the International versions of both X and X-2. These versions were Japan exclusive re-releases for the PS2, where many features, bosses and even story content were added.
FFX adds the Expert Sphere Grid. This is a complete reconfiguration of the Sphere Grid, where all of the characters start near the middle, and their paths are a lot more intertwined. This makes it a lot easier to build your characters off of their standard path (for example, Yuna can learn Black Magic spells much earlier in the game). Many new superbosses were also added, now giving you the option to fight Dark Aeons and Penance.
FFX-2 adds new Dresspheres (Festivalist and Psychic), and a Creature Creator system, which allows you to capture enemies and recruit them as your party members, along with a Monster Arena. Also added is the Last Mission, which is a new side story set three months after the events of X-2, featuring all new gameplay.
We even get some extra story content with Eternal Calm, a short movie set one year after the events of FFX, and Final Fantasy X -Will-, a 30-minute audio drama set after the events of FFX-2. PC players also get some optional boosts for both games. The main draw here is 2x/4x speed, which is really helpful when wanting to grind levels or farm materials. Other boosts include Supercharge and the ability to grant all items and abilities if you want to have a more casual playthrough.
For some reason, the remaster did not add the ability to skip cutscenes in either game. This can be frustrating if you get stuck in a boss fight because you will have to watch a potentially long cutscene before every attempt at the fight.
With all of the added features, there is a ton of replay value in both X and X-2. For FFX, you can do another playthrough using the Expert Sphere Grid, or you can build the perfect party in order to take on the Dark Aeons and Penance. X-2 already had a lot of replay value for players who wanted to see all of the endings and try the countless party configurations using different Dresspheres. Now with the Creature Creator and Monster Arena, you can spend hours trying to build the perfect team and take on the new superbosses, or try to catch every monster and watch their story. Between both games, you can easily spend hundreds of hours in the world of Spira.
Final Fantasy X is an amazing and highly influential game, while Final Fantasy X-2 is a really fun experience for those that don’t mind a huge change. With both titles being bundled together, having a great graphical upgrade, and having all of the International content included, I would highly recommend picking this up if you’re a fan of RPGs. Even if you played these before, there are plenty of new things to discover in the remaster, and if you’re looking to get into Final Fantasy for the first time, FFX is one of the best games to get you into the series.