I had played Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I’d played every Mario game, I grew up on Metroid. Even having played all these games, I hadn’t even begun to see the summit of gaming for myself. Then, I saw that summit when I played through Final Fantasy X for the PlayStation 2.
Having owned every Nintendo system since I was 3 years old, I thought I knew what gaming was about. This all changed for me as soon as I picked up my first PlayStation 2 controller, and heard the now-famous words, "This is my story."
The story for Final Fantasy X is often underrated, and it is a shame, because Tidus’ story is one I will never forget. The struggle that he goes through internally and externally captured my heart and the heart of many gamers, whether they want to admit it or not. Every time Sin attacked, you could feel the heartbreak. You could feel the very sad undertone of the game. These feelings were all too new to me as a gamer, and it was the first time I realized games could evoke these emotions. And with the emotions came the first time I actually felt genuinely attached to the characters, and at times I felt like I was the character and I felt what they felt. This is what a truly great game is about.
At every point in this game, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I couldn’t put my controller down, not even for a minute. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Yuna, if Tidus was going to make it back to Zanarkand, and if Zanarkand was really reduced to ruins. So many questions played through my head as the story took me from my couch into the game as Tidus. Another thing that immersed me in the game is that I could relate to each character. Whether it was Tidus, Yuna, Auron, Jecht, or Wakka, it didn’t matter, I was interested in every side story with every single one of them. You just can’t find this in a lot of games today or in the past.
The sadness aside, the love story that Final Fantasy X presents and has become famous for in the series is one that gamers can’t forget. The true love between Tidus and Yuna is still hard to find in games today. Yes, their love was corny at times (laughing scene), but it was a much-needed happiness to counterbalance the sadness Sin brought to Yuna, Tidus, and all the characters in Final Fantasy X. There is also one particular scene in this game that symbolizes Tidus and Yuna’s love, and just love in general. It happens in a pool the whole party comes to, and is the scene of the couple’s first kiss. If you haven’t seen this scene, you just can’t know the beauty of this game.
Then there is the music. This soundtrack alone made me start really paying attention to game soundtracks. Being a musician myself, I found myself not taking game soundtracks seriously. After hearing the music in this game, I can honestly say I haven’t ignored the soundtrack in a game since. I think this game has one of the best videogame songs I’ve heard. Listen to "To Zanarkand," and tell me you don’t like it. You will be lying.
After playing the game for an hour or so, you can tell it is going to be a very special experience. And even without the ending, it was still an amazing journey. But you can’t have a Final Fantasy X Super Retroid without talking about the ending. This ending is my favorite ending in video games, hands down. Final Fantasy X should definitely be considered as having one of the biggest twists in video games. I can still remember it like it was just yesterday. Tidus begins to disappear, and Yuna runs to give him a hug. At the moment she starts to hug him, Yuna falls right through him. At that moment, every feeling of love, sadness, happiness, and every other emotion hits you, and it becomes one of the most special games of all time. It becomes a game that means something, and there aren’t many games out there like that.
Before this game, games were just a thing I’d do for fun. This game opened my heart to gaming, and really made me appreciate games as an art form. If you tell non-gamers that this game made you cry, or that game made you really think, most of them will laugh. I know this is true, because I used to be one of them. Now, when I encounter those people, I tell them to hook up a PS2, and play Final Fantasy X. It is a game I know will change them, it changed me.