We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,669 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Final Fantasy III (iOS) review

£9.49

Manufacturer: Square Enix

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Square Enix's iOS iteration of Final Fantasy III gives the role-playing classic a slick new upgrade, but it can't hide the signs of age.

Although Final Fantasy III was first released in Japan in 1990, it didn't make its way out of the country until Square Enix released a 3D version for the Nintendo DS in 2007. This iOS re-release of the classic RPG is a slightly enhanced version of that DS version, fresh with Retina Display support, some better textures, and even new story sequences.

For those unfamiliar with Final Fantasy III, it’s an interesting role-playing game, even by modern standards. It features a numerous genre tropes that experienced players will be familiar with – random battle encounters, overworld exploration, turn-based battles – but it also introduced some new ideas to the series: the "jobs" system, for example, which allows your party members to change class throughout the journey, and monster summoning, which is now a staple of the Final Fantasy experience. Although the story is full if clichés, this was actually the first Final Fantasy game to be legitimately story-focused.

Final Fantasy III gameplay

Square Enix has been gracing the App Store with a combination of original and old IPs for quite some time, and as a re-release/port Final Fantasy III is nothing short of fantastic. These aren’t the best graphics on the iPhone, but it’s a major improvement over the already-decent DS version. I was also surprised by how well the interface works: everything has been re-designed to work with a touch interface, and subtle touches like allowing you to just tap the monster you want to attack are nice.

Final Fantasy III gameplay

For all its improvements, though, Final Fantasy III is a 21-year-old game at its core, and it shows. Contemporary RPGs moved past random battles long ago, and the turn-based combat system is just too slow to maintain interest for long. In classic JRPG style there’s also quite a bit of loading and swooping camera action before each battle and in-between attacks.

Modern gamers might not have the patience for that anymore, especially with recent trends leaning towards the adoption of real-time "action" RPG battle systems that move quickly and don't waste time with unnecessary dramatics -- particularly on mobile platforms.

Final Fantasy III gameplay

However, while individual experiences may vary, Final Fantasy III is old-school in length as well as design, with up to 50 hours of gameplay for those willing to seek it out. The one drawback is the price, with Square Enix ignoring the App Store pricing scheme altogether. However, while £9.49 is almost unheard of by current standards, the fact is that Final Fantasy III cost more than twice that when it came out on the DS, and this is by far the best version of the game available.

Next page: Our expert verdict

See Also:

Final Fantasy XIII review

Final Fantasy XIV review

More Game Reviews 

Games Advisor

Final Fantasy III (iOS) Expert Verdict »

Final Fantasy III is available for iPhone and iPad.
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Final Fantasy III is a wise investment of both time and money.

  • Final Fantasy IV for Nintendo DS review

    Final Fantasy IV for Nintendo DS

    The Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV is worth playing through from beginning to end.

  • Final Fantasy XIII review

    Final Fantasy XIII

    Final Fantasy XIII is, without a doubt, the most technically impressive Final Fantasy game ever created.

  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 review

    Final Fantasy XIII-2

    Final Fantasy XIII-2 offers a satisfyingly long story line with multiple endings, towns and player exploration are back and it has a beautiful soundtrack. Read PC Advisor's Final Fantasy XIII-2 review to find out more.

  • The Last Remnant review

    The Last Remnant

    An interesting and risky experiment, Square Enix's latest epic The Last Remnant proves itself a mixed bag, never quite rising above mediocrity.

  • Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together review

    Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

    Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together might have an extremely silly name, but it's a stellar re-imagining of a classic game that shines with an engaging plot and in-depth battle options.


IDG UK Sites

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014 tech deals UK Live: Best Black Friday deals from Apple, Amazon,...

IDG UK Sites

Why are people still buying satnavs? Smartphones are the modern satnav

IDG UK Sites

New Star Wars trailer: Watch the VFX-laden teaser for The Force Awakens

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & Black Friday tech offers UPDATED