Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster Review

Yuna, Rikku, and Paine of Final Fantasy X-2.

Final Fantasy X and X-2 were thrilling and absolutely gorgeous entries to the long-running role-playing series back during their original debut, and despite having aged ten years, they're still incredibly engaging games. You can now get both games as part of a package known as Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster, and if you didn't embark on one of the two very different journeys when they first hit store shelves, now's a better time than ever.

While both share the Final Fantasy banner, they're completely different games. While they both share fundamental RPG constructs, Final Fantasy X is a linear grind with a heavy emphasis on storytelling over the glitz and glamour of Final Fantasy X-2, whose mission-based approach combined with a girl-power-centric tale rubbed many players the wrong way. It was the first Final Fantasy sequel to be introduced to the franchise, but certainly not the last. The duality between the two very different adventures is interesting, however, as the games complement each other well.

The love story between Tidus and Yuna of Final Fantasy X is one that will certainly incite feelings of familiarity between lovers and anyone who's ever found themselves in a strange place, while Yuna's embarking on her own journey in Final Fantasy X-2 is as empowering as it is fluffy. It's gaudy in all the right ways, from costume changes to some truly bizarre supporting characters, and while it can be viewed in many ways as a complement to the vastly more majestic Final Fantasy X, it's still an excellent entry nevertheless.

It's just massively different in tone, so much so that you could compare the two and find enough differences to match them to a completely different game if you wanted.

Both games have been given the slick high-definition treatment, with updated textures, facelifts to character models that were sorely needed, and overhauled jagged edges that look absolutely fantastic on the PlayStation 3 or Vita, whichever version you choose to pull the trigger on.

The rousing soundtracks of both have been slightly tweaked as well, giving an additional punch to already memorable tracks like the hopeful "To Zanarkand," and Nobuo Uematsu's score sounds better than ever.

If you've never played a Final Fantasy game before, this iteration may well end up being the best one to opt for when attempting to make an informed decision, especially given its linear nature. There's no real need to search for alternative paths or complete side quests unless you want to, thus further streamlining the game. Most Final Fantasy adventures can be daunting given their propensity for including side quests, additional content, and tweaks, but in this collection they're optional. You don't feel moved to have to complete them unless you truly want to, and therein lies the beauty of both games. It truly speaks of a different age of gaming.

Final Fantasy X-2 is arguably the lesser game of the two, this package is more than worth picking up on the merits of Final Fantasy X alone. These are games that certainly don't receive their fair share of the spotlight, and considering they're shining examples of linearity and mission-based gameplay done right, it's high time they receive some recognition for it.

Jump into Final Fantasy X and X-2 the right way with these gorgeous updated editions and see what you've been missing.