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5 randomizers Final Fantasy fans should play in 2022

Final Fantasy is one of the many franchises that feature interesting randomizers made by fans. Which are the best to try? (Image via TheBottomTier/Twitch)
Final Fantasy is one of the many franchises that feature interesting randomizers made by fans. Which are the best to try? (Image via TheBottomTier/Twitch)

While vast mods and hacks for Final Fantasy games are great, there’s another style of a mod that has captured my attention and fans around the world. Randomizers change the game to keep the game more or less intact, making each playthrough a unique experience.

Many Final Fantasy games have at least some form of the randomizer, which vary in scope and depth of what they offer fans. Some just cycle around the treasure chests and enemy packs, while others can change nearly every aspect of the game and even create new abilities that weren’t there before.


What are randomizers, and how do they change Final Fantasy games?

Randomizer mods came to the forefront thanks to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past randomizer, and from there, it exploded. There may have been others that came before it, but it’s one of the most recognized randomizers. This led to Final Fantasy, Super Metroid, EarthBound, and other major franchises receiving similar treatment from fans.

In the Final Fantasy franchise, randomizers can change a wide variety of things. Some are simpler and only change the locations of treasure chests, enemy packs, and perhaps abilities that characters can earn.

They don’t all play the same, either. Some turn a traditional RPG into an open-world, key-item collection challenge. This is great because they turn the game into a puzzle to solve. Others play through events as normal but under different circumstances.

Perhaps one of the best things about these randomizers is that they make a player make the best out of their situation. Weaker characters, fewer items, and bosses in positions they normally wouldn’t be in make endear fans to them.

There are also helpful, loving communities for many of these games, who have Discord channels to go and talk about the games. Another typical part of these communities is speedruns and races, where fans can come together and take part in friendly competition.

5 Randomizers to play in 2022

  • FF1 Randomizer
  • FFVI: FFVI: World's Collide
  • FFX: Sphere Grid Randomizer
  • FFV Pixel Remaster Randomizer
  • FFIV: Free Enterprise
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Honorable mention to Final Fantasy VI: Beyond Chaos EX. It’s an older FFVI randomizer and allowed players to wind up with random, brand-new abilities that were a mash-up of other spells. It has a variety of modes like Bingo, Ancient Cave, and Kefka at Narshe mode. It’s an excellent but challenging randomizer, and it’s worth talking about at least briefly.


5) FF1 Randomizer (NES)

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Sometimes, one game gets randomizers on different platforms. In this case, Final Fantasy 1 is one of them. There’s also the “HMS Jayne” randomizer for the GBA release, but the biggest and most expansive one is FF1 Randomizer. At first glance, the website looks very confusing. There are so many things out there that can feel like sensory overload.

But there are presets to take a look at to explain what they contain and have further helpful tags to teach players. Final Fantasy 1 Randomizer may be one of the two biggest Final Fantasy randomizers of all and Final Fantasy IV: Free Enterprise.

Players can change the goal of the game and can even hide the Final Boss in a random treasure chest in the world! The randomizer can scale XP, and Gold players get key item locations, shops, spells, treasure chests, etc.

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Final Fantasy 1 was an elementary game at launch, and though challenging and barebones, it was very much a mainstay. It’s a classic that fans of the franchise have not forgotten. I play HMS Jayne more, but I adore watching FF1 Randomizer races. It’s fascinating to see how such a difficult game is played in so many different ways.

The game’s visuals may look simple, but the developers of FF1 Randomizer genuinely broke it open in so many ways that I did not expect.


4) FFVI: World’s Collide (SNES)

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Final Fantasy VI: World’s Collide is a little newer for randomizers but is nonetheless a fantastic experience. It has a welcoming, lovely community, regular tournaments, and many different flagsets. Players can also upload their flagsets for others to try out!

Unlike normal Final Fantasy VI, it starts as an open-world adventure, where players start with a certain number of party members (2 by default) and the airship. There is a Character Gating mode and an Open Mode. Character Gating means that every character has certain events that grant access.

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For example, having Strago allows access to Fanatic’s Tower character unlock and the Ebot’s Rock event. Events like boss battles and dungeons unlock Espers, items, and characters, but it’s not guaranteed what will be found.

Treasure chests are randomized, and the amount of Gold/XP/AP gained can also be adjusted. Recently, this randomizer also added Optional Objectives, which grant rewards - that aren’t always positive! This makes the player consider what things they do or don’t do, which is exciting.

On a personal note, Final Fantasy VI: World’s Collide is one of the randomizers I play the absolute most. FFVI is an amazing game, and the open-world challenge of a character-gated run is satisfying. It becomes a puzzle! Look at what characters you started with, what this allows, and what easy treasure chests you can pop open.

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From there, a little exp, and then challenging dungeons and events throughout the game. In the end, awaits Kefka. He’s still the final goal.


3) FFX: Sphere Grid Randomizer (PS2, PC, Switch)

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I wish that the Final Fantasy X Randomizer did more, but I understand there may be technical limitations that prevent it. That or there are simply no coders that care to look into it. Either way, I understand, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s very simple and easy to put together.

It’s also more flexible than other randomizers because it works with the PlayStation 2, PC & Switch versions (HD Remaster). The randomizer creates a save file that the player slides into wherever their save files are stored for Steam, and that’s it!

FFX Randomizer only shuffles a few things. It shuffles the Sphere Grid (Normal or HD Remaster’s Expert Grid) and character stats and guarantees access to Flee for Tidus if the player desires. From there, the game plays entirely as expected. The only difference is there’s absolutely no telling how the Sphere Grid will shake out.

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I had runs where Kimahri started with Ultima just a few steps away, so the rest of the game was a breeze. No boss stood a chance once I had enough MP to cast it. It’s a more casual randomizer and just something to play for fun for fans of Final Fantasy X. I still hope that one day it grows so more things can be randomized, but it may also not be possible.


2) FFV Pixel Remaster Randomizer (PC)

The newest randomizer on this list, Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster Randomizer, was created by prolific randomizer creator, Gameboyf9. He’s made several popular, fun randomizers for retro games, and this is the newest one in his portfolio. It’s an “Ancient Cave” style of randomizer. Instead of playing the game as normal, it has players going through a series of instances of battles, culminating in a boss.

Instead of going through the various dungeons like in FFIV Pixel Remaster, it takes place on the Big Bridge! I’ve come to call it “FFV Pixel Remaster: Battle on the Biggest Bridge.” There are 12 bridge segments, each with random encounters and a boss at the end. The party starts with a few job classes at random and begins in a room with four shopkeepers and a healer.

My 11th randomizer, Final Fantasy V: Abridged, has been released! Please enjoy!github.com/gameboy9/FF5Ab…

This allows players to buy spells, items, weapons, and armor. Players can also adjust the amount of EXP and Gold they get per fight to make things slightly easier. The bosses are randomized, but the final boss will always be Exdeath and NeoExdeath in one battle.

It’s straightforward, but it’s also incredibly challenging. It’s the height of “do the best with what you have.” I hope for Samurai and then using Zeninage to solve all of my problems, but FFV is one of the games I know the least in the mainline entries.

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I love it, though. It’s a simple, easy-to-start randomizer and can be completed in an hour or two, depending on what kind of gold and exp players are getting. The bosses are still just as challenging, but it’s brilliant and a lot of fun.


1) FFIV: Free Enterprise (SNES)

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The undisputed king of Final Fantasy randomizers is, without a doubt, FFIV: Free Enterprise. A huge community of players and developers has created something unforgettable. This was the first randomizer that hooked me and led to me streaming randomizers primarily.

It’s an open-world randomizer, where the player starts with two party members and the regular airship. The ultimate goal is to defeat Zeromus on the Moon, though there are alternate win objectives - Babil%, for example, ends the game after completing the Giant of Babil.

Like other randomizers, it offers a nice, wide variety of objectives and pre-designed settings. There's something for every skill level, from the current/past tournament flags to wacky, casual setups. Players don’t even need to beat Final Fantasy IV to play it, but it doesn’t hurt to have that knowledge.

Characters can be restricted, or players can only allow certain characters. Players can also randomize the boss locations, key item locations, treasure chest, and shop locations. Inevitable glitches can be turned on and off, such as Warp Glitch, Life Glitch, and Backrow glitch.

Some things in this make the game a little easier/more manageable, such as changes to Agility Anchoring and EXP distribution, but this can also be reverted. Even little things like changing Wyvern’s default Meganuke into something random.

There are special modes, weekly challenge seeds on Discord, tournaments, community races, and ridiculous April Fool’s Day updates. Even Edward is useful in these flagsets because one setting lets him wield the Spoon Dagger, giving him 255 Attack Power.

If none of this does it, the final boss, Zeromus, shows up as one of the hundreds (if not thousands) of different sprites! SchalaKitty made many, and some truly hilarious bosses have come up. I’m proud to be a part of the FFIV FE community, and it’s hot and welcoming. I may not race as a part of the group, but that will change.

If there’s any randomizer worth playing, it has to be this one.


Final Fantasy randomizers are available in a wide variety of flavors and versions. Most of the mainline titles have at least one, as do other games like Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and Final Fantasy Tactics.

It’s an enjoyable way to keep classic games fresh. This way, no matter how many times I try a game, it will feel like a new challenge and puzzle to conquer.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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