The legend of Final Fantasy goes like this: Square was in financial trouble at the time of the games release in 1987, and had the game not sold well, the company would have been forced to declare bankruptcy. In truth, Hironobu Sakaguchi tells the tale a little differently.
The name ‘Final Fantasy’ was a display of my feeling that if this didn’t sell, I was going to quit the games industry and go back to university. I’d have had to repeat a year, so I wouldn’t have had any friends – it really was a ‘final’ situation.”
As a self-proclaimed RPG nut, it shames me to say that I never experienced the original Final Fantasy until well into the Gamecube era. Sure, I had played the remakes, such as the excellent GBA rendition, but never the NES original. While the game hasn't quite aged as well as other games from the NES, it is still amazing that Square was able to cram so much in the little 8mb cartridge.
Final Fantasy surely isn't my favorite RPG series by any means, but I can certainly appreciate what the game series has done for the genre. Without FFVII, the RPG arguably wouldn't be as popular as it is today, especially in the West. Many cite Dragon Warrior by rival company Enix (who has since merged to form Square-Enix) as the first video game RPG, but Final Fantasy took the genre mainstream outside of Japan.