The story focuses on a group of six characters, most of whom are mercenaries contracted out to help a struggling (read: worst I've ever seen) rebel group. From there, the characters fall victim to incredibly hackneyed, trite and implausible twists and turns in the story (such as the point where they all find out they knew each other as children but had their memories wiped).
The gameplay is quite bad and actively discourages the use of magic. The characters themselves have little to distinguish themselves from each other apart from their Limit Breaks. The Junctioning system (used to help improve your character, since evryone levels up at the same rate regardless of their level) is unnecessarily complex and fiddly, detracting from what little good gameplay there was.
Some elements of the game were good, but ultimately Final Fantasy VIII was a flop compared to may of the others.
Recently surpassing Final Fantasy VII in sales and popularity, Final Fantasy 8 set a record for the most copies sold and the most fan fiction created of a single video game. In fact, the fanbase of Final Fantasy VIII is gigantic and it is the number one game upon which "cosplay" is based off.
Although some resentment is felt by fans of the previous installment in the series(Final Fantasy 7), it is only because of the overwhelming clash Final Fantasy 8 has on traditional RPG's. The music alone in the game is enough to skyrocket the creation into the record books, but only when it is combined with the greatest storyline ever imagined is this game worthy to be called a masterpiece.
The gameplay is fantastic, actively encouraging new and innovative uses for magic, while developing the history of the six main characters in concert with the plot progression. Squall, Rinoa, Selphie, Irvine, Quistis, and Zell are the six main playable persons in the game, each having unique "junctioning" abilities which allows the gamer to personalize and rearrange character abilities to his/her style.
Asides from being the greatest financial success Squaresoft (now "Square Enix") has ever produced, Final Fantasy 8 remains the true definition of fantasy and fiction.
Me: Hey, what Final Fantasy do you recommend?
EB Employee: Well, the best one is Final Fantasy VIII, so I'd go with that if you're just getting into the series.
Me: One of my friends is playing Final Fantasy 7 and says it's not bad either.
EB Employee: No offense, but your friend is on crack. That is the worst Final Fantasy there is. Just get 8 man, I guarantee it.
Me: <lol> Cool, thanks.
"There must be some objective truth to the criticisms that Squall’s angst is misplaced, the supporting cast is weak, the game’s world is too “real”, and summoning, drawing, and junctioning turned gameplay into a tedious chore rather than a fun pastime."
The battle system was so in depth and really took a person who believed they were intelligent but really weren't. Allow me to explain: The battle system was not flexible in the slightest, creating a rift between new "gamerz" and those individuals who appreciate real RPG's. The best "strategy" in the game is to keep Squall dead during battles and only fight with the remaining party members. this is because the enemies level up with Squall leaving absolutely no reason to apply yourself. This is why "low level gamerz" have come to exist. If you can beat a Final Fantasy at a level under 18, your battle system is fatally flawed.
Don't want to keep Squall dead? okay, that's fine, simply transform all enemies into cards after drawing magic from them - therefore, you still don't get the experience and the enemies still never level up.
All in all, this game is for average people who want to feel as though they experienced something great, but in reality, they are weak minded and delusional.
If this game weren't labeled a Final fantasy, it may have been received as a "decent attempt at an RPG".
2. One of the more overrated entries of the Final Fantasy series. With an excess of over a million fans from all over, it continues to rape the minds of countless RPG enthusiasts.
3. A game that marked the end of the Squaresoft's golden age. Its predecessors were FAR superior in terms of strategies, depth, side-quests, artwork, character designs, stories, and character mechanics; however, young VIII still managed to arouse the world with its hollow existence. People play it simply because it's part of the FF franchise.
4. The garbage that you throw out.
Person #2: IT'S SO FUN, THO!!!11
Person #1: Play Final Fantasy VII if you want your fun.