We live in a wonderful world where gamers are blessed with two mighty RPG franchises which continually deliver immersive, enjoyable gaming experiences.

But what if we could only have one of them? Between Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy, which series could we absolutely not live without?

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Two RPGs enter, one RPG leaves. Let’s do this.

1) Developer

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A game is only as good as its developer. And over time, developers can lose their magic. If we’re cutting away one of these franchises forever, we have to make sure that it will maintain quality.

Square/Enix has made a lot of good games aside from Final Fantasy, such as Chrono Trigger, Tomb Raider, and Hitman, but they are a joke next to Nintendo. Between Super Mario, Metroid, and Kirby, Nintendo is literally a juggernaut of consistently awesome games. Since Legend of Zelda is one of their cash cows, odds are the quality will stay high.

Square/Enix on the other hand, is struggling to maintain the quality of the Final Fantasy games since number 10, which fans thought was a dog’s nut and a cat’s nut.

Winner: Legend of Zelda

2) Fan Base

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This is a tough one. You can’t go to a comic book convention without seeing hot babes dressed as Final Fantasy characters.

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But then again, Legend of Zelda has an army of cosplayers that pull out the stops as well:

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What about cultural impact? Well, Final Fantasy has enjoyed several movies, whereas Link’s time on the screen is limited to fan creations like this piece of crap:

BUT. Only Legend of Zelda has the power to start entire trends. When Ocarina of Time dropped, people started making and buying ocarinas, and a fanatic following of the obscure instrument continues to this day.

Winner: Legend of Zelda

3) Gameplay

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This is a tough one to judge – both games are hella fun, but have very different play styles. The methodical, turn-based gameplay of Final Fantasy stands in stark contrast to the real-time fun of hacking and slashing with Link’s sword.

While my personal preference falls to the Zelda series, I have to give the edge to Final Fantasy because they allow you to play with so many different characters with different skills and abilities.

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Winner: Final Fantasy

4) Creativity

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Another tough one. Both games are highly creative, with colourful, fun characters and lots of in-game culture to explore. However, since Final Fantasy is not locked on a single character, the limits of their world are boundless, whereas link will forever be fighting to save Zelda, and that can get old.

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Winner: Final Fantasy

7) Fun

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Just look at that sassy duck coming out of Link’s hat. Amazing.

Fun is where Legend of Zelda shines. Free of the tedious grinding that is part and parcel of Final Fantasy games, Links adventures are fast-paced and extremely entertaining.

Not to mention all the creative touches that Nintendo has added over the years, such as wii motion support and taking advantage of the Nintendo DS’s touchscreen. While Final Fantasy games are definitely fun and epic, they just can’t compete with the joy of a Zelda game.

Winner: Legend of Zelda

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Conclusion

We knew it would be a close call, but as the dust settles, Legend of Zelda is the front-runner. No disrespect to Final Fantasy’s awesome legacy of great RPGs, but if we could only have one, it would have to be the boy in the Minnish cap.

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Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment!