As far as things go, 2008 was actually quite a busy year for Final Fantasy, but the majority of the coverage took place on the handheld consoles. While this is great, Final Fantasy (especially the main series) has always been known for pushing the graphical boundaries, and while the PSP and DS are fine pieces of hardware, they can't really compete with the might of the PS3 and Xbox 360.
That's where 2009 comes in. It's time for the big boys to flex their muscles and hopefully they will be given licence to do that this year. That still remains to seen though, as the 360 might not get its chance to shine dependant on release dates, but here's hoping anyway.
Dissidia: Final Fantasy (Sony PSP)
Mid-Summer 2009 (NA), TBC (EU)
Final Fantasy Dissidia has gone down amazingly well in Japan, with both Famitsu and Dengeki magazines giving it good scores and sales even topping that of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. So, why should you be interested?
Unlike normal Final Fantasy games, Dissidia is actually a beat 'em up of sorts. Probably the most comparable game would be Power Stone, but even that's not overly close. Either way, you get to play as 22 characters from the last 12 Final Fantasy games and you get to pit them against each other. What more could you want as a Final Fantasy fan?
Final Fantasy XIII (Playstation 3 / Xbox 360)
Estimated Release Date: 2009 (JP), TBC (NA, EU)
Square Enix have held strong on their relatively new policy of staying tight-lipped on new titles, but there has still been a fair amount of news relating to Final Fantasy XIII in the last year. The biggest announcement of course being that it will find its way to the Xbox 360.
However, there is a strong possibility that only Japan will see the game released this year and in that region it remains a Playstation 3 exclusive. We're sincerely hoping that Final Fantasy XIII gets released before Q3 though, as that will definitely improve the chances of North America seeing it in 2009.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII (Playstation 3)
2009 (JP), TBC (NA, EU)
Almost as soon as Final Fantasy XIII was announced, Final Fantasy Versus XIII followed shortly after. It's being developed by the team behind Kingdom Hearts and is said to be a much more "dark" Final Fantasy game than we're used to.
The story focuses on Noctis Lucis Caelum, as he tries to defend the crystals from those who would wish to take them and it's shaping up to be a strong rival to Final Fantasy XIII.
Final Fantasy Agito XIII (Sony PSP)
2009 (JP), TBC (NA, EU)
Final Fantasy Agito XIII is the currently the third game in the Fabula Nova Crystallis franchise, and it also takes place in the same world as Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII; just in a different time period.
It's being developed by the same team that made the criticially acclaimed Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and was originally meant to be a mobile phone exclusive game. However, earlier this year Square Enix changed their minds and decided to move development over to the PSP much to the joy of most western Final Fantasy gamers.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (Nintendo Wii / DS)
29th Jan 2009 (JP), Spring 2009 (NA), TBC (EU)
When all hope had been lost for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Square Enix announced Echoes of Time; a completely different game altogether for the Wii and DS.
The game has been made using the Pollux Engine and will enable complete connectivity via the Wii and DS. Unfortunately though, the Wii game is actually a port of the DS game, so everything has been upscaled with clunky borders; they even cost the same price. It could be some good multiplayer fun though!