Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー Fainaru Fantajī) is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed and owned by Square Enix (formerly Square). The franchise centers around a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs), but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise. The first game in the series, published in 1987, was conceived by Sakaguchi as his last-ditch effort in the game industry; the title was a success and spawned sequels. The video game series has since branched into other genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm.
Although most Final Fantasy installments are stand-alone stories with different settings and main characters, they feature identical elements that define the franchise. Recurring elements include plot themes, character names, and game mechanics. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while exploring the characters' internal struggles and relationships. Character names are frequently derived from the history, languages, and mythologies of cultures worldwide.