Console: Gameboy Advance
Most of us probably would’ve been happy if this had been a straight handheld port of the PlayStation’s Final Fantasy Tactics, but Square Enix wasn’t about to stop at that. Instead, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance gave us a Neverending Story-esque plot about a group of kids from the real world who get magically transported to the land of Ivalice and must then raise an army and fight to eventually return home.
Tactics Advance wasn’t just a new story with brighter colors, either. It expanded the original Tactics roster of character jobs from 20 to 34, and added the restrictive Judges, who’d show up before every battle to enforce absurd rules meant to keep you from relying too much on one strategy. Rather than riding the originals coattails, it distinguished itself in all kinds of interesting ways, quickly becoming a must-have for any strategy fan with a GBA.