Final Fantasy Chronicles is a compilation that includes Final Fantasy IV, and another Square production, Chrono Trigger, released for the Sony PlayStation. Both games were ports of titles originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Although both games differ little from the original versions in terms of gameplay, graphics and sound, a number of additional bonus/extra sequences are included, including art galleries, bestiaries and full motion video cutscenes.
The original Super Nintendo Final Fantasy IV had previously been released in North America in edited format as Final Fantasy II in 1991. The Final Fantasy Chronicles version of the game is a complete re-localization, featuring several elements not present in the earlier North American release, and a retranslated English language script. The Final Fantasy Chronicles version of Chrono Trigger, on the other hand, is essentially identical to the North American localization of the Super Nintendo game, originally released in 1995, and uses the script produced for the original localization written by Ted Woolsey. The key difference is the added anime cutscenes, which were created to emphasize particular events of the story, with the final cutscene meant to tie into Chrono Trigger's spiritual sequel, Chrono Cross.
Both PlayStation ports were originally released separately in Japan. The compilation was released in North America as a follow up to Final Fantasy Anthology, a collection of the PlayStation rereleases of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI, which was criticized by many fans for its omission of Final Fantasy IV, which was included in the Japanese Final Fantasy Collection, especially in light of the substantial omissions from the Easy Type version of the original game originally localized for North American audiences as Final Fantasy II (which omits several monsters, items and magic spells) and the widely perceived poor quality of the original English language script.
Like Final Fantasy Anthology before it Final Fantasy Chronicles was met with mixed reviews from North American consumers, who tended to be especially critical of the load time inherent in the CD-ROM format utilized by the PlayStation, but not in the original cartridge format utilized by the Super Nintendo. Players could expect a two to four second load time when accessing the item menus, and the transition between fight scenes also suffered from lag. Coincidentally, while load times in the Final Fantasy Chronicles release of Final Fantasy IV had been substantially improved from the original Japanese PlayStation release, the load times in Chrono Trigger were considerably more noticeable than the original Japanese PlayStation release.
Final Fantasy Chronicles, unlike previous Final Fantasy titles, didn't have a seemingly endless supply of copies on the market and quickly went out of print. At used game stores, the game was usually priced from $30-$60 based on the foundation that it was rare, and usually sold on eBay for around $50.
In 2004, Square Enix re-released Final Fantasy Chronicles as a Greatest Hits. While the original version is still popular with collectors, the Greatest Hits version is seemly sought after by those wishing to play the game on a newer model of the Playstation 3, as the original "black label" version has been reported to not be emulated correctly on the system, with graphical flickers and sound lag. The Greatest Hits version has been reported to not have these issues when played on a PS3.