The Entertainment Software Rating Board is a non-profit, self-regulatory organization that provides ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and provides online privacy practices for the video game industry in the United States and Canada. It was established in 1994 by the Electronic Software Association. Please note that there are no Final Fantasy games with either a "Mature" or "Adults Only" rating.
The ESRB provides for 7 general ratings, and 32 "Content Descriptors." Depending on the intensity of the content, some games can be restricted from general access, the guidelines for which are as follows below.
Advisory content ratings Edit
These ratings are advisory in nature, and are sold without any restrictions on access:
Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release. Games that have more intense content may prompt the use of the disclaimer "May contain content inappropriate for children" in the trailers.
Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.Everyone
Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.Everyone 10+
Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.Teen
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Restricted content ratingsEdit
By contrast, the following ratings are legally restricted from general access, and require consumers to be of a certain age in order to obtain games with these ratings:Mature
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. Players under 17 cannot get games with this rating unless they have parental consent to do so, and if they are 17 or older, they must show ID proving it.Adults Only
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity. As with the M rating, players must show ID to obtain games with this rating.
In addition to the general ratings listed on the front of the box, the ESRB also provides detailed "content descriptors" on the back of the video game box. A complete list of the content descriptors may be found here.
Given the fairly intense (to varying degrees, but not too severe) content of many of the games in this franchise, the consumer playing the game, depending on the consumer's age, may need parental guidance (the majority of Final Cross games are rated M, which is the highest unrestricted rating).