Titles in the series have generally received praise for their storylines, characters, settings, music, battle elements and graphics. Many other aspects in particular have received praise, such as the job system, a series staple, with GameSpot stating it is "hard to say enough good things" about it, referring to the the "exciting variety" it offers to the gameplay. Another popular feature is the self-referential nature of many of the games and inclusions of allusions to previous games, with recurring features such as chocobos, moogles and Gilgamesh among others, being well received as nods to make fans feel at home. The series has also been praised for its gameplay variety and innovation between installments to prevent the gameplay from going stale.
Stories in the series frequently emphasize the internal struggles, passions, and tragedies of the characters, and the main plot often recedes into the background as the focus shifts to their personal lives. Games also explore relationships between characters, ranging from love to rivalry. Other recurring situations that drive the plot include amnesia, a hero corrupted by an evil force, mistaken identity, and self-sacrifice. Magical orbs and crystals are recurring in-game items that are frequently connected to the themes of the games' plots. Crystals often play a central role in the creation of the world, and a majority of the Final Fantasy games link crystals and orbs to the planet's life force. As such, control over these crystals drives the main conflict. The classical elements are also a recurring theme in the series related to the heroes, villains, and items. Other common plot and setting themes include the Gaia hypothesis, an apocalypse, and conflicts between advanced technology and nature.
When Zelda's power failed to awaken on Mount Lanayru, Urbosa told Zelda not to give up hope as she did all she could and noted Mount Lanayru wasn't her last shot as anything could spark her powers to awaken. When Ganon appeared Urbosa initially wanted to take Zelda to safety but Zelda refused wanting to fight alongside her comrades even without her powers which Urbosa did not object to, understanding and respecting Zelda's desire to stand alongside them against Ganon along with her courage and sense of duty. Ultimately Urbosa was correct about Zelda's powers as the spark she spoke of occurred when Zelda selflessly tried to shield the exhausted Link from an attacking Guardian saving Zelda and Link. Even In death, Urbosa continued to support Link and Zelda as a spirit once freed from Thunderblight Ganon's imprisonment.