- Original release year: 1997
- Consoles: PS1, Windows (later: PS3, PS4, iOS)
Ah Final Fantasy VII; the best Final Fantasy game of all time? The best RPG of all time? The best game, period, of all time? Well, maybe not quite, but the game is rightfully considered a classic.
Final Fantasy VII is a game that you should have heard of and hopefully you will have played (who hasn’t?). If it wasn’t for the Windows version for PC, released about six months after the Playstation original, this may have been the game that convinced me I needed a Sony Playstation (well actually, I probably wanted one anyway, but being a 9 or 10 year old child, I didn’t have much say in the matter).
What made Final Fantasy VII so special, so magical, besides it being the first real Final Fantasy game to be released in Europe, was it being the first great RPG to be released in the 32-bit era (at least, that I played). For that reason alone, FFVII holds a special place in my heart. Gone were the overhead 2D visuals, gone were cartridges (oh Nintendo, who knows? FFVII could have been a N64 title if you hadn’t stubbornly kept the cartridge format) and in its place, we were given a cinematic, huge 3D adventure set across three compact discs, with beautiful, stunning cd-quality music and sound effects.
Final Fantasy VII has fantastic characters, the sound is amazing, the materia system worked incredibly well and the story flow is near impeccable. Admittedly, in more recent times, there has been somewhat of a backlash from some gamers who believe FFVII is overrated. Admittedly, the turn-based combat is fairly standard by today’s standards, the graphics have aged, the character models are crude and yes, the translation, at times, plain sucks (grammatical errors are aplenty), but there’s just something that I love about it. The atmosphere is just perfect.
The story is dark and gritty and I love the characters that are developed within FFVII’s world. There’s also some humorous moments that compliment the serious tone of the game’s story perfectly. Like when you, the player as Cloud, must wonder around the slums of Midar, with the flower girl, Aeris, as you search for materials to help you put together a disguise as an attractive woman, to sneak into the mansion of a dirty pimp, in order to rescue long-time friend, Tifa.
All in all, the plot of Final Fantasy VII is deep and worthy of the often over-used epic title. Even today, although aged, it is impossible to not recommend Final Fantasy VII to anyone who has yet to try the game. With there being the option of playing it on iOS, PC or PS3/PS4, there’s really no excuses.
Square-Enix are currently remaking Final Fantasy VII, from scratch, for the PS4 (other consoles/PC yet to be announced). Time will tell whether it lives up to the hype…