Final Fantasy 7 Remake Should Have Stayed Faithful To The Original; Here’s Why

Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most beloved games of all time, however I believe it's remake fails to capture the same magic.

Story Highlights

  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake greatly deviated from the 1997 original in terms of gameplay and story.
  • Many fans of the classic FF7 felt put off by the changes to the game they know and love.
  • If Square Enix marketed the remake as a reboot, fans wouldn’t have felt deceived.

When the Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced in 2015, countless fans of the original Final Fantasy 7 fans were excited. After all, it meant a chance to relive the legendary game but with better graphics.

Upon playing the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, fans expecting a completely faithful adaptation of the PlayStation game were surprised to see major changes to the story and gameplay. I’m here to say that while Square made some good decisions with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake series, changing the overall story wasn’t one of them.

How The Remake Deviates From The Original

A yellow-haired boy with spikey hair standing next to a train in what seems to be an industrial factory.
Cloud getting off of the Chapter 1 train in the original Final Fantasy 7 │Source: Square Enix

Now, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy adapts many things from the original, including how the characters behave and the locations the team goes to. However, the two major areas it deviates in are the gameplay and story.

Firstly, the remake’s gameplay takes a more action-oriented approach than the original’s turn-based combat. While the ATB-consuming abilities allow players to enter a turn-based-like state, it isn’t comparable to the PS1 game. I felt like this took away too much control from players, as I found AI controlling beloved characters like Tifa and Aerith in most encounters. At the same time, I had total control over my entire party in the 1997 original.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a decent game hindered by bad design and poor writing
byu/Finite_Universe inpatientgamers

Secondly, and arguably, the bigger deviation is with the story. Countless gamers love Final Fantasy 7’s story. However, while the remake’s marketing made it seem like a ground-up recreation, it’s a technical reboot.

Many fans, me included, went into Remake wanting to relive one of the few games considered perfect, but so many changes caught us off guard. Avalanche is a rag-tag group of misfits, not a huge organization. The Whispers of Fate shouldn’t exist and make everything so creepy. Most of all, Sephiroth shouldn’t stroll into the story at the start. The antagonist has an air of mystery in the original that’s non-existent in the remake.

Maybe Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Could Have Sold Better

A kid with a sword running alongside an orange wolf in a rocky canyon.
Cloud and Red in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Cosmo Canyon │Source: Square Enix

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launched as a PS5 exclusive and received positive reviews. However, while Square Enix has a habit of posting the sale numbers for games that sell well, as with Final Fantasy 7 Remake, why didn’t the company do the same for Rebirth? Many assume the game just didn’t sell as well as its predecessor.

Video game analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted on X that Rebirth was “underperforming” sales-wise, saying the game had about half of Remake’s sales. While Remake was so readily available, especially thanks to the availability of the PS4 compared to the PS5, I don’t think that’s the only reason.

The PS5 has been out for almost 4 years now, making the argument of people not having a PS5 mostly moot. Additionally, regarding physical sales in Japan, Rebirth sold a meager 262,656 physical copies compared to Remake’s whopping 702,853 according to Famitsu Sales. This is all without even mentioning the drop in UK sales.

With such a shockingly high drop in sales, maybe staying faithful to the original would have helped Rebirth’s success. Thanks to the change in story, fans wanting to re-experience the world they were familiar with were put off. This likely affected their decision to buy the sequel.

Is What Square Did Even Right?

A spiky yelllow-haired boy with a sword approaching a girl with a ponytail in a factory-like area.
Cloud and Jessie in Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Chapter 1 │Source: Square Enix

While I’ve already established that I wished the Final Fantasy 7 Remake was more faithful to the original, there’s one decision Square Enix could have made to make me like the game—marketing the remake as what it was—a reboot.

Finding out that Final Fantasy 7 Remake deviated from the FF7 formula I know and love annoyed me more because of how I discovered it. If I had gone into the game knowing it would take liberties with the story, then the feeling of being deceived wouldn’t have been there.

Remakes like 2019’s Resident Evil 2 and Yakuza Kiwami might make changes to the game they’re adapting, but the core story and theme are always the same. They also typically add new things, making the experience fresh but familiar for fans.

YouTube video

Final Fantasy 7 Remake was marketed as a faithful reimagining but is a reboot that changes major plot points. This creative decision raises the question of whether what Square Enix did was even morally correct. The Rebirth trilogy is no doubt still a success. However, it didn’t take advantage of the limitless potential it had to recreate the magic Square captured over two decades ago.

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Ahmed Shayan is a News Writer on eXputer with decent experience writing about games. He’s a machine learning enthusiast with a passion for a plethora of gaming genres. Ahmed is fond of Soulsborne games in which he has invested more than 3,000 hours! You can follow Ahmed's gaming activity on his PSN Profile.

Experience: 1.5+ Years || Mainly Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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