Final Fantasy XIV Review
- Story And Setting
- Visuals And Performance
Final Fantasy XIV is one of the best the series has to offer, with gameplay and a storyline that has continued to impress for over a decade.
- Developer: Square Enix
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release Date: August 27, 2013
- Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
- Tested On: PC, PlayStation 4
- Incredible Story
- Phenomenal OST
- Deep Combat
- Class Variety
- Great Side Quests
- Social Features
- Slow Intro
- PS4 Performance
- Dated Visuals
The Final Fantasy series has always held a special place in my heart. Whether it be Cloud Strife’s inspirational rise to greatness or Noctis Lucis Caelum’s dedication to his duty, I have always cherished these games for their brilliant characters and stories.
But I have never been an MMO fan. The genre has always felt overwhelming to me, and I never really thought that it was meant for me. But that opinion of mine was proven wrong by Yoshi-P in his best work to date; Final Fantasy XIV.
And after pouring a few hundred into this game, I’m pleased to say that it has one of the best, if not the best, story out of all Final Fantasy games. In addition, it also shines as a JRPG on top of an MMO even in the year 2023.
Story And Setting
The story takes place in the realm of Eorzea, which consists of many different continents. These continents are loosely based on real-world locations and represent the cultures extremely well. In addition, these locations are very gorgeous and diverse.
When starting up the game, players get the option of creating their very own Warrior of Light from a variety of races. Your own character can be as diverse as you want because the customization options are really extensive.
The story also touches on many sensitive real-world topics like the loss of loved ones, slavery, racism, and the impact of war on the common folk.
FFXIV boasts an underdog story where the Warrior of Light starts from the bottom and slowly rises to glory in A Realm Reborn. The Warrior must fight against the evil empire of Garlemald, who seeks to conquer the entire world. In this endeavor, they will face off against a vast catalog of rogues.
These include enemies such as the iconic Ifrit and Garuda, and in addition to that players can also expect to fight dragons and even Gods. During these events, the Warrior of Light is always backed up by their trusty allies at every moment.
Furthermore, the story also touches on many sensitive real-world topics like the loss of loved ones, slavery, racism, and the impact of war on the common folk. In addition, it also masterfully displays the effects of depression and what it means to overcome it.
Even in 2023, the story holds up incredibly well in my opinion, and each subsequent expansion has only built on top of the base experience to create a truly excellent narrative.
FFXIV’s universe is massive and keeps getting bigger with each new expansion. From political issues to universal threats, the story has it all.
FFXIV boasts Active Time MMO gameplay based on skill cooldowns. In simpler terms, players are required to press skills in a particular order to achieve a combo. Players will unlock more powerful skills as they level up, allowing them to unleash more devastating combos.
The gameplay can feel sluggish at the start, but eventually, it becomes enjoyable. In addition, it also has nuance things that increase the depth of the combat, such as figuring out the optimal order of using your combos.
Since its re-release in 2023, the developers have continued to improve on the foundations of the gameplay with each passing year, and in my opinion, right now it features one of the best combat systems of any MMO.
Like other MMOs, it boasts three different roles players can pick from. These are Tank, Healer, and DPS. Tanks prioritize taking significant damage from enemies to protect their party, Healers focus on keeping the party alive while dealing damage, and DPS prioritize dealing massive amounts of damage to the enemies.
Players can pick between 4 Tanks, 4 Healers, and 12 DPS jobs. Furthermore, the DPS jobs are divided between Melee, Physical Ranged, and Magical Ranged jobs.
It is almost impossible to run out of things to do in FFXIV in 2023. First, we have the entire main quest, which can take up to 500 hours to complete fully. and after wrapping up the main story, players can engage in Raids designed for those seeking a challenge.
The developers have continued to improve on the foundations of the gameplay with each passing year, and in my opinion, right now it features one of the best combat systems of any MMO.
There are also many quests featuring characters and references from other stories. For example, players can face the iconic Diamond Weapon from Final Fantasy VII or the mighty Kefka from Final Fantasy VI. Furthermore, I think that these quests are some of the best-written stories the series offers.
For the players that do not like hardcore raids, they can level all of their classes instead. In addition, the game offers an in-depth crafting and gathering system that incorporates a lot of exploring and various recipes.
Furthermore, players can join guilds and engage in various activities with their fellow guild members. In these guilds called Free Companies, players can expect to farm different items and potentially make long-lasting friendships. In short, there’s fun to be had for everyone.
Players can also head to the Gold Saucer to experience exciting mini-games and activities. A PvP mode called Crystalline Conflict also constantly receives balance changes with every patch, keeping things fresh. You can also engage in roleplaying, which has a surprisingly big community.
Of all these activities, I have enjoyed doing the Savage raids the most. Learning the nuances of the combat and steadily performing better in these raids is a great experience. I also had a blast socializing and meeting new people in FFXIV.
Visuals And Performance
As for the visuals, they are nothing to write home about at the moment. The game is certainly not ugly by any standards, but the ten-year-old title has started to show its age in recent years. Yoshi-P promised a graphical upgrade for the upcoming Dawntrail expansion, and things look bright.
The game is certainly not ugly by any standards, but the ten-year-old title has started to show its age in recent years.
Apart from that, the game runs very smoothly on PC and PlayStation 5. However, the game does run poorly on PS4 and suffers from slow loading and FPS drops in major cities, but that’s a given due to the aging hardware.
All in all, Final Fantasy XIV is one of the best the series has to offer. With a storyline that has continued for over ten years, players can expect a rich experience with some of the best characters and stories in gaming.
While getting used to the combat takes a while, it is incredibly fun and rewarding. After the disastrous launch of FFXIV 1.0, Yoshi-P and the team made a marvelous comeback, and they kept striving to create the ultimate Final Fantasy experience.
This has been our Final Fantasy XIV Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
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Why You Should Play This Game
You should play this game for its incredible narrative, fantastic soundtrack, and deep combat system that offers incredible build variety. This is also a highly recommended title for MMO fans in general looking for something new
Why You Shouldn’t Play This Game
You shouldn’t play this game if you’re a Final Fantasy fan looking for a more traditional experience. This is first and foremost an MMO experience and most activities are built with that in mind.
Who Is This Game For?
This game is for both MMO fans and Final Fantasy fans. It builds upon the incredible lore of the FF series while adding in social aspects and a deep class system that is akin to what you’d expect from an MMO experience.
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