ByDave Ramos, writer at
I'm obsessed with Mega Man and Mr. Robot and a huge fan of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Follow me on Twitter: @DaveFinalVR
Dave Ramos

2017 is here and with it, another year to celebrate the games we love! Last year saw milestone anniversaries for series such as , The Legend of Zelda, and Dragon Quest. This year will see celebrations for two of Square Enix's biggest franchises, a long time favorite, and for better or worse another video game movie! So read on to see what franchises these are and their original release dates – it might make some of us feel old.

1. Final Fantasy – December 18, 1987

The most ironically named franchise in gaming is still running strong; who knows when we will see the Final Fantasy.

The long-running JRPG series turns 30 this year and I could not be any more excited! has announced on their Japanese site that a Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Opening Ceremony event will be held on January 31st at Toho Cinema in Roppongi Hills, Japan.

The event, taking place on the same day as Final Fantasy VII's original Japanese release (January 31st, 1997), will hopefully mean the company will announce the release date for the highly anticipated VII Remake.

While it has already been confirmed that Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be released this year along with additional content for Final Fantasy XV: both in the form of free updates and a $25 Season Pass, there are rumors of something much much bigger. According to a post by VGLeaks, Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Collection is in the works. The site claims there will be three versions of said collection:

1. Regular version: Games [FFI-FFIX] and poster.

2. Collector’s Edition: Games, poster, art book, 8-bit Black Mage keychain, Chocobo plush and two discs with a selection of songs chosen by Nobuo Uematsu.

3. Crystal Complete Edition. It will be only available in limited quantities in the Square Enix’s website for PS4. Crystal Complete Edition will include:

Games: Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Collection titles (FF I to IX), Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy, Final Fantasy XV (and all DLC), Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (including all expansions + a 3 month subscription). Special items for Final Fantasy XI Mobile and Final Fantasy XIV will be included as well.

Physical items: all the content included in the Collector’s Edition, two extra discs for the soundtrack, a crystal necklace, a Moogle plush, a Black Mage statue, all three Final Fantasy Trading Card Game starter decks, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV. Everything will be packed in a luxury chest decorated with the Final Fantasy logo.

Screenshot from the mobile version of 'Final Fantasy VI'
Screenshot from the mobile version of 'Final Fantasy VI'

Further details state that FFI-FFVI on the collection will feature two versions of each game on disc: one being a re-translation and uncensoring of content for the original versions of each game, the other being a more recent port. FFVII-FFIX will be based on the latest ports which include in-game cheats to turn off random encounters and max out all stats, making it perfect for players who just want to experience the story! Remember this is still very much a rumor. However, this type of collection is not unfamiliar as a similar collection was released exclusively in Japan for Final Fantasy's 25th anniversary and contained FFI to FFXIII. Hopefully this all proves true January 31st and maybe we will also have confirmation about a western release of the arcade version of which has been built using tech. North American release please?

Check out the Japanese-only video celebrating the series' 30th Anniversary and fifteen main entries below.

2. Mega Man – December 17, 1987

While Capcom hasn't said much on what might be in store for the Blue Bomber's 30th birthday (c'mon game!), Mega Man wasn't totally forgotten by its developer this year. In January, Capcom released the first six Mega Man games for both and . Each game is $1.99.

Mega Man X in 'Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite
Mega Man X in 'Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite

Mega Man X will make his return later in the year as a playable fighter when Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite releases. Awesomely, gameplay footage has shown X will be able to summon some of his signature armor to power him up mid-battle!

The year will also see the release of a new Mega Man animated series. The series is being worked on by Man of Action who's previous works include and the academy award winning . While not much has been announced yet, we do know Mega Man will be the alternate identity of robot Aki Light and the character will attend school. A release date has yet to be announced with the show currently slated to have a 26 episode first season.

Artwork of Aki Light A.K.A. Mega Man in the upcoming animated series.
Artwork of Aki Light A.K.A. Mega Man in the upcoming animated series.

However, a new entry in the franchise would be nice – the closest we've had was last year's Mighty No. 9 from former creator/producer Keiji Inafune. There are rumors that Capcom is planning on following the path of Boom with a new game based on the upcoming show. Although all this other stuff is cool, sure, I just hope this is finally the year Capcom listens to fans and restarts development on the cancelled Mega Man Legends 3 and/or give fans (me!) Mega Man X9 and have the story lead into the Elf Wars, but y'know...Capcom.

3. Street Fighter – August 30, 1987

What's in store for this year is still something of a mystery. We do know from a translated interview with Capcom Producer Tomoaki Ayano, plans are in place for the franchise's 30th Anniversary.

Announced at PlayStation Experience 2016, Akuma will be returning in Street Fighter V's Season 2 Pass along with 5 new fighters. Also Ryu and Chun-li have both been shown in the Infinite gameplay trailers.

It would be interesting to see if Capcom would release a sequel to Street Fighter x Mega Man, released in 2012 for the 25th anniversary of both franchises. Again Capcom, repeat after me, "new Mega Man games."

4. Mortal Kombat – October 8, 1992

Another long-running fighting game series that had its start in the arcade space; will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.

A new game in the series is unlikely as Mortal Kombat XL was released less then a year ago and NetherRealm Studios is currently working on 2 for a 2017 release.

However, fans can expect something different with a Mortal Kombat movie (ugh). Hopefully, this video game movie can break the curse and make up for the unfortunate turn of events that was the movie, otherwise it may go down as another a Fatality at the box office.

In the mean time check out the rumored cast!

5. Kingdom Hearts – March 28, 2002

Credit: Square Enix
Credit: Square Enix

The 15th anniversary of is a busy one and will be very kind to fans with two exclusives and a limited edition console. If you're a Kingdom Hearts fan you are probably used to the bizarre titles by now and that's great because there's a bunch of them coming.

Slated for release January 24th in North America, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will be the first time fans have had new story content on consoles since Kingdom Hearts II back in 2006. This new content will come in the form of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage- which will follow the story of in the Realm of Darkness while serving as a glimpse to the potential gameplay mechanics of the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained x Back Cover will be included as a movie that serves as a tie-in to the similarly titled app-game. The purpose of the film will be to shed some light onto the mysterious Foretellers prior to the infamous War. Lastly, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will also include Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, a graphical remaster of the original, fully playable in 1080p 60fps.

Two months later on March 28th (the original Japanese release date of the series's first entry) we will see release of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. This collection will include all the content from both Remasters on one disc for the running at 1080p 60fps officially making it possible to own the entire series (minus the one mobile entry) on one system.

Square Enix has announced a limited edition Kingdom Hearts PS4. Based on the slim model, this console will come with a one terabyte hard drive and a custom PS4 theme. While this system can only be bought from Japan, Sony does not region lock their games nor their systems so should you wish to import this for yourself you should have no problems playing all your favorite games.

Limited Edition Kingdom Hearts PS4 slim
Limited Edition Kingdom Hearts PS4 slim
Exclusive Theme
Exclusive Theme

If you are a fan of the mobile spin-off Kingdom Hearts Unchained x, you can expect many new updates in the coming months such as Proud Mode, a new world, and new multiplayer features.

Finally, for those who can't get enough of the wonderful music of the series, the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- begins soon. Tickets are on sale and series mastermind Tetsuya Nomura himself recently released a video exclaiming fans can expect him to make appearances at as many shows as his schedule allows and in doing so, will reveal new info (likely about Kingdom Hearts III) at the attended shows.


What series celebration are you most looking forward to?


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