ByWayne Woodard, writer at
Film, TV and Video Game enthusiast. Hoping to share unique insight on all things geeky and cool!
Wayne Woodard

Final Fantasy XV is set to hit the market on November 29. This marks more than six years since the release of its predecessor, online Final Fantasy XIV. It's an even longer span of time if you go strictly by the console standalone format that kicked off the series. Square Enix has been taking its time developing this title, polishing its latest beast to meet what could be impossible expectations.

The company is in a unique position. Some would say it has to continue modernizing play mechanics and battle systems. also has to appeal to the masses by incorporating Western gaming sensibilities. Role-playing games have evolved from their whimsical medieval plots to include complicated protagonists in wide-ranging settings. The developers also have to consider what longtime fans of the series have come to expect.

Final Fantasy I Screenshot/NES
Final Fantasy I Screenshot/NES

First Fantasy

Final Fantasy began on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, introducing us to the legendary sprites and sound effects that would be reiterated more thoroughly in subsequent releases. The classic theme of bad guy bent upon world domination versus heroes banding together in defiance only seemed to get better with each sequel. It's hotly debated on where the series actually peaked, but this old reddit thread clearly has its favorites.

"Final Fantasy VI" artwork by Yoshitaka Amano/Square Enix.
"Final Fantasy VI" artwork by Yoshitaka Amano/Square Enix.

Both Final Fantasy VI and VII showcased the best the series had to offer. Those who've played through these two titles can appreciate the legacy they've left for for the franchise. Nobuo Uematsu's iconic soundtracks and the twisting narratives elicited the deepest of emotions from gamers.

From Celes's operatic plea of dual meanings to the heartbreaking loss Cloud faced when Sephiroth took Aerith's life, we were never more invested. Subsequent sequels lost their way a bit, though Square Enix gave us a satisfying wink with Final Fantasy IX. The 10th game in the series would go on to be a defining chapter for some, but not live up to the bombastic appeal of Final Fantasy VII.

"Final Fantasy VII" artwork by Tetsuya Nomura/Square Enix.
"Final Fantasy VII" artwork by Tetsuya Nomura/Square Enix.

Will This New Game Take Final Fantasy To The Next Level?

You can debate the quality of these latter Final Fantasy iterations based on your own experience and approach to role playing. However, there's no debating their quality is far from where Final Fantasy VI and VII stood when released. All this goes a long way to say it's with some trepidation I await the release of Final Fantasy XV.

There have been many games of this series showing the genius of its storytellers — or the lack thereof. Is it even fair to judge this entry based on previous game-playing experience? The Mass Effect series, along with The Witcher 3, has contributed to a growing change regarding modern expectations of role-playing . Whatever the case, we'll all find out together one week from now. This old-timer is just hoping it captures a fraction of the Final Fantasy magic that once there was.

Final Fantasy XV releases on November 29. Are you excited?

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