Final Fantasy 7 Remake Review: The Game We’ve Been Waiting Two Decades For Is Worth The Wait

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Review: The Game We’ve Been Waiting Two Decades For Is Worth The Wait
Credit: Square Enix

This is a spoiler-free review of Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Nearly two-and-a-half decades.

That’s how long gamers have been clamoring for a HD remake of Final Fantasy VII, arguably the most popular JRPG of all time.

From the music to the characters to the story and combat, this is a game that has ingrained itself into the hearts and minds of players for an entire generation.

So, obviously, the remake of what many consider to be the greatest game of all time is going to face some heavy scrutiny.

Does Final Fantasy VII Remake hold up under such intense pressure?

Heck yes it does.

The Good of Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Where to begin?

This game succeeds in every way, both as a remake that longtime fans of the franchise can geek out over and a jumping on point for anyone who has never played a Final Fantasy game in their entire life.

Let’s start off with the characters.

All of our old favorites are back, including Cloud, Barret, Tifa, Aerith, and Red XIII. Not only are the characterizations spot on, but the stellar voice acting and superb script give you a new sense of depth to these characters. Many who have grown up with the characters of Final Fantasy VII are getting to know them all over again.

And that’s not just the main cast. Side characters like Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie are so well developed, they actually feel like members of the team. Even characters who only appeared in the original briefly like Johnny and Mayor Domino are brought to stunning life in this remake.

That brings us to the graphics. Boy howdy, is this game pretty.

In many ways, Final Fantasy VII Remake feels like a swan song for the PlayStation 4, showing off the full power of this console just before the end of its life cycle. The game looks so amazing that at some points I completely forgot it was a video game. It feels like you’re playing a movie. The graphics exceed even those of the Final Fantasy VII sequel movie Advent Children, which is no small feat.

The story was long and involved, but it never felt overstuffed. What I appreciated more than anything was that nothing was taken away from the original Final Fantasy VII. Everything that you knew and loved about this story remained intact. The game was padded out with various side missions and subplots, all of which fit in naturally and were never bothersome.

Some missions, like a side plot involving Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie actually added a lot of depth to the story and make certain aspects of the original game hit a lot harder on an emotional level.

Then there’s the combat.

This was by far my favorite combat system in any Final Fantasy game to date. It seamlessly blended the turn-based combat of the original with a more modern action adventure style that would be found in games like Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts.

Finally, I need to talk a bit about the voice acting. It was phenomenal. Every single actor who lent their talents to this game should be proud because they brought an already popular and vibrant world to life in a way that no one could have predicted.

I want to take a moment to particularly point out the performance of Strange Rebel Gaming’s Briana White as Aerith. She clearly poured her entire heart and soul into this performance. She took a beloved character in Aerith and made her truly iconic and immortal in a way that I never thought possible.

The Bad of Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Honestly, there’s nothing overwhelmingly negative that I can point out about this game. Even the camera issues that plagued the demo were absent in the final product.

The one thing that I can say without giving spoilers is that the game’s ending can be a little polarizing.

Tetsuya Nomura has a tendency to get a tad complicated when telling stories. His work on the Kingdom Hearts series immediately springs to mind. Nomura definitely went “full Nomura” with the game’s ending, leaving many confused as to the future of this franchise.

However, I can’t really call that a hard negative because I really liked the ending and the implications of it.

Final Thoughts on Final Fantasy 7 Remake

From top to bottom this game is a total masterpiece. When you wait this length of time for a game, it can sometimes fall flat on its face or be a little anticlimactic. (Looking at you, Kingdom Hearts 3!)

That’s not the case here whatsoever.

I give Final Fantasy VII Remake a perfect 10/10.

Everyone involved in this project should be proud of themselves. Also, they should tweet me and let me know when the next one is coming out because I’m dying over here!