I’m so mad that we have to wait for Final Fantasy 16 to release on PC, because it may be one of the best RPGs of the last decade

I bloody adore Final Fantasy, but I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t loved the series’ modern direction. I’m a diehard turn-based gal through and through, and I’ve struggled to adapt to the action combat of more recent entries like Final Fantasy 15 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake. I was worried my relationship with the games had run its course, but I’ve held out hope for Final Fantasy 16. Thank god I did, because I’m convinced it’ll be one of the best RPGs we’ve seen in the last 10 years, and I’m pissed that we have to wait for a PC release.

Playing the demo on PlayStation 5 made me realise how long it’s been since I felt so invested in a Final Fantasy game, outside of the critically-acclaimed MMORPG variety. It sounds daft, but I was worried it wouldn’t feel like a Final Fantasy game. But it does. It really, really does. While the demo is only a snippet of the first two hours of the game, it’s Square Enix’s best attempt yet at blending traditional series staples with modern gameplay to reel in a new audience.

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Throwing it back to a medieval setting is, funnily enough, surprisingly refreshing considering we haven’t seen an old-school vibe in the singleplayer mainline games since Final Fantasy 12. It’s nice to get away from all the futuristic stuff for a change—give me castle walls and claymores over fantasy Cadillacs and fluorescent lighting. It’s the perfect backdrop for the knights and royalty of Valisthea, and a small (admittedly sluggish) segment with adult Clive before we’re tossed back in time to his 15-year-old self for the prologue.

Roaming around the kingdom of Rosaria and speaking to its cast of characters gave me a surprising amount of attachment (or disdain) towards them right off the bat. Clive’s mother is a proper dick, while his Archduke father takes a far more kind and caring approach. I was surprised at how much I came to like his younger brother Joshua too, the chosen host of the fiery summon Phoenix and someone who annoyed me a fair bit in the trailers. He’s actually a right sweetheart, and it took less than an hour before I was feeling protective of him. There’s also the most adorable pupper in the form of Torgal, a dog I would readily sacrifice my entire life for. 

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Even the side characters, like knights Tyler and Wade or Clive’s mentor Murdoch, manage to cement themselves as memorable folks for their short screen time. I’m not usually a fan of a throwback-style prologue, but it’s gone a long way to do some great worldbuilding for what we can come to expect in Final Fantasy 16.

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