With the recent Fan Fest having just come to a close and the announcement of a new expansion, there’s never been a better time than now to hop into Final Fantasy XIV. Long considered to be not just the best online version of Final Fantasy but also one of the best ongoing MMORPGs, Final Fantasy XIV is still going strong 10 years since its relaunch. And while the game has long been exclusive to PC and PlayStation, the recent anniversary and Fan Fest announcements came with the added bonus surprise announcement that Final Fantasy XIV will be heading to Xbox next year. With the title finally available on PC and all next-gen consoles, it bears looking into why the title is so special and worth players’ time.
Sure, the game has plenty of expansions as well as a new one right around the corner, but you’d be remiss to discount the base game. One of the best ways to get into FFXIV is through playing the main story quest line (MSQL) and experiencing what’s on offer for yourself. If you decide that the game is for you, there are additional hundreds of hours of content awaiting any player that (likely) finds themselves hooked. Not only does the title fully grasp what players love about Final Fantasy as a franchise, it has one of the best and most positive communities of players that are ready and willing to help newcomers.
Over 300 Hours of Content, With More to Come
In terms of getting your money’s worth from a game, few titles can begin to compare with the level of potential content awaiting players in Final Fantasy XIV. The story content alone equates to roughly 300 hours of potential gameplay, and that’s not even counting the post and endgame activities and side content. Simply put, if you’re planning on getting into an MMORPG that will last you a long while, Final Fantasy XIV is one of the best options out there. And in terms of the quality of that content, few other titles’ DLC expansions match the consistency and meaningful impact of FFXIV‘s.
The most recent expansion, Dawntrail, is the first major new content for the game since the Endwalker expansion in 2021. Not only is the newest expansion adding new story content, quests, and an entirely new continent, it’s just the first in a new series of planned expansions. With FFXIV having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, it’s amazing to see that the developers still continue to support the game far into the future with new content and updates to the game’s presentation.
27 Million Players Worldwide and Dedicated Servers
It’s safe to say that, as online experiences, MMORPGs live and die by their player counts. If a game fails to take off with its intended player base, the title is essentially dead in the water and it can take a miracle to revive it. Such was the case with Final Fantasy XIV when it first launched, with many considering the base game to be an unmitigated disaster. Thankfully, Naoki Yoshida’s handling of the game with its A Realm Reborn relaunch and beyond has brought the title to some unprecedented heights. After a botched original launch, it’s amazing to be able to report that the title is fast approaching 30 million active players.
One of the key components of the game that has helped both grow and retain that impressive number of players is the title’s use of dedicated global servers. Players can easily hop into regional servers that are readily available to house their adventures, but there are also special servers that grant bonuses to XP gain or other unique boosts. Add to that the fact that many of the game’s community take it upon themselves to welcome and shepherd in new players and you have a robust and active community that is ready and willing to embrace and help out new entrants to the world of Eorzea.
One of the Best Final Fantasy Games, Online or Otherwise
Final Fantasy is a legendary franchise and arguably one of the two game series responsible for establishing the blueprint for RPG design. Many fans loved the series’ first take on an MMORPG with Final Fantasy XI, but Final Fantasy XIV firmly establishes itself as the best online version of the legendary franchise for a number of reasons. For one, the flexibility and options afforded to players in terms of class selection and job rotation help to give the game an incredibly high skill ceiling. Outside of gameplay though, FFXIV has one of the best stories in a series known for its engaging and gripping narratives.
Not only does Final Fantasy XIV represent the highs of the MMORPG genre, it’s simply one of the best games in the entire Final Fantasy franchise canon, period. The beautiful world of Eorzea is bursting with life and activities for players to get lost in along with an amazing MSQL and challenging endgame. Beyond that, several of the game’s expansions have added jobs, quests, bosses, dungeons, or raids that harken back to past games in the series. FFXIV isn’t just the best version of online Final Fantasy, it’s a love letter to the entire franchise as a whole.
The Creative Team and Masterminds Behind Final Fantasy XVI
It’s no secret that 2023 has been a banner year for high-profile game releases, the principal among them being the latest Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XVI. The intent behind the latest game in the series was to advance the franchise while also returning it to its roots. No small feat for any game series, to be sure, but an especially challenging one for a series with as rich a history as Final Fantasy. When it came time for Square Enix to decide which of their teams would handle the duty of developing Final Fantasy XVI, it was almost possible to hear a collective sigh of relief that Creative Business Unit 3 was chosen to handle the job.
CBU 3 have established to fans over the last 10 years their love and understanding of what makes a Final Fantasy game tick with its work on FFXIV. The mastermind behind Final Fantasy XIV‘s redemption and relaunch, Naoki Yoshida, was Final Fantasy XVI‘s Executive Producer, overseeing the creative vision and development of the title and placing the same care and consideration for the series fans had come to expect thanks to their time with FFXIV. If you’ve played and loved Final Fantasy XVI like millions of others, it’s time to go back and play Final Fantasy XIV and see where it gets a lot of its DNA.
A Lengthy Free Trial
Maybe the best (and most cost-effective) reason to finally dive into Final Fantasy XIV if you haven’t yet is the game’s incredible Free Trial. Most free trials or demos for games are simply bite-sized chunks of gameplay that showcase some of the title’s highlights ahead of launch. Some of these same trials even allow the player to save their progress and carry it over to the full release. Final Fantasy XIV laughs in the face of these demos and asks “What if we gave players their first 50 levels for free?”. Not only will the Free Trial for FFXIV take players all the way to level 50, but it also allows you to complete the base game’s MSQL. From there, you can decide if you’re ready to dive into the game’s subscription model and expansions.
It shows incredible faith in their product that Square Enix is willing to give players the base game for free before charging them a dime. Especially in this day and age where games are bursting with microtransactions and questionable monetization practices, having the base game (and a great one, at that) be free is simply amazing. And with the Free Trial making its way to Xbox soon, players on Microsoft’s console can finally see what all the fuss is about. The Free Trial gives you plenty of reason to check out Final Fantasy XIV and see if you’re ready to lose yourself in its vibrant world.