Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to arrive in March next year—but before you race off to play Cloud Strife, you owe it to yourself to complete Noctis Lucis Caelum’s journey first.
Support for Final Fantasy XV ended when the last of the DLC, Episode Ardyn, released earlier this year—if you haven’t taken the time to finish, or even start the game, I urge you to do so. Here lies the ultimate road-trip with you and your three friends, meeting curious characters along the way, before ultimately bumping into your big-bad: Ardyn. It’s a compelling narrative that tells its story through strong bonds of friendship—and there is no better time to pick up a copy. The Royal Edition with the base game and four of the five main DLC available sits at a much lower price now then it was at launch.
It’s hard not to become attached to the four protagonists, each with their own unique combat sets, and who have a strong bond with primary character Noctis from the moment you turn on the game.
FFXV had caught me in it’s clutches when the game’s third scene had you pushing the Regalia (your car) to the next town when it breaks down. “Stand By Me”, covered by Florence + The Machine plays while the boys argue about who gets to sit in the driver’s seat while the others push. I was enthralled. Never have I encountered a game with a unique opening that promised massive battles, yet soft downtime with three reliable NPCs, that don’t need your babying and look after themselves.
The music composed by Yoko Shimomura (of Kingdom Hearts fame) is exquisite. Its design is excellent and features such an explosion of colour, I regret not saving most of Prompto’s in-game photos (which he takes himself). The game play is smooth and combat is forgiving for newer players but still provides a challenge for those who want to master the higher difficulty. And if you thought you finished the game when you beat Ardyn for the last time, I have news for you:
After the game’s conclusion, if you return to the open world, there are hours of content now accessible. From dungeon crawling, monster hunting, Regalia upgrading, boat sailing—or if you haven’t completed all of your side quests, you can now do so. It’s hard to 100% finish, and I applaud the players that have already done so. I’m completing my second playthrough, having rushed through the first for the glorious cake that is its main story—but I missed a lot of content in its side quests. This week I discovered that there was an entire area of the open world I hadn’t explored yet. I’ve been playing for six months. The is so much left to do, if you’ve only ‘finished’ the game once.
The fifteenth mainline entry to the Final Fantasy franchise led a troublesome life, but sets itself apart from its siblings nicely. Originally intended to be part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, which would have connected its mythos to predecessor Final Fantasy XIII, the game was originally under the purview of Tetsuya Nomura (who is now behind the FFVII remake), and titled Final Fantasy Verses XIII. But a series of in-house shuffling resulted in Hajime Tabata (Final Fantasy Type-0) taking over the project. From a rocky development that started in 2006, all the way to a fizzled ending with the announcement that three of the four planned DLCs set for release this year would be cancelled, putting all that content into book form (which has had a mixed reception from fans, despite not yet having an English release). FFXV has not had the most stable life when compared to its older siblings. But it arguably has the most content.
No, seriously. There’s a bunch of content that will keep you entertained for hours:
- Episode Duscae (demo on Final Fantasy Type-0, no longer available)
- Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV (demo set during Noctis’ childhood)
- Final Fantasy XV Prologue Parting Ways (Japanese audiobook, English PDF available (free))
- Final Fantasy XV
- Episode Gladiolus
- Episode Prompto
- Episode Ignis
- Episode Ardyn
- Comrades (multi-player)
- Pocket Edition (pocket edition of FFXV, available on mobile and consoles (including a Nintendo Switch release))
- Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (film)
- Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV (anime mini-series (available for free on YouTube)
- Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV (VR game)
- A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV (side-scroller)
- Final Fantasy XV: Dawn of the Future (novel compiling stories of the cancelled DLC episodes, English release coming soon)
I’m not even certain if that’s all of it. It’s easy to see why people refer to this collection as the Final Fantasy XV universe.
So before you jump back into FFVII’s remake, go and finish Final Fantasy XV. Become king. Stand by your friends. The Regalia is waiting for you.