Final Fantasy VII 30th Anniversary: How you can play the classic game today

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 01 Feb 2017

Blast from the past: Final Fantasy VII was a successful franchise transition from 2D to 3D, much like Nintendo's Super Mario 64.

A watershed moment in video game history celebrates its 30th anniversary; Final Fantasy VII was first released on Jan 31, 1997, validating efforts to present video games not just as entertainment but also as an elevated means of storytelling.

It was a huge international success for a Japanese-developed role playing game.

An exceptionally high quality of characters, of presentation, musical score, and storyline combined to pull players into the Final Fantasy VII plot and, enhanced by the game's interactivity, those players in many cases found themselves deeply engaged with those characters' fate.

Unlikely to find itself on Xbox anytime soon (though equally surprising things have happened in franchise history,) Final Fantasy VII is nevertheless still available to play today.

The first option would be to get a hold of the original Final Fantasy VII.

Released in Japan in January 1997, and later that year internationally, Final Fantasy VII was a transition to full 3D graphics with video cutscenes, published overseas by Sony for its debut home console, the PlayStation.

New, factory sealed copies can go for upwards of US$200 (RM860), but secondhand discs are more usually available for a tenth of that price. It'll play on the PlayStation One and the PlayStation 2.

Ten years later and Final Fantasy VII was being made available as a digital download for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (and latterly, both the PSP's successor, PlayStation Vita, and set-top mini box, the PlayStation TV.) That's US$4.99 (RM22).

A PlayStation 4 version followed in December 2015 at US$15.99 (RM70). That's distinct from Final Fantasy VII: Remake which is currently in development.

Moving over to Windows PC, where FF VII was released in 1998, and where the PlayStation 4's edition came from, thegame can be found for US$11.99 (RM53)  at full price from developer Square Enix as well as a number of other major retailers such as Steam, GameStop and Amazon. For those willing to shop around or wait for a sale, "FF VII" will frequently dip to US$5.99 (RM26.50) or around US$3.50 (RM15.50) .

Most conveniently for the modern age are smartphone ports of the PlayStation classic; the hefty 2GB download is usually US$15.99 (RM70) on iOS and Android.

And in an effort to tempt Final Fantasy fans to try one of its mobile offerings, Final Fantasy Mobius will be launching on PC from Feb 6. On Feb 7, FF VII lead character Cloud will join FF Mobius in his Remake form as part of a special crossover event that has already been put on for Japanese players.

It's hardly FF VII, but for those waiting for the remake, it's something. —  AFP Relaxnews


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