Image: Square Enix / Kotaku
My life changed forever when I got a copy of Final Fantasy VII in 1997 (losing those discs has haunted me ever since). While I enjoy much of the 2020 Remake, the original experience is irreplaceably special to me. I start a new playthrough of it at least once a year, every year. Other times, I’ll just jump into a random save file I was working my way through at some point. It must be on anything I own that can run it.
Since 2015, the remaster (not Remake) has made the experience much smoother; and it’s always fun to occasionally mess around with mods that tweak character models or apply AI upscaled backgrounds to clean up the image.
The story, the characters, the landmark soundtrack with gorgeous compositions and tear-jerking melodies surpass the limitations of the rather humdrum sounds the midi-controlled sequencer on the PSX produced, it culminates into not just one of my favorite video games of all time, it’s one of my favorite media experiences, period.
Watch: Let’s Mosey: A Slow Translation Of Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII, in its original form, is an epic story of identity, friendship, love, and struggle in the face of insurmountable odds against seemingly unstoppable foes. I delight, as I did in my youth, blissfully getting lost in it. Its world, with blocky polygonal models might seem primordial by today’s standards, but to me its graphical limitations are an abstract that paints a bigger picture in my head—one that no amount of modern, hyper powerful game engines with all the bells and whistles will ever be able to touch.
And, yeah, you were right, Aeris; it was always the only way.