Final Fantasy 15 Review Roundup: Is It Worth the Wait?

By | 7 days ago 

The critical reviews officially begin to roll in for Final Fantasy 15, the latest installment in Square Enix’s long-running role-playing game franchise.

After having waited nearly a decade for its release, the moment is nearly here with Final Fantasy 15 coming out tomorrow. With this being the case, fans of the series are surely wondering whether or not the new game is going to be a day one purchase with the season pass, or if they should wait until the open world RPG has had its price drop a tad after having spent some time out in the marketplace.

Thankfully, plenty of critical reviews have been published in order to assist fans in determining if they should spend their hard-earned money on Final Fantasy 15 once it releases. Of course, there are already some gamers out there who have already gotten a taste of the action to be had in Square Enix’s latest effort for its long-running RPG franchise, as there were some copies that had their street date break earlier last week in South America, but those who want a better feel for the title should read on.

According to all of Square Enix’s hype leading up to the launch of Final Fantasy 15, the game ought to offer huge portions of gameplay, for not only are there are loads of side quests, but also fans can hunt monsters, fish, cook, ride Chocobos, and much more. Naturally, though, quantity doesn’t necessarily denote quality, so without further ado, fans can get a better idea of how the critics felt about their hands-on time with the game below.

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Game Informer (Andrew Reiner)

Final Fantasy 15 is unlike any RPG or open-world experience I’ve played before. It succeeds and struggles in finding its unique stance, but a few problematic designs don’t hold it back from being a hell of a journey. Just days after playing it, I find myself reflecting on it fondly. The thoughts of that damn car are recessed and blanketed by Noctis’ journey and some of the stunning moments that unfolded within it. I wasn’t a fan of Final Fantasy 13’s sequels, but I hope Square returns with another 15 or a similarly designed sequel to iron out the rough spots. There’s a solid foundation here that begs to be explored further.

Score: 8.5/10

IGN (Vince Ingenito)

There is so much good here, so much heart – especially in the relationships between Noctis and his sworn brothers. It just comes with some changes and compromises that were, at times, difficult for this long-time Final Fantasy fan to come to grips with.

Score: 8.2/10

Polygon (Philip Kollar)

The game contains pieces sure to disappoint players in both camps, but it also provides a refreshingly human take on the classic RPG journey that I hope will inspire future games in the franchise. Final Fantasy 15 can be baffling in some of its questionable choices, but across the board, it hits more than it misses. It hums with an energy and compassion that I loved, a sense of camaraderie, friendship and adventure that fills an old and struggling formula with new relevance.

Score: 9/10

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Time (Matt Peckham)

Something wonderful and improbable must have happened towards the end of the topsy-turvy decade it’s taken Square Enix to finally produce a Final Fantasy worth crowing about. Thank director Hajime Tabata for somehow righting the ship. How he did so could presumably fill a book. How many games get 10 years to simmer? Change captains mid-journey? Have lord knows how many investment dollars (to say nothing of franchise esteem) on the line? And how often does vaporware materialize, after years of elliptical studio messaging, this lively and focused and fully realized?

Score: 9/10

GamesRadar (David Roberts)

Even when it stumbles, Final Fantasy 15‘s ambitious open-world, fast-paced combat, and the humanity of its four leads make it a fascinating adventure to behold.

Score: 9/10

Destructoid (Chris Carter)

Even if you don’t buy into it, most will admit that Square Enix has master-crafted this world to the point where it feels like anything can happen out in the world map. Whereas a lot of JRPGs have stilted transitions between exploration and combat, [Final Fantasy 15] does it effortlessly. One moment you’re in an abandoned building talking about a quest, and the next a seamless conversation pops up and you’re in the thick of a battle. The same goes for setting up future events — just like how a Pokémon game might hint at future legendary additions early in the game, so does 15.

Score: 9/10

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GameSpot (Peter Brown)

Where its characters fail to impress, Final Fantasy 15‘s beautiful world and exciting challenges save the day.

Score: 8/10

GamesBeat (Mike Minotti)

Final Fantasy 15 has its problems, but it’s filled with enough special moments that you can forgive the issues. The combat is fluid, thoughtful, and cinematic while the open world gives you a ton to do. If you hated Final Fantasy 13 because of its linearity and lack of anything to do outside of the main story, you’ll dig just how much stuff Final Fantasy 15 has to offer.

Score: 9/10

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While it’s safe to say that not all of Final Fantasy 15‘s reviews have officially been published – ours here at Game Rant is currently in progress, for instance – it seems as if most critics are thoroughly satisfied with what director Hajime Tabata and his team at Square Enix cooked up for the RPG. That said, though, it’s worth mentioning that the critical reception thus far hasn’t taken into account the game’s day one patch that’s known as the “Crown Update.” This particular update is set to bring about 8 GB of tweaks and improvements, but even so, it shouldn’t alter the core experience of the title.

Taking all of this into account, it’s obvious that most of those who have had the chance to take on Final Fantasy 15 from beginning to end were able enjoy a considerably better experience than Conan O’Brien’s playthrough for his Clueless Gamer segment. So, should there be fans out there who tend to side with the critics when it comes to game reviews, then Final Fantasy 15 ought to slake their thirst when it comes to story, gameplay, visuals, and the fantastical feats related to unlocking all of the game’s Trophies and Achievements.

Final Fantasy 15 is set to release on November 29, 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.