Should You Play Final Fantasy VII Original Game in 2023?

The original game of Final Fantasy VII has been one of the most beloved products of the gaming industry to this day. If you, like myself earlier this year, have heard of this game, but aren’t quite sure if you should commit to this old-school, 50-hour project, I might be able to offer some insight. I only got to play FFVII OG for the first time in 2022, and my only regret is that I haven’t done so sooner. In this post, I’m going over some reasons why you may want to – or not want to – play the original FFVII.

Aesthetics

The first and most obvious thing you’ll look at when it comes to this game is its graphics, and there’s no way to sugarcoat it or beat around the bush – the game simply is what it is. I, like many others, have been able to enjoy its ‘90s charm even today, but if this is simply something you can’t move past, even if the game in question is legendary and well-known for its story, then that’s up to you to take into consideration and ultimately decide. I’m personally a big fan of old-school-looking games, pixel art and retro vibes, especially if the game is proving to be good, but before we get into why it’s good, I think it’s important to give this some thought.

Random combat/encounters

Apart from the looks that are admittedly fantastic for the year of 1997, when the game came out, you might find the game off-putting if you despise random combat encounters. This is something I wasn’t fully ready for when I started with FFVII, as it was only my second Final Fantasy game and I didn’t quite understand the benefits of being in combat all the time – especially because I streamed my playthrough and for some reason was feeling like I was wasting my viewers’ time by not getting to the bosses and lore bits as fast as humanly possible, but that’s just me and my silly imperfections. The combat is actually quite fun, rewarding and engaging, with a lot of interesting and unique mini-bosses to fight, counter and loot, and I over time learned how to love the game for what it is.

The story of FFVII

The real reason why you should be playing FFVII is because of its fantastic storytelling. If you’ve been planning to play Final Fantasy VII Remake or Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, I can 100% claim that playing the original FFVII game will be quite important for your experience in those games. You can still enjoy them even without knowing the full story of FFVII, but in order to fully understand and appreciate some of the events and Easter eggs, having FFVII OG under your belt will be very meaningful. And it’s not just for the story – the soundtracks you’ll hear in this game will reappear as glorious, remastered versions in both FFVII Remake and Crisis Core Reunion, and those moments will feel so, so good when you know where the tunes are coming from.

Finally, if you’re the kind of gamer who enjoys playing games in their chronological order, going through FFVII OG is a much better idea if you’re planning on playing FFVII Remake. The story of Remake cuts into only about 8 hours of OG gameplay, so if you’re eager to know the full story first, playing FFVII OG makes more sense. Worst case, you can play FFVII OG up until the bike ride, and then jump into Remake if you feel like it’s ultimately not for you, but I’d highly recommend at least giving it a decent shot before choosing to play the modern version first.

At the end of the day, the decision is up to you, but as I said multiple times – if you appreciate good storytelling, being familiar with the context before jumping into modern recreations of the game, and you’d like to be able to appreciate Remake and Crisis Core for what they are as modern versions of the same environment, I’d recommend giving FFVII OG a try. Let me know what you think about this in the comments – if you’ve played through any of these games before, I’m sure anyone would appreciate your two cents on what they should do and whether FFVII OG is worth playing in today’s day and age. You can find my full FFVII OG playthrough HERE, should you want to check it out, but beware of the spoilers and tread through the lore bits carefully if you haven’t played yet!

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