Why I’ve Never Played Final Fantasy VII (and Probably Never Will)

Final Fantasy VIIYou lucky Final Fantasy VII fans, you! Within two days of each other, Final Fantasy VII has been released on Steam for $12 and a Cloud costume has been set as a pre-order bonus for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

I’d love to be able to join you in your joy of this long-awaited port and awesome bonus content, but alas, I am afraid that I have never played Final Fantasy VII. I’ve never played even a minute of it and, if I’m to be honest, am pretty sure that I never will – and here’s why.

Having grown up in the era of the PlayStation 1 and 2, Final Fantasy VII should have appealed to me. I loved Squaresoft games like Parasite Eve and even Final Fantasy VIII (the only Final Fantasy game I’ve ever played) and various other RPGs but knew very little about the Final Fantasy franchise at the time. My first experience of Final Fantasy VII came when I started dating a girl for three years when I was eleven (an absurdly lengthy relationship for the age we were, eh?)

I’ve always been moderately self-conscious and get easily paranoid and jealous, so her all-consuming love of Cloud Strife from the game stupidly made me resent him a little – mixed with disliking him due to the game’s popularity for some reason, it led me to create the terribly cringe-worthy video below dedicated to my hatred of him in my pre-teens.

Unfortunately, by the time I both grew out of this immature phase and broke up with her, Final Fantasy VII was already quite dated and what with my only experience of the franchise being Final Fantasy VIII, I never bothered picking it up.

So, why don’t I give it a go now that it’s released on Steam, I hear you ask? Well, honestly I just don’t feel the need to. It’s not that the game appears awful to me – it must be on numerous ‘best games ever’ lists for good reason – but I simply don’t feel that I’d enjoy it nowadays. The blocky hands bug me, the experience has been ruined for me by a combination of the hype for the game and knowing exactly how the story pans out, and I’m just too used to Final Fantasy VIII’s mechanics to not feel annoyed by that of its predecessor’s.

Watching trailers and gameplay, I get an epic sense from the game, but with a game being this hyped up by your peers for over a decade you’d not be able to help feeling disappointed by it. It’s a pity, as I’m sure that if at a young age I hadn’t been so stubborn to try it out I would’ve loved it and could understand what it is that all of you fans get out of the game. But afraid that I was that stubborn and I don’t get what it is that you all love about this game.

As a side-note: you don’t want a remake of this game. It’s perhaps the most requested remake of all-time, but if you think the game is perfect, why do you need a remake? What will you gain from that other than feeling disappointed by the changes it makes to the original game?

About Ryan Brown

Commonly going by the alias 'Toadsanime' online, Ryan Brown acts as Coin Arcade's editor and primary writer. With an avid interest in various aspects of gaming -- including general gaming, indie gaming, retro gaming and merchandise collecting -- he aspires to build a career in the video game journalism industry. He also writes his own descriptions as if talking about somebody else, apparently.

14 comments on “Why I’ve Never Played Final Fantasy VII (and Probably Never Will)

  1. I played the game for the first time ever in 2010 after ignoring it for years. My first FF game was FF8 because I saw it on the Parasite Eve demo disc and even though I played FF7 very recently I immediately thought that it was easily the best FF game ever only second to FF6,

    Because the thing about FF7 is that it is so different to all the other ones. FF7 is actually very dark, it has a love triangle, a main character gets killed, the Materia system it’s addicting like collecting Pokemon and training them and the game has the single best side-quest of any FF game ever. The Gold Chocobo side-quest was super long but super fun and totally worth it. Then after getting all the best Materias with the help of the Gold Chocobo you could prepare go face the single most difficult boss on any FF game to date. Ruby Weapon.

    Most of the people that hate on the game it’s because they never played it or simply didn’t play enough. And if I were you I wouldn’t wait for a remake because Square would only ruin it at this state. Just look at how they see Cloud now:

    Weak and emo:

    vs how he really was

    Proud, cocky and powerful:

    • In Squares defense, that’s what I think would look like. I’m 15 hours in, forcing myself through this game. That’s a sign that it isn’t great is when the only thing I keep hearing is I’m not far enough in to enjoy it. That’s the BS that people used to defend FF13 and I hated anyone who used that excuse, but at least I was enjoying FF13 5 hours in. I’m still waiting for FF7 to be at all interesting.

    • I finished FFVII a few months back. Spoilers, it still sucks! Also, there’s no ending. Play FFX. It’s dark, has summonings that actually stay longer than a cut scene to fight, and there’s only one character I want to shove off a cliff instead off four! One last thing, the golden chocobo quest was boring, repetitive and I only did it to grind levels on the side so I could get past the dragon with Ultima in the last dungeon (who turned out to be harder than any of the final bosses).

  2. Agreed to the poster above. All this “blogger” has proven is that he has no business writing about video games. Troll bait article is troll bait.

    • It’s not troll bait – I’ve not insulted the game and recognise it as a great game, I just unfortunately can’t get into it.

      As I grew up around it and among friends who regarded it as a milestone in gaming, it’s culturally relevant to me, enough so to write about – even more-so now that the game has recently hit Steam.

  3. What was the point of this article? Can you please write another one about which breakfasts cereals you do and don’t eat and why you don’t eat specific ones?

  4. Ryan, I appreciate what you’re trying to do here. However, if you want people to respect your writing, beginning with non-sensical bias is not a good way to progress. A good journalist would want to play and write about the game for the very same reasons you don’t want to. It’s about exploring those ideas, and the fact that this article in addition with another detailing your actual impressions would have actually made for an excellent feature article. At this point in time, this article doesn’t serve any purpose right other than to attract attention. I strongly encourage you to try the game, and then produce a follow-up.

  5. You said “blocky hands bug me” then again you said “why do you need a remake”! A remake with update graphics/audio while keeping its core gameplay and storyline is of course what every fan want.

  6. Your loss, but you’re probably right about it being too late for you. FF8 was a perfect sequel to FF7, as in it didn’t disappoint me at all given how great of a game it had to follow. That said, FF8 is still not as good as FF7, and I don’t know if they will ever match the quality and legacy of FF7. The game was just the most well rounded of the series and will probably always be my favorite game of all time. As far as why a remake? That’s easy, I want people to experience the same amount of joy I had playing FF7, a new generation.

  7. This seems pretty close-minded to me. You write for video games but you won’t participate in its history? And of all reasons: graphics and mechanics? You sir are everything that is wrong with the games industry, namely, another pawn of the ignorant masses selling their ignorance as fact.

    Folks, if you really like video games. Like if you really, really like video games and appreciate them as a medium, you need to at least play FF7. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to beat it. But you need to at least fucking play it. smh.

    • For the sake of history, I may very well actually end up playing it at some point.

      As someone primarily into niche lil’ indie games, I’m certainly not one to ignore a game over graphical limitations. I did mention the reasons why I’ve not played the game – largely silly personal reasons, largely as I’m too used to Final Fantasy VIII and largely because it simply won’t live up to the mass-hype I’ve been surrounded by of it and I’d like to continue distantly admiring it being a good game I haven’t played as opposed to it becoming a game that disappointed me.

  8. “But afraid that I was that stubborn and I don’t get what it is that you all love about this game.”

    Well, yeah. You can’t really “get” something yourself unless you’ve had some experience with the game.

    I agree that FFVII has been overblown, and that probably won’t ever help you enjoy it. It sounds like you were unfortunate in getting a negative bias for the game without really trying it. I was lucky enough to stumble upon it as a random game I hadn’t heard of in a rental store when I was younger, so didn’t get hyped up over it. In fact, I never even finished the first disc then – FF8 was the first FF game I loved and completed, but it made me want to go back to FF7 afterward. I do think you should give it a shot, and try to play it with as little expectation as you can. If you expect to be amazed, you’ll no doubt be disappointed. But similarly, if you go in expecting to hate it, you might not be giving it a fair shot.

    To be honest, the blocky hands were never appealing. On the flipside, the game’s environments majorly consist of drawn artwork, so that half of the game actually aged fairly well. I recently got round to playing the original Mega Man series, and while I hated the crappy NES graphics to start, I got used to them and had an enjoyable experience in the end (not mind-blowing, but fun)

    FFVII’s still got a solid battle system, too – FF8’s didn’t age well for me, when I found it was actually a little broken when I returned to it, as it’s easy to abuse Limit Breaks.

    I always feel that VII’s reputation as the “best” Final Fantasy is always far too exaggerated, I think that VIII, IX and X were all just as good, albeit for different reasons. But I do know people that have only played it for the first time in recent years and still enjoyed it.

  9. FF VII is not the best, because VI, Tactics, VIII, IX and X are incomeasurable, and damn good at what they are trying to do.

    I personally did not get that much enjoyment from VI, but I think I’ll give it another go soon just to double check — too many people love it and it has been too long since I played it, maybe I missed summat.

    VII is not the greatest game ever, but it is one of the best turn/random-encounter based games ever. But that said, it falls directly in line with Parasite Eve, Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Mana, Legend of Legaia, Chrono Cross and so many others.

    What FF VII -really- is. .. that’s two things.

    1: The ‘first’ truly great ‘jrpg’ with proper drama.
    2: The highest form such a system can produce — after which point all become incommeasurable due to matters of taste (art style, music style, story style, and just in general, forms of style.)

    I never did like sprite based RPGs, even when they were the only RPGs out there. I preferred Mario and Double Dragon and Mortal Kombat back then.

    I can respect this article as something of a lark: “This is the really weird, entirely personal, but totally true reason I just can’t get myself to play FF VII — plus, you know, hype.”

    To that, I still must say that — this game is not the best thing ever, but it is damned well worth playing, even if you hate it. But I’m a historian, I couldn’t resist it — or COD or Assassins’ Creed, which I hated both, or Chrono Trigger, which I did enjoy, or any number of others — for that reason alone. It is a part of our history, and that is enough to make it worth experiencing.

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