Just a few days since its release, it is clear that the Final Fantasy VII remake has more than lived up to very high expectations of the fans of one of the greatest JRPGs ever developed. The game is reestablishing Square-Enix’s most popular and mainstream entry in the series to date as a modern-day classic and gamers are already anticipating the sequel.
However, there is likely to be quite a wait before Final Fantasy VII fans will be able to continue the battle against the Shinra Corporation and one of gaming’s most enigmatic antagonists Sephiroth. Thankfully, there are epic franchises and games for players to immerse themselves in while they are waiting. Let’s take a look at ten games fans of the Final Fantasy remake should invest their time into.
Updated by Michael Llewellyn on January 29th, 2021: The Final Fantasy VII Remake was a big hit for Square-Enix and went appreciated by fans that felt like they were waiting forever to see materialize. It was a AAA blockbuster that more than lived up to the hype and satisfied a hardcore audience of fans.
Unfortunately, it’s still looking likely that gamers will have a long wait ahead of them when it comes to the next entry in the series. In the meantime, players still have an abundance of choices in epic gaming adventures to jump into while they wait.
15 Mass Effect Trilogy
Originally released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the Mass Effect Trilogy is one of the best science fiction sagas in gaming. Even with the somewhat controversial ending, it’s an epic space opera that easily compares with TV shows like Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse.
The series features great dialogue options and an enthrallingly immersive narrative from start to finish. The game still holds up on a visual level thanks to its fantastic production values, but it would probably be best to wait for Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition which is set to release some time in 2021.
14 Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana
Released in 2016, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is an action RPG that released on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and the PC. The production values obviously don’t come close to the AAA powerhouse that the Final Fantasy VII Remake is, but the combat system, excellent world-building, and endearing characters will appeal to fans of the remake.
It’s the most accessible game in the series. And even though there is a small sense of continuity, gamers can still comfortably jump each and every entry without prior knowledge of its predecessors. The sequel, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is set to be released in the West in February 2021. It builds on the mechanics of Ys VIII and appears to be a darker tale than its predecessors.
13 Cyberpunk 2077
Released in December 2020 and developed by CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world science fiction RPG that has been the recipient of quite a bit of criticism at launch for being almost unplayable on base consoles. However, for those lucky enough to play it on a good PC (or to a lesser extent the PS5 and Xbox Series X) it’s a much better experience.
Furthermore, fans of Final Fantasy VII’s setting will definitely find a lot to love in the remarkable cyberpunk setting in CD Projekt Red’s RPG. It may be worth waiting until the game has received a few more major patches or the inevitable next-gen upgrade that will get released later in the year.
12 Grandia HD Remastered Collection
Grandia HD Remastered Collection is a compilation of the first two games in the series that released on the PS1 and the Sega Dreamcast in 1997 and 2000 respectively. Both games offer players two incredible adventures but it’s Grandia II that may appeal to fans of Final Fantasy VII.
The combat system is more refined than its predecessor, and the story and characters take a more serious tone in the sequel than the first. The lead character Ryudo is a mercenary working as a bodyguard that suddenly finds himself reluctantly falling into a “save the world” plot. In addition, it has a good cast of characters with great villains and a gripping plot.
11 The Legend Of Heroes – Trails Series
Since its release in 1997, the monumental success of Final Fantasy VII led to it becoming a saga that featured spin-offs, prequels, books, and even films. Even the remake expands on the original storyline with new characters and is planned to be a series.
It may be a long wait as fans anticipate the second entry in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, but until then, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky trilogy and the Trails in Cold Steel saga is the perfect series to dive into. No other JRPG has come close to this series in terms of depth and longevity, and it’s the perfect series to play while waiting for the next episode in the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
10 Final Fantasy XV
If gamers are looking for a modern Final Fantasy game with a fast-paced combat system with some turn-based elements then look no further than 2016’s Final Fantasy XV. Available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the PC with a wealth of additional content added post-launch and character-based DLC, FFXV is a much better game in its current form than it was at launch.
While it may not quite match Final Fantasy VII’s depth, interactivity, and characterization, Final Fantasy XV is still a huge game to get to grips with and a decent way to fill the gap until the second part of the remake gets released.
9 Lost Odyssey
Released exclusively on the Xbox 360 in 2008 Lost Odyssey is a JRPG developed by Mistwalker Studios and was designed by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. In addition, the game’s score was composed by famed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.
Lost Odyssey feels like a Final Fantasy game with a darker setting. Furthermore, it has an excellent story with great characters and a powerful brooding but likable lead in the immortal warrior Kaim.
8 Tales Of Vesperia
First released on the Xbox 360 in 2009 and then again in 2019 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the PC, Tales of Vesperia is an epic JRPG developed by Bandai Namco and remains one of the best games in the Tales series.
Just like other games in the Tales series, Vesperia uses a real-time combat system that fans of the Final Fantasy VII remake will appreciate. Also, it features one of the best lead characters in the genre in Yuri who is an experienced wise-cracking warrior that knows how to handle himself.
7 The Yakuza Series
While the Yakuza series set in modern-day Tokyo may seem like a strange recommendation for gamers looking for something similar to the Final Fantasy remake, the streets of Yakuza have a lot in common with Midgar.
Just like Midgar, players can listen to the conversations of NPCs and gain information about its world and its goings-on. In addition, there are tons of side content available for players that loved participating in Midgar’s games like darts and the motorbike mini-game, and it’s loaded with side quests. All seven games in the Yakuza series are currently available on the PlayStation 4.
6 Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age
Released in 2018 for the PlayStation 4 and the PC with its definitive edition releasing on the Nintendo Switch in 2019, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is one of the best big-budget JRPGs released this generation.
In terms of scale and popularity, it has always been Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest at the top of the heap. Stylistically, Dragon Quest XI is very different but it’s such an epic journey from start to finish that it’s hard not to recommend the other big franchise in Square-Enix’s catalog of RPGs.
5 Xenoblade Chronicles
First released worldwide for the Nintendo Wii in 2012, Xenoblade Chronicles is an action RPG with a science fiction and fantasy setting allowing players to explore its huge open world. Developed by the same team that created the classic Xenogears on the PlayStation and the Xenosaga Trilogy on the PlayStation 2.
Players that enjoyed the Final Fantasy VII remake will right at home with Xenoblade’s real-time combat system. Additionally, the game is filled with great characters an emotional story, and a hero that wields a massive sword. The Definitive Edition released on the Nintendo Switch in 2020 and featured a brand new epilogue, a remastered soundtrack, and updated visuals.
4 The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was released in 2015 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the PC. It was also ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2019 with all of its previously released DLC.
The Witcher 3 is the only game on this list that’s a western-developed action RPG but fans of Final Fantasy VII looking for their next epic adventure with great characters and emotional storylines should delve into the dark fantasy world of The Witcher 3.
3 Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Released on the PlayStation Portable in 2007 Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a prequel to the original Final Fantasy VII that focuses on Cloud’s friend and member of SOLDIER Zack. It may not be as technologically advanced as the Final Fantasy VII remake but Crisis Core lets players delve deeper into the lore of FFVII while also getting more backstory for Cloud, Sephiroth, and SOLDIER.
Crisis Core’s combat system will appeal to fans of the remake’s action-based combat system and the visuals and cutscenes still hold up beautifully. Interestingly, there are rumors that a remastered version could be on the way for the Nintendo Switch.
2 Kingdom Hearts III
Released in 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, Kingdom Hearts III is the long-awaited sequel to the Disney and Final Fantasy crossover series that began in 2002. Despite being the third mainline entry it is the twelfth game in the series that covers the Dark Seeker Saga.
Just like the Final Fantasy VII remake, Kingdom Hearts III was directed by Tetsuya Nomura and runs on the Unreal Engine 4. The action-based combat system will familiar to fans and the visuals are some of the best of this generation. While it may be more desirable to play Kingdom Hearts’ predecessors it is still possible to jump in by watching all the chapters in the Memory Archive which do a great job in bringing players up to speed.
1 Final Fantasy VII (1997)
If there are players that have jumped into the Final Fantasy VII remake without having played the original game then it should go without saying that the 1997 release should be at the top of their list. At least until the eventual sequel, the classic Final Fantasy VII is the closest fans will be able to get to continuing and finishing the story.
Furthermore, the original game gives players a much better insight and a better appreciation for all the work and fan service that has gone into making the remake a reality. Even with the downgrade in graphics and occasional translation hiccups, Final Fantasy VII is still one of the greatest JRPGs of all time.