Why Final Fantasy Fans Shouldn’t Fear ‘XIV: A Realm Reborn’

Bob Mackey
Games Final Fantasy
Games Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy XIV just might have experienced one of the greatest recoveries to ever happen in the world of gaming. After a disastrous 2010 release, Square-Enix essentially restarted development and remixed their existing assets into the rebranded relaunch, 2013’s A Realm Reborn. Four years and 10 million players later, FFXIV has become a massive success, with one expansion under its belt and another on the way in June.

If you’ve missed out on XIV, it’s understandable that the sheer size of this massive MMO has intimidated you into submission. But despite how much content you’ve missed so far, now stands as a great time to get into Final Fantasy XIV for the first time. Check out why you need to make this latest Final Fantasy MMO your next addiction.

A Great MMO for Newcomers

The Red Mage, a new (but familiar) class heading to FFXIV soon.

If you’re a big fan of Final Fantasy—or single-player RPGs in general—it’s possible you’ve never dipped a toe into the world of MMOs. Thankfully, Final Fantasy XIV does a great job of easing you into this slightly different world, and provides plenty of assistance to ease you through the learning process—plus your fellow players tend to be more helpful than what you’ll find in other games. (Plus, there’s always our extensive wiki.) And, now that you can play FFXIV up to level 35 for free, there’s no risk in diving in and seeing if it’s the right game for you.

Familiar Classes and Roles

Final Fantasy XIV Black Mage

Final Fantasy XIV isn’t a Final Fantasy game in name only. In fact, it relies on a very familiar job system—one made famous by games like Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy Tactics—for its core mechanic. And while it’s not as versatile as the version of the job system seen in past games, it still follows the same basic rules: level up a job for a while, then carry some of those skills and abilities to a new job. Plus, it’s a bit more advanced in that bringing two specific jobs up to a certain level will grant you a new job that grants you even more power. It’s extremely satisfying, and since each class plays in its own distinct way, you’ll have a lot of fun just switching between them to try out every one.

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Timesink

The Samurai, the second new class headed to Final Fantasy XIV soon.

Make no mistake: Final Fantasy XIV has a lot of content. And if it’s your style, you can easily devote your entire life to exploring its many intricacies. But Final Fantasy XIV extends the olive branch to more casual players, as well. Not only are you awarded an experience boost for time spent away from the game, you also get bonus experience for participating in certain daily challenges: diving into dungeons, fighting bosses, participating in raids, and so on. If you’ve got the time, you can sink an entire day into Final Fantasy XIV, but it really only takes an hour to log in, do something worthwhile, and then get on with your life. If you want an MMO that doesn’t threaten to consume all of your time, FFXIV stands as a great pick.

All Your Favorite Final Fantasy Stuff Is Here

If Fat Chocobo parties are a thing, FFXIV is the MMORPG for you.

Without a doubt, Final Fantasy XIV excels at being a Final Fantasy game. And if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll find all the stuff you love, but in a slightly different format. Along with the familiar job classes, XIV also features moogles, chocobos, airships, and crystals, standard Final Fantasy enemies like cactuars and malboros, and even guest appearances from characters like Ultros from FFVI. In keeping with Final Fantasy tradition, XIV also has an amazing soundtrack; one you surprisingly won’t get sick of after hearing the same songs for dozens of hours. If you’ve never played an MMORPG before, these familiar Final Fantasy elements do a great job of making the experience feel less alien.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, the game’s latest expansion, will release on June 21. Be sure to check back with Fandom for more about the exciting new additions to this great Square-Enix MMO.

Bob Mackey
Bob Mackey is Games Editor at Fandom. Since joining the games press in 2007, he's written for sites like 1UP, Joystiq, The A.V. Club, Gamasutra, USgamer, and many others. He also hosts the weekly podcasts Retronauts and Talking Simpsons. Follow him on Twitter @bobservo.
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