Game Recs

You only have a few days to play the most influential RPG ever on Game Pass

This role-playing game is still relevant more than 20 years later.

ff7 remake concept art
Square Enix

Microsoft has done a tremendous job of keeping a robust Xbox Game Pass lineup in rotation, with hundreds of games, spanning nearly every genre.

While all first-party titles remain on the service no matter what, its third-party offerings tend to change, constantly keeping things fresh. This does mean that beloved fan-favorites like GTA V become unavailable after a few months, encouraging subscribers to rush in and play before they leave the service.

One game that will be leaving Xbox Game Pass soon is often regarded as the single most influential role-playing game of all time, paving the way for future turn-based adventures going forward.

We’re talking about Final Fantasy VII, of course, but not the remake. You can play a port of the original game on your Xbox right now via Game Pass, but you’ll have to act fast.

Final Fantasy 7 leaves Xbox Game Pass soon

Midgar is one of Final Fantasy VII’s most iconic areas.

Square Enix

Final Fantasy VII Remake is currently only available on PlayStation platforms, but that doesn’t mean Xbox players have to skip the original classic. Up until August 16, Game Pass subscribers can play a port of the original Final Fantasy VII, which is plenty of time to at least make a dent in the 40-hour story.

This is great news because it’s unclear when — or if — the remake will make its way to Xbox. Final Fantasy VII Remake was marketed as a timed PlayStation exclusive, but details about future platforms have yet to be revealed.

Nonetheless, Final Fantasy VII is still absolutely worth playing, even 24 years later.

This is a testament to the design of the original game, which offers a compelling story, lovable characters, catchy music, and satisfying gameplay that still feels fun today. The way it blends storytelling with its gameplay cannot be praised enough — and it’s something even modern games sometimes don’t get right.

FF7 holds up better than you’d expect

The character designs are far from realistic, but in hindsight this helps them stand the test of time.

Square Enix

Despite looking a little rough by today’s standards, Final Fantasy VII holds up better than many games from the original PlayStation era, due in part to its stylized, blocky character designs. Instead of aiming for realism as many other games did at the time, Square Enix opted for character designs that consisted of flat colors — likely to ensure they would stand the test of time.

In looking at the game’s art direction now, the characters look goofy, but that’s part of its charm. They certainly look better than other major PlayStation games such as Resident Evil or Metal Gear Solid.

Arguably the most important thing Final Fantasy VII did right was the way it focused on its narrative and characters above all else. It was so easy to fall in love with the likes of Tifa, Barret, Cloud, and the other supporting characters, each of whom has a distinct personality. Nowadays, compelling characters are expected from most games, but in 1997, this was less common.

There are so many intriguing themes covered in Final Fantasy VII such as loss, survival, and even more topical issues like climate change. For a video game to touch on such important issues in 1997 is proof it was ahead of its time. It also bucked the trend of the stereotypical “masculine” male hero archetype, which once again is something that simply wasn’t featured in many forms of media in 1997, even less so in video games.

So, while it’d be great if Final Fantasy VII Remake were available to play on Xbox platforms, you can at least experience the game that started it all, without spending any additional cash (as long as you’re an Xbox Game Pass member).

It’s a game that somehow feels even more relevant today, despite its age, making it clear why it’s one of the most important games of all time.

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