Final Fantasy VII Remake remains a monumental hit, from its release earlier this year to the end of 2020. The game closes out the year with several accolades, honorable mentions, and the exciting arrival of Sephiroth to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the newest challenger.
At E3 on June 15, 2015, fans of the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy VII received the news they had waited years for: an official remake of the beloved RPG was finally announced. The following five years would see high anticipation, steady development, nail-biting delays, and finally, the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake on April 10, 2020.
Final Fantasy VII Remake was certainly a game with big shoes to fill, in light of its legendary, now 23-year old predecessor, Final Fantasy VII, so much that it had to be released in episodic installments in order to do as much justice to the original as possible – with this year’s release being the first of them. The PlayStation hit is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most revolutionary role playing video games in history.
Consisting of three discs, Final Fantasy VII featured a heavy advance from the series’ previous use of 16-bit graphics into 3D rendering and CG movies, adding in a new cyberpunk backdrop that deviated from the medieval/steampunk settings of its predecessors, an evolved gameplay system with a slew of minigames and activities, and finally, one of the most memorable casts and stories gaming has ever seen.
The game was a commercial success, spawning several spinoffs, ranging from additional games, to movies, to even novels, which together are collectively referred to as The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. To this day, it largely remains as one of the most popular installments in not only the Final Fantasy series, but in the RPG genre as a whole.
Considering the landmark status of the original title, Final Fantasy VII Remake came into development with high expectations surrounding it. The game could be viewed as Final Fantasy VII’s “Living Legacy” (As Zack Fair may word it.) In director Tetsuya Nomura’s words, it would stand as a tribute to the original classic. With regard to this vision for the game, Final Fantasy VII Remake truly did succeed in honoring its legacy, standing out as one of the best and most memorable games released this year. With more than 5 million copies sold worldwide, high ratings from critics, award wins and nominations, and inclusions in several “Best of 2020” games lists, Final Fantasy VII Remake was a spectacular hit.
A heartfelt and evocative love letter to the original, the remake took us back to 1997 in 2020, bringing us through the unforgettable city of Midgar, and meeting precious, familiar faces once again. While we revisited the beginning of Final Fantasy VII, we were granted a different, slower paced experience that expanded upon the game’s universe and incorporated an active battle system with elements from more recent Final Fantasy titles. This let us get personal with the playable cast and their specialties, allowing us to truly get to know the world of Midgar on a deeper level.
In addition, the newly revamped soundtrack gave us rejuvenated, modern versions of the tracks we knew so well, acting as the cherry on top of the trek down memory lane and more. With its crystalline graphical presentation, nostalgic musical backdrop, enhanced gameplay, and character exploration, Final Fantasy VII Remake clearly showcased not only the evolution, but the roots of the Final Fantasy series as a whole, reminding us why the franchise to this day is cemented as one of the greats.
With its timelessness and thoughtful justice to even the finer details of the beloved original, Final Fantasy VII Remake truly captured our hearts this year, closing out the year 2020 on a very high note. The game went on to earn Best Score/Music and Best Role Playing Game at The Game Awards 2020.
It was nominated by IGN for Best Playstation Exclusive, Best Role-Playing Game, Best Remake/Remaster, Best Video Game Soundtrack/Score, and IGN’s Game of the Year for 2020. IGNJapan awarded the game #1 in their “Best of 2020” list. The game also made it onto several other “Best Of” lists, including Vulture’s 10 Best Video Games of the Year, GameSpot’s Best Games of 2020, and landing #9 on Game Informer’s Game of the Year countdown. The game also took home 4 trophies from PlayStation Blog’s Game of the Year awards, with a silver trophy for PS4 Game of the Year and 3 bronze trophies for Best Narrative, Best Art Direction and Best Soundtrack of 2020.
In addition to its outstanding performance this year, it was also announced at The Game Awards 2020 that Sephiroth would be the newest challenger in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, along with a set of Mii Fighter costumes of playable characters Aerith, Barret and Tifa.
Altogether with its collection of accolades, praise, and the thrilling news of Sephiroth’s arrival to Smash Bros., Final Fantasy VII Remake definitively closes out the year 2020 with a bang. It’s important to note that while so much is happening around the title right now, it’s most certainly not the end, as the anticipation for “Part II” of this episodic remake continues to grow.
As 2020 reaches its conclusion, this is only the beginning of Final Fantasy VII Remake.