After more than a decade, we are tantalisingly close to the end of a saga that was put into motion all the way back in Final Fantasy XIV Online back in 2010. The story of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, and the culmination of 11 years of world building, character development, and more will end with the upcoming Endwalker expansion on 23rd November.
Quick note before diving into thoughts from hands on time with the expansion, we need to remind you that this article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change. Also, there will be mild spoilers for an early game dungeon and for the new Jobs; Sage and Reaper.
The decade of 2010-2019 is finally over, and we head into the ‘20s with some of the defining years of modern gaming behind us. Some of the games that have blessed (or cursed) us in the last ten years will likely be remembered as some of the best games of all time, with many of the games released in earlier years seeing various fantastic sequels in the decade too.
But, which are the best? I’ve argued with myself a lot over the most appropriate way of doing this list and I eventually landed on this, my year-by-year best game from 2010 all the way up to 2019. I’ll put a couple of honourable mentions in each year, but there can be only one actual. Ready? I’m not.
Normally I wouldn’t review a game twice; but after writing my review-in-progress previously, there was so much left to discuss, which was only added to by the remainder of the expansion. So, having finished the entire Main Scenario of the expansion, as well as the optional dungeons and Raid content, I wanted to review the “full” Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers experience.
As I mentioned before, the story of Shadowbringers is easily the best yet, with some of the most intricately crafted character moments in gaming. It’s more than this though as the narrative on this expansion builds so successfully on the previous story beats, whilst bringing in new threads to progress the plot. Needless to say, and I’ll say this right now in bold capitals so you all know …
Final Fantasy XIV cannot really be considered as anything less than a success. With over 14 million active players at last count, and active communities thriving around the game – whether it be through art, cosplay, or at the popular Fan Fest events – the game is nothing if not huge. Something that Square Enix are leaning into with the most recent expansion – Shadowbringers.
I’d like to stress before I start that this is a review-in-progress of the expansion. Owing to the sheer amount of content in the expansion, with Square Enix once again living up to their promise of it being the length of a “full length adventure game”, I’ve only reached level 75. This is despite a considerable amount of time plugged into it, but I couldn’t wait to share my thoughts.
This review will avoid the majority of spoilers though, so there’s that.
I’m relatively new to Final Fantasy XIV, beginning the game at the tail end of last year, after the first trailer for Shadowbringers finally brought me into the fold after abstaining for as long as I could. You see, I knew that I would likely become pretty addicted once I started, so I tried to put off the game despite knowing that I would likely really enjoy it.
It’s me again, I’m finally back from a long hiatus with a sizeable amount of updates for you all! So, I just wanted to take a little time to go through some of the changes and some of the more ongoing and current things happening across the various channels and things.