It can be intimidating for new players to find an entry point in the Final Fantasy (FF) franchise now more than ever. After all, the series already has 15 mainline entries and countless spin-offs to boot. Although these games do not necessarily correlate with one another, seeing the sheer number of FF games in existence can already be discouraging enough for some.
That said, new players looking for the best entry point into the franchise may just have their wishes fulfilled in the form of Final Fantasy XVI. As the true evolutionary point of the franchise, we believe there is no better game to invite new FF fans other than this ambitious title.
It Evolves The Franchise As No Other Title Has Done
True, both Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the MMO-style Final Fantasy XIV could serve as great entry points for the franchise. However, FFXVI has unmatched potential for doing so. FFXVI is drastically different from its predecessors.
While certain themes may still be intact, this game is the genuine stepping-off point of the franchise from its traditional JRPG roots. There would be no command systems. Everything would be too fast and right in your face. Strategy and critical thinking will still play a vital role, but reflexes and hand-and-eye coordination are kings in FFXVI.
The game director, Hiroshi Takai, prefers to call FFXVI an action RPG. Fans certainly agree as the gameplay of FFXVI now resembles the Devil May Cry or Witcher series other than co-FF titles. Moreover, this is also perhaps the first time an FF game purposefully separated itself from the JRPG genre.
Although this approach may be seen as sacrilege by the FF faithful, the change undoubtedly made the game more inviting. As much as we JRPG fans hate to admit it, not everyone appreciates its classic elements and turn-based combat. Action RPG games, on the other hand, are much easier to embrace and fall in love with. That is precisely what FFXVI strives to accomplish, and we believe it will.
The Central Themes Make it a Good Entry Point
Go out of your way to watch a trailer of FFXVI on YouTube. Now, tell us the game doesn’t blow you away by what it can offer. While the FF franchise is no stranger to grand spectacles and out-of-this-world story bits, FFXVI looks to bump everything up to the max! The giant Eikon battles are genuinely jaw-dropping. The fluid combat and combo-chaining are truly mesmerizing. Everything just feels inviting, and believe us, only a select few games can honestly deliver that.
It also includes the game’s central themes as well. Unlike the previous franchise entries, FFXVI keeps everything grounded. It is a realistic take on a fantasy setting that is peppered with darker themes and mature subject matter. Take it as Game of Thrones, but Final Fantasy. That very premise alone should be enough of an invitation for millions of gamers worldwide if you ask us.
All these factors combined make Final Fantasy XVI the best entry point in the franchise by a wide margin. Its combat system is more inviting than the previous iterations combined and its realistic yet fantastical setting should be hard not to fall in love with. Furthermore, its spectacles are so grandiose, you’d often pick your jaw up from the ground. Truly, FFXVI is shaping up to be a one-of-a-kind game, let alone an effective FF game. It will be released this June 22, 2023, exclusively for the PS5.