Gamer or not, you simply have to have heard of the Final Fantasy franchise one way or another. That is how popular and well-beloved this iconic RPG franchise is. Having over 15 main entries, with 16 on the way and Final Fantasy 17 a foregone conclusion already, it’s no wonder that the series has such a dedicated following cementing itself among the pantheon of the greatest video game series of all time.
Although the Final Fantasy formula seemingly remains unchanged for decades now, one thing that has drastically evolved through the years is the series’ combat system. While the early games in the series thrived using turn-based combat, more recent entries have adopted real-time action combat instead. This has led to some debate among fans, with some preferring the classic turn-based combat and others preferring the more action-oriented gameplay.
Now with the upcoming Final Fantasy 16 completely ditching turn-based combat, what are the chances that Final Fantasy 17 will return to turn-based combat?
Will Final Fantasy 17 Be The Turn-Based Combat System’s Comeback?
To give you the answer straight, it is still too early to have a final say. After all, the highly anticipated Final Fantasy 16 isn’t out yet! That said, Square Enix has since confirmed their intentions to focus more on action-based combat within their flagship series.
Additionally, Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida is adamant about calling the game an action RPG instead of a JRPG. This is a clear indication of Square Enix’s new direction. And sadly to turn-based combat supporters, it does not look like the series is returning to the tried combat system any time soon.
Another thing to keep in mind is the current landscape of gaming. Nowadays, action RPGs are just more in-demand than any other gaming genre. For one, it is perhaps the most appealing genre to younger audiences.
Yes, there is still a profitable market for turn-based RPGs (even pixel art retro games), look no further than the recent successes of Square’s Triangle Strategy and Octopath Traveler 2. However, to ensure that its flagship series, FF, remains atop its game and relevant, Square had no choice but to go big. Thus, their decision to transition to the action RPG genre moving forward.
Frankly speaking, it is now hard to imagine the FF series going back to turn-based combat. It now feels as if their transition to a brand-new genre is a necessity. True, it may seem that the franchise is compromising but, sometimes, that is just what it takes to survive in the tough gaming space.
Nevertheless, Final Fantasy is on the verge of a new age, and gamers worldwide just couldn’t wait any longer to see what it has in store for us and in the future.
Personal Take About The Matter
In my humble opinion, the FF series’ future is brighter than ever transitioning to action RPG. Believe me, I love turn-based combat more than the next guy. However, you just cannot be more excited and thrilled for the future of the franchise, considering how Final Fantasy 16 is shaping up to be.
I believe Square Enix is doing the right thing already. They are servicing the die-hard turn-based combat and retro JRPG supporters with their other titles, such as Octopath Traveler, while also onboarding a wider set of audience with their flagship series, FF. If they want, they can just as easily release a FF spin-off akin to its beloved predecessors!
With all that being said, Final Fantasy 17 is almost sure already to be an action RPG just like 16. And with how Square Enix is taking things at the moment, it would probably still be long before we see another FF title that returns the beloved turn-based combat.