Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Review — Way Beyond A Remake

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Image Credit: Square Enix

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I loved Final Fantasy VII Remake, but Rebirth makes it look like a demo.

This is a bigger game in every way imaginable. You have more playable characters, many more places to visit, and a lot more to do (thanks to an incredible assortment of minigames).

Honestly, I didn’t think that a single-player Final Fantasy game of this scale was still possible. But here’s Rebirth, surpassing all of my expectations.

A whole new world

While Remake took place entirely in one large city, Rebirth has Cloud and company going out to the wider world. This means you visit a lot of places, each feeling unique and vibrant.

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Now, this is just the second part of trilogy, so you’re not going to every location that you might remember from the original Final Fantasy VII. But you’ll still have more than enough to see.

In fact, a seasoned Final Fantasy veteran like me is pretty sure that this is the most time he’s sunk into a first playthrough of a single-player game in the series (I don’t want to talk about how many hours of Final Fantasy XIV I’ve banked).

It’s a massive game, and it’s also a dense one. The world is split into several zones, each featuring at least one major town and a bunch of side objectives. Some of these will look familiar to anyone familiar with an Ubisoft open world game. Yes, there are towers. Now, if that has you rolling your eyes, keep in mind that this is mostly optional content. I mean, there is a staggering amount of optional content in the game thanks to all of these open world missions. And while climbing a tower might sound rote, I really did enjoy almost all of them, especially the larger sidequest chains.

Look at all these cool people with their cool magic.

Many minigames

You can also divert yourself with Final Fantasy VII’s plentiful minigame offerings. Minigames were a huge component in the original FF7, so it’s nice to see that tradition brought back. While Remake had a few, Rebirth has an awesome number of offerings.

Yes, this includes a bunch of diversions at the Golden Saucer, FF7’s indoor theme park. Some of these minigames might look familiar to fans of the original.

But you’ll find even more that’s new. Chief among them is a new card game called Queen’s Blood. Now, the Final Fantasy series already has one of the best card minigames ever with Triple Triad. Queen’s Blood is just as good. I won’t bore you with the mechanics and rules, but I consider it an essential component of the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth experience.

Everybody party

While Remake only had a handful of playable characters (and often only had you controlling one or two instead of a full group of three), Rebirth really does feel like a classic RPG adventure with a full party of heroes.

Each character has a unique feel. While Cloud has some more basic action RPG abilities, someone like Cait Sith is centered around summoning a giant plushy mount that can help him deal or soak damage.

I don’t think there’s a dud among the cast. Heck, a lot of these characters are better than in the original. I mean, Yuffie was optional back in the OG PlayStation days, meaning she pretty much zero impact on the story. Now she, and every character, gets ample opportunities to shine.

That’s our boy.

Sillies and swordsmen

I won’t talk about the story in any great detail. You know, spoilers and all that. But I do want to mention that Rebirth does a fantastic job of tapping into your emotions.

The game is actually at its best when it’s acting the goof. Remake had some silly scenes, but Rebirth has even more laughs and outrageous moments. Now, the game does sometimes struggle to balance the comedy with sudden shifts to more serious moments, but I still found them mostly effective.

Rebirth knows how to take its time, meaning you develop an emotional attachment to its cast. Now, sometimes Rebirth take its time a little too well (especially toward the back part of the game). Yes, it can get a bit longwinded and sometimes even melodramatic, but the story is largely a winner. Again, that’s mostly thanks to the fun and likable cast.

It’s always fun seeing classic moments made modern.


We haven’t had a Final Fantasy like this since the PlayStation 2 days. This is a real adventure filled with a whole world to explore, the kind of Final Fantasy experience I never thought I’d see in a modern triple-A game without a bevy of compromises.

Rebirth doesn’t have any compromises. Or at least they’re so tiny that I didn’t notice or care. And even if I did have small gripes, an all-time great soundtrack easily washes any minor sins away.

I put 70 hours into Rebirth before writing this review. I’m still far from done. There are plenty of Queen’s Blood matches to fight and treasures to hunt down yet.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth releases on February 27 for PlayStation 5. Square Enix provided a code for this review.

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