Can we stop the grind of our daily lives and just appreciate the grind of Final Fantasy XI for a few minutes? It is the most profitable game in Square Enix’s history for one thing, so I think we at least owe it at least that.
The relic MMORPG is over a decade old now. It’s older than Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn naturally. It’s older than DOTAs, MOBAs and COBRAs of the modern world. It’s older than Star Wars: The Old Republic and the host of “would be” games that rose to the occasion to take the throne from World of Warcraft. It’s even older than World of Warcraft for that matter!
It’s also a lot better looking than many of the online games that have come out since its release, and despite its age, it still gets regular updates from a dedicated team at Square Enix.
What a different world we live in now than when Final Fantasy XI was first announced. Many fans dismissed it for its absurd idea of a “subscription fee,” and actually paying more money on top of the initial buying price. I mean, who does that? Seriously? Many questioned Square Enix’s motives for being an online game, some thinking it was even a scam for extra money.
Because it was way ahead of its time, Final Fantasy XI never quite enjoyed that strong of a reception. Not too mention it is a gruelingly difficult and slow game with a decade’s worth of updates piling on to what was already a massive experience. Here is what the latest update includes.
- New Alluvion Skirmishes
- New Seekers of Adoulin Quest: Not-So-Clean-Bill
- Additional Job Point Categories
- More Generous Gifts
- The Ability to rear multiple creatures at once
- New creature types
If there were a way to make Final Fantasy XI more available, I think it should definitely undergo a re-evaluation. A PS Vita, PlayStation 4 version maybe? Free-to-play options?
The steep learning curve and slow grind hold it back from being a true masterpiece, especially in the face of A Realm Reborn’s candy cart of level-ups, but underneath that is a beautiful game with great music, lovely scenery, and an unrivaled culture that plays finely along the lines of the classic entries.
It’s worthy of criticism, but not the levels of dismissal it has seen over the last decade.