And it’s even better in motion!

I know I slap Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn silly with praise, but I can’t just get over how gorgeous it is! Even with the relatively simple graphics required to run an MMORPG, I am hard pressed to think of any game in recent memory that is more, for lack of a better word, “beautiful.”

What do I mean? Like I said, this is an MMORPG, so the graphics are going to have to take a few hits in some areas. Other games might “technically” be better looking, like Batman: Arkham Knight and many of the other incoming AAA games this year, but A Realm Reborn doesn’t let its technical limitations hold it down. Square Enix’ art direction team deserves all the credit in the world for “getting Final Fantasy” and being the first to truly realize its roots in glorious HD.

Every screenshot, ever setting, and every character, monster, and spell is a flawless HD recreation of my “sprite and blocky-polygon” memories. The mysticism and lore of the world, the violent faces of the monsters, and the excellent recreation of our favorite recurring red-cloaked swordsman, Gilgamesh.

Moreso than Final Fantasy XIII, XV, and Type-0 HD, A Realm Reborn captures the older series in ways that the other directors can only dream of, and it is just drop dead amazing for it. Sorry Fabula Nova Crystallis, you are getting punk’d so hard by this game. I’d hate to say it, but it’s nicer than even Ivalice or Spira for that matter, and I actually like those settings.

I guess you might need that nostalgia from the early days to truly let it stab you in the heart, and I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that Square Enix employs a similar mindset when approaching a hopefully offline Final Fantasy XVI.

These screenshots are of the incoming update “Before the Fall,” the same expansion which brings back Final Fantasy VII’s Gold Saucer. It will be available free of charge Jan. 20.