Unsurprisingly, it’s therefore a big deal when the next Final Fantasy game gets announced, which Sony knew full well when it unveiled the game in late 2020 as part of a PS5 showcase. What do you need to know about the next big entry in the series, though? Read on to find out.
Final Fantasy 16 release date
To cut to the chase, Final Fantasy 16 will release on 22 June 2023, as confirmed at The Game Awards in December 2022. You can see that story and gameplay trailer below.
Final Fantasy 16 trailers
The first trailer for Final Fantasy 16, as detailed as it was, didn’t end with a release date for the game, as you can see below.
We got a second trailer in early June 2022, which confirmed that the game will be coming out in Summer 2023, giving us a window during which to expect it.
This was followed up in October 2022 with a stunning new story trailer that you can see below.
We also know plenty about the game’s developers – it’s being produced by Naoki Yoshida and directed by Hiroshi Takai, who both had a major say in the rebirth and renewed success of Final Fantasy 14, the online game that’s still thriving now. Their success looks to have booked them the biggest job possible – steering the ship on a new mainline game.
Final Fantasy 16 platforms
On the platform front, there’s a little more clarity, as we know that the game will be a PlayStation exclusive, at least for a six-month period, and will therefore be coming to the PS5 and nowhere else.
We know that the game will come to PC at some point after that period ends, but producer Naoki Yoshida has said that the amount of work involved means it will be a while afterwards.
The question of Final Fantasy 16 arriving on Xbox is a little harder to guess at. Skipping Xbox entirely would be a really bold play, though, so we imagine it’ll rock up on Microsoft’s next-gen consoles after the exclusivity ends.
Sadly, as is becoming more and more the default for big releases, we wouldn’t get your hopes up about a port to the Nintendo Switch – the game looks graphically intensive, so there’s little chance it will work on Nintendo’s more power-limited hardware.
Final Fantasy 16 story
Of course, the key to any Final Fantasy game is its roster of characters, and the story they’re enveloped in. We can glean a fair amount about what lies in wait for us during the sixteenth game from the trailer and what information Square has released so far.
The game is set in the land of Valisthea, divided into six realms and dominated by mountainous Mothercrystals, the source of magic in the world. As you’d imagine, though, all isn’t well – each nation has a Dominant in it, a living person who contains a deadly power called an Eikon, which can emerge in the form of a titanic monster. Some of these people are like royalty, while others are closer to weapons in how they’re treated.
The characters we know about so far include Clive Rosfield, our central protagonist at this stage – he’s sworn to protect his younger brother, Joshua, who is a Dominant. Jill Warrick, meanwhile, is a close friend to both. This trio has been detailed, but we don’t know much more beyond the fact that some form of tragedy will spark a quest for revenge led by Clive.
Amusingly, in late June 2022 we got confirmation that the game will have exclusively British accents, with no Americans there to break the accepted illusion of a European-style setting. The English voice actors will have full lip-syncing, too, according to producer Naoki Yoshida.
Final Fantasy 16 gameplay
From what we can tell of the gameplay shown off in the trailers so far, Final Fantasy 16 looks like it’s set to bring evolution, not revolution, to the series’ recent gameplay. Like FF15, it we’re getting real-time combat to keep things active, but the system looks a little more reactive and quick.
The gameplay so far has also all been focussed around one player character, rather than a party – this could be a pretty big change for the series after decades of titles where you control the actions of multiple characters as they fight together.
A round of previews at the end of February 2023 showed off extended gameplay for the first time, including the below look at a big boss fight that’s pretty instructive.
Beyond that, we’d assume that we’ll get an overworld to explore as in previous entries, and many sidequests to complete if we fancy. We’re hopeful that this might all be a little more interactive than it was in FF15, too, with exploration in that game a little stilted by the reliance on roads – with a more high fantasy-style setting this time, we’re looking forward to running around the countryside ourselves a bit more.
In a big interview with GameSpot, this idea was actually refuted a little, with producer Naoki Yoshida confirming that the game will have open hub areas, but not a fully open world.
He also confirmed that the Eikon battles glimpsed in the June 2022 gameplay trailer are going to be a major part of the game, with players able to sometimes take direct control through Clive. Sometimes, though, Clive will be navigating through these battles as a human, dwarfed by the Eikons above him.
We’ll apparently control Clive through multiple time periods as he ages from a teen through to his thirties, so the story sounds like it will have a grander scale than some recent Final Fantasy tales.
Yoshida confirmed that the darker tone of the trailers is accurate – this will be the first Final Fantasy in ages to be given a mature rating in many territories, apparently, as the creative team was committed to exploring some slightly more realistic and adult themes.