5 Reasons Why You Should Try Final Fantasy XIV
Getting into an MMORPG for the first time can be daunting, especially if you’ve never touched the genre beforehand. Whether you’re a long time Final Fantasy fan, or just want to join your friends in some online adventuring, here’s are some reasons why Final Fantasy XIV is definitely worth checking out.
It’s a mainline Final Fantasy game
In many ways, Final Fantasy XIV is more of a story based single-player experience with MMO trappings than your typical MMORPG. This means that fans of Square Enix’s long-running series — and RPGs in general — can look forward to a gripping story that can easily last hundreds of hours. Don’t write this off just because of its genre; the latest expansion, Shadowbringers, can easily rival the storylines of previous single-player Final Fantasy games.
This does come with the caveat that, since this is an MMO with three expansions, there are a LOT of quests to get through. Those hundreds of hours can certainly take their toll, especially if your friends are off enjoying the latest content, while you’re stuck doing fetch quests. However, as with many RPGs that have slower starts, things start to ramp up as you make your way to the base game’s finale and beyond.
There’s a ton of Final Fantasy fan service
No, not that kind of fan service (though that’s not exactly in short supply depending on where you look). By this, I mean enemies, locations, and a whole lot more that is borrowed from Final Fantasy’s storied history. From simple moogles and cactuars, to familiar villains that serve as raid bosses, each game in the series is represented in some way.
That’s not to say that everything here is taken from elsewhere, as the game has more than a fair share of its own original content. It’s just that Final Fantasy XIV serves as an homage to what makes the series so great, and it’s interesting to see just how many references can be crammed into a single game.
There are no class/job restrictions
Being forced to level up multiple characters just to try out different classes in MMOs can be a pain at times. This is thankfully not an issue in XIV, as every single class (and their related job) can be acquired and levelled up on a single character. If you want to be a Dragoon for a few dungeons before switching to a healer role, that’s fine. Feel like crafting up some gear for your battle classes? That’s just a job change away.
In the past, you were required to play multiple classes to unlock the more powerful jobs and certain skills, but this system is long gone. Now, new players can try out a class without having to worry about what other classes they must also level up. Some jobs are locked behind expansions and level requirements, though this should only serve as more of an incentive to progress through the story.
It’s more laid-back than other MMOs
Sure, there’s a daily system that encourages logging in every day to complete tasks, but this doesn’t really matter if you just want to play casually. Story quests give you enough gear to keep you going without grinding, and much of the endgame content has lenient requirements. If you’re into completing the hardest raids as soon as possible, then you’ll obviously have to put more work in. Even then, later patches usually introduce other ways of obtaining higher level equipment.
If you find yourself without any story to play through, or just feel like chilling out for an hour, there’s always gathering to pass the time. Fishing in XIV is a simple, yet relaxing, way to play, as you work your way through the fishing log. Fans of Animal Crossing will likely already know how addicting it can be to try and catch the rarest fish, and there’s more than enough fish here to keep you going for weeks. With how little interaction is needed, it’s also a fantastic way to chat with friends in-game at the same time.
There’s a free trial!
Still on the fence about trying out XIV? Don’t want to spend money on a game that you could potentially hate? Well, there's a free trial that gives a decent taste of what the game has to offer. You can level up all base jobs to 35, and you don’t have to worry about any time limits before buying the full version. The level restriction does mean that the story stops just before it begins to ramp up, though it’ll still offer many hours of enjoyment if you’re willing to explore what the game has to offer.
If even some of what I’ve mentioned about the game interests you, definitely give the trial a shot. After the disastrous 1.0 launch, its rebirth as A Realm Reborn and subsequent expansions have really made this one of the best games in the series.
Final Fantasy XIV is available on Windows, macOS and PS4.