Regardless of the fact that six masterpieces came before it and its become the popular thing to criticize the title a decade after its release, Final Fantasy VII has done more for the genre than anyone could ever conceive. VII brought an entire generation to its knees and sucked them into the vacuum power of the role-playing game. The industry was turned on its head gamers, developers and everything around them would quite simply never be the same. Whether you’re still clamoring and calling it the greatest game ever created or you’re whining about Cloud’s Spikey hair and attitude, the fact that we’re still talking about the game a decade after is testament to its strength.
Most gamers had not taken part in an epic journey that spanned 40 hours, dozens of characters, death, redemption and mysterious hidden pasts before Final Fantasy VII came around. The experience was addicting and serves as a fond place to reminisce on where they were when Aeris (Aerith) was killed and how they felt when they unleashed Omnislash on Sephiroth during that final one on one. More than any other title in the series, when Final Fantasy comes to mind as a series, VII usually isn’t too far behind those thoughts. There’s a reason Square Enix has given in to its fans and make a movie sequel, a game following Vincent Valentine, animated scenes of pivotal moments, and a mobile phone game to create the compilation of Final Fantasy VII.
Of the many memorable things that made up Final Fantasy VII many gamers won’t forget Materia. In the simplest of words, the magic system was utterly perfect. Collecting materia was one of the highlights of the game and the pacing that was used to bring about stronger spells was usually right on time. Unlike future titles where magic would at times become useless for most of the characters, there wasn’t a single moment in VII where you wouldn’t find yourself relying on some magic. Merely think back to fighting Emerald Weapon beneath the sea: the longest summon used relentlessly on an enemy that had over one million hit points. The battle was impossibly long, but gamers still suffered through it for the forward and the notion of simply knowing that they overcame
Confusing? At times. Complex? Every now and then. Antagonist that routinely steals the show with his monologues and throwing materia at you? Yes. While the original purpose of the people Cloud becomes involved with work for the greater good by rebelling against the titanic ShinRa Electric Company the quest soon increases in its importance exponentially. Sephiroth and what he becomes afterward became one of the most remembered bad guyts for a multitude of reasons. The sword, the hair, his reckless disregard for life-it all played into crafting an enemy that has since become one of the most favorite characters in gaming.
Over a decade of Cloud being compared to that of a Smurf and Final Fantasy VII still remains the highest point of console RPGs. Never before had so many been drawn to the genre and firmly held within its embrace. From one end of the world to another, Final Fantasy VII is undoubtedly one of the greatest RPGs of All-Time.