Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker is a triumphant conclusion to gaming’s biggest comeback story

Staff Picks

The PC Gamer Game of the Year Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

In addition to our main Game of the Year Awards 2021, each member of the PC Gamer team is shining a spotlight on a game they loved this year. We’ll post new staff picks, alongside our main awards, throughout the rest of the month.

Back in 2010, the thought of Final Fantasy 14 becoming one of the greatest MMOs of all time was laughable. The original release was a pitiful affair—poor quest structure, a lack of basic genre features, unnecessarily detailed flowerpots. While it may have been pretty to look at, it was borderline insufferable to play.

Square Enix did what few would dare to do: Rebuild the entire thing from scratch and integrate the original’s destruction into the new game’s lore. Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn launched in 2013, and a year later, I entered the world of Eorzea for the first time. I’ve largely been on and off with Final Fantasy 14 since then, with this year marking my first proper return since 2017.

What a return it’s been, too. I came back to find myself in the post-Heavensward questline, giving me two whole expansions to explore before Endwalker’s release. Stormblood’s cracking dungeon design was hampered by its weak story, while Shadowbringers quickly cemented itself as my favourite Final Fantasy 14 expansion. I wasn’t sure Endwalker could top it—but how wrong I was.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Endwalker is a culmination of every misstep made, every lesson learned and every small victory throughout Final Fantasy 14’s development. It doesn’t just feel like the closing chapter of the 11-year Hydaelyn-Zodiark narrative but also Square Enix’s, too, as players appreciate it more than ever before. Final Fantasy 14 is the best it’s been, and that’s clear in every aspect of Endwalker’s presentation.

Source link