Final Fantasy VII Remake (Video Game, PS4)
I can think of a handful of recent years where this game would have been the best of the year! In fact, if it had come out in December of last year I probably would have put it as the best game of the year! It’s just got everything that a gamer could possibly want. It even has such a memorable story and production value that you could enjoy every minute of it without ever picking up the controller. It certainly helps that the game itself is actually the first part in a remake of the 1997 classic. Which is a game many already believe to be the greatest game of all time.
They could have easily gotten away with glossing up the original game with modern graphics. Instead, they have chosen to delivery a truly cinematic experience and flesh out the characters with considerable emotion. And what amazing characters they are! Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barrett, and Sephiroth are easily some of the most memorable characters in video game history. Which is why the writers cleverly choose here to expand the depths of side characters Jessie, Wedge, and Biggs in ways that makes them just as compelling as the central characters. In fact, Jessie is so great here that newcomers will believe she is just as important to the overall story as the rest.
It’s the commitment to those kinds of detail that make this an unforgettable experience apart from its predecessor. The music is sweeping and easily one of the greatest scores ever written for any medium. The sound design is mostly exquisite and intense. The ability to adjust the dialogue level in the next chapter might be a good addition if any of the creators are reading. The materia system changes are smooth and the combat is the most fluid I’ve ever experienced in an RPG. Fighting, casting, switching characters, and balancing the various summons is just a blast. Add the great voice actors to the picture and you’ve got the first part in one of the most unforgettable experiences you are ever likely to have.