The Final Fantasy series transcends mere games; it's a timeless legacy passed down through generations. With each new chapter comes the opus of wonder. For seasoned adventurers, this franchise has withstood the test of time. With 16 titles (20 if you include X-2, 13-2, Lightning Returns, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake) gracing its series, each game offers a wealth of adventure as standalone masterpieces. As a novice player, you can decide where to begin, for the journey into this enchanting universe can start with any title.
But there is much debate around the series' latest entrant and its predecessor. Final Fantasy 15 and 16 are the pinnacles of the franchises' success. Each boasts improved gameplay, graphics, and a captivating storyline. So which of the two takes the cake? Let's find out below in Final Fantasy 15 vs Final Fantasy 16.
What is Final Fantasy 15?
As the title suggests, this is the fifteenth instalment of the Final Fantasy series. Making its debut in 2016, this title merges the old and new for a wholesome fantasy experience. Although fans of the series were not utterly impressed by the game compared to its predecessor, the developer, Square Enix, dared to step into unknown water to defy all our expectations.
Final Fantasy 15 takes place in the land of Eos. Like any other game where liberation takes the core, an unruly reign by Niflheim threatens the sovereign structure of the nation. Sticking to tradition, the game bestows the role of hero on the to-be-king, Noctis Lucis Caelum. He doesn't take on this perilous journey alone; he is accompanied by three friends; Ignis Scientia, Prompto Argentum, and Gladiolus Amicitia.
The game depicts the theme of friendship as the four characters travel to retrieve a stolen artifact. It gives you something to relate to. For instance, for the Prince, his success depends not on who he is but on the actions and relations he creates. You may eventually stop the bad guy and restore normalcy to Eos, but these are not the only highlighting moments.
Furthermore, the game takes an absolute turn from turn-based systems, introducing a new real of real-time combat. The game's active x battle system is the closest any game in the franchise has gotten to full-on-real-time battles-except Final Fantasy 16.
What is Final Fantasy 16?
The latest entrant in the series, Final Fantasy 16, steps into the shoes of predecessors, sticking to the core theme of humanity. The game reminds us of the intricate values that shape society amidst a Game of Thrones-themed visual. This 16th title debuted in 2023 and launched as a timed exclusive for PlayStation 5.
Like its predecessor, the storyline centers on the magical powers of the Crystal. This time, the story takes place in the fictional Valisthea. The land is full of magical crystals that grant mythical powers to its inhabitants. However, a ravaging Blight causes the Crystal's aether to run low.
In the midst, the protagonist arises. Clive Rosfield is the firstborn son of one of the core nation's ruling families. In his journey, Clive is joined by Torgal, his hound, and Cidolfus Telamon.
The game continues with the legacy set by Final Fantasy 14 by gearing the franchise to a more fantasy outlook, more of a Westeros appeal. The developers seemingly communicate that this is a serious video game for grown-ups. However, despite the obscene language and gory deaths, the essence of Final Fantasy still remains.
Additionally, this iconic series undergoes a transformative metamorphosis, departing from its traditional RPG roots to embrace a new evolution within the character action genre. The title merges lightning-quick reflexes with the intricacies of character-building RPG mechanics. Though not without flaws, the combat achieves brilliance within the realm of action RPGs.
The Final Fantasy series is known to be one to shake things up. This is highly apparent in the franchise's previous titles. Final Fantasy 16 deviates from the RPG foundation and builds on character action. The game takes a modem approach to fantasy, granting boundless yet limited exploration opportunities.
From face value, both games introduce new characters and fantasy locations where the action occurs. As standalone titles, you need not complete one game to comprehend what the other entails. Perhaps the franchise's true enchantment lies in weaving uncharted destinies and vibrant personas while steadfastly embracing the very essence that breathes life into its core.
Moreover, FF 15 provides the option of choosing between party members. You can play as Prince Noctis or control one of his friends, Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus. Each companion serves a different combat role; you can equip them with a primary and secondary arm.
In contrast, FF 16 grants you control over one character, the protagonist. AI controls the rest of the party. Moreover, Clive's hound companion can perform special attacks when instructed and also heal your character.
Additionally, combat remains to be critical in both titles. The action occurs in real-time in both games; however, FF 15 spruces things up with the active x battle system. The system integrates realism in battle, with mid-fights ensuing when you least expect it. Moreover, the change from combat to explorations, and vice versa, is seamless. FF 16 enhances this combat system and adds a touch of cinematic panache to it.
Furthermore, while FF 15 occurs in an open-world environment, FF 16 features segmented open environments. You can explore the land masses in both games on foot or via Chocobos. The Chocobos are galliform birds present in the series.
When all is said and done, only one will emerge victorious. Ladies and Gentlemen, we present to you Final Fantasy 16. The game puts cinematic storytelling on the map while adhering to core pretexts that give the Final Fantasy series its glory.
Not to say that its predecessor is a lesser game. No Sirree! In fact, Final Fantasy 15's open world nails exploration, granting players countless hours to traverse the meticulously detailed environment. FF 16's semi-open world limits exploration. This could be why Square Enix took less time to develop the game than its counterpart.
Nevertheless, both titles are exquisite productions of the developer, but granted the enhancements in the new title, our scales tip in favor of Final Fantasy 16.