Developed and published by Squaresoft and Square Enix, Final Fantasy 11, also known as Final Fantasy 11 Online, was released originally back in 2002, with FFXI Gil as its main currency. It was the eleventh installment in the Final Fantasy series that got increased attraction from MMOs fans. Just after a year of its release, the game won the award of the best multiplayer game of the year. There’s no doubt that Final Fantasy 11 is awesome and a great way to have fun while exploring the fantasy world, known as Vana’diel. Final Fantasy 11 is also the first ever MMORPG in the series, which was also proven as a massive success for the developers.


This action-based role-playing game revolves around a set of characters who are brought into a fantasy world and face different types of enemies and challenges. The Vana’diel is a dynamic world that changes and evolves throughout the game. You also play alongside thousands of players from all over the world. No doubt that Final Fantasy 11 is one of the longest-running MMOs of the franchise at the moment.


Since its release, the developers have been striving hard to keep the content updated and add more expansions to the game. The main purpose of doing so is to keep the players engaged with more interesting content. To date, Final Fantasy 11 has seen five expansion packs and six add-on scenarios that change the course of the main storyline with new quests, maps, events, and rewards. This first-ever cross-platform Final Fantasy game is available to play on Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and Steam.


In this quick overview, we’ll be looking at whether Final Fantasy is worth playing or if it is still enjoyable or not.


A Quick Gameplay Overview


As aforementioned, the game is based on role-playing. However, instead of playing as an only hero, you can customize hundreds of characters and play alongside other players. The playable area is known as Vana’diel, in which your tasks are exploring, completing quests and missions, leveling up, and winning rewards. You can choose and customize your playable characters, including their race, gender, facial features, hair color, and height. Visual customization of characters is possible in the game as equipping weapons and gears not only changes the fighting abilities of the character but also adds stylish dark fantasy flair.


The gameplay is all about roaming around the cities to find and fight the monsters. You can easily level up in the game after joining a group of players called a Party. Each party member needs to work collaboratively and contribute their skills to help each other take down the enemies and gain experience points called XP. All the challenges and battles in the game take place in real-time using the ATB (Active Time Battle) system. Jobs are the essential roles that you adopt in battle. The jobs can determine abilities, weapons, and actions when approaching each battle in the game.


Overall, the gameplay is based on two components, one is the mission, and the other is the quest. Completing missions and quests results in leveling up and earning rewards that help you advance in the game. You play as an adventurer, and the entire story is divided into missions that you need to complete in three different nations. Every nation has its distinct story, yet the main story combines after the end of all the missions to summon and battle with the final boss of Final Fantasy XI and the attainment of Rank 6.


Why Final Fantasy 11 Is A Special MMO Game (The Goods)?


Being the first MMO game in the series and also supporting cross-console features, FFXI is special in its own way. The game features a dangerous, massively vast, unique, and cool world of Vana’diel that offers you a sense of adventure and exploration throughout the game. It is story-rich, features a unique class system with dynamic jobs, well-balanced party gameplay for leveling up, and is easy as well as intuitive to play.


The Job System in FFXI is cool and presented in a neat manner. Each job has different abilities and attributes that can be gained after leveling up. Currently, there are twenty jobs in the game, and players can choose and switch jobs whenever they like in designated areas. Players are allowed to switch jobs between battles as well. Equipping weapons such as greatswords, daggers, and spears can determine a character’s job while in a battle. The developers of the game used their expertise in making a series of nail-biting combat encounters. The interface is improved later, providing easy-to-understand and play game mechanics. FFXI is easy to play as well as difficult to win. It is equally entertaining for old and new players. The fight scenes are also presented in an organized way with a better tempo, where your character fights and walks with a cutscene.


The developers designed the game in a balanced way in terms of difficulty and rewards. As you level up, you get your hard-earned gears to fight further with stronger enemies, while new players often find ways and strategies to reach the top level. In short, FFXI delivers a great time of entertainment and keeps the players occupied by throwing continuous challenges and quests.


Is Final Fantasy 11 Still Active?


In recent years, especially in the pandemic era, FFXI has seen an increase in its active player count. It would not be wrong to say that FFXI is very much alive and active with a decent number of new players added every year since its release. However, the game’s golden era has ended. The main reason behind the ending of FFXI’s popularity is that FFIV came with huge improvements and attracted most of the MMOs fans. Players preferred to shift from the old-school Final Fantasy game to a more visually attractive modern installment to enjoy new and interesting content. Moreover, Yoji Fujito revealed in an interview that the game is not getting shut down anytime soon, and they will keep on running the game after its 20th anniversary. The producer of the game, Matsui said, “One of the major factors that affected FF11 from its release to now was FF14”. He further added that they will still keep the game running for those who want to enjoy old-school MMO and deliver new ways to keep new players coming.


How Does The Game Look Like After 20 Years?


FFXI turns 20 years old this year. The game has seen a boost in the number of players in recent years. With new content added to the game, the FFXI gets people interested in this new genre of exploring fantasy worlds.


After twenty years, there are almost five expansion packs and six add-on scenarios added to the base game. Till now, the game undergoes regular patching and testing in order to add new content and fix existing bugs troubling the players. The developers constantly added commonly known as Version updates to the game featuring improvements and new battlefields. In 2020, the game introduced the addition of a brand new storyline which was the first major storyline addition after five years. The game borrows some of the elements and features from the original Final Fantasy Title. However, the developers added an exciting job-based system that allows players to have specified and strategic approaches to every battle.


What New Players Dislike In Final Fantasy 11?


With the constantly evolving gaming world, Final Fantasy 11 couldn’t cope up with modern world games. First of all, new players prefer more graphically appealing games. Unfortunately, FFXI fails to deliver as being an old game. It clearly looks older and is a PS2 game. With so much content, new players often get confused, and it becomes quite overwhelming to figure out where to start. Despite featuring updates and expansions, players are now not expecting anything new coming to FFXI. It is not a beginner-friendly game with no in-game assisting feature to guide new players through the interface or tackle group content. When you die in FFXI, you lose XP and maybe lose level, which is rare these days with new games. So, new players sometimes find it exhausting while progressing in the game.