Final Fantasy VII

aka: FF7, FFVII, Finalnaja Fantazija 7, Zui Zhong Huanxiang 7
See Also
(prices updated 9/24 9:42 PM )

Description official descriptions

The seventh installment of the Final Fantasy series takes place in a post-modern, steampunk, sci-fi world where high technology reigns and where robots and bio-engineered mutants co-exist with humans and dragons.

The story focuses on Shinra Inc., an evil mega-corporation responsible for all the world's high technology. Shinra supports this technology with Mako Energy, Shinra's patented source of power. Unfortunately, Mako is the lifeblood of the living planet and by using it up Shinra is slowly upsetting the balance of nature.

In comes AVALANCHE, a rebel group of disenfranchised citizens who have taken it upon themselves to oppose Shinra's ambitions. The main character is an ex-Shinra soldier named Cloud Strife, an angst-ridden fellow with a complex history that is explained as the game goes on. Cloud joins up with AVALANCHE as a mercenary for hire, and together they take on Shinra's maniacal executives and their army of shock-troops, robots, and mutants. However, after a while, it becomes apparent that there are other forces at work, and ultimately Cloud must not only fight against Shinra but also stop a powerful man from his past from destroying the world.

Like its predecessors, Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing game in Japanese style, featuring turn-based combat with a real-time (ATB, "active time battle") element against randomly appearing enemies. Customization in the game revolves around a so-called "Materia" system. Instead of magic spells, abilities, and bonus stats being saved to a single character, they are saved to Materia orbs, allowing the player to change a character's spells and abilities from the equipment menu at any time. Materia orbs can be bought in stores or found during exploration. The series' trademark summoned monsters are also contained within specific Materia. Besides experience points, characters also receive ability points that gradually upgrade the abilities of the currently equipped Materia.

Each character also possesses a set of unique attacks called "Limit Breaks". By sustaining enough damage without dying a character will build up their Limit Gauge, which can be expended to do a highly damaging attack when filled. More powerful Limit Breaks are unlocked as previous ones are used, and acquiring the most powerful Limit Break of each character will require the completion of sub-quests.

The game utilizes 3D character models and pre-rendered backgrounds with varying camera angles for the exploration of towns and hostile areas. World map navigation and battle screens are done completely in 3D. CG movies are frequently used as cutscenes that advance the game's story. The game features a large number of mini-games (most of which are optional) and many ways to explore the game world, as the player gradually acquires various vehicles that can venture into previously inaccessible locations.


  • Финальная Фантазия 7 - Russian spelling
  • ファイナルファンタジーVII - Japanese spelling
  • 太空戰士 7 - Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • 最終幻想VII - Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • 最终幻想7 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

Groups +



Credits (PlayStation version)

407 People (355 developers, 52 thanks) · View all

Product Development Coordinator
QA Manager
Customer Service Manager
Executive VP, Strategic Planning
Vice President of Marketing
Assistant Marketing Associates
Music Composer
Main Programmer
Character Director & Battle Visual Director
Art Director
Image Illustrator
CG Supervisor
[ full credits ]



Average score: 93% (based on 107 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 658 ratings with 32 reviews)

Best game ever made!

The Good
It is the best game ever made! It has a very good story....not so good graphics but I don't care...

The Bad
There's not much to complain about... it's too short and they should have made a direct sequel.

The Bottom Line
This is the best game ever made in the whole world! Hironobu Sakaguchi, YOU RULE! How the f**k did you make this game this good... it's better than all the other Final Fantasies... I mean... FFX and FFX-2 are only crap... too easy games... and no good story in them.

PlayStation · by Cheon Cheong (1) · 2004

Fusion of drama and gameplay

The Good
Final Fantasy VII is probably the most famous Japanese RPG of all times. It helped popularize the genre like no other game before or after it. Western players started paying attention to the odd genre that mixed ancient RPG mechanics with anime-influenced drama. Fan fiction and shrines dedicated to the effeminate antagonist Sephiroth began to flood the internet.

One could argue about this game for hours, but it cannot be denied that Final Fantasy VII gave a tremendous kick to the genre, propelling it into the future - for good and (mostly) for bad. And while the Japanese RPG design philosophy that began to dominate the market under its influence is seen by many - myself included - as dubious and destructive for the genre, the game itself cannot be held responsible for that.

Final Fantasy VII brought to the genre something it had been craving for a long time: cinematic presentation. The contrast between this game's dramatic visuals and everything that was created in the genre before it is instantly noticeable. Square had showed their talent in that field before as well, but this time, they had the technology to help them, and the impact was huge.

The beginning of Final Fantasy VII clearly shows what its designers are capable of. The dramatic intro pulls the player into the game, and then seamlessly "disintegrates" into the gameplay. The game throws the player right into the middle of the events. High-quality pre-rendered backgrounds, different viewing angles instead of the traditional top-down perspective, and gorgeously-looking battles hook the player right away.

But the strength of Final Fantasy VII is that it never focuses only on cinematic presentation. It uses it to enhance the dramatic impact of its narrative, not to reduce interactivity and player input. Unlike so many other games that tried so much to be "movie-like", Final Fantasy VII doesn't sacrifice its gameplay to the new technical means of expression.

In fact, in terms of gameplay it has virtually everything a Japanese RPG is able to offer. Character growth system is interesting and allows plenty of experimentation. Like its predecessor, it contains a wealth of optional quests, two entirely optional characters to seek out and recruit to your party, and a huge amount of secrets scattered around the world. Exploring the "world map" of Final Fantasy VII becomes one of the most enjoyable playing processes in the game. The 3D view creates a sense of wonder and excitement when you experiment with various types of vehicles and chocobos to access areas that seemed out of reach before. Withe the proper means, it becomes possible to explore every corner of the large world. Even underwater areas are fully explorable with a submarine.

The amount and the variety of things to do in Final Fantasy VII makes it a much less linear and richer experience than most other Japanese RPGs. You can take a break from the main story and just explore the world; go and visit the Gold Saucer, a huge entertainment area where you can gain lots of extra items and powerful materia; seek out and fight powerful optional bosses, etc. Monotonous turn-based gameplay routine is frequently interrupted by fun mini-games (there is even a mini-strategy game, where you command a whole army and can place catapults and other weapons in order to defend the top of a mountain); some of them are compulsory, but most (such as chocobo breeding) are completely optional.

The narrative of Final Fantasy VII is very ambitious, involving social, psychological, and even philosophical problems. While the story doesn't always captivate the way it was supposed to do, some moments are positively unforgettable (such as the famous tragic scene in the middle of the game). Thanks to the cinematic presentation, the emotional impact of the narrative is stronger, and the player is brought closer to the heroes than ever before.

Like in the previous Final Fantasy game, the relationships between the characters is the true cornerstone of the narrative. Every character contributes to the story; while the "main arc" involves the usual confrontation with the antagonist and subsequent world-saving, the "meat" of the narrative are undeniably the personal stories of the characters. Nearly each one of them is interesting and believable, helping to tighten the bond between the player and the protagonists.

The setting of Final Fantasy VII is quite interesting. Already Final Fantasy VI was more inclined towards modern setting than traditional medieval fantasy; Final Fantasy VII introduces a full blend of fantasy and sci-fi. It is not just any kind of sci-fi, but a moody, dark, a bit "blade-runneresque" setting complete with a giant city controlled by an evil mega-corporation, advanced biological experiments on human beings and other species, etc. The game also contains other sci-fi-elements, including even a space flight. One could argue that the setting is a stylistic mess, but the truth is that it goes really well with the games' ambitious narrative.

The variety of locations in Final Fantasy VII is a huge step forwards compared to earlier Final Fantasies - mainly because of the superior graphics, but also thanks to the creativity of the designers. This is by far the most interesting and colorful collection of locations in the entire series - starting with Midgar, a huge city where you spend the first, introductory part of the game. Midgar is decidedly the coolest Final Fantasy location ever. Other cities are also very interesting, far from being the generic towns of most RPGs. Particularly inspiring are the mysteriously looking Cosmo Canyon and the "Chinese" Wutai with its pagodas and unique architecture style.

I absolutely love the music in this game. Nobuo Uematsu has written some of his most varied and emotionally engaging pieces for it. I've played so many Japanese RPGs, but Final Fantasy VII is one of the few whose battle music has stuck in my memory.

The Bad
One of the game's weakest aspects is its writing. So many times, when you begin to "emotionally connect" with the interesting characters, one of them utters an awkward, confusing phrase, and your understanding is shattered to pieces. The problem is that while weak writing was somehow endearing in older installments of the series, it becomes more of an issue in this one, since the game's cinematic style puts the focus on the narrative more than ever before, and the players naturally expect more from it. Since Final Fantasy VII is also much more ambitious in its narrative, involving broad sci-fi thematics (such as genetic experiments), rather complex social questions, and even trying to bring across a "message" of sorts (environmentalism etc.), the flaws in the writing obstruct the enjoyment of the narrative more than it was the case in earlier games.

While Final Fantasy VII is really good at enhancing stale Japanese RPG gameplay with all kinds of nifty extras, you have to bear in mind that it's still a rather rigid, limited experience. One can enjoy it for its big heart and its peculiar artistic charm, but it's still a game that largely relies on a decades-old Wizardry-like system, retaining archaic elements such as random enemy encounters and menu-based combat.

The game is also on the easy side, so don't play if you are only looking for a good challenge. Your characters are simply too strong, and with some bonus areas properly explored and powerful weapons or materia obtained, the battles are regularly won without much effort. They are still fun, because there are always so many possibilities to become even stronger and defeat the foes more efficiently, but don't expect anything really demanding here.

The Bottom Line
The success of Final Fantasy VII is not accidental. It gave the genre cinematic treatment that not only helped popularize it, but also greatly enhanced the experience of following a complex, emotional narrative set in a colorful world. Unlike most of the games that it influenced, Final Fantasy VII didn't sacrifice gameplay to this new treatment. On the contrary, it is one of the more open-ended and gameplay-rich Japanese RPGs, with an abundance of secrets and optional things to try out. To many, it's a gateway to the series and the genre; to me, it remains their most proper swan song.

PlayStation · by Unicorn Lynx (180491) · 2016

Mystery beyond mystery. Why is this game fun?

The Good
There's great graphics (well, apart of the very non-detailed 3D characters in the actual game...), good animations (some rather cool combat animations that aren't easy to grow tired about), Not at all bad music, a decent playability, a plot that doesn't have too many apparent dead ends.

It's hard to describe, but this game is just simply fun.

The Bad
As a big fan of "western" CRPGs, there's a whole lot to grumble about. I don't think I'll even bother much - let's just say that the game system and mechanics are antiquated to the extreme. Combat system is pre-stone age. Dialogue trees have been invented too, but the Japanese obviously haven't heard about them yet. Random encounters are completely infuriating. I sort of did like the magic system though.

The dialogue is rather perplexing. Either it's decent, or it's annoying, or just pathetic. There are more JRPG plot or character cliches in this thing than you can count - and sometimes they turn out to be quite boring. (Luckily, not always!) And as many Cloud fans there are, I just have to say that I just couldn't identify with him. I found most of the other party members quite interesting though.

And save points suck. I want to save games immediately, not after getting hit by million little monsters.

I'm not a terribly big fan of the minigames in FF7 either - for some reason, I've never found them very inspiring in any game.

The Bottom Line
(For what it's worth: I've played through the first CD and quite a chunk of the second too.)

Final Fantasy VII has some great fun. I have played quite a many addicting RPGs, but I think this is one has that sinister, evil kind of pull that gently tugs me deeper to the madness, madness that is the heart of this game. For other RPGs I can explain it - for example, I couldn't stop playing Ultima VII because I simply loved the world and loved the dialogues. But FF7 is different - I'm unable to stop playing, and the only reason I can say is "I'm having fun".

It's certainly not the story. Plot has been seen before. I like games with subtle messages, and this game just shouts at me "mega-corporations are evil and nature is cool" and all that. I found myself Yawning Terribly at the plot things. It's not the characters either. I found Cloud mostly uninteresting, though other characters were rather fascinating in their own ways. It's not the game system. Idiotically simple controls that thankfully still offer quite complex playability.

I don't know why I liked all this stuff. Maybe it's just the look of the game. Maybe it's just the right kind of environments, overall pleasantness of the game and the people in it, some rather interesting surprises in spite of the awful load of cliches there are. (Or maybe I just found the cliches themselves funny. Yes, that's got to be a factor).

I might be even recommending this game as one of the essential RPGs anyone needs to play to understand the genre, but I might be overstating. I would recommend it to people who have never seen a RPG and would like to start the hobby in a fun and fashionable way without getting thwacked by too many people. Just play it, it rules - and even if you don't like it, there are probably still a plenty of RPGs you probably do like.

Windows · by WWWWolf (444) · 2004

[ View all 32 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
overrated? Andy Social (16) Apr 4th, 2023
FF7.sf2 content description MerlynKing Feb 7th, 2018
You know, I just realized something... Lance Boyle (1520) Aug 26th, 2010
Amazing. Simply amazing. The price I mean. GAMEBOY COLOR! (1989) Jun 3rd, 2009


1001 Video Games

The PS1 version of Final Fantasy VII appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Around 1/3 of the way into the game (relatively), you reach the Golden Saucer and have a date with one of the characters, usually Tifa or Aeris, depending on a lot of choices you've made through the game. However, it's actually possible to go on a date with any character in your party, even Barrett. (the game has a number of amusing asides and jokes that come up if you favor an all-male party and ignore the girls).

Death scene

Producer Hironobu Sakaguchi allowed one of the characters to die as an expression of grief after his mother died during the production of Final Fantasy VI. There were almost hundreds of rumours circulating around the net that this character could be brought back to life by doing this or that (usually very complex procedures). Unfortunately none of these are true.


The original PlayStation version of the game was released on 3 CDs, where each CD contained a part of the story. In reality, all 3 CDs are almost identical, they all contain approximately 250MB of game data and 400MB of videos, only the latter differs between CDs. As a proof, the game only prompts you to insert the correct CD when you load a saved game. But if, after loading your game, you swap it for another CD, this won't have any effect, except when a video should play, where the game will either crash or play a wrong video.

Fangame sequel

In June 2008 Rich Whitehouse released the fangame sequel Avalanche, continuing the story, but with brawling beat-em-up gameplay.

Film sequel

Due to the popularity of Final Fantasy VII, Square-Enix released a full-length CG animated feature film called Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005). The film is set several years after the events of the game.

Missing items

A few items were not cut out of the final product. There are certain programs that allow you to view game files such as background images and text, and by doing so you can see some that weren't used. If you were to search through all the text, you can find an Elixir in the pipe of the sick man in Midgar, an item called "Letter to Wife in Kalm", "Letter to Daughter in Kalm", "Homemade Potion!" that you were supposed to get from Cloud's mother, and maybe the most interesting of all: the item "High Blow ST", which sounds a lot like a weapon which is supposed to be found in the basement of Shinra mansion, but is nowhere to be found in the game.


The instrumental music playing during the scene when Midgar collapses around President Shinra is Die Schöpfung ("The Creation") by Joseph Haydn, a Austrian composer of the 18th century. The lyrics to One-Winged Angel, the song that plays during the final confrontation, are taken from Carmina Burana an opera written by Carl Orff in the 1930s.

In the PlayStation version of this game, there's a live chorus singing during the final battle. In the PC conversion, the music is in midi format so only certain soundcards and drivers can support this. Without the proper soundcard/driver combination, you get no chorus and just the background midi. The wonky thing is that you have to play all the way to the end of the game just to see if your soundcard is supported.

The game's PC install disc includes the Yamaha YXG-100 MIDI synthesizer software. For a year or two after this game was released, the install disc was the only place where you could find YXG-100. Yamaha's download page featured only the YXG-50 and YXG-70 versions of the software. The website can be found in related links.

The Final Fantasy VII soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu was released in 1997 on 4 CDs, with 85 audio tracks in total.

My Bloody Valentine reference

In the beginning of the game, right after Cloud leaves the building on fire, there's a big outdoor view of a dark-haired girl and the writings "OVELESS - Y LOODY ALENTINE". This is a reference to British dreampop band My Bloody Valentine, which released its most famous album Loveless back in 1991. The dark-haired girl from the poster looks quite like band member Belinda Butcher (later in the game, the name "Loveless" pops up once again, referred to as a play)

Norse mythology references

There are some references to Norse mythology in this game, e.g. Midgar = Midgård = Middle-Earth, which is the world humans live on; Nibelheim = Nifelheim, the ice land that existed before the world was created of the giant Ymir's body.


Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the series since the original to keep its Japanese title (more specifically, the number) for the English-language release. Since the second, third and fifth instalments were yet to be officially translated, the fourth and sixth instalments had been retitled as the second and third games, respectively, for their original releases in North America. When Sony acquired the international publishing rights to Final Fantasy VII, the title was not changed, much to the confusion of American players of the earlier games, and more so in Europe where none of the previous main games had seen a release up to that point.

Remake teaser

At E3 2005 Square-Enix showed a remake of the original Final Fantasy VII intro with new up-to-date graphics, including a fully detailed Midgar and high-resolution characters. The video was said to be a tech demo, meant to show off the capabilities of the new Sony console, and even though there were much more astounding videos made in that sense, this one literally caused a sensation, because many people all over the world thought that if Square had put much effort for such a demo, there really was going to be a remake.


No less than 2 million copies were sold in just two days when the game was released in Japan.


The name of the main adversary in the game is Sephiroth. This is a Greek-influenced spelling of the Hebrew word "sfirot" (ספירות), a plural form of "sfira" (ספירה), which literally means "counting". According to Kabbala, the Jewish mystical philosophy, sfirot are the primary powers using which God had created the world.

Sephiroth wields the legendary sword, Masamune. Named after a famous Japanese swordsmith, a variant of the Masamune has appeared in countless Square games including other Final Fantasys, Chrono Trigger, and later Vagrant Story.

Version differences

  • For the US PlayStation release Square made some improvements over the original. These included the elimination of several bugs and, most importantly, the addition of some cutscenes (game engine-based, not rendered). This caused a big scandal in Japan, which was left with an "inferior" version. To correct this, Square released an "international version", which is simply the American version with a fourth "Making Of" CD added.
  • The 2012 Windows re-release adds achievements, cloud saving and a cheat button which instantly gives maximum HP, MP and Gil.

Xenogears reference

In the PlayStation version, the second time you go to Mideel, talk to Cloud three times and you'll get a reference to Xenogears:

"A billion mirror fragments......small......light......taken......angel's......singing voices......xeno......gias......"

At the time, it was not yet known if Xenogears would be localized for Western audiences. In the later Windows version "xeno gias" was changed to "xeno gears", making the reference much more obvious.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • October 1997 (Issue 99) - Game of the Month
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #21 (Best 100 Games of All Time)
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #9 (Readers' Top 10 Games of All Time)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #47 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PSExtreme
    • 1997 Extreme Awards (Vol. 3, Iss. 3) - Best Role-Playing Game of the Year
    • 1997 Extreme Awards (Vol. 3, Iss. 3) - Best Game Graphics of the Year
  • PC Gamer
    • Apr. 2000 - voted #36 overall in Readers All-Time Top 50 Games Poll
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • 1998 (Iss. 01/1999) - Best RPG in 1998
  • Game Informer
    • Aug. 2001 (Iss. 100) - named among the Top 100 Games of All Time
    • Oct. 2004 (Iss. 138) - named among the Top 25 Most Influential Games of All Time
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #4 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
  • The Strong National Museum of Play
    • 2018 – Introduced into the World Video Game Hall of Fame

Information was also contributed by Andreas Vilén, Apogee IV, Big John WV, Drein IX, Fafnir, Final GMR, Guy Chapman, Jiguryo, Koroner, MAT, Patrick Bregger, PCGamer77, Rey Mysterio, Sciere, Tiago Jacques, WildKard, WizardX and Zovni.

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Related Sites +

  • FF-Fan
    A fansite that offers all kinds of information on the entire Final Fantasy franchise, including walkthroughs, game media, discussion boards and fan art.
  • Final Fantasy Extreme
    Site that contains movies, wallpaper, codes, guides, walkthroughs, and general information on the Final Fantasy series.
  • Final Fantasy Online
    A Final Fantasy related site containing images, wallpapers, music, guides, etc.
  • Final Fantasy Online Strategy Guides
    Tips, tricks, and just really useful information for Final Fantasy VII.
  • Final Fantasy VII: A Huge Leap for RPGs
    Alex discusses his thoughts on Final Fantasy VII in a retrospective
  • GameFaqs Files
    Comprehensive links to numerous Final Fantasy VII files on GameFaqs
  • Hints for FF7
    Universal Hint System's hints will help you finish Final Fantasy VII
  • OC ReMix Game Profile
    Fan ReMixes of music from Final Fantasy VII, including the album "Voices of the Lifestream"
  • Square's Official Final Fantasy VII site
    Square's official North American website for info on Final Fantasy VII and related games.
  • Yamaha's XG Website
    Yamaha's website for their XG series of software MIDI synthesizers. The YXG-100 version comes on Final Fantasy VII's PC install disc.

Identifiers +


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Alan Chan.

PS Vita added by GTramp. Nintendo Switch, Xbox One added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Android, PlayStation 4, iPad, iPhone added by Sciere. PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Foxhack. PlayStation added by Grant McLellan. Windows Apps added by Koterminus.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Shoddyan, SAGA_, Alaka, Silverblade, monkeyislandgirl, Bregalad, DarkDante, David Lloyd, DreinIX, —-, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, CrankyStorming, FatherJack, A.J. Maciejewski, 64er, SoMuchChaotix.

Game added February 14th, 2000. Last modified September 20th, 2023.