Do you need to play Final Fantasy VII Remake before Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth screenshot. Courtesy Square Enix
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth screenshot. Courtesy Square Enix /

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is out in a few days and with critical acclaim, it's labeled a "must-play." But as a sequel to 2020's Final Fantasy VII Remake — a game that was released nearly four years ago — you may be wondering if you need to play the predecessor to understand or appreciate Rebirth.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is the second installment in Square Enix's remake project, a planned trilogy that reimagines the beloved 1997 PlayStation classic. Being a sequel might suggest you need to first play Final Fantasy VII Remake before diving into Rebirth, but is that necessarily true?

Square Enix has assured that FFVII Rebirth has been designed "as a standalone experience that can be enjoyed as your first entry point into the iconic Final Fantasy VII series."

While it may be beneficial to already be familiar with the characters from Final Fantasy VII Remake, I wouldn't say it's imperative. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth does feature a brief "Story So Far" video that recaps the events of the first game. There are also countless fanmade videos that go more in-depth into the events and characters from FFVII Remake. I'd probably recommend watching one of those instead as Square Enix's recap is very barebones.

But honestly, as someone who never played the original Final Fantasy and didn't quite remember all the events from Final Fantasy VII Remake, I say you'll be just fine watching a quick (or in-depth) recap.

Final Fantasy VII Remake covered the Midgar portion of the original Final Fantasy VII. If followed Cloud Strife as he joined an underground resistance group known as AVALANCHE to help take down the oppressive Shinra Electric Power Company, who harvest and process the planet's energy in gigantic Mako reactors.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth continues Cloud and his party's adventure as they continue their battle against Shinra while also tracking down the whereabouts of Sephiroth.

Whether you're familiar with the original Final Fantasy VII or approaching this new trilogy with Rebirth, this should be a fine jumping-in point for anyone interested. Watch a recap to quickly familiarize yourself with the events from the first game and you should be good to go.