Final Fantasy VII Rebirth review: Best thing since sliced bread

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth rekindled my love for Final Fantasy with a refreshing twist in a classic story and additions to the gameplay experience.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

Game: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Developer: Square Enix, Creative Business Unit I
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 5 (reviewed on)
Release Date: February 29, 2024

Hold onto your Chocobos, because Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is zooming onto the PlayStation 5 next Thursday, February 29th, ready to cast its spellbinding charm on gamers and RPG enthusiasts alike.

Relax, this is a spoiler-free review.

Rebirth isn't just any old sequel; it's the second jewel in the crown of the planned trilogy that's giving the legendary 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII a glossy, modern makeover. Developed and published by the wizards over at Square Enix, this game picks up right where 2020's Final Fantasy VII Remake left us hanging, with our jaws on the floor and our hearts in our throats.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

Rebirth has you step into the oversized boots of Cloud Strife, a mercenary with a sword so big it practically needs its own ZIP code, as he and his motley crew of eco-warriors from AVALANCHE embark on a planet-saving quest. Their mission? To stop the evil Shinra megacorp from sucking the life out of the world and to put a stop to Sephiroth, a very handsome former elite SOLDIER with a god complex and a penchant for long, dramatic, yet freaking epic entrances.

The original gang's all here as well as new and fun characters as Rebirth promises to take us on an epic journey from the grimy streets of Midgar to the mysterious Forgotten Capital. But don't expect a simple retread of the original game's roadmap - this remake is shaking things up by changing the order of locations and saving some surprises for the trilogy's grand finale. Cloud Strife isn't just a one-man army - he's got a team that packs as much punch as they do personality.

From Barret Wallace, the leader with a heart as big as his gun-arm, to Tifa Lockhart, the adorably shy martial artist with fists of fury, and Aerith Gainsborough, the last of the ancient Cetra with a flower basket full of secrets, every single character we've grown to know and love from the original game brings their A-game to this A+ game. The rest of the ensemble includes a ninja thief, a talking lion-like creature, and a robot cat riding a giant stuffed toy, because why not? Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is like revisiting your hometown with your small children after years of moving out - nostalgic and full of exciting and refreshing additions and changes. It's a wild ride through a world where magic, technology, and high drama collide, all wrapped up in a package so visually stunning it'll make your eyes pop.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

Gameplay and mechanics

Besides the incredibly refreshing twist on one of the most beloved stories in the history of video games, Rebirth also excels in its gameplay style and mechanics. The controls are easy enough to master, the combat styles complement the kind of gaming experience the player wants to have, and we have the signature Final Fantasy skill grid (Folios) to help level up and learn new skills.

The battles are fun and immersive, with the player being able to switch between characters in the party by simply pressing left or right on their controller. The synergy feature is back and is even better than in Remake, with the ATB bar charging pretty fast, and the ability to summon materia continues to come in extra handy during those extra hard fights.

Speaking of extra hard fights, players can also set the difficulty level when starting their new game. The difficulty ranges from easy to normal to hard, and it adjusts how challenging battles are depending on how battle-centered the player's gaming style is. It's great for those of us who like to play games to relax and, you know, not rage.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

Characters and customization

The best part of Rebirth for me is the amount of character development and moments we get to witness.

Without spoiling anything, Aerith and Tifa made the game for me with their adorable banter and with them showing that girls can kick serious ass while still being adorable. Every piece of dialogue was greatly written, most of them getting chuckles and giggles out of me. Cloud's stoic personality starts to open up a bit more and the introductions to plot-altering relationship mechanics makes every decision Cloud makes relevant.

As I mentioned previously, we get the whole gang back and we meet some new characters along the way. These are interesting characters that add depth to the story and make you care about them, and they entertain the player to no end.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

In Chapter 6, options for different outfits are also a thing - and it's pretty fun. These outfits can be obtained by doing mini-games like the Golden Saucer and looking around very, very carefully. According to game director Naoki Hamaguchi, there will be a lot more choices than in Final Fantasy: Remake. In other words - you can dress to impress in this game, and it's pretty awesome.

Rebirth is also incredibly meme-able.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

Like... super meme-able. Aerith and Tifa give me the same chaotic vibes my 7-year-old twins do, and I'm here for it.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

The verdict

This is, hands down, the most fun I've had playing a Final Fantasy game since FFX.

I am very impressed with the controls, the gameplay, the plot and its twists, the characters... Not to mention the graphics. This game shows off the sheer power of the PlayStation 5 when it comes to its beautiful graphics and scenery. Also, if you hadn't played Remake but wanted to pick Rebirth up, there's a sweet little "The Story So Far" option in the main menu that plays a wonderful video that tells the tale of Remake and what has happened leading up to where Rebirth begins.

Without further ado, here's a very happy Piko and my final thoughts on this gem.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - ©2024 Square Enix /

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (PS5) score: 10/10

"Final Fantasy VII Rebirth rekindled my love for Final Fantasy with a refreshing twist in a classic story and additions to the gameplay experience."

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.