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Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth Review

While I was growing up, I played many Final Fantasy games. From the 2D SNES games up to the first 3D Final Fantasy games, including Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII was and still is a masterpiece. With the Remakes spanning three games, I’ve had a lot of questions popping up. Now I’ve spent time with the second part in the Remake trilogy. Read on for my thoughts in our Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth review.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth World

Remaking one of the best RPG’s ever

Final Fantasy VII is widely regarded as one of the best RPGs in videogame history. That’s a massively high bar to meet. Remaking a game like that is like walking a minefield. There’s so many steps that need to be done just right in order to honor the original. Not to mention taking it to the next level. Final Fantasy VII Remake, the title of the first game in the Remake trilogy, came close but in my opinion wasn’t a better experience.

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth does improve on the first game but that’s mostly because it focuses on one of the meatiest parts of the original game. The story is once again great but that’s no surprise. You follow Cloud and his friends on a quest to find Sephiroth, who turns out to be the big bad guy at the end of Remake part 1. You’re finally out of Midgar’s linear urban environments and out into the wide world.

The story takes you through exotic locations with lots of varying locales. It’s filled with twists and turns but there are no surprises for those of you who have the original story in their core memories. That’s not a problem, because for those who have played the original game (multiple times over), it’s an excellent nostalgia trip.

Filler content

There’s a lot of extra story digging into your party member’s pasts, so you can get to know them better. And tons of side quests. But this is also where my big critique lies with Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth (and its predecessor). The original game was big and that was fine. They’ve split it up into three games which are, gameplay wise, just as big. Something’s got to give there and it’s the story pacing. Which is the worst trade off you could make in my opinion, when we’re talking about one of the best RPG’s of all time. 

There’s a lot of filler content such as dialogues and cutscenes which are purely banter and add nothing of substance to the story. I often found myself being taken out of the story flow because of this, because it’s just too much. It feels like watching your favorite anime, which you know has a great story from the manga, and being forced to watch filler episodes between story content.

While the filler content is good, it’s still filler content which you can easily miss out on. Final Fantasy VII always included some less serious content. Such as minigames or the Wall Market chapter where you dress up cloud and co. But the mandatory nature of these in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is too much. There’s an entire beach resort which was in the original, but is now filled with mandatory minigames.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Minigame

Tons of content

The game includes a lot of side content and minigames. Apart from the mandatory content, it’s great. There’s an entire board game which is a game unto itself, featuring card collecting in-game. It reminds me of Final Fantasy VIII’s Triple Triad. And there’s a tower defense minigame, loads of musical minigames, racing mini games and so on. If you want to go crazy, you can. The developers have done a great job integrating it into the gameplay for it to make sense. And most of it is completely optional and can be done post-game.

One of the bigger improvements over the previous game, is semi-open world zones. There are multiple areas you’ll come across which are wide open spaces. You can find a lot to explore, like side quests, new summons, items for crafting, combat challenges and much more. All of it is completely optional yet very rewarding. You’ll find strong materia this way and better items to equip which will help you on your travels.

If you don’t want to, you can beeline towards the objective and continue on with your main quest. But the open world areas are truly stunning and filled with landmarks. Even though I wanted to continue the story, I kept finding things I wanted to explore further which is the biggest compliment an open world can get. It’s definitely increased my gameplay time by dozens of hours.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth combat

Strategic action combat

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s biggest change from the original game, apart from graphics, is its combat system. The Final Fantasy games were traditionally Turn Based RPG’s but ever since Final Fantasy XV it’s switched over to more action oriented combat. Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth feels like the first Final Fantasy game where they’ve done it right. Combat is fast paced, graphically beautiful and strategic. Final Fantasy XVI was already great but I feel they’ve nailed it with Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth.

As usual in Action RPG’s, you can attack, block, dodge, parry and so on. There are no surprises there. The systems surrounding this are what makes combat great. There are loads of abilities and spells your characters can use to swing. But in order to use them, even spells which cost MP, you’ll need to fill out our ATB gauge. It’s a bar which only fills up after attacking, blocking, perfect dodging or parrying. This ensures you don’t just skill spam but actively participate in combat.

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth exploration

Team up

One of the coolest aspects is Synergy Skills. You can always take just three characters with you into combat. Some pairs have access to a synergy skill. If both of them have built up enough ATB gauge and synergy charges, they can do a duo attack which is very powerful and accompanied by a cut-scene. There are many synergy skills and interesting combinations, each with different effects. Utilizing your abilities, spells and synergy skills perfectly will lead to success in combat. It’s a great way to add some more strategy into the action based combat, which I really missed in previous Final Fantasy games.

At the start of the game, you’ll have access to five companions, continuing on from Final Fantasy VII Remake. One of the biggest achievements of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is giving all characters their own combat style. Every character has their own specific set of abilities and attacks. Playing Cloud is completely different than playing Barrett. And you can switch on the fly. I’ve found Cloud, Red XIII and Aerith very fun to play myself but I can imagine it’s different for everybody. The great thing is, when you’re getting bored by combat you can simply switch it up to keep things fresh. But to be clear, during the entire game I’ve never felt bored with combat!

Final Fantasy VII: Combat

Very accessible

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth also boasts lots of accessibility features. From text-to-speech and story progression, almost everyone can play it. At the start of the game, you can go for a story difficulty, which makes combat a breeze and lets you just enjoy the story. There’s also a game mode, which isn’t easy persé, that allows your characters to auto attack and block. This means you can fully focus on strategizing with your abilities and spells. I personally enjoyed that mode as well, because it’s closer to the original game’s combat.

Even when you beat the game, there is so much post-game content to complete. You can finish up the world map, play more minigames, collect more summons and abilities. As usual with Final Fantasy games, getting 100% completion will take hundreds of hours. I don’t think it’s something most people will do, but the option is there for hardcore fans! While a lot of content in the open world may be repetitive at times, it’s so stunning that exploring is a treat unto itself.

In terms of graphics and sound, Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is an absolute treat. I found the game, and especially its open world areas, stunning. At times, I simply explored the game world to see what I could find. Accompanied by hallmark Final Fantasy tunes, fans of the series are sure to feel right at home. Combat is often very cinematic, especially when using summons and synergy skills. 

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth resort


Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is, simply put, a great game. The gameplay is top tier, with combat that’s enticing until the end. Challenging and fair. Action oriented, yet strategic. There’s so much content, it can keep you entertained for dozens of hours with ease. The only complaint I have is the story pacing due to the amount of filler content. This stops it from becoming a rollercoaster ride, like the original. Which is a shame, because that’s what made the original the best RPG of all time according to a lot of people. 


  • Great open world areas
  • Excellent combat gameplay
  • Stunning visuals and great soundtrack
  • Story is still very good


  • Story pacing due to filler content
  • Mandatory minigames

Grade: 8,5

That was it for our Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth Review. Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is available through PlayStation 5 Cloud Gaming. Be sure to follow us on Twitter right here.