The release of Final Fantasy 16 is rapidly approaching, and there's so much to look forward to within the newest installment. Developed by RPG veterans Square Enix, Final Fantasy 16 is an action RPG with a focus on cinematic storytelling, expansive worldbuilding, and breathtaking spectacle.
The latest in the long-running series of narrative-driven games, Final Fantasy 16 adds welcome modernizations to the Final Fantasy formula, whilst preserving the characterful storytelling that made its predecessors so iconic.
Taking a leaf out of Final Fantasy 7 Remake's book, Final Fantasy 16 is an immersive, accessible experience; bent on telling a story that'll stick with you. You can read our Final Fantasy 16 review to see how the game landed.
Final Fantasy 16 : cut to the chase
- What is it? The next mainline single-player Final Fantasy title
- When can I play it? Out now!
- Which can I play it on? PS5 (PC could follow)
Final Fantasy 16 release date and platforms
Final Fantasy 16 launched June 22, 2023 on PS5.
Sony has now confirmed that while Final Fantasy 16 is indeed a PS5 exclusive, it's only as such for 6 months. It will likely be announced for PC platforms shortly afterward. This information was included in a recent trailer.
Final Fantasy 16 trailers
The latest trailer for Final Fantasy 16 dropped at the May PlayStation Showcase. The "Salvation" Launch Trailer features almost three minutes of footage from the game. Though it didn't't go into many specifics, the trailer did a great job of showing off the scale and spectacle at the heart of Final Fantasy 16. One theme is constant, however: protagonist Clive Rosfield will have his work cut out for him.
We've included some key Final Fantasy 16 trailers throughout this article you can find all the FF16 trailers that have been released to date on Square Enix's official YouTube channel.
Final Fantasy 16 story and setting
We now know that Final Fantasy 16's story and adventure takes place in a land called Valisthea.
The world is tied to six different Mothercrystals, which have been around for generations. During this time, six powerful nations have risen up around the Mothercrystals and each place now lives in relative peace. As is always the case with Final Fantasy, the blessings bestowed by the Mothercrystals has allowed these powers to thrive, and their people to live in comfort.
Of course, we also learn that the crystals have been the cause of "countless wars", which eventually formed the six nations now in the game: the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, the Kingdom of Waloed, the Dhalmekian Republic, the Iron Kingdom, and the Crystalline Dominion.
Each place views the world differently and, obviously, this leads to some political disagreements between the nations. However, we know that the emergence of something called a "Blight", which is spreading across the land, is making these different powers desperate. This is probably where we will begin the game; in the midst of this turbulent time.
In a radio interview (via Kotaku) producer Naoki Yoshida said that while Final Fantasy 16 is to be “action-oriented” it’s “turning into a Final Fantasy that features both story and action.” According to Yoshida, steps are being taken to accommodate players who prefer story to action, saying, “We strongly want people to enjoy the story, so we’re preparing a mode for those who want to focus on the story”.
Final Fantasy 16 gameplay
Final Fantasy 16 is an action RPG, meaning you shouldn't expect the turn-based combat of older entries, it's more akin to Final Fantasy 15 or Final Fantasy 7 Remake. In my hands-on with the game, I was impressed by the fast-paced, frenetic combat which, preserved the empowering spectacle of Final Fantasies past while deftly channeling the cinematic feel of modern real-time spectacle fighters like Devil May Cry 5.
In Final Fantasy 16, you control Cilve Rosfield. Unlike in previous games, other members of the party are AI-controlled, however, Clive has enough tricks up his sleeve to keep players on their toes. Throughout battle, Clive cycles between different Eikons, channeling different sets of supernatural powers to produce varied effects.
His default Eikon, Phoenix, is great at dealing damage, but also offers some self-healing and area-of-effect attack options if you're so inclined. However, once you switch to Garuda, you'll suddenly find your move set radically different. Even Clive's basic dash shifts to reflect the agility of the Eikon of wind. In Garuda mode, Clive can dish out rapid combos and mid-air attacks.
Each Eikon you unlock boasts different sets of moves and can be customized accordingly. However, you'll need to master several of these different modes if you want to navigate through Final Fantasy 16's satisfying, action-oriented combat.
Final Fantasy 16 news
Final Fantasy 16’s endgame is more than your average new game plus
Final Fantasy 16's developers recently outlined their plans for the title's endgame content. These include special trials as well as an entirely new game mode.
Final Fantasy 16 dev promises a deep story full of “bad puns”
Final Fantasy 16 writer and senior translator Michael-Christopher Koji Fox outlined his vision for the game's lore and storytelling in a recent interview, promising a "fantastical and philosophical" tale.
Final Fantasy 16 blazes its own trail
We recently had the chance to go hands-on with Final Fantasy 16. You can read our Final Fantasy 16 preview here, ranging from impressions of the story being told, and the action being baked into the combat.
Now that Final Fantasy 16 is out, we look to early next year for the release of the next game in the franchise. Here's everything we know about Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth so far.
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.
Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure.
Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.