Want to know what's the deal with Final Fantasy 16? Final Fantasy 16 (officially called Final Fantasy XVI, but the Anglophone world hates a roman numeral) is, as the title strongly suggests, an upcoming instalment in Square Enix's long, long, long-running science-fantasy RPG series.
Like most of its predecessors, FF16 will be a PlayStation exclusive at launch, but there's every reason to believe that we'll get to enjoy it on PC sooner or later. The conversation around potential ports is complicated at the moment, but we've laid it out as clearly as we can below, along with a run-down of everything else we know about the game at this time.
On this page:
- Final Fantasy 16 release date
- Final Fantasy 16 platforms
- Final Fantasy 16 trailer
- FF16 setting, story, and characters
- Final Fantasy 16 gameplay
- Who is making Final Fantasy 16?
Final Fantasy 16 release date
Final Fantasy 16's initial release date will be June 22, 2023. However, this date will see it exclusively available on the PlayStation 5.
This exclusivity deal is due to end on December 31, 2023, at which point it's expected to become available on other platforms — although it's not entirely clear whether this is meant as a launch date for those ports, or just a formal end to PS5 exclusivity (or, possibly, both). This opens up a whole other can of worms, as I'll explain in detail below.
Final Fantasy 16 platforms
Final Fantasy 16 will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive when it launches in June, with its exclusivity due to end six months later. During the initial announcement, PC was explicitly mentioned as one of the "other platforms" that FF16 would be available on come New Year's Eve.
During a recent livestream, FF16 producer Naoki Yoshida has seemingly denied a PC release being in the works. While this might well be part of a tongue-in-cheek attempt to drive sales for the PS5 version, explicit mentions of a PC release have apparently been scrubbed from the trailers they'd previously appeared in. However, said trailers still state that the game will release on "other platforms" on December 31st.
What does this mean? In all likelihood, it does seem like a PC release is still on the cards, given that it's just hard to imagine those promised "other platforms" not including PC. After all, you can practically count the number of PlayStation exclusives that later came to Xbox et al. but never hit the PC market on the fingers of one hand, to say nothing of the fact that literally every older Final Fantasy game is available on Steam as we speak. The team at Square Enix do seem perturbed by the idea of players holding off on the PS5 version in the hopes that it'll soon arrive on their platform of choice, though, which might explain their reticence to discuss details right now.
Final Fantasy 16 trailer
The latest Final Fantasy 16 trailer, titled "Revenge", gives a brief but powerful look at the bloodier and more mature world we can expect from the upcoming title:
FF16 setting, story, and characters
As is usually the case with the FF franchise, Final Fantasy 16 is not expected to directly tie in with other titles in the series in terms of either setting or characters. This time around, the world the game takes place in will be called Valisthea, where a natural resource known as Mothercrystals grants its populace access to magical powers and other abundant supernatural blessings. Interesting given recent trends, Valisthea won't be an open world, although the dev team have expressed a desire to faithfully create an appropriate feeling of scale when travelling between areas.
Naturally, though, the story needs a conflict, which looks like it's coming from a couple of different directions. There's the Blight, which seems to be some kind of threat to natural resources; and the Eikons, an otherworldly and potentially malevolent force residing within the Dominants, a group of Valisthea natives blessed (or quite possibly cursed) with an innate connection to the creatures. Untethered Eikons will be major enemies in the game, but those harnessed by Dominants seem to have a more ambiguous role to play.
And in case you were trying to remember: yes, this is the Final Fantasy game where the playable hero is named Clive. Clive Rosfield, heir to the Archduchy of Rosaria, and his brother Joshua (who balances out his social disadvantages as a younger son by inheriting the family's most powerful Eikon) are among the game's lead characters, along with their foster-sister and family ward Jill Warrick. All three leads will be Dominants, and possessed of various unique elemental powers thanks to their Eikons. There'll also be a second playable character for at least a brief portion of the game, but their identity is still unknown at this point.
Final Fantasy 16 gameplay
In a departure from older games in the series, Final Fantasy 16 will not feature turn-based combat. Instead, combat will focus more on real-time action sequences like those in Devil May Cry 5. The comparison is notable, as DMC5's combat director Ryota Suzuki has been confirmed as helming combat in FF16. Rumours of an easy mode to assist players less familiar with action games are unconfirmed, but there does seem to have been a conscious effort to appeal to fans with varying skill levels in real-time combat.
In true Final Fantasy tradition, FF16 will include a variable party made up of AI-controlled NPCs. The aforementioned character Jill will number among those party members, though Joshua apparently won't, which might be something of a hint as to how things are going to shake out for the Rosfield family during the game's story.
Who is making Final Fantasy 16?
In terms of development, Final Fantasy 16 is being handled by the same in-house studio at Square Enix responsible for Final Fantasy 14, the franchise's MMORPG entry, and includes work by FF14 producer Naoki Yoshida and director Hiroshi Takai. It's notably a separate division from those which worked on the most recent brand-new entry Final Fantasy 15, and the various parts of the Final Fantasy 7 remake. Therefore, it's unsurprising that FF16 is shaping up to be quite tonally different from the series' recent single-player output, with a more traditional high-fantasy setting than the series' last couple of single-player titles.
That's everything we know right now about Final Fantasy 16 and its potential release on PC. If it wasn't exactly all you were hoping for, I understand and I sympathise. Luckily, 2023 is looking like an absolutely packed year for PC gaming. While you wait for more Final Fantasy news, why not check out our pages on everything we know about Diablo 4, or everything we know about the Resident Evil 4 remake?