Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: A fantastic game that will put you on Cloud Nine

Cassidy Stephenson
FF7 rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth just might be the biggest game of 2024,  but does it live up to the four-year wait of the previous entry?

We were provided a copy of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth ahead of its release date for review purposes.

As a lifelong fan of the Final Fantasy franchise, the remake of Final Fantasy 7 has been an enticing prospect since its initial announcement in 2015. Final Fantasy 7 is admittedly my second favorite installment of the series, trailing closely behind Final Fantasy 10.

I first got into the franchise after getting a copy of Final Fantasy 10 at a thrift store simply because the cover art was alluring. Ever since, the series has remained special. In 7’s case, too, being second-best in a franchise as storied as this is no condemnation of how good it really is.

Despite being a sucker for the turn-based era of the franchise, I was still drawn into Final Fantasy 7 Remake by its stunning visuals and the urge to revisit the 1997 game’s original story.

Considering the massive success that was the first entry in this remake trilogy, there is understandable apprehension over whether Square Enix can get it right again. Especially as the story seems to be veering from the original, are the new creative directions going to land like they need to with such beloved material?

Well, it’s a pleasure to say that Square Enix has knocked it out of the park with Rebirth, a triumph that succeeds in all its glory.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth – Key Details

  • Price: $69.99
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release Date: February 29, 2024
  • Platforms: PS5

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailer

Sephiroth? More like Sephi-WRATH

To refresh people’s memory about where the Remake storyline left off, we get a series of flashbacks surrounding the Nibelheim Incident at the beginning of Rebirth. Once a decorated hero of SOLDIER, Sephiroth went insane after discovering he was the product of a Shinra experiment.

As featured in the FF7 Rebirth demo, Sephiroth is back again with his mommy issues in tow, which ultimately caused him to burn down Nibelheim. Rebirth revisits the catastrophe unfolding as Cloud recounts his version of the events to Barrett, Tifa, Aerith, and Red XIII. During the flashback, you get to play as Sephiroth as he and Cloud make their way through a Shinra facility.

While Rebirth is not a replica of the original game’s events, it still perfectly retold the story, albeit in a different way. The beautiful storytelling had my eyes glued to the screen, complete with a few tears and laughter. It just never gets old when Barret tries to sing the Victory Fanfare after winning a battle, a lot like Promto would in FF15.

Synergy Abilities are a great new touch to combat

After finding and defeating an early boss, you’ll be introduced to Synergy Abilities. These are an effective new combat strategy introduced in Rebirth.

Synergy Gauges are filled up each time a character uses a Unique Skill in battle. Once charged up, you can perform a powerful attack delivered by two characters. To unlock more Synergy Ability combinations, you’ll have to develop a deep relationship with your party by either specific situations or selecting certain dialogue options.

This brings a special marriage between story and gameplay, creating a feeling of cohesiveness around the action and these characters. You’re incentivized to get to know them for rewards in-game, humanizing the abilities you can unlock. 

Aerith and Cloud battle in FF7 Rebirth

As a replacement for the Core-based weapon upgrades in Remake, Rebirth uses Folios to give each character their own skill tree. In this skill tree, you can unlock different traits, like casting Fire without using MP or Synergy Abilities with other party members.

While the combat system is the focus in the game’s introduction, you’re swiftly ushered into FF7 Rebirth’s beautiful visuals after entering the Grasslands area.

I half-expected a Machine from Horizon Forbidden West to pop out of nowhere, but alas, I only found cows and sage. In addition to the Grasslands, these mesmerizing visuals extend to the Labyrinth, especially since you alter gravity to walk on different paths where treasure may be located in a mind-bending sequence.

Needless to say, it’s games like FF7 Rebirth that remind you of the PS5’s visual prowess, and Square Enix has taken full advantage of that potential.

While exploring the Grassland region, you can pick up different resources to use in the Item Transmutor. By creating items, you can increase your craftmanship level to make more powerful armor and more potent potions.

What a Chad

FF7 rebirth open world

Chadley has returned once again, and he wants you to collect World Intel. The CHAD Module – yes, that’s its actual name – allows you to gather the resource by activating towers, finding chests in certain areas, and other activities. You can also find Chadley to participate in combat simulations and unlock Summon Materia by defeating enemies such as Odin in battle.

I not only enjoyed collecting World Intel but the other side activities helped build out the world in a meaningful way. Queen’s Blood is a new strategic card game that allows you to compete against opponents found throughout the environment. You can also collect cards by either defeating players or buying them in shops.

I had a good time building different Queen’s Blood decks, even after consistently losing to some opponents. It’s a great side activity that some fans could spend hours getting lost in, bringing to mind The Witcher 3’s Gwent.

Queen’s Blood only scratches the surface of the available minigames in FF7 Rebirth, too. One example includes riding around Costa del Sol on a wheelie.

A wheelie, otherwise known as a segway, is one of the many vehicles you can use to get around. You can also ride on a dolphin, minecart, and the legendary Tiny Bronco, both in the air and on the high seas. Flying in the Tiny Bronco allows you to utilize motion sensor functions and enjoy the view of Cosmo Canyon at the same time.

The minigames continue after you reach the Golden Saucer portion of the storyline, too. There, you can participate in Chocobo races, visit a Haunted Hotel, and several other activities.

The helicopter foreshadows doom

Nothing good ever seems to happen after you hear the looming sounds of a helicopter above you in FF7. It usually means that you’re about to be driven into a massive boss fight. Therefore, you better prepare yourselves at a nearby rest stop.

The way to restore your HP and MP is a great touch in how the game alters the benches and vending machines to match your surroundings. You can not only heal yourselves at these rest stops but also buy items and upgrade abilities.

Cissnei in FF7 rebirth

Once you are finally geared up though, you can take on these showcase boss fights.

I admit that I got stuck on a couple of bosses on normal difficulty. However, despite that, I’m curious to find out what boss fights would be like in higher-difficulty settings. Switching between party members is a joy in combat and in particular, Yuffie and Cait Sith stand out in this installment. In the next entry, we will hopefully be able to play as Vincent Valentine and Cid Highwind, which is a tantalizing proposition.

Do I have to wait another 4 years?

Admittedly, I was late playing Remake, so I didn’t have to wait as long for its sequel. But now that I’ve played Rebirth, I dread knowing that I could have to wait four years for the next installment. That’s a testament to the quality of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. It’s a strong next chapter in this ongoing remake and one that will leave you wanting for the next installment.

While it was not entirely faithful to the original game, Rebirth beautifully makes the story its own. Even if you’re devoted to the 1997 title, I believe you’ll still enjoy playing Rebirth. The changes that Rebirth makes – like the battle mechanics – are an improvement to its previous installments.

Alterations present in Rebirth’s combat system, including the introduction of Synergy Abilities, give this sequel new life. That opportunity to talk to your party members to strengthen their friendship with Cloud is essential to humanizing this story in between main story quests, and all come together to make a special entry.

Even if you haven’t played the original Final Fantasy 7 before, I still suggest you try out Rebirth. The developers featured a prologue section, so you really don’t even have to play Remake before this one. Still, I recommend picking up the original and Remake whenever you have a chance too.

The Verdict – 5/5

Aerith in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is ultimately worth the four-year-long wait, leaving you wanting for the next installment. This is Game of the Year material and an exceptional follow-up to a revered first entry. It handles the beloved material with care while still establishing its own new voice, making for a stellar sequel.

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About The Author

Cassidy graduated from Concordia University Chicago in 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in Media Communication. She's an expert in all things Pokemon, and her favorite games include Pokémon Crystal, Genshin Impact, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. You can contact her at