Getting a true HD remaster of Final Fantasy 7 once seemed practically impossible. Though some great modders have tried their hands at improving the backgrounds over the years, the fact is that they were made at too low a resolution to do much with. This means as screens get larger those beloved classics continue to look more and more muddled.
Fortunately, new tools are giving modders the ability to improve 2D backgrounds without having to make them entirely from scratch. The Final Fantasy 7 Remako HD Graphics Mod is among the first to take all the backgrounds from a game, enlarge them using an AI neural network, and place them back in working order.
As you can see from the trailers posted by the mod’s authors, the new environments have turned out beautifully. When we covered their work earlier in the month, we were impressed, but it’s hard to believe that the process translates so well to the entirety of the game.
See the crisp detail in the enlarged backgrounds really makes Final Fantasy 7 look like how it does in my memories. As much as I love it, the game has not aged well visually, and now it’s like discovering it all over again.
Possibly the most exciting part of this project is that it shows that the future isn’t bleak for older games. Seeing how well this one-person project turned out shows that future remasters might be produced at higher quality with a much faster turnaround using AI to assist with remastering art assets.
You can download the Final Fantasy 7 Remako HD Graphics Mod now. It’s still in beta but includes every background in the game. To play it, you’ll need a PC copy of Final Fantasy 7. Whether you have the 1998 PC release, the Square Enix Store version, or the Steam version doesn’t matter as the author has included install instructions for all three.