Final Fantasy 7 is one of the greatest JRPGs of all time, and the best Final Fantasy game (don’t @ me). As technology has advanced, we’ve finally seen this entry in the series ported to pretty much every platform imaginable, the latest being the Nintendo Switch.
This release marks Final Fantasy 7‘s first appearance on a Nintendo console, and that fact alone is cause for some celebration. I’m not going to go into much depth about the content of the game here. Our original 1998 review of the game does a decent (if overly critical) job of summing up what the game is about. Instead, I want to focus on what makes the Switch version of the game different from other versions, and why that’s a good or bad thing.
Final Fantasy 7 Switch Review | What’s new?
Usually, a port brings something new to the table, especially when it’s been a few years since the last time the game released. In the case of the Final Fantasy 7 Switch port, though, it’s just more of the same. It’s been unchanged from the 2015 PS4 release, and thusly has all the features that one does.
If you were hoping for remastered cutscenes or restored, hi-res backgrounds, the Switch version of Final Fantasy 7 will leave you wanting. What you get is the base game with a few cheat hotkeys to make the game easier and help skip some of the more monotonous sections, which really helps if you’re going for Master Materia.
No Switch specific additions are present in this version of Final Fantasy 7. For better or worse, it’s the same game it’s been since 1997, albeit with slight improvements to sound and character models since the 2012 Steam PC re-release.
Final Fantasy 7 Switch Review | The best mobile version
The one thing the Switch port of Final Fantasy 7 has over all the others is that it’s the best version to take on the go. It’s superior to the Android and iOS versions by virtue of better controls and processing power. The only thing that comes close to matching it is the PS Classics version on the PS Vita, but the Switch wins out because of its bigger, higher resolution screen.
If you played Final Fantasy 7 when it first came out, you might be looking for a good old nostalgic playthrough, but don’t want to sit down and play through it on the couch necessarily. The Switch version of the game is perfect for playing here and there until you’ve made you’re way through it again. As an unintended side effect, the aged backgrounds and FMV tend to look a lot better on the smaller built-in screen of the Switch than on a 50+ inch HDTV.
The built-in cheats for a full-heal/limit break during battle, no encounters, speed boost all help make for a more mobile-friendly experience as well. The speed boost, in particular, is excellent for skipping through battles with regular enemies and traversing the world map more quickly, both things that can get monotonous early on.
Final Fantasy 7 Switch Review | The best version ever?
Unfortunately, the Switch version of Final Fantasy 7 has some things stacked against it when it comes to determining what the ultimate version of the game is. For one, it brings nothing new to the table, so if you want to play it on a TV exclusively, then the Switch version isn’t any better than any other console.
As it stands, the PC version of the game is the best if you’re not concerned about portability. The ability to mod Final Fantasy 7 for PC makes the game a lot more enjoyable as you can vastly improve the backgrounds and character models to make it more tenable to play. There’s a ton of projects out there that have remastered the pre-rendered backgrounds, composed new (yet faithful) character models, and improved the graphics during combat.
With the PC version, you can tweak Final Fantasy 7 until practically every aspect is improved. The other editions of the game,including the Switch version, just can’t compete with that amount of flexibility.
We reviewed Final Fantasy 7 on the Nintendo Switch via code provided by the publisher.