When it launched on the standard PlayStation 4 last year, Final Fantasy VII Remake was immediately one of the most gorgeous games of the generation. With beautiful environments and stunningly detailed character models, it was a jaw-dropping visual experience that even managed to outshine the old CGI Final Fantasy films in terms of quality.
A few technical snafus kept the game from being the most gorgeous title of the year, though – a 30 FPS framerate and a chunk of random environments sporting low-fidelity textures were the biggest offenders. These issues got entirely polished with the recent PlayStation 5 port, though, and now a release on the Epic Games Store brings the entire package to PC for the first time – just don’t expect too many PC-exclusive options or extras.
Whether you’ve played the original PlayStation releases or not, hopping into Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade for the first time on PC is a delight. The main menu delivers instant goosebumps, and that opening cinematic of Aerith in the city and Cloud approaching the reactor never gets old. Once the game transitions into real-time rendering and Cloud hops into frame for the first time, it’s hard not to appreciate just how damn good this game looks.
The PC improvements are immediately noticeable. Though it might not need it, 60fps makes a world of difference for this game, adding a stunning amount of extra fluidity to combat and exploration. The weightiness of your movement animations feel just that much more immersive, but combat is elevated to another level compared to the original release – no matter how may enemies or explosions are on screen, the game stays running solid and the action is rendered so smoothly and so, so satisfyingly. Random stutters popped up during my time with the game, but nothing egregious – a minor hitch during the opening CG cutscene and handful of brief frame dips during in-game story scenes, at most.
While the PlayStation 5 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade can run at a full 4K in graphics mode, it comes at the cost of being capped at 30fps, while the PS5 performance mode hovered around 1440p to reach 60fps. With a sufficiently beefy PC – I’ve got a Ryzen 5600X paired with a GeForce 3080 – you can push to do both 4K and 60fps.
There’s a crispness and shine to every moment of the game that’s only amplified by playing at 4K – character models are always smooth, and always polished. The line between gameplay and cutscenes is so blurred that it really does feel like you’re playing a Final Fantasy movie at some points. Even at lower resolutions, the game is stunning. Dropping down to 1440p to get some extra frames results in a nearly identical visual experience, so you’re getting a gorgeous action RPG no matter what, however owners of lesser Nvidia GPU will be disappointed by the lack of DLSS support to help bridge the gap.
Often times, PC ports like these will pack in a lot of extended graphical options and settings to customize as you and your rig see fit. This is the one area where Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade stumbles, though. Your graphics options are shockingly bare-bones, only letting you adjust Texture Resolution and Shadow Resolution between “Low” and “High”, as well as choose how many background NPCs get rendered in scenes. Resolution options are fine, but even the framerate customization is limiting – there’s no uncapped rendering mode, with the game instead offering you the options to set it to run at 30, 60, 90, or 120 FPS. If you’ve got a powerful computer then you won’t necessarily need to do loads of graphical fine-tuning in the first place, but it’s still strange to have many of the most basic options missing in a PC port of this scale.
Regardless of a simplified settings menu, though, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is an absolute delight on PC. With support for 4K resolution and framerates as high as 120fps, it’s easily the best version of the game available. It comes with a price tag to match, though, with Square Enix sticking with the trend from Kingdom Hearts’ PC release. This time they’re matching the PS5 premium price at £65/$70/€80 – a price point that still stings a year into the new generation, and a bit unexpected to see on PC.
Everything else is as you’d expect it – this was a breathtaking action RPG experience on PlayStation 4 last year, and all of that well-earned praise remains true for the current PC release. Whether you’re a long-time Final Fantasy fan or a newbie to the franchise, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is an unforgettable experience.