Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Game review by
Brett Molina, Common Sense Media
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Game Poster Image
Rich role-playing game with a powerful plot.
  • PSP
  • $39.99
  • 2008

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Zack's mentor Angeal always advises him to fight for good and honor.


Most of the time, Zack uses a sword to dispatch foes. You'll also use thunder strikes, fire balls, or blizzard attacks to defeat opponents. Occassionally, you'll see blood when striking human soldiers, but it's not gory.


Zack does start a relationship with a character named Aerith, but it doesn't go beyond flirting.


Mild profanity, like 'damn'.


This is part of the Final Fantasy series of video games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is an entertaining yet time consuming role-playing adventure. The game will take tens of hours to finish. The protagonist Zack uses a sword as well as various magic spells to take apart soldiers or robots. There are some instances where you'll see blood, although nothing gory. There is also mild profanity. During his adventure, Zack develops a dating relationship with Aerith, but the farthest it goes is mild flirting.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNojEsco August 5, 2020

Unreal Violence but Genuine Emotional Impact - Great for Older Children and Adults

Crisis Core is a semi slow-burn prequel to Final Fantasy VII (the original, not the remake...quite). Because of these, along with some rather mature themes dur... Continue reading
Adult Written byWarri August 4, 2010

Good game for 12+

The violence in the game it's not for little kids but not disturbing there is some language but it's rare
Teen, 14 years old Written byInf.R November 19, 2018
Kid, 11 years old December 11, 2010
it has a few dam-s

What's it about?

The events of CRISIS CORE: FINAL FANTASY VII occur before 1997's Final Fantasy VII. You play the role of Zack, an elite operative working for military giant Shinra Company. The story kicks off with Zack and mentor Angeal investigating the disappearance of a colleague and his large squad of soldiers. Plot is dominant, which sometimes means sitting through gorgeous yet frequent cut scenes. But Crisis Core boasts an interesting tale of Zack's ascent through Shinra and the tight relationships he develops along his journey.

The mix of combat and exploration is well balanced. The X button controls all your attacks, while the top buttons allow you to toggle between sword slashes and powers known as Materia. Magic spells include a thunder strike, fire attack, and cure ability. You can also scour your inventory of potions and other items. To minimize damage, you can block or dodge attacks. Along with those skills, Zack utilizes a Digital Mind Wave, or DMW. The DMW lets Zack channel previous experiences with other characters into a powerful attack. A slot-machine style reel sits in the left corner. As you engage in battles, the wheel randomly pops up. If three characters' faces appear in a row, you'll execute a special attack. Spinning along with these faces are numbers which, if aligned properly, allow Zack to level up his character and powers. Three 7's, for example, gives Zack an overall level boost. It's an intriguing concept, but there's too much unpredictability. You get little control in determining which powers and skills you want to amplify.

Is it any good?

The Final Fantasy franchise has made its mark for cinematic, engrossing storylines. The latest chapter on PlayStation Portable, Crisis Core, picks up that tradition with a captivating plot and solid gameplay system. If you need a break from the main story, Crisis Core has dozens of side missions where you can pick up bonus items to power up your character. Often, they're rather short and simple, like clearing out an area of enemies. It's perfect for a portable since you can hop in and out quickly if you're short on time.

Interfaces for your inventory and Materia are easy to navigate. You can also fuse Materia together to create new powers, as well as check e-mails from Shinra associates and other characters you meet in your travels. You're also encouraged to interact with others to gain information to aid in your progress. Crisis Core serves as a worthy addition to any PSP or Final Fantasy collection with a rich storyline and solid yet satisfying action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the success of the Final Fantasy series. What is it about these games that make them so popular? How prevalent should story be in a game? Should it be told through cut scenes or include more immersive elements?

Game details

  • Platforms: PSP
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release date: March 25, 2008
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: T for Teen
  • Last updated: November 19, 2019

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