Final Fantasy VII Remake

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Final Fantasy VII Remake Game Poster Image
Parents recommend
Remake tackles timely topics like refugees, terrorism.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The story tackles timely topics including environmentalism, terrorism, and refugees, encouraging players to think about the importance of activism but also the repercussions of extreme actions. Strong themes of love, duty, parenthood, and friendship run through the narrative. It also promotes racial and sexual diversity as well as gender fluidity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cloud -- an elite soldier disillusioned with authority -- makes for a reluctant but dynamic protagonist, gradually shifting from aloof, self-interested mercenary to a morally conscious member of the community and altruistic friend. He and his friends are quick to take up arms in dangerous situations, but typically stop short of killing human enemies.

Ease of Play

Complex systems governing combat and character growth will likely require several hours of use to fully understand and master. But ample in-game tutorials and multiple difficulty levels -- including a "classic" option that automates much of the combat -- should keep most players from growing frustrated.

Violence

Heroes attack fantasy creatures and humans using swords, guns, staffs, and magic. Hits are accompanied by flashes of light and occasional grunts of pain, but no blood or gore. Enemies disappear in a mist of sparkling light once defeated. Wounded and dead bodies are strewn in the environment in some locations, several important characters are seen battered and bruised, and some are killed, dying onscreen in lengthy, dramatic scenes.

Sex

Many men and women are provocatively dressed, with very short skirts and plunging necklines. Dialogue includes loads of innocent flirtation as well as more evocative comments, with characters hinting at sexual topics -- including prostitution -- but stops well short of anything explicit.

Language

Moderate language frequently appears in text and spoken dialogue, including "s--t," "bitch," "piss," "hell," "bastard," "damn," and variations.

Consumerism

This game's a remake of an extremely popular RPG (role-playing game) for the first PlayStation that has spawned a wide variety of movies, books, toys, and other collectible paraphernalia.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cloud orders and drinks a couple of alcoholic beverages at a bar. Dozens of characters are seen in various states of drunkenness, from slurring words to vomiting in toilets to laying passed out in alleyways. One character smokes a cigar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Final Fantasy VII: Remake is role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4. The game's a re-creation of 1997's Final Fantasy VII. It's set in a fantasy world run by corporations slowing sapping the planet of its life energy, and is focused on a group of eco-terrorists fighting to save the globe. They use extreme tactics that end up leading to multiple tragedies, from key character deaths to the creation of mass refugee camps. This complex and timely narrative encourages players to think about parallel issues in our own world, giving special consideration to the notions that all actions have consequences and that people have the power to choose who they become. Frequent combat involving swords, guns, and magic used against both monsters and humans is fast-paced but bloodless. Fantasy creatures disappear in a mist of sparkling lights, and human foes are typically knocked unconscious rather than killed. Parents should also be aware that large parts of the game involve no combat, but are instead set in vibrant urban locations. This includes a lengthy segment that takes place in a red light district filled with scantily clad characters engaged in flirtatious and sexually suggestive conversation (though nothing explicit), as well as people in various states of drunkenness, ranging from stumbling to sick to unconscious. Dialogue includes a good deal of moderate profanity, but stops short of stronger language such as the F-word.   

Wondering if Final Fantasy VII Remake is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybzdb April 13, 2020

Even pre-teens can play

As an adult who played the original game, and comparing it to this one, I would say to parents that if there child is younger than around twelve or eleven than... Continue reading
Adult Written byJOMAMA21 April 13, 2020

Amazing remake of an amazing game!

This is an amazing game. But, there is a decent amount of violence and swearing. Some characters are drunk and others smoke cigarettes. And some characters also... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byChinkyasianboy69 April 16, 2020

A faithful remake

Having played the original game, this remake does a fantastic job of recreating the scenes while maintaining a fresh perspective of gameplay. I do wish that the... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMatthew O. April 10, 2020

I do not like the game at all.

It doesn't have that much good gameplay for me.

What's it about?

FINAL FANTASY VII: REMAKE, the first episode in a series of role-playing games designed to deliver a deluxe retelling of the original Final Fantasy VII, is set in the city of Midgar, a corporate-run metropolis with eight power reactors slowly sucking up Mako energy, the planet's lifeblood. A group of eco-terrorists called Avalanche are set on saving the world by using bombs to destroy the reactors. But they are largely heedless of the potential impact of their actions, predictably leading to tragedy on a massive scale. To help carry out their plans, the group hires an elite mercenary named Cloud. At first aloof and motivated solely by money, Cloud is eventually inspired by those around him and grows close to the group, while also becoming a valuable member of the larger community. Players also have the opportunity to control additional characters, including Cloud's childhood friend Tifa, a mysterious florist named Aerith, and the burly leader of the local Avalanche cell, Barret. These characters fight side-by-side in an unusual kind of third-person combat that mixes real-time action with optional turn-based elements. Each has his or her own combat style, weapon sets, and unlockable abilities that grow as the game progresses. Time outside combat is spent in lengthy, dialogue-driven story scenes pursuing a variety of story-based quests, such as one that involves foiling an arranged marriage to a creepy misogynist and another that sees the heroes helping a group of orphan kids. Series fans should note that this first episode is set entirely within the city of Midgar, takes around 30 hours to complete the main story content, and accounts for only the early portion of the original game.

Is it any good?

Expectations must be properly set before diving into this beautiful first entry in Square Enix's long-awaited retelling of the story of Ex-SOLDIER Cloud Strife. Covering only the first handful of hours of the original game, Final Fantasy VII: Remake takes it slow, providing a much deeper look at the politics and population of Midgar as well as the stories and backgrounds of several important characters. Players accustomed to geographically epic Final Fantasy stories in which they explore an entire planet won't get that here. This is a small but visually sumptuous and emotionally resonant experience that brings to life familiar characters in new ways, but players should go in knowing that not all of their favorite personalities, summoned entities, quests, music, and moments are present. Many of these things are bound to come in later installments, but, for now, players are meant to be satisfied with an expanded Midgar that provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of the city's people, more clearly explains the potential evils of oversized corporations, and shows the lasting impact and consequences of an eco-terrorist organization that has noble ambitions but suffers tragically from a lack of foresight.

Scope and story aside, Final Fantasy VII: Remake provides players with combat, quest, and growth systems that draw from the original but are ultimately new and unique. For example, combat's designed to be action oriented with players tapping buttons to attack in real time, choosing commands for special attacks, magical spells, and items as appropriate -- a major departure from the source game's traditional turn-based fighting. A "Classic" mode automates attacks and allows players to pause the action at will in order to command characters, though it should be noted this makes the game much, much easier and won't be to all tastes. And while iconic summoned entities -- a key part of the original experience -- such as the goddess Shiva and the demon Ifrit, may still be acquired and used in battle, they appear far less often. The bottom line is that what's present in Final Fantasy VII: Remake is very good and makes for a great start to Square Enix's ambitious recreation of one of the world's most beloved games, but some players are bound to come away wishing there was just a little more meat on this bone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in the media. Is the impact of the violence in Final Fantasy VII: Remake affected by the fact that you don't actually kill most human enemies, but instead knock them unconscious? Would it be stronger if there was more blood and gore shown? Do you think more action-oriented games should take a similar approach?

  • Are there any social issues that could spur you to take action in the form of protest? Why are some people moved to act and others not?

Game details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love fantasy

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate