Final Fantasy 15 feels like a make-or-break moment for Japan’s biggest RPG export. Find out when you can play it and everything else you need to know here.
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Final Fantasy 15 is a huge moment for Square Enix, a make-or-break moment for the series that in the 90s truly defined not only it as a developer and publisher but also the RPG genre at large. It’s one of the biggest games of the generation, and it’s finally got a release date. It’s soon.
After 10 years in development, the game is shipping in a variety of different versions – regular, collector’s, day one, with and without pre-order bonuses, and even has a tie-in movie and a free-to-watch spin-off anime available in the run-up to its launch.
We cover all of that, and more, here. Here’s everything you need to know about Final Fantasy 15.
Final Fantasy 15 release date – When is Final Fantasy 15 coming out?
Final Fantasy 15’s release date is November 29, 2016. The game is getting a simultaneous launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and launches on the same day in North America, Europe and Japan. If you want more Final Fantasy 15, there’s currently a free-to-watch anime tie-in online and the side-story movie Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy 15 hitting before the game does – more on those later on this page.
The release date was announced as September 30, 2016 by series publisher Square Enix in March at the lavish ‘Uncovered: Final Fantasy 15’ event in Los Angeles, California. Later on Square Enix had to bite the bullet and delay the game to November 29, doing so with a lengthy video message from director Hajime Tabata.
Final Fantasy 15 versions – Special Editions, Collector’s Editions and what they cost
FF15 publishers Square Enix are nothing if not dedicated to the convoluted, and FF15 is their biggest release of the year by far. It’s a prestigious release and a rather big deal, and as such there’s a wide range of different ways you can buy it in varying packages. There’s four different versions of the game plus two different platforms, and on top of that there’s pre-order bonuses. Here’s what you need to know:
- Final Fantasy 15 / Final Fantasy 15 Day One Edition
The standard issue version of the game, which is available to be pre-ordered for £44 / $59.99 at Amazon, £44.99 from GAME, $59.99 from Gamespot and £39.86 / €55.99 from ShopTo.
- Final Fantasy 15 Deluxe Edition
This deluxe edition of the game includes an Exclusive Steelbook, the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV movie on Blu-ray, plus the game. You’ll also get some bonus-content in-game in the form of an Outfit for hero Noctis, the Royal Rayment, the Masamune katana weapon, and a ‘Platinum Laviathan’ paint job for the heroes’ car. It costs £69.99 / $89.99 / €89.99 and is available from GAME in the UK, Gamestop and Amazon in the US and the Square Enix Store.
- Final Fantasy 15 Ultimate Collector’s Edition
This version of the game is truly the ‘complete package’, including more or less everything FF15 that will exist on day one. That includes two different steelbooks, both the Kingsglaive movie and Brotherhood anime on Blu-ray, a soundtrack Blu-ray disc featuring music from the game, movie and anime, a 192-page art book, and a 26cm tall Play Arts Kai action figure of Noctis, the game’s lead character.
Also included is in-game content: the Royal Raiment outfit for Noctis, the Masamune katana, the Platinum Leviathan car paint job, and the Travel Pack, Camera Kit, Angler Set and Gourmand Set item packs. This collector’s edition costs a whopping €269.99, but it’s now sold out. If it crops up again, it’ll be via the Square Enix store or, y’know, eBay.
Final Fantasy 15 Pre-order bonuses – what they are, and where
Like any big game, Square Enix is partnering up with certain retailers in order to offer up additional bonuses when you pre-order Final Fantasy 15.
Every pre-order for launch, no matter the retailer, will get the Day One edition of the game which includes the Masamune weapon as a DLC code. Beyond that there’s some decent-sounding bonuses available depending on where you shop. Here they are, plus where you can find and order them – make an informed decision!
- Amazon UK: Pre-ordering at Amazon for £44 will net you the FF9 Mage Masher weapon DLC and the Camera Set item DLC.
- Amazon US: Pre-ordering at Amazon for $59.99 will get you the Day One Edition, featuring the Masamune weapon DLC. The Deluxe Edition is also available for $89.99.
- Gamestop US: Pre-ordering at Gamespot for $59.99 will get you the ‘A King’s Tale’ DLC game, a side scrolling beat-’em-up prequel. GameStop also has the Deluxe Edition for $89.99.
- PlayStation Store: Despite being digital, you’ll get the Day One edition here for £49.99 / $59.99. Also included is the Premium Pack, which includes the Masamune Sword and the Angler Item Set DLC for the game plus a 16 Bit Buddies paint job for the in-game car which features the cast done up as SNES style sprites. It also includes an FF15 style theme for the PS4 home screen.
- Xbox Live: Another digital pre-purchase of the Day One edition that includes the Premium Pack as a bonus. That includes the Masamune weapon, the Angler Set item DLC and the 16 Bit Buddies paint set for the in-game car. Also included as an Xbox-exclusive bonus are Noctis outfits and a Carbuncle pet for your Xbox Live Avatar. Pre-purchase the game via Xbox Live for £49.99 / $59.99 to get these bonuses.
- GAME UK: GAME has a number of different pre-order options. The first is to simply pre-order the regular game. That’ll cost you £44.99. That’ll get you the Day One Edition which includes the Masamune DLC. The other option is to pre-order the Day One Edition with an additional GAME-exclusive bonus for £49.99. That’ll get you The Gae Bolg Weapon and Travel Pack DLC. GAME also has the Deluxe Edition for £69.99, and orders of that get both bonuses. All pre-orders at GAME, regardless of version, include a copy of ‘A King’s Tale’, a prequel side-scrolling beat-em-up that’s to be released alongside the game.
- Square Enix Store: In addition to the Day One Edition Bonus Square Enix Store customers will get an exclusive Postcard Set featuring imagery from the games. The game’ll set you back $59.99 / £54.99 / €69.99 on their regional stores, but the bonuses are the same. They also have the Deluxe Edition for $89.99 / £69.99 / €89.99
- Grainger Games: UK fans can pre-order at Grainger Games for £48.99 and get FF13’s Blazefire Saber weapon DLC plus the Gourmand Set item DLC on top of the day-one edition.
- ShopTo: Brits and Europeans can grab a pre-order from ShopTo for £39.86 / €55.99 and get FF13’s Blazefire Saber DLC weapon and the Gourmand Set item DLC in for the bargain.
- EB Games CA: Pre-ordering at EB in Canada for $79.99 CAD will get you the ‘A King’s Tale’ DLC game on top of the Day One Edition.
- Remember that a number of bonuses in this list, plus exclusive ones, are included in the Deluxe and Ultimate Collectors editions of the game.
- Thanks to Mognet Central user Th3AustralianGam3r whose excellent list we used to help build this one.
Here’s a little table that we’ll keep updating with pre-order details:
Final Fantasy 15 videos and trailers
We’ll kick off with the ‘Reclaim your Throne’ trailer, the big introduction of the game from the FF15 Uncovered event.
Here’s a full hour of gameplay from the ‘Master version’ – the version that was to be released before the delay.
Here’s the Tokyo Game Show trailer. This sadly isn’t in English, but it gives a good glimpse of the game’s story.
Next up, here’s the Microsoft E3 Press Conference demo, a huge battle against Titan.
Here’s a look at the world of FF15, narrated by lead character Noctis.
Finally, here’s another trailer from E3 – this from Sony’s conference – featuring a broader glimpse at the game and at the FF15 VR side-project.
As a bonus, here’s some non-game footage. In September, Square Enix visited the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London for a small-scale live concert of FF15 music featuring a performance by composer Yoko Shimomura. See that below – it’s lovely.
Final Fantasy 15 gameplay impressions – thoughts on the new game in the FF saga
Final Fantasy 15 marks a significant change for the storied Japanese RPG series, marking the first time that the series has gone for a fully action-based combat and gameplay system. The developers have clearly paid attention to successes and gains made by Western RPGs, with the likes of Skyrim and The Witcher cited as influences. At the same time the game is trying hard to maintain a hold on its Japanese roots and FF traditions. It sounds like an exciting mix. We’ve had a mixed experience with hands-on time – some of it was hugely impressive, while other showings were decidedly less so.
As the game has approached its launch date it’s started to look more like a real video game. When we played the ‘Master Version’ of the game for over 4 hours we came away calling it “Weird, wonderful and definitely in need of that delay” – but the potential of that game is obvious. A few weeks later we got to talk to Director Hajime Tabata, who was passionate and a fascinating interviewee.
Story is a huge part of any FF, and this is no exception. Prince Noctics finds himself shut out of his Kingdom while it and his father remain under mortal threat from the evil Nifelheim empire. FF15’s story is a road trip, with Noctis and his friends travelling the world to try to uncover the power needed to return to Lucis to take back his throne.
Noctis: Learn about Final Fantasy 15’s playable hero
Final Fantasy 15 differs from most previous titles in the series in that the player will only directly control one character throughout its story: Noctis Lucis Caelum, the crown prince of the state of Lucis. Noctis – Noct to his friends – has the rebellious streak that’s common to many FF heroes, and is no great fan of the royal conventions and rules. He’s not yet ready to be king, but the world around him might have other ideas, and Noctis may have to grow up quickly.
Joining Noctis on his journey are Ignis, the future king’s counsel, Gladiolus, the noble muscle of the group, and Promto, Noct’s closest school friend and an outside to the royal world. Also key to the plot is Cor, a legendary military commander, and Lunafreya, a childhood friend and now fiancee to Noctis in a politically-arranged marriage.
World Map, Food, Combat and Driving: Gameplay of Final Fantasy 15
Final Fantasy 15’s gameplay systems have been built to approve to two very different audiences: Japanese RPG fans and a broader audience of Western gamers who enjoy action games. There’s a little influence from the likes of Elder Scrolls and The Witcher here, but also lots of Final Fantasy linage.
The game features a sprawling and semi-open world map. While you won’t be able to ‘go anywhere’ from the very start as in a game like The Witcher, players will be able to backtrack on themselves and travel far off the beaten path to find secrets.
Out in the world Noctis and his crew can set up camp for the night and cook food. A range of realistic dishes have been conceived by the team for the FF15 world, a touch of realism in a fantastical world. Towns and regions will have their own food delicacies. Cooking and eating food at camp will offer stat boosts and other bonuses to Noctis and friends the following morning, making food preparation a major component of battle preparation.
Also present is a surprisingly realistic looking car, the Regalia. This is the main form of transport for the crew, and can be driven around the world as in any other game or slapped on autopilot to an objective if you’d prefer. And, yes – this is Final Fantasy, so of course, there’s an airship. At some point in the game the Regalia will get a little upgrade and become the airship. Check that out below.
Final Fantasy 15 PS4 and Xbox One is coming, but what about a PC version?
Final Fantasy 15 began life as Final Fantasy Versus 13 (more on that just below), and as a result actually began life as a PS3 game. At E3 2013 the truth about what had happened to that highly anticipated game came to light, with it being re-announced for PS4 alongside Kingdom Hearts 3 with a huge splash at Sony’s Press Conference. The following morning it was announced for Xbox One at a much smaller Square Enix event.
This left many fans with one question: what about PC? Square Enix has been making an effort to get FF games on PC, and as of writing FF3, FF4, FF5, FF6, FF7, FF8, FF9, FF10, FF11, FF13, FF14 and a range of spin-offs are all available to buy on Steam. According to the developers, FF15 is likely to eventually join them, but not for a while.
Digging into the code of FF15’s website found references to a PC version. A little later, Square said they would take “a good, hard look” at a PC version after the console version had launched. Later, director Hajime Tabata went on the record saying he had a “more technically developed” version in mind for PC further down the line. PC fans, sit tight! If you can’t wait, the PS4 and Xbox One versions go on sale November 29, 2016.
What happened to Final Fantasy Versus 13, and how it relates to Final Fantasy 15
There’s an important thing to address about Final Fantasy 15 – it wasn’t always Final Fantasy 15. It began life as Final Fantasy Versus 13 and was initially announced at E3 2006. It was intended to be an action-based spin-off, and though it didn’t share characters or a world with FF13, it shared an overall mythology, thus the name. It was a very real product – footage leaked, screenshots were released, voice actors were cast and there was even a promise from then-Director Tetsuya Nomura that the time for a real time demo was near back in 2012.
Then disaster – in July 2012, Kotaku reported that the game had been canned. Then Square denied it. Later still, rumours swirled that the game had been shifted to PS4 and was dropping the FF13 branding. In June 2013 the truth was revealed – Final Fantasy Versus 13 was now Final Fantasy 15, and had shifted from PS3 to PS4 and Xbox One.
It turned out this was more a reboot than a continuation of the work on Versus 13 – the story and content of the game has been significantly changed and retooled, and the combat system has shifted significantly. The core of Versus remains in the form of most of its key cast and an action driven concept, however. The game essentially rebooted development in 2012, so while the narrative is that this game has had a protracted 10-year development, the truth is a little more complicated.
All about Kingsglaive, the Final Fantasy 15 Movie
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy 15 is series’ creator Square Enix’s latest attempt at cracking the motion picture market with a feature-length CG movie, made in collaboration with Sony Pictures, that’s a fully-fledged tie-in to the main game. It was announced at the FF15 Uncovered event. Here’s a trailer.
In fact, here’s another.
We attended the UK Premiere of Kingsglaive and found it to be a solid film, but one that’s really only for forgiving fans of the Final Fantasy series. You can read our full review of the film through this link.
Kingsglaive’s story and how it relates to Final Fantasy 15
At one point in time the broad strokes of the events of Kingsglaive were featured in Final Fantasy 15 proper back when it was Final Fantasy Versus 13. With the game shifting focus when it became Final Fantasy 15 some major events were removed – but those events are still key to the game’s universe and have found their way into the movie.
When the game opens, Crown Prince Noctis has been sent away from his kingdom Lucis by his father, King Regis. When Noctis away the kingdom is invaded by the evil empire of Nifelheim. With the Prince out of harms way (and being controlled by players in FF15 proper), Kingsglaive is the story of what happens in the under-siege Lucis in his absence, and while supposedly not necessary to enjoy the game will offer additional story insight.
The titular Kingsglaive are a group of elite soldiers who answer directly to the king, and the movie will predominantly follow one of those soldiers in particular, Nyx Ulric.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy 15 cast and crew
Kingsglaive features a number of big-name actors in key roles. Movie protagonist Nyx Ulric is played by Aaron Paul, best known for his work on Breaking Bad. Lunafreya Nox Fleuret is played by Games of Thrones’ Lena Headey, and death-magnet Sean Bean is to play Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, the father of Noctis, the lead character in the game of FF15. The lip sync is mercifully also being done in English.
Several of the characters in the movie including Lunafreya and Regis also play major roles in the game, but it’s confirmed that those characters will have different voices and indeed different visual looks in each.
The crew of the movie should be fairly familiar to Final Fantasy fans – the Director is Takeshi Nozue, who Co-directed the Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children movie, while the Producer is FF15 boss Hajime Tabata. The movie was written by the same team behind FF15, but the script has allegedly passed through numerous Hollywood screenwriters on the way to production.
How to watch Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy 15 online or offline
If you’re Japanese, you’re in luck: the film releases in Japanese cinemas on July 9, 2016. The USA will see a limited run in theatres from August 19, 2016.
The film is also now available to stream and download from various digital movie storefronts online. It’s available to rent on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, The Windows/Xbox Store, PlayStation Store and others.
A blu-ray and DVD release of the film is available to pre-order now, and there also appears to be a version which includes a copy of the Brotherhood: Final Fantasy 15 anime as well.
The film is also included on Blu-ray in the Deluxe Edition and Ultimate Collector’s Edition of FF15, which arrive alongside the game on November 29, 2016. A stand-alone blu-ray and DVD release will come later.
Brotherhood: Final Fantasy 15: about the anime, and how to watch all episodes
Brotherhood is Final Fantasy 15’s anime spin-off, featuring side stories of Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto on travels and adventures through the game’s world. It was announced at the huge FF15 Uncovered event in Los Angeles, and was explained by FF15 staff as being intended to give people a deeper view into the characters of the game and their motivations in ways that wouldn’t have fit in the main game.
How to watch Brotherhood: Final Fantasy 15 online free
All the Brotherhood episodes are available to watch free online, and you can find them to watch below. It’s a great way to get a taste of the world and characters of FF15. Brotherhood: Final Fantasy 15 is also included on a blu-ray disc as part of the Ultimate Collector’s Edition.
A King’s Tale and Justice Monsters 5 – the Final Fantasy 15 spin-offs
In addition to the main game, a movie and an anime, Square Enix has also built up the Final Fantasy 15 universe a little further still in the form of two bonus games, Justice Monsters 5 and A King’s Tale. The former is a free-to-play online game that players can experience both on their phones and tablets as well as in-game in FF15. The latter is a side story that’s being offered as a downloadable pre-order bonus at certain retailers.
All about A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy 15, the free pre-order bonus game
It’s a 2D side-scrolling action game where you play as Regis, father of FF15 lead Noctis, in his youth. It’s essentially a 2D brawler featuring classic Final Fantasy moves and creatures, and the game has features such as parrying and magic. If you don’t want to pre-order FF15 from one of the participating retailers it’ll launch alongside the game on November 29, 2016. It isn’t yet clear how much it’ll cost.
All about Justice Monsters 5, FF15’s mobile spin-off
Justice Monsters Five is a pinball game within the in-game world of Final Fantasy 15, but there’s a twist for players: the game is also available in the real world in the form of an app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Android Tablets, and Windows 10.
The app was announced at March’s Uncovered: Final Fantasy 15 event and originally planned for an April launch, but it’s now set to launch in August. The game will be free when it does. Justice Monsters Five is also included in FF15 proper, and can be played by Noctis and his friends in downtime.
Final Fantasy 15 Box Art – all formats, all versions
Final Fantasy 15 has a number of different versions launching all over the world, and that means there’s a lot of different looks for the box art of the game. Don’t scoff: this is important to some people, especially in game series’ that have fans as rabid as Final Fantasy.
The main box art has two variations: there’s a version with Noctis and his boys clutching weapons while godly like figures lurk on the horizon – that’s the box for Europe and North America. Japan gets a different take with a shot of the guys and their car as a wide open road stretches out in front of them, indicating the game’s road trip theme. The strongest hint that the Japanese box is a Final Fantasy game, other than the logo, is a Chocobo-themed road sign off to one side.
In North America and Europe the cover sleeve is reversible, and if you flip it over on the other side you’ll find the more traditional Final Fantasy box art – the game’s logo on a plain background, this time black to represent FF15’s roots as FF Versus 13.
The Collector’s Editions are also different across regions – the Deluxe Edition features Yoshitaka Amano’s beautiful FF artwork with slightly different font choices. The Ultimate Collector’s Edition actually includes two boxes, with a different one of the game’s core crew of four on the front and back of each.
All are pictured in a gallery below, so check them out for yourself.
Final Fantasy 15 on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube: Where to follow the devs
Square Enix has made efforts to offer a more open development since rebooting Final Fantasy Versus 13 as Final Fantasy 15, and so far they’re doing a pretty good job. One place to catch the team is on social media: there’s an official Final Fantasy 15 Twitter account, a FF15 Instagram account, and of course an official FF15 Facebook. You can also find an official FF15 account on YouTube. The team sadly doesn’t have a tumblr as yet.
Final Fantasy 15 official website – where to get Square Enix’s news
While they have the social media accounts mentioned above, and while this page is absolutely packed with FF15 information, you may also want to visit the official FF15 website for additional news on the game, plus screenshots, trailers and all that sort of thing. The official website can be found, of course, at FinalFantasyXV.com. They also have an official FF15 forum where even the developers occasionally show up and post. There’s also a fair amount of FF15 stuff on the official Square Enix EU and Square Enix USA blogs.
Another top thing to keep in mind for deep-dive on the most tiny Final Fantasy 15 updates (aside from this page!) is the world of fan sites and communities – Nova Crystallis, Final Fantasy Network and Mognet Central are good places to start if you’d like to join the FF fan community.