Final Fantasy V is probably the most overlooked instalment in the mainline series. It didn't come West until years after its original release, and by the time that it finally got a PlayStation port, it had been left in the dust by its genre-defining successors. What's more, V never really received the retroactive attention that was granted to the likes of Final Fantasy III or Final Fantasy IV.
But Final Fantasy V deserves another chance. It combines a more involved gameplay loop with a storytelling focus, making for a fairly robust-feeling RPG. That said, the story and the characters are actually a step back compared those of its immediate predecessor. The game's crystal-based plot can be slightly plodding and predictable, while party members lack depth in terms of personality and motivations.
Still, the game as a whole retains the sense of adventure that's so key to retro Final Fantasy — and this is another world that's enjoyable to explore. There are also more light-hearted moments sprinkled throughout V, which gives it a unique kind of charm when compared to its darker, moodier siblings.
Final Fantasy V's gameplay systems are what makes it worth playing today. It takes the job system from Final Fantasy III and runs with it, letting you tweak your heroes to an impressive extent. Instead of just assigning classes to your team, you can master specific abilities from different jobs and apply them to others. This basically means that you can create hybrid character classes, allowing for an addictive level of party customisation.
This does, however, push a need to grind if you want to unlock a wide range of job abilities. Thankfully, the Pixel Remaster makes the process easier than ever, as a new 'Boost' can multiply the amount of Ability Points that you acquire from battles. Handy!
With a decent story, okay characters, and pretty standard turn-based combat, Final Fantasy V does feel a bit too safe at times, but the expanded job system really ties a lot of the experience together. A forgotten Final Fantasy for many, but one that's still fun to play through.
I actually played this for the first time only a couple of years back. It totally smashed my expectations, it’s a really great game. While plot might be thin, the gameplay arguably wouldn’t be bettered until probably IX.
i didnt find the characters that bland.
i really enjoyed it back in the days, i wonder if i will stick to it as much now although.
it had a feel similar to older dragonquests.
Exdeath is pretty cool, though. I haven't played FFV since it came out on GBA all those years ago. This will probably be the first one of the Pixel Remasters I actually buy.
Couldn’t agree with this review more.
I can’t wait to read the FF6 review as whatever score is given, it will be controversial.
@somnambulance I'm thinking the right score for FFVI is a 9
Playing this on Steam Deck now and I'm at the part where I just obtained Carbuncle. A true classic for sure.
Yeah I remember really enjoying this on PS1, but I remember racing towards the end of the game (fleeing battles seemed to work 100% of the time) and found myself ludicrously underpowered by the time I had to face down ExDeath so never did finish it
@DrGonzo It doesn't say anything about the PS5. These games are classics and would still be popular regardless of what gen they release.
Easily one of the most overlooked in the series. IV & VI get talked more over this one. I've played this one before when it was ported to the PS1 with FF Anthology as a kid. Now thanks to the boosts I have enough time to grind up all the jobs and still get the challenge from boss fights.
@ztpayne7 The right score for 6 is always a 10/10.
I’m guessing we’ll be getting a 9 though.
Need Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest.
@DrGonzo What does it say about the state of the games industry???
These games being released on PlayStation hasn't stopped new games being made.
It's also a fact that trying to play these games on native hardware is tricky to do and ridiculously expensive. Having these absolute classics available in one place for old and new audiences has to be a win for everyone surely?
@DrGonzo Is the III DS remake considered bad? It’s the only one I’ve played and I did find it insanely difficult but it at least felt well made.
If these sell well, will they make remasters of the Dragon Quest lot
FF5 looks silly now, but the tech seemed ridiculously good at the time. That color palette shift of the sky in the prologue, parallax scrolling of a distant forest as you walk across a mountain etc. Music sounded so orchestral.
None of them were new of course. The likes of SMW and F-zero did parallax scrolling and palette cycling, but there was something about the expression of distance from the mountain top that was shocking and FF5 used different tricks effectively. Square must have done a lot of experiments after they released FF4.
I suppose in a weird way one could say FF5 was to early Snes what Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart is to PS5; it's that moment when you felt that you had a glimpse of the future, a tip of an iceberg of sorts.
@DrGonzo Imagine being able to listen only to music or watch movies from the last three years... Legacy, without it, we wouldn't even be here right now.
@DrGonzo Unless there was an edit, I only see "PS4" listed in this article, unless you mean the PS5 is where they reviewed it? The plus is that the original FFIII finally got a console release after 33 years outside Japan and they added something new for the younger gamers to join in with these versions. Everything FF on PS has been stuck on the PS3 thanks to the lack of backwards compatibility. As for this version it's just a shame that they refuse to restock anymore physical PS4 copies since that would really bring in more sales.
Removed - inappropriate
@InsaneWade I bought the bundle on day 1 and couldn't be happier. I'm already too old to waste time with emulation or looking for old consoles. I just want to turn on my newest console and enjoy the game with all the modern facilities added to the package. And here comes a collection with the first four Breath of Fire!
@DrGonzo That's a really condescending and a patronising reply by the way. Did it make you feel better?
Do most people use emulators? No.
Do most people have the money to spend on original hardware and software? No.
I've been an avid gamer since the 80s and your pathetic moral claim that I'm clapping as the games industry goes down the toilet is nonsense.
Should game preservation be better? Absolutely.
What have you done about it apart from whine and try to feel superior over people who may actually like this release?
Grow up, act your age and find something more important to complain about.
Removed - inappropriate language
@DrGonzo I wouldn't say so. Great iconic games deserve to be played through the years. Plus, how difficult would it be for modern gamers to try them out if they had to track down a snes and game cartridge to be able to try it out?
@Ephexis83 my theory has always been that if these sell well, they'll do remakes of the ones that do sell well.
Nice review though I think it deserves more! It’s also really heavily retro-played. There’s an event called Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta where players compete in time attacks finishing the game with various jobs.
@KaijuKaiser @DrGonzo @InsaneWade They used a PS5 to play the PS4 version, is what I think they meant to say?
Controversial opinion but I think it'd be a better idea to remake 5 than 6. 6 is so beloved that fans are going to be extra critical to anything done with it, while 5 is a good game that falls just short of greatness, meaning a remake could make it one of the best in the series.
Edit: I still want a 6 remake for the record
@DrGonzo It's all good, no harm done! Easy to misread.
@DrGonzo All it says is that people still enjoy classic games and want to be able to play them on the console that’s sitting under their TV right now.
It’s always good to hear when rereleased legacy titles add meaningful quality-of-life features, like the boost xp. Sometimes older games can be a slog without them.
We tend to remember things with rose-tinted glasses and sometimes the reality is not great without these sensible options.
Tap here to load 29 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...