Available on: PC
If you’ve already played Final Fantasy XIV, or you want to see what Square Enix’s other successful Final Fantasy MMO was like, Final Fantasy XI is absolutely worth playing. Despite its age, Final Fantasy XI’s retail servers are still up and running on PC, with millions of active players.
It takes patience to get into FFXI these days, but if it clicks, you’re in for one of the most immersive experiences in the entire series (trust me). As for its connections to FFXVI, FFXI features a dark, politically-driven storyline similar to what we’ve seen from FFXVI’s trailers—and something FFXIV players will appreciate.
Final Fantasy XIV players will also recognize XI’s many playable races and job classes, all of which were the bedrock of Final Fantasy XIV’s world. However, the gameplay is entirely different despite both being MMOs. FFXIV emphasizes clear goals through questing and instanced dungeons, whereas Final Fantasy XI is more like a sandbox where your objectives aren’t always linear. Traveling the world can be long and dangerous—not to mention the combat, crafting, and character progression systems are entirely different. There’s still a main story in FFXI (and it’s woefully overlooked by series fans), but experiencing that content requires more patience and teamwork. Luckily, much of the game is now solo-friendly, and AI party members can stand in for other human players if you need them.
While FFXI still requires a monthly subscription to play (starting at $12 per month), it’s often discounted on Steam, and new players get a free month to try out the game. And hey, if you used to play the game on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 2, there’s an online tool to help you recover your old account and character data.