- Time Expenditure
- What Players Are Saying
Final Fantasy 14 is a subscription-based MMORPG with four major expansions. Originally launching in 2010, the game had a rough start, but was relaunched in 2013 as A Realm Reborn, drastically overhauling the base game and fixing all its problems. Since then, Final Fantasy 14 has received countless updates, and four major expansions, adding new areas, dungeons, classes, and story quests to the game.
At its core, Final Fantasy 14 is a story-based MMO, where progression is mainly tracked through story quests. Major features are unlocked as you progress through the game's main story, with plenty of side content, like crafting, gathering, and housing, that serve as a nice distraction. If you're interested in Final Fantasy 14, but you're unsure whether it's worth it, perhaps due to the length of the story or the price of the subscription, we've got you covered. Below, we'll take a look at if Final Fantasy 14 is worth playing.
Unlike some other MMOs, Final Fantasy 14 has an in-depth storyline that spans from A Realm Reborn to Endwalker, and can be played almost entirely solo. Thanks to recent additions to the game, mainly Trusts and Duty Support, you can conquer the main story dungeons with a party of NPCs. This makes the game much more accessible for players that are new to MMOs, introducing systems progressively as you go.
In Final Fantasy 14, you play as the Warrior of Light, playing as any of the several Jobs available. Your character is not locked to any one Job, meaning you can freely switch to any of the available classes at almost any time. If you find yourself wanting to try every available class in an MMO before settling on one to play as your main, Final Fantasy 14 lets you do that with ease.
Despite its slow beginning, Final Fantasy 14 delivers a story told over several years, quests, and expansions. Fellow Warrior of Light and Lead Guides Editor, Meg Pelliccio, spoke fondly about the game's New Game+ feature, allowing players who have played through all the story quests to revisit them.
Final Fantasy 14 has given us over a decade of memories, and I have countless unforgettable moments with the game that continue to resonate with me. That’s the beauty of an MMORPG. You’re part of a shared experience that spans years.
Because of Final Fantasy 14's emphasis on story and the ability to do everything on one character, it's only a matter of time before you are invested in your Warrior of Light. Their story becomes your story, and reliving those first few quests years after the fact is a humbling and unforgettable experience.
As an MMO, Final Fantasy 14 has hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of content. If you just want to play through the story, only leveling up one Job, you're looking at around 600 hours, with the latest expansion, Endwalker, taking around 55 hours to beat the main story, not including any of the side content. Of course, doing any of the game's side activities, like playing mini-games in the Gold Saucer, tackling Deep Dungeons, working on Relic Weapons, or furnishing a house, will boost this number significantly.
The social aspect of an MMO can also drastically increase the amount of time you spend playing. Simply logging in to hang out with your Free Company (or guild) or partake in one of the dozens of community events hosted every day can contribute to tons of hours of playtime.
Ultimately, the time you spend playing Final Fantasy 14 is all up to you. Some players choose to only play during new content releases, while others log in every day for daily dungeons, raids, and quests.
Final Fantasy 14 is a subscription-based MMO, meaning you'll have to pay a monthly fee to be able to log in and play, which we will look at in-depth below. In addition, the base game must be purchased for $19.99 USD, which includes 30 days of playtime and unlocks features unavailable during the free trial.
Speaking of the free trial, Final Fantasy 14 can be played entirely for free up to level 60, including the base game and first expansion, Heavensward. You can stay in the free trial as long as you want, with some players opting to complete every scrap of content available before transitioning into the full game. If you're on the fence about starting Final Fantasy 14, the free trial is the perfect introduction, as you can play for as long as you want before committing to the full experience.
The full experience includes the base game (A Realm Reborn), and all four expansions (Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringers, and Endwalker). However, only the latest expansion (Endwalker) needs to be purchased, as this will include the two previous expansions (Stormblood and Shadowbringers). This will cost $39.99. Alternatively, you can purchase the Complete Edition, which bundles the base game and all expansions together for $59.99.
Keep in mind that Final Fantasy 14's development is far from finished, so expect a new expansion roughly every two years. Purchasing the new expansion, when it comes out, will most likely cost $39.99, and include all previous expansions as well.
Now, let's talk about the subscription. There are two subscription options available, called Entry and Standard. The Entry subscription costs $12.99 per month, and enables you to create eight characters per server, and eight characters per Data Center. The Data Centers are the regions where the game's servers are located. Essentially, you can make up to eight characters with an Entry subscription.
The Standard subscription, on the other hand, has a base cost of $14.99 for 30 days, $13.99 for 90 days, and $12.99 for 180 days. With this subscription, you can create eight characters per server, and 40 characters in total per Data Center.
Unless you plan on playing several different characters across multiple Data Centers, we recommend purchasing the Entry subscription. Due to the game's Job-switching system, most players don't need more than a single character to experience everything in the game.
Outside base-game and subscription costs, you can purchase a variety of optional items. These include mainly cosmetics, like outfits and mounts, as well as story and level skips, allowing you to jump into the latest expansion's content as soon as possible.
What Players Are Saying
The Only Game I'll Never Stop Playing – Jacob Whaling
Final Fantasy 14 is 100 percent worth it. If you are even a casual fan of MMOs, this game hits all the marks. There's always new stuff to do, people to talk to, raids to clear, and so much more. On the other hand, if you're a massive Final Fantasy fan, and are apprehensive about playing an MMO, FF14 will not disappoint. Despite its length, Final Fantasy 14 has one of the greatest video game stories ever told, with a payoff so satisfying that it makes the, admittedly slow, beginning quests worth it. There are several systems in place to ease new players into the game, making the game accessible for any type of player to experience.
Seriously Worth It – Ryan Bamsey
I was skeptical about FF14 before trying it – an MMORPG isn't usually my thing. I adore Final Fantasy as a series, though, so I gave it a go – I've now spent days, if not entire weeks of my life in the world of Eorzea, made good friends there, and experienced a fantastic storyline worthy of the Final Fantasy name. Every new update and expansion make the game better, and there's more than enough content to keep anyone engaged and happy. With how much of the story is free to try, you really have nothing to lose.
A Slow Burn For A Satisfying End – Jerel Levy
There's a reason FF14 is lauded as one of the best stories in the Final Fantasy series. What sets FF14 apart from other MMORPGs is the community, the challenge, and the references to other games in the series. However, it does come with its faults. Getting through the game as a newcomer can be a slog, especially starting from the beginning. You'll find the usual MMO trappings and time sinks here as you would any other. Story and level skips are available, and the game is becoming a more single-player-oriented MMO for those who want to play alone, thanks to implementations such as NPC party members to help you run dungeons. If you can get at least two expansions in – which may be asking for a lot, you'll see why it's so loved. The story progression alone will be worth your time. The challenge is sticking around long enough to get there.
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