Last month brought us the long-awaited release of Final Fantasy VII Remake. It was something fans had been waiting for since Square Enix showcased a rebuilt FFVII intro sequence on PlayStation 3 hardware at E3 in 2005. Final Fantasy VII is undoubtedly one of the more popular Final Fantasy games, but did you know this isn’t the first time they completely remade one of the games from this beloved franchise?
Here in the US, we’ve seen many remasters over the years, Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II got remastered as Final Fantasy Origins on the original PlayStation and Dawn of Souls on the Game Boy Advance. We eventually saw a Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster and Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age on the current-generation of consoles. More recently, this past year, we saw Final Fantasy VIII Remastered as a digital download. But back in 2006, Square Enix released a full 3D remake of Final Fantasy III on the Nintendo DS and followed it up in 2008 with the same treatment for Final Fantasy IV. Eventually they both made their way onto mobile platforms and PC.
It would also be the first time Final Fantasy III released outside of Japan with an official English-translation. Sure there were fan translations of the original floating around ROM sites for years, but this was the real deal. We did get a Final Fantasy III here in the States on Super Nintendo, but it was instead a repackaging of what was Final Fantasy VI. Square teamed up with Matrix Software to bring this remake to life. Matrix has gone on to work on a bunch of other titles, including Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, which eventually spun-off into the Bravely Default series.
A few years later, a remake of Final Fantasy IV was also released. Final Fantasy IV is a game that got released here in the US as Final Fantasy II on the Super Nintendo, this numbering scheme is very confusing, I know. With this remake, they got a little more ambitious. Not only did they remake the game itself, but they worked on a direct sequel, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. And the sequel also got a 3D remake of its own! It released on mobile, WiiWare, and PSP in a 2D style reminiscent of the original SNES game. Then it was remade for iOS, Android, and Windows to match the Nintendo DS remakes.
While VII is their most substantial remake in terms of scope, this shows Square is no stranger to remakes. Hopefully, we’ll see more of their PlayStation-era and earlier titles remade in the future. They’ve already done remakes of the Mana series. And with Capcom also remaking some of the first few Resident Evil games, I think this would be a perfect time for Square to bring back their Parasite Eve franchise. I would start it off with some remakes of the originals and then go all-in with a fourth installment in the series.