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Should Final Fantasy XI have been a regular RPG?

Its hard to believe that its been almost 20 years since Final Fantasy XI was released especially if you grew up as a fan of the FF series. Those who have been fans of the Finals Fantasy series since the late 80’s-early 90’s know that the gameplay format for most of the older entries featured turn-based RPG action. In fact, if you look back at the earlier 3D installments of Final Fantasy from ‘97-‘01 they also featured turn based RPG gameplay as well. For whatever reason Square Enix had decided to try something new with Final Fantasy XI and decided to make the game a MMORPG. Final Fantasy XI was initially released for the PS2 before it appeared on Microsoft Windows and eventually Xbox 360 in 2006. Final Fantasy XI being on the PS2 was interesting mainly because the console was created more for local offline gameplay opposed to MMORPG’s. Final Fantasy XI did not feel like strong entry within series mainly because it came out about a year after the critically acclaimed FFX game. Also, Final Fantasy XI did not really have any memorable characters or storytelling like its ‘01 predecessor did. Some argue that if Final Fantasy XI was a traditional turn based RPG with a compelling storyline and larger than life characters; the game could have been way more popular. But at the same time Final Fantasy XI is an entry within stands out because it was Square Enix’s first MMORPG title within the series. Even If Square Enix made Final Fantasy XI a regular RPG title it still most likely would have been overshadowed by FFX; considering the fact that it was one of the best selling video games on the PS2 during the early 2000’s.

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