The game that killed Squaresoft.
By Rich Stanton
This is a retrospective in the truest sense. I've switched on Final Fantasy 7 since its re-release on PSN a few years ago, but never played past the opening section of Midgar - an opening that, at the time of first playing, I thought was the game itself. The PS3 doesn't take PS1 memory cards, of course, so I can't resurrect my Avalanche crew, every single one at max level, while the treasured materia and weapon collection remains out of reach - nevermind my thoroughbred chocobos. Some games you can only play once.
Over time this gives distance to how you think about it. Final Fantasy 7 has never been loved for the right reasons; conversations focus overwhelmingly on a single moment that in its grand scheme felt largely irrelevant. I'm referring, of course, to the death of Aeris, the sweet flower girl who joins your party in the game's early portion and then, at the end of the first of three discs, is killed by arch-baddy Sephiroth.