■FF7 for PSX
In August of 1997, Final Fantasy 7 was released for Sony Playstation (a.k.a. PS1). It was one of the first RPGs for the PSX. The storyline steers away from the traditional fantasy style to a more serious science-fiction style. The game itself is a big jump from its 16-bit 2D brother, Final Fantasy 6. All the characters, attacks, and magic are in full 3D. The backgrounds are prerendered 3D. FF7 shocked the gaming world by being released for the Sony Playstation instead of the N64. Beforehand, there were many rumors and quite a lot of hype that it would indeed come out for the N64, especially after Squaresoft released the FF7 Technical Demo. Squaresoft disappointed their fans with their decision, but their reasons were understandable considering that the Playstation was a better and more powerful console.
■FF7 for PC
In May 1998, a port of FF7 was released for the PC, for Windows 95. It was a direct port, nothing new was added. Ah, and this release was not free of bugs. Many people had trouble viewing the cut sequences.
■FF7: Before Crisis, for mobile phones
In September 2004, Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis was released for mobile phones in Japan, or more specifically, the Panasonic FOMA P900iv. It's an action/RPG; it follows the adventures of the The Turks sometime before the PSX game's story. Click here for some screenies. This was a big, sarcastic "Gee, thanks..." for Squaresoft, releasing a game based on the incredibly popular FF7 for freakin cell phones. The least they could've done was release it for a smaller cell phone model. Geez, just look at it, you could kill someone with that thing.
■FF7: Advent Children
In early 2005, a gorgeous computer animated movie was released, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The storyline takes place two years after the PSX game.
In March '06 it was officially released in the US. You can learn more about it and view screenies in my section dedicated to it.
■FF7: Last Order
Coupled with the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children DVD is a half hour anime special. It revolves around the event that took place in Nibelheim, involving Zack, Cloud, Tifa and Sephiroth. It also forms the basis of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. You can learn more about it and view screenies in my section dedicated to it.
A sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Dirge of Cerberus is a third person shooter for the Sony Playstation 2 released in August 2006. Technically it belongs to the 'first person shooter' gaming genre, but it does have enough RPG characteristics to fall under action/RPG. You can find more info on this game at Wikipedia.
■FF7: Crisis Core, for PSP
This is an action role-playing game developed by Square Enix for the Sony PSP, released in March 2008. The game is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII and is also the sixth installment in the compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The game mainly focuses around Zack Fair, a 2nd Class SOLDIER, and the events leading up to his destined demise. He meets many of the Final Fantasy VII characters, including Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough, with whom he develops strong bonds. The game's storyline takes the player from the war with the Wutai to the events at Nibelheim, and right up to the time just before the Final Fantasy VII beginning. Some of the missing events or plot holes from Nibelheim and afterwards are explained in the animated feature, Final Fantasy VII: Last Order.
■FF7 for PSN
In June 2009, Final Fantasy 7 was released for the Sony PlayStation Network (PSN). Nothing new was added; it's just a direct port.
■FF7 for PC (Again)
In August 2012, Final Fantasy 7 was released yet again for the PC. This time it featured 36 new achievements to be unlocked, "Cloud Saves", and a "Character Booster" feature. It was available exclusively via the SquareEnix store--exclusive until July 2013, when Steam got their hands on it as well. But as great as this release may sound, take note that they swapped the music for MIDIs. The result is a lower quality soundtrack, unfortunately.
The story first takes place in the city of Midgar which is also known as the city on a plate. It's a city full of machinery and scrap dumps. Midgar is governed and maintained by a powerful organization called Shinra. The power plants that provide Midgar with electricity suck energy from the "mako" energy from the earth. Mako energy is the source of life for this planet and these power plants are slowly sucking that life away. Residents of Midgar are aware of this conspiracy and organize a retaliation against Shinra and their power plants, they called this organization Avalanche. Avalanche goes through several attempts to break down Shinra and destroy their power plants. During these attempts; tragedies occur like the kidnapping of a special girl and the destruction of one whole part of Midgar in an attempt to suppress the retaliation. Shocking events take place when Avalanche invades the main Shinra building. They escape Midgar and explore the world continuing the try to stop Shinra and to find a mad killer that the main character has a strange relation with. These characters find others that join them in their cause and go through several other adventures reaching their final goal. Many unexpected events take place and aspects of the plot slowly unfold revealing the twisted truth behind everything. What does Shinra have in store for Avalanche? Who is that mad killer and why is the main character so obsessed with him? Why does Shinra want one of the main characters so bad? What is it that a typical girl has that a giant organization would want so desperately? Will Avalanche ever be able to stop Shinra once and for all? Or is Shinra really the one that Avalanche should be going after to reach their goal?
Despite of Final Fantasy 7's differences with its Final Fantasy brothers, all of its aspects are great so its title as a Final Fantasy can still be held up high. The music is beautiful and blends almost perfectly with the game's situations. And according to many Final Fantasy fans (including me), the boss theme is the best one out of the whole series so far. The storyline is the most gothic of the series so far. Many elements were introduced that have never been experienced in a Final Fantasy. Like Sephiroth's eerie background, Cloud's confusing past and a main character that actually dies. I hate the summary I wrote for "The storyline" part of this section. I never fully understood Cloud's confusing past until I read an explanation in a walkthrough. But there are still several interesting aspects in the story that make it special compared to the rest. Even real world elements were introduced like prostituting, profanity, and hints of homosexuality. The graphics are beautiful and at some points even breath-taking. The animation and special effects made me piss in my pants (more than once). Aeris was my favorite character and I almost cried when she died. I was hoping she would be revived later in the game, but it turns out that she never does. My favorite part is the Gold Saucer! It was so interesting to experience a place in an RPG that feels like an amusement park and, on top of that, have an amusement park type of character join your battle party. I enjoyed Final Fantasy 7 so much and it's definitely one of my favorites. It may not be the best, but it surely is an RPG that will be well remembered for its breakthroughs in the world of RPGs. It's a sign that future RPGs will become more realistic. Let's all hope future RPGs will retain the same quality as the ones we've experienced and cherish so far. On another note, a lot of people have asked me where they can download or torrent the Final Fantasy 7 ISO. I have that question answered in the Downloads section of this site.
Ah, yes! My memories of Final Fantasy 7 are full of amazement. It's such a giant jump from Final Fantasy 6. The very first time I played it was at my auntie's house. My parents went somewhere to celebrate their anniversary so I spent the weekend at my auntie's. Final Fantasy 7 was the reason why I bought a Playstation so this experience was also my first time using it. Oh yes! The rush of excitement I felt as I turned it on for the first time with my copy of Final Fantasy 7 in it. I already started pissing in my pants at the screen playing the famous crystal theme. And then... then... watching the beginning movie with Aeris and the overhead view of Midgar... the beauty of it made me cry. Bah, that's all I remember from the first time I played FF7. But as much as I like FF7, FF6 is still my all-time favorite RPG.
Q: "Where's the best place to purchase Final Fantasy 7?"
A: Half.com and eBay are good places. It usually goes for $30-$50. Make sure to check both Half.com and eBay because sometimes one or the other has the cheapest price. Half.com is usually the better choice.