The recent Final Fantasy 7 25th anniversary event featured a slew of new franchise-related material, including The First Soldier, Crisis Core, and Ever Crisis. The event’s main announcement is without a doubt the Crisis Core Remaster and the first official preview of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the official name for FF7 Remake Part 2.

The event didn’t reveal much, but it did hint at the more open-ended locations that players would encounter in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s universe. It also revealed that it would be released in the winter of 2023. This implies that fans of the franchise are still in for a long wait, albeit the wait for part 3 may be shorter than the wait for part 2, as Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 3 is already in the works. This, of course, offers players plenty of time to play the first game if they haven’t already, but Square Enix says they don’t have to.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy director Tetsuya Nomura stated on social media that anyone playing the game would not need to play the 1997 original or Final Fantasy 7 Remake. According to Nomura, “Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is being built so that players may enjoy this game whether they knew the original game or not.” In fact, new players may appreciate beginning their Final Fantasy 7 adventure with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.”

This is because, as Nomura continues, Cloud is going on a new adventure and leaving Midgar, meeting fresh and new stuff along the way. Final Fantasy 7 Remake was essentially a stand-alone project that greatly enlarged on the initial portion of the original game, so it stands to reason that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will provide gamers with a similar experience.

Of course, there’s plenty of Final Fantasy stuff to enjoy in the interim, including Final Fantasy 7 content. Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier and Ever Crisis both take a fresh look at the franchise, while the Crisis Core Remaster might provide a deeper dive into Zack Fair’s new tale. If someone hasn’t played Final Fantasy 7 Remake yet, they still have plenty of time, but the good news is that they don’t have to.

Regardless, 2023 will be a busy year for Final Fantasy lovers. Square Enix appears to aim to end the year strong with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, but the buzz for Final Fantasy 16, which is set to arrive in summer 2023, is also real. It appears that fans will go on Clive’s new voyage next year, as well as Cloud’s new journey, whether or without prior knowledge of the subfranchise.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will be released for the PlayStation 5 in Winter 2023.

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