by Square Enix
Member Reviews: Review This Game Yourself!
? Good for players who want to group.
? Nice job system.
? Items are not class specific.
? Solid community with frequent player events.
? Auto translator to help bridge the gap between Japanese and English players.
? Good character models.
? Great story.
? Should satisfy most hardcore gamers looking for a MMORPG.
? Not for solo players.
? Hard to level.
? High learning curve.
? Too much camping.
? Huge time investment needed.
? Poor economy.
? Head start for Japanese players.
The Bottom Line – The best MMORPG for gamers who don’t like World of Warcraft.
Link: Official Site
Although World of Warcraft garners the most attention in the MMO market not all gamers feel love for the game. Whether these gamers think that WoW is too easy to reach the level cap or that it is too much of a solo player’s game or they think the community is too rude and/or too young Final Fantasy XI does a great job of filling the void created by the mighty MMO from Blizzard. Not only is FFXI the second best MMORPG today but it is also the best MMORPG for gamers who simply don’t like World of Warcraft.
Before getting more into the WoW contrast let’s see why FFXI is the second best MMORPG. This game passes up old MMO stand-bys like EverQuest and Dark Age Of Camelot by actually offering a compelling story. Looking for great graphics to go along with a good story? FFXI has them as well with huge vibrant areas that offer plenty of eye-candy. The other big factor that makes this game a top MMORPG is its detailed job system that can be quite addictive.
The story graphics and job system are all backed up by a great community. Where World of Warcraft is criticized for a having poor community with rude solo players Final Fantasy XI focuses on players working together in groups. This working together environment lets players feel more part of the game. In addition the game is constantly having player events to strengthen bonds between players. Although WoW is the best MMORPG right now it can not say that strengthening bonds between players is a major focus right now.
For leveling FFXI takes more of an old school MMORPG approach with a constant need for camping and the need to be in a group to attain the higher levels in the game. These two factors make it a huge time investment to get the most of this game while WoW offers a substantially more streamlined approach. However this actually helps FFXI in a way since it makes leveling up more rewarding. In other words it rewards the hardcore gamers who take the time to level and make it hard for casual gamers to equal your level. This can obviously turn into a major negative if it goes to the extreme the way it does in vastly inferior games (ie RYL: Path of the Emperor) but Final Fantasy does not take it too far. The result is a more rewarding MMO experience that gives players an incentive to reach that next level.
The funny thing about reviewing this game is that most of the downside factors can also be viewed positively. For example some players do want to solo while other think that MMOs should be a social experience. Another example is that casual gamers do not want to spend that much time leveling so it comes down to which factors you want the most. If you are looking to spend a few hours playing and spend most of that time playing solo then Final Fantasy XI is definitely not for you. On the flipside FFXI is currently the best MMORPG for hardcore gamers who want to spend all of their playing time in groups.
Game Ogre’s Rating (out of 10):