Final Fantasy VII Rebirth – Game Review

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

(available on PlayStation 5 only)

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is the second part of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Trilogy, the first of which appeared on the PlayStation 4, but with a PS5 upgrade and PS5-specific DLC down the line. That was back in 2020 (and the DLC came out in 2021), and since then we have been waiting for what is to be the second of the trilogy.

Because of spoilers, I’ll only be discussing things if they appeared in the trailer or in any promotional materials. This will be spoiler-free, plot-wise- and for some parts, gameplay-wise also, which unfortunately means I cannot discuss some of my biggest criticisms for this game since the majority of them come towards the end of the game. That being said, I was happy that the entire cast is in this game. There is a slight issue with this, but if you’ve recently listened to our Professionally Unprofessional podcast that myself and my colleagues recorded over a month ago, you’ll be aware of what that is.

For the most part, it adds extra gameplay aspects to the game, but plot-wise it mostly follows the remainder of Disc one of the original FF7. Again, there are some factors that play off the ending of Remake. If you know, you know.

The thing that surprised me is that the ending doesn’t really affect much. With a couple of slight changes to modernise things here and there, I just feel like I’m playing an updated version of the original game. Majority of the cast members return, and we have some new cast members for the new characters. This is the first time in the series we’re seeing Cait Sith, Vincent, and Cid.

Of course, another big difference is that the map has a lot more variety to it. While the remakes did do a good job updating it, we were still stuck in Midgar for the entire game. This time we’re out of there, and are encompassing most of the world, though a few environments aren’t yet available, this may change with future DLC. That’s pure speculation though, there is no announced DLC at this time, and Square Enix hasn’t hinted at it either.

Instead, we do have a bunch of open environments that mostly centre around some sort of hub location, and a couple of them have multiple ones. For example, Costa Del Sol and the Gold Saucer are in the same main area. And of course, there is tons of side content to do- though I would recommend that if you just want the story, play this game on Easy Mode. I think the only reason that I didn’t have a hard time dealing with some of the boss fights in the later game was because I just pretty much did everything side content-wise. Though, I still didn’t get the Platinum Trophy- more on that later.

You can change the difficulty in the game at any point, so if you’re struggling with something, just turn down the difficulty. I rarely felt the need to do this though, I only did it about once or twice for some side content that was to do with the combat simulator.

So let’s discuss Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth overall. This review is under the assumption that you played Final Fantasy 7 Remake. If you haven’t, I did a review for that a few years ago so please check that out. Otherwise, it’s the same experience in terms of the gameplay and combat.


  • Gameplay

As previously mentioned, the combat is pretty much kept intact, and this is one of my favourite Final Fantasy battle systems, which mixes some of the turn-based systems of the previous games with action-orientated combat. Personally, this is the thing I was missing when I played FF16, and it’s great to have it back.

There are a few changes to the combat this time which are affected by party members- you can create a party that has whatever combination of characters that you want. You can swap them in the overworld but you can’t swap them mid-battle. That being said, you might want to make sure that the combinations work well regardless of who is in the party because several story missions force you to have specific members in your party. There is a story mission early on that needs you to have the combination of Barret and Red XIII, so you might want to go into the skill tree to make sure that their combo moves have been applied, since they can really turn the tide of battle and often come with extra benefits, like a temporarily better Focus Gauge, or better yet, being able to use magic with no MP cost.

I found myself using Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith, who I think are the most well-rounded characters. Though, with the Materia usage, you can mould the characters in any way you would like. For example, one way that I changed up my cast from FF7 Remake was that I made Tifa my primary magic user this time around.

The other main difference in this game apart from the open areas is the new way that the battle tree works. For one thing, you don’t gain too much SP from levelling up, you instead do it by doing side content and buying extra journals from vendors to gain extra SP for certain characters, and these points are often used on a skill tree. You no longer have to level up weapons to get that done. Your weapons do level up, but they do so automatically. You will want to experiment with weapons since certain abilities are tied to using a weapon so many times before you can learn and then keep it before you trade out a weapon.

Personally, I think that this is handled much better than FF9, since it doesn’t force you to make your characters exponentially weaker to gain certain abilities.

Where Rebirth succeeds over Remake though, is in the side content. Early on, you meet Chadley, the weird kid from the first game, who gives you several tasks to do in the overworld. For example, he makes summons way easier since you now have to visit three shrines to power up those Summon Materia. They also come with the added effect of making the boss fights to obtain those summons much weaker. Trust me, the summons in this game are so good, you really want to do this.

Overall, I found it really addictive doing the side content this time. The combat missions are really cool, I really enjoyed the side quests for the most part and there wasn’t really any duds, and they actually tie into the whole relationship system that has been added that does affect a certain moment of the Gold Saucer, which doesn’t exactly play out as you remember if you played the original game.

All of this put together, I think that Rebirth takes everything that was good about Remake’s gameplay and takes it to an extra level, to such an extent that I’m wondering what they are planning to do with Part 3, since it will be hard to put any extra innovation on top of this.

  • Graphics

I know that it’s weird to put the graphics in this section considering that it’s been spoken about repeatedly, and I’ll get to that- but I’m going to be talking about the graphics when this game is played in Fidelity Mode. Fidelity Mode does give the full 4K visuals and locks the game to 30 frames per second. I think that the game looks fantastic in this mode, and it’s completely playable and fine. However, I prefer to have fluid gameplay, so for that reason, I didn’t turn it on if I didn’t need to. Despite its issues, I would recommend playing the game in Performance Mode.

  • Story

I do actually have some issues with the story, but that’s more to do with some of the extra that have been added. Some of them work out quite well and I think they’ve added a bit of extra character onto the cast as a whole. It actually does a very good update to a lot of FF7, and it really gets the characters, but with all of the additions, it made me wonder at times what the point of Remake’s ending really was. Because if you’re just remaking FF7 as everyone knows it, it’s fine and works out very well.

  • Soundtrack

For the most part, this game is remaking Nobuo Uematsu’s iconic soundtrack. It’s amazing how well it has aged! I think we have the best version of some of these songs here, I think the Gold Saucer remake is the best version of this song, or at least stands up well against the other versions. As a whole, I think this soundtrack is excellent.


  • Mini Games

Some of the mini games are excellent, I got addicted to Queen’s Blood, the card mini game introduced in this- which has to be contender for the best of any card based mini games in the various Final Fantasy games.

Some of the other mini games I did enjoy, the dolphin one was fine, I appreciated many of the ones in the Golden Saucer, and the Chocobo racing one was more enjoyable than I expected. There is a plethora of choices, but unfortunately because there are so many, there are a few duds in the mix. One of them required you to play a new version of the board game from Yuffie’s DLC from the FF7 Remake, and it’s much worse this time around. I swear, I only beat that one by chance- and it’s annoying, because it’s required for one of the best rewards in the game.

There are a couple more that were really bad, I won’t give all of them away, but I disliked the piano game. It’s required for the Platinum Trophy and is going to definitely affect people that aren’t very good at rhythm games. It doesn’t help that I couldn’t turn off the glock that is used to help you keep up the rhythm, and any time I lost my momentum and missed, it turned back on which didn’t help. It expects you to be way more dexterous than I was expecting, and there’s no difficulty option for it. It’s only required for a couple of side quests and some of the minigames, so I would suggest avoiding it if you want. But at least do Tifa’s Theme on it because it’s the easiest one.


  • Graphics in Performance Mode

I’ve never been too bothered about graphics in Performance Mode, they do obviously take a resolution bump. But in games like Ratchet and Clank: Rifts Apart and Demon Souls, it was worth it- particularly in Demon Souls, that game is impossible to play in Fidelity Mode. Despite the fact that I suggest playing the game in one of the performance modes that is available, I will fully admit that this game doesn’t look good in that mode; there is definitely an issue with textures in that mode. It’s fixed for cutscenes, and you will get used to it eventually, but early on it isn’t good.

Since this review took so long to make, it was patched partway through and offers a different version of Performance Mode that fixes these issues, which makes the combat so much better when fixed at 60 FPS.

  • Bugs

There aren’t too many bugs in this game, but I noticed a major one that will really affect the score. Towards the end of the game, you’re given a mission to be considered the ultimate party animal- it basically means you have to gain the highest score on various games at the Gold Saucer. No big deal. They are challenging, but it’s not impossible.

However, through my gameplay and research with my colleagues- we found that currently at time of writing this review, it’s impossible to finish this quest. I got the high score on the motorbike minigame, only for the game to not register that score. I couldn’t do anything but carry on to the ending of the game. This means that the Platinum Trophy for the game is unattainable.

I’m certain that Square Enix will patch this and in a few months, this won’t be the case- but I have to review what I played, and what I played, even after the most recent patch, is an unfinishable Platinum Trophy.


FInal Fantasy 7 Rebirth is fantastic. It has issues, don’t get me wrong- I do think that the gameplay has had major improvement, and I think the storyline is excellent for the most part, but I can’t overlook the massive bug that prevents you from getting the Platinum Trophy, so I have to bump down the score significantly. However, once that’s patched out, add a lot more points onto the score. It’s graphically great, the gameplay is fantastic, I love the combat, and as a whole, it is an excellent experience- just don’t try and go for the Platinum right now.


Director of Axia ASD Ltd.
Self-proclaimed Nerd Consultant
and Head of Axia’s Film Society.

And now Reece’s review

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is the sequel to Final Fantasy Remake and the second game

in the planned trilogy to cover the original game. It is an action Role Playing Game that sees players take control of Cloud and party again, as they escape Midgar and carry on their pursuit of Sephiroth.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth tells the tale of the rest of disc 1 of the original game that

was covered in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but leaves the content of the 2nd and 3rd disc

for the next game in the trilogy.


Art style- When the textures aren’t flicking they are very high fidelity with some of the best

visuals on PS5. The prime example of this is Cait Sith and his Moogle minion with their fur being full of volume and looking very realistic, and not just them but even the various mechs in the main story mode that the player encounters are leaps beyond what was in Remake and definitely the original FF7 game.

Queen’s Blood- Queen’s Blood is the new standout mini game that see’s players constructing a deck of 15 cards to take on duellists all over the world map, for a total of 30 duels. Queen’s Blood plays similarly to Gwent from Witcher 3 but it actually has it’s own plot line tied to a side quest, where players explore a murder mystery. It carries on throughout the course of the main story all the way to Chapter 12 in the end game. I would highly recommend players play this side quest till it’s completion as players do not lose anything from losing normal matches and it is extremely addictive to build and test new decks if they hit a brick wall with their current deck against the enemy.

Boss fights- The boss fights in Rebirth follow on from the more grandiose style of Remake but have now grown in scale and more complexity. This extends to the new multiphase boss fights and even too much in some extent, where the final boss fight now comprises of 6 phases, so while they are fun and challenging they can overstay their welcome if the player is under levelled or using a bad Materia set up. One of the better parts about the bosses in Rebirth is that there are very few repeated boss fights helping them all stand out more with being unique and only a couple of reskinned versions of older bosses or are relegated to side quests only.

Exploration- In contrast to the original FF7, the open world has been greatly expanded upon in Rebirth, as now every main local area has a variety of tasks to perform ranging from

unlocking portions of the map with Ubisoft style radio towers to quick time events for the Summons or additional lore at Materia crystals. Each region is stuffed full of optional side content and while not required for the main story it is still recommended to do at least some of it as it will give a lot of XP to level up characters and unlock more powerful Materia to buy from the vendor Chadley, that can turn the tide in more difficult battles.

Variety of mini games- Mini games were a big part of the original FF7 but in Rebirth the total count is now over 20 with at least one new mini game per chapter from the start until the end of the game. A lot of the older mini games also return like Fort Condor and Chocobo Racing but they have been expanded. While some mini games have been made easier like Chocobo racing they also made the tracks you race on much more complex and fun to race on. It is a shame that there’s no form of local multiplayer available for the Gold Saucer mini games instead they are single player only. So even if a player does not like a particular mini game then there are plenty of others to sink plenty of time into and go trophy farming.

Voice Cast- The voice cast in Rebirth really upped their game in the sequel, as all the characters have a lot more range for the main cast and even the side cast. The big stand out performances this time around were John Eric Bentley as Barret, who has his backstory expanded upon with the retelling of Corel. The other was Red 13 voiced by Max Mittelman who I won’t spoil for plot reasons but does a very fun twist on the character with certain lines that fans will greatly enjoy when replaying the game for side quests, as they will change Red’s dialogue depending on what point Red is at in the main story path.

Music- Just like Remake and the original Final Fantasy 7, Rebirth also has a great music

score as not only does it bring back a lot of older songs but also has great new remixes along with new songs. My personal favourite remix is from the end of the Protorelic side quest when “Battle near the big bridge” plays. But even the voice cast add to the music during some down time in Chapter 9, Yuffie’s voice actor Suzie Yeung has an impromptu song that players could easily miss.


Texture flickering- A major issue I encountered was that textures would randomly flicker between high quality and low quality blurry textures during gameplay, but also cut scenes with characters.

Game slowdown- During intense combat with a lot of particle effects the game would noticeably slowdown and lag for the duration of the attack. This was most noticeable when using enemy skills like Plasma Discharge on characters that fill ATB gauge quickly, due to the repeated electric explosions going off.

Certain mini games-Some mini games felt unfinished or just untested. What makes these even worse is that most are tied to trophies. The three most egregious examples during my gameplay are the piano mini game where you need the A rank on 6 of the songs to get the trophy. This is impossible for myself due to it not being Dyspraxia friendly, as instead of pressing buttons in time the player has to flick the thumb sticks in various directions reducing accuracy. As during the first song for example I only missed 10 notes out of 120+ and that gave me the worst rank possible with only 50% of the score needed to reach the first rank

in the mini game. The Crunch-Off mini game at Costa del Sol, where playing as Tifa you need to perform more ab crunches, as when the player has to do half presses on the triggers

it would always fail even when the Adaptive Triggers were turned off. The other mini game was the Glide de Chocobo, as it felt like the game would randomly decide the length of time needed before the player dives down enough, until you get enough lift to hit the high targets, as the player needs to get a perfect score on every course to get the top prize. Other mini games had minor issues but weren’t as bad with Fort Condor and Gears & Gambits, where the player units attacked a lot less frequently than the enemy units.

Physics puzzles- One of the worst areas in the game requires the player to take control of specific characters that walk extremely slowly and to manually throw objects into exact areas

slowing the game down to a crawl instead of being a fun section it just slows down the pacing of the game for no real reason.

New story changes- Without going into spoilers, Rebirth really drops on the ball on what was built up with the ending to the previous game Remake, so much so that it feels like the team

didn’t know how to incorporate the changes in the new game. This makes it feel very shoehorned in when the game does remember that it is trying to change some aspects from the original 1997 release.

Padding in dungeons- Certain dungeons overstay their welcome due adding in extra enemies and puzzles that weren’t in the original, to pad out the run time. The worst example of this is the dungeon that takes up Chapter 13, as that dungeon took over 4 hours compared to the original version in the original game, being so close to the game it really killed the pacing as gameplay just becomes a slow slog waiting for it to be over and get to the final chapter of the game.

Non playable party members- Compared to the original game Rebirth has several of the party members being non-playable so instead they just hang out in the background of cutscenes or have minor voice roles in side quests. So, the party feels rather restricted after Cait Sith joins, but he is still not a very useful party member since his damage is low and doesn’t help boost the party much, compared to other party members who can do the same and more with full materia.

Character redesigns-This is only a minor issue I had but when the Weapons get reintroduced later in the game instead of the unique appearances that they had in the original game, all the ones in Rebirth had the same giant fish model.


A great sequel to Remake that unfortunately gets too bogged down with a surplus of

poorly designed mini games and filler story that bloats out the game.

Score: 9.1

Reece Imiolek
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

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