World of Final Fantasy might look cute, but it’s a proper FF title.

New Final Fantasy game is a nostalgic, goofy love letter to the series’ past

World of Final Fantasy looks cute and cartoonish, but it’s a fully fledged RPG that revisits important moments from the series – and takes the franchise into new territory

By now, you’ve almost certainly heard of Final Fantasy XV, the newest entry in one of gaming’s most long-running franchises, which is set to come out for PlayStation 4 in late November. 

That’s not what we’re here to talk about.

No, there’s actually a second Final Fantasy game coming out this autumn that’s taking the series in a decidedly cartoonish, goofy, nostalgia-laced direction.

It’s called World of Final Fantasy, and the very first thing you’ve probably noticed about it are how giant the characters’ heads are, like Funko Pop! figurines come to life.

Though its childish art style might lead you to believe World of Final Fantasy is a bite-sized smartphone game, that’s not the case at all. It’s actually a fully fleshed-out RPG. It’s flown under the radar so far, mostly because it’s being overshadowed by the more epic Final Fantasy XV.

At once, World of Final Fantasy is both harking back to a bygone era of Final Fantasy while also treading into some brand-new territory: it has traditional, turn-based combat that fans of older games will recognise and it’s packed with familiar characters from several older Final Fantasy titles – like Cloud Strife (from FFVII) and Squall Leonhart (from FFVIII) – but it also has a lighter, humorous tone that’s usually not present in Final Fantasy.

A scene from World of Final Fantasy.

World of Final Fantasy will be available for PS4 and PS Vita on October 25, but you can already snag a free demo of it from the PlayStation online store.

I had written it off initially because of its childish art direction, but the buzz I’m hearing about World of Final Fantasy has been surprisingly positive. I’m anxious to try it out for myself, even if it’s just to hang out with Vivi from FFIX again.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: A fresh path for Fantasy