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Published:September 7th, 2007 09:42 EST
Final Fantasy VII: 10 Years Later

Final Fantasy VII: 10 Years Later

By Mark Palangio

On September 7, 1997, Squaresoft unleashed one of the most legendary games of all time on North American shores, Final Fantasy VII. Ten years later, Final Fantasy VII is widely regarded as not only the most popular game in the series, but one of the most influential games ever made.

It`s hard to believe that ten years have passed since the release of Final Fantasy VII. In that span the game has sold nearly 10 million copies worldwide, making it the 17th best selling game ever released, and the only RPG in the top 20. It ranks as the second best selling Playstation 1 game, ranking only behind the original Gran Turismo, which has sold 10.5 million copies worldwide. When the game debuted in Japan in January of 1997, it sold 2.3 million copies within the first three days of its release. The North American release weekend saw the game sell over 300,000 copies with an additional 200,000 more being sold over the next three weeks.

By December 1997, three months after its release, the game had already sold 1 million copies in North America. These numbers were staggering, and the fact that it was a role-playing game raking in all these sales made it even more unbelievable. The game`s release in North America was also preceded by a massive three month marketing campaign in which Sony shelled out $100 million for various TV commercials, promotions, and magazine ads. It was clear right from the start, Final Fantasy VII wasn`t just a game, and it was a revolution.

Squaresoft had completely redefined the role-playing genre and totally changed the future of gaming. Final Fantasy VII was the first RPG to achieve this level of popularity outside of Japan. The game not only appealed to hardcore RPG gamers, but also mainstream casual gamers, and everyone in between. At the time of its release, no other game featured a story line, graphics, atmosphere, or experience like Final Fantasy VII. It was arguably the first game to prove that a video game could provide such an epic and cinematic experience. Aeris` death scene is widely regarded as the most memorable cut scene in video game history. Electronic Gaming Monthly said it best, "Square`s game was the first RPG to surpass, instead of copy, movie like storytelling, and without it Aeris wouldn`t have died, and gamers wouldn`t have learned how to cry. "

Final Fantasy VII opened the floodgates for the RPG genre, plain and simple. Countless other companies jumped on the RPG bandwagon and began coming out with their own games in an attempt to try to create the next Final Fantasy VII. That game has not come along yet, and it never will. Sure, there have been a ton of great RPG`s in the past ten years, but no other game will ever be the same as Final Fantasy VII. No other game will be able to redefine the genre as it did. No other game will ever be able to recreate the magic that it had. No other game will be able to revolutionize video gaming as it did. No other game will ever be able to produce the memories that it did for countless gamers around the world. There will never be another game like Final Fantasy VII.