Yesterday, Square Enix announced the release date for the Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster. While we didn’t get a trailer showing off the game or its gameplay to go along with this announcement, Final Fantasy V is a known quantity by now, and we know what to expect. Even though the original SNES game never made it Stateside, Final Fantasy V eventually came to the US thanks to remakes and compilations on other platforms. With Final Fantasy VI‘s Pixel Remaster still some time off, Final Fantasy V might be the most exciting re-release to date, thanks in large part to its gameplay.
Of the classic Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy V is the one I’ve spent the least amount of time with. Even lacking deep knowledge of the game, it’s clear the main draw is its job system, which allows players to change and level up the classes of their characters. Final Fantasy III was the trail-blazer in this regard, as it was the first Final Fantasy game to feature a job system. Consensus, however, seems to be that Final Fantasy V‘s job system is better than Final Fantasy III‘s since it removes any requirements for changing jobs and allows players to do it at will.
I love job systems in Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy Tactics was actually my introduction to them back in the days of the PlayStation 1, and ever since then, I’ve wondered why they aren’t part of every Final Fantasy game. The answer is probably obvious – repeat a feature too many times, and people will get tired of it – but Final Fantasy games with job systems seem to scratch an itch that others don’t.
Part of the reason I find Final Fantasy‘s job systems so intriguing is that they almost feel like they’re games within games. Plotting each job upgrade path for your characters is something that can have a surprising amount of depth to it, as is trying to figure out which jobs synergize well with each other. Of course, Final Fantasy V is nearly 30 years old, which means the internet has figured out the most efficient progression for everything in the game, but there’s nothing saying you need to follow what the internet says is most efficient as you play.
The most modern implementation of the job system is in Final Fantasy XIV, which allows you to change your character class simply by equipping a different weapon. In addition, each job – or class – is leveled up independently of one another, allowing you to potentially have every class at max level on the same character. Of course, getting to that point is a ton of work, but the fact that you can try and level every class in Final Fantasy XIV with just a single character is a big part of what makes it appealing as an MMORPG.
If you’re a Final Fantasy XIV fan and you haven’t played Final Fantasy V, it might be worth checking out the Pixel Remaster when it launches on November 10th. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that both it and Final Fantasy III laid the groundwork for games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XIV.
Personally, I’m excited to give Final Fantasy V a proper playthrough after all of these years. While Final Fantasy VI is probably the Pixel Remaster I’m looking forward to the most because I consider it one of the all-time great Final Fantasy stories, I’m excited to dive into Final Fantasy V primarily because of the gameplay it will offer. Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster is out on November 10th on Steam, Android, and iOS.