Final Fantasy VII - 15 reasons it was so memorable

Theres plenty of humor to break up the tension

Final Fantasy VII was a dramatic game full of death and destruction, but there were also plenty of laughs along the way. The dialogue provided plenty of comic relief, even in the most tense situations. Barrets and Cids cursing fits of anger were often hilarious, as were Barrets constant complaints while climbing the steps of the Shinra building. Clouds awkward attempt at cross-dressing, the appearance of Fat Chocobo, Heideggers tendency to slap people, and Yuffies disgust about being kidnapped are just a few examples of the light-hearted humor that kept FFVII from being an overwhelming drama-fest, and the contrast has helped keep the game fresh in your memory for years.

The soundtrack was (and still is) incredible

There are few video game soundtracks that come close to FFVII's near-perfection. Nobuo Uematsus masterful score is memorable from the first note to the last: The intriguing opening bombing mission theme; the boss theme, letting you know that things were getting real, followed by the satisfying victory fanfare; Aeriths tear-jerking theme music; the terrifying insanity of One-Winged Angel; and of course, the Chocobo tunes, which expressed a lighter side of the game. Without each and every note played throughout FFVII, it wouldnt have been the same game, and it probably wouldnt have stuck with you for so many years.

There were plenty of epic boss fights

Accompanied by a riff sure to get you psyched up for a big fight, the boss battles of Final Fantasy VII ranged from absurd to seemingly impossible. Whether you were facing off against various Shinra members, attempting to survive the latest iteration of Jenova, trying your luck against Emerald Weapon, or finishing off Sephiroth once and for all, the variety in boss fights kept them from ever being stale. For the most part, they offered a challenge without being cheap, sometimes requiring you to change your strategy in order to achieve victory. The epic boss battles not only represented important story moments; they kept Final Fantasy VII on your mind long after the credits rolled.

It was likely the first game to make you cry

Aeriths death in Final Fantasy VII is one of the most shocking moments in video game history, and though its considered clich now, at the time it was totally unexpected. Remember, this was one of the games major characters--a playable character, with the items you provided still equipped--and her death took place not even halfway through the game. When Sephiroth dropped from the sky and plunged his sword through Aeriths torso, and the haunting first notes of Aeriths Theme began to play, it was hard to hold back tears (as we discussed when we listed the Top 7 Saddest games). The heartbreaking scene in the City of the Ancients used all of the other elements that made FFVII so great, like the characters, visuals, and score, and combined them to make a truly unforgettable moment that probably reduced many of you to tears. And for a lot of you, it was the first time a video game made you feel that way.

It has held up remarkably well

How many of your most beloved games from previous generations are still completely enjoyable today? Advances in graphics, technology, and gameplay have rendered some former favorites completely obsolete, but not FFVII. Though the graphics are dated, the gameplay mechanics are still unique and addictive, and the score remains among the best in video game history. Fifteen years later, its still a great game whether youve played it a handful of times or youre going in blind. The game broke sales records when it was rereleased on the PSN in 2009, and a recent PC release also generated a lot of excitement. Gaming may continue to advance, but youll never outgrow Final Fantasy VII.

It gives gamers common ground

Who did you go on a date with at Gold Saucer? Did you pick the right outfit when you had to cross-dress to spend the night with Don Corneo? Could you beat Ruby Weapon? Remember the first time you watched Aerith die? As such a widely beloved game, Final Fantasy VII gave you something to bond over. To this day, if youre in a room with a bunch of gamers, chances are high that many of them will have opinions about Final Fantasy VII. Even strangers will gladly share stories about the game and how it affected them. The fact that you still have so much to say about your experiences about FFVII a decade and a half after its release is what has kept it memorable all these years, and it will probably still be considered a significant game 15 years from now.

What did we miss?

There are a lot of reasons why Final Fantasy VII is so memorable here, but the experience was different for everyone. What reasons should we have listed? Why do you think FFVII is so memorable?

And if you want more RPG goodness check out the best JRPGs of all time and our list of the best MMORPGs.

Sarah LeBoeuf

Sarah is a freelance writer, editor, and consultant. Her work has appeared on websites including IGN, Polygon, Variety, NBC News, Nerdist, Ars Technica, GamesRadar, and more.