FFXIV on PS5 Review: Absolutely Worth Giving a Shot
FFXIV on PS5 is exactly what I hoped it would be. I’ve been playing FFXIV since before it was “A Realm Reborn,” back when it was…let’s just be nice and say it was not enjoyable. Yoshi-P took the time to fix what was wrong and has created one of the most satisfying MMOs to play. Between his work, Masayoshi Soken’s skill at creating atmospheric music, it was only a matter of time before it hit a new-gen console. If FFXI could be on Xbox 360, and FFXIV was on PS3 and PS4? It had to happen. But is it good? That’s the real question we have to ask. How is PS5’s version of FFXIV? Should a current player try it out? What about new players?
A Brave (New) World
Fun fact, I started playing with a controller on PC. As someone who writes for a living, having the ability to enjoy a game while not straining myself on keyboard and mouse? I live for that. Eventually, I made the switch, but this allowed me to come right back to how I used to play. It helps that the DualSense controller is the best controller I’ve ever used.
Visually, FFXIV in 4K is breathtaking. On every level, in every place, the game is stunning. It makes me wonder why I even play this MMO on my computer when I can sit on the couch and play in 4k. Sure, I’d need a wireless keyboard to interact with my Free Company (Pandora’s Box, Diabolos). The sounds, the sights, they’re all gorgeous. On PS5, the load-times are also virtually non-existent. You still have to wait in line to get onto a server sometimes, but the wait is seldom long.
Since I already have an account on PC, I had to purchase another license for PS5 – That means getting the FFXIV Complete Edition for PS4. From there, I just had to log in with my credentials. Current users beware; it might decide that your account has been compromised, resulting in having to change your password. That happened to me. Not a big deal, either.
However, one of the only negatives is something I already knew about. FFXIV, PS5, or PC does not save your HUD settings. That means you will have to go through the arduous task of setting up your HUD once again. If you’re a veteran player, you already know how you’ll want it, you just have to do it. Take it from me – use Mouse Mode (L1+R3). It moves things in your HUD faster. Some things aren’t immediately clear, like being able to zoom out. That comes from L1+up/down with the Right Analog Stick.
You’ll still have to do this as a new player too. I tried the game in full 4k in crowded areas, in dungeons, trials, and even my Free Companies’ House. It looked smooth at all times. It lagged a tiny bit during peak hours, but I play on a busy server, and at the time, I was playing wireless. The game never once would dip under 30 FPS, though, and that was just fine.
Doesn’t Feel Like A Console MMO
I played FFXIV on PS4 also, and it was. . . it was okay. Not as good as PC by any stretch of the imagination. Not as pretty, not as fast. It was only great if you didn’t have a PC. Perhaps the kindest thing I can say about FFXIV on PS5 is that it doesn’t feel like a console MMO. In my time at MMOHuts, I played a lot of MMOs built for consoles. Most of those felt flat, bland. Clunky and awkward. FFXIV feels just like the PC version. It in no way feels like an inferior port of an already solid game.
I play on a good PC as is, but being able to experience the game in 4k? That’s something special. It might be difficult to get used to the buttons on a controller, but it won’t last long. You get about 56 buttons to use and can adjust the HUD to be exactly what you want it to be. If you’re new to FFXIV and want to play on the console, you also get a free 30-day trial. It’s going to be really hard to go back to the PC version for me, and who knows? When I get a quality wireless keyboard, I may just be a console main again. But I can tell you sincerely that this is an amazing version of FFXIV for PS5. It was already an amazing game, but you miss nothing on a console.
If you’re coming to the game as a new player, the Free Trial is also available, which runs up to Level 60 and through the Heavensward expansion. That’s another brilliant move. You shouldn’t need to buy the game to try it out. There’s never been a better time to try FFXIV anyway, with Endwalker coming in Fall 2021. It comes highly recommended, on PS5 and PC.