It looks like Final Fantasy XVI is going to more than earn the stated M rating, as it will have a more mature story than ever in the series. While the details are still somewhat vague, it looks like FF16 will be a Final Fantasy experience unlike anything that came before it. However, such an experience requires the game to receive a rating that the series has avoided for more than 30 years.
Final Fantasy as a whole has managed to stay firmly in the E-T rating since its inception. This is impressive when you consider how gloomy the recordings of many TV series can be, touching on topics such as mortality, war, genocide and even the inevitable thermal death of the universe. Only the story of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is dedicated to existential fear, despair and how one can live with dignity, knowing that suffering is the only guarantee of the gift of life. However, Final Fantasy 16 will reportedly take it one step further.
Producer Naoki Yoshida, best known for his revival of Final Fantasy 14, stated in an interview with Gamespot that the story of Final Fantasy 16 is connected with topics that can be fully explored only if they are free from more restrictive assessments. FF16’s storyline should be the most ambitious, but to do it in the best possible way for content, it seems to require an M rating.
What Final Fantasy 16 will have that makes up the M rating
Final Fantasy 16 will change a number of things in the usual formula of the series. For example, although most of the games in the series eventually open up the world as the story progresses, FF16 will not be an open-world game at all, and it will not have the same set of characters and group members that most fans associate with Final. Fantasy. But what will give the game an M rating will be the content of its story, which, according to Yoshida, will “explore those more mature themes” that may ultimately make the game unacceptable to some younger audience.
He is also quick to assure that this M rating will not be wasted on pure shock value. Rather, it will be the logical result of studying themes in history — the collisions that occur when different people with different ideals get stuck together in the same room. Although Yoshida emphasizes the word “mature” rather than “gloomy,” the story of Final Fantasy 16 focuses on the protagonist Clive’s quest for revenge, and this definitely implies that this story will go into darker territory than usual. While conflicts and complex topics are the norm when it comes to Final Fantasy, the M rating means that the FF16 team could potentially go much further.
Final Fantasy 16 will be a bloody and dirty business, there is no doubt about it. One can only guess if blood and guts will lead to something meaningful, but the team behind the game consists of Square Enix’s best talents, which is an encouraging sign. Be that as it may, Final Fantasy XVI definitely has some exciting possibilities at the moment.