Final Fantasy VIIis arole-playing video gamedeveloped and published bySquare(nowSquare Enix) for thePlayStationplatform. Released in 1997, it is the seventh installment in theFinal Fantasyseries and the first in the series to use3D computer graphics, featuring fullyrenderedcharacters onpre-renderedbackgrounds. It was also the first game in the main series to be released in Europe. The story followsCloud Strife, a mercenary who joins theeco-terroristrebel organization AVALANCHE to stop the world-controllingmegacorporationShinrafrom draining thelife of the planetto use as an energy source. Cloud and his allies become involved in a larger world-threatening conflict and face off againstSephiroth, the mainantagonist.
DevelopmentofFinal Fantasy VIIbegan in 1994. It was originally developed for theSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, but was moved to theNintendo 64; since the Nintendo 64'scartridgeslacked the required storage capacity for substantial prerendered movie footage, Square moved the game to theCD-ROMbased PlayStation. It was directed byYoshinori Kitase, written byKazushige Nojimaand Kitase, and produced byHironobu Sakaguchi. The music was composed byFinal FantasyveteranNobuo Uematsu, while the series' long-timecharacter designer,Yoshitaka Amano, was replaced byTetsuya Nomura.
Helped by a large pre-release promotional campaign,Final Fantasy VIIwas a critical and commercial success. It was released in 1997 for theSonyPlayStation, in 1998 forWindows, in 2009 on thePlayStation Network, in 2012 on PC Digital Download, and in 2013 onSteam. In 2014, the game was released for Android and iPhone devices through the Japan-only streaming service "Dive In".On December 6, 2014, it was announced thatFinal Fantasy VIIwould be released on thePlayStation 4, with upscaled graphics.It has continued to sell solidly, with more than 11 million copies sold by 2015,making it the best-selling title in the series.Final Fantasy VIIhas been praised for its graphics, gameplay, music and story. Criticism has primarily pertained to its Englishlocalization. The iOS version ofFinal Fantasy VIIwas released on August 19, 2015, adding touch controls, an auto-save feature and the ability to disable random encounters. This was followed by the PlayStation 4 port with high speed mode finally releasing in December 2015 and on Android in July 2016.
The game is acknowledged for having boosted the sales of PlayStation consoles and popularizing Japanese role-playing video games outsideJapan. It is widely considered to be one of thegreatest games of all time. The game's popularity has led to a series of prequels and sequels under the collective titleCompilation of Final Fantasy VII. Square Enix announced a high-definitionremake of the gameatE3 2015for the PlayStation 4.