The Final Fantasy pixel remasters are the best modern way to play the series’ classic games, but the lack of a Switch port is disappointing.
Some of the best games ever made are in the Japanese role-playing game genre, and while some franchises have gotten more praise than others, Final Fantasy has left an indelible mark. Several titles in the 35-year-old franchise are defining experiences for their respective consoles, whether it’s the groundbreaking Final Fantasy 7 or the massive strides that Final Fantasy 14 made in the MMO space. The first six games in the series, on the other hand, look and feel a lot less complicated than the 3D spectacles that are part of the series now. They’ve been reworked and rereleased before, but pixel remasters are now, without a doubt, one of the best ways to play.
In recent years, Final Fantasy games have become associated with PlayStation, but this wasn’t always the case. Before the series fully embraced polygons and 3D environments, it made full use of the NES and Super Nintendo hardware with sprites and pixel art that is still a joy to look at today. The first six games have gotten a new look in the past few months. Even though they were first released on Steam, it’s strange that there aren’t any remasters on Switch, given that they were made by the same publisher and hardware maker. On early Nintendo consoles, Squaresoft carried the banner for JRPGs, with Final Fantasy leading the charge.
The portability of retro Final Fantasy makes it more accessible.
Because of hardware limitations in the 1990s, developers had to get creative with how a game looked and played. Going back to Final Fantasy 4 in 2022 is not impossible because it holds up well, but keeping players engaged throughout is difficult because it looks dated by today’s standards. As titles like Persona 4 Golden and Fire Emblem: Awakening have demonstrated, portability makes such games easier to manage. The Final Fantasy pixel remasters would be a natural fit for the Switch.
Though the Steam Deck is a viable way to experience the Pixel Remasters on the go, its popularity is dwarfed by Nintendo Switch sales. Final Fantasy 6’s Game Boy Advance release demonstrates that it can be played on a smaller, portable device while retaining all of its charm and immersion. Knowing that the Nintendo Switch is powerful enough, popular enough, and has a history with older Final Fantasy games to easily support pixel remasters makes it all the more disappointing that they aren’t on the eShop. Nintendo’s hybrid system is one of the best ways to play JRPGs like Dragon Quest 11, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Monster Hunter, and while Final Fantasy is represented with HD remasters of the PS One trilogy, they are far less deserving of a place on a Nintendo marketplace given the company’s history with Sony.
Final Fantasy Began on Nintendo
It’s been a long time since a mainline Final Fantasy title debuted on a Nintendo system, and the pixel remasters were a missed opportunity to correct the situation. The announcement of the remasters was marred by the disappointment that they would not be available on the Switch, as it would be an enticing thought to have them back on a system from the same company that housed the games when they first came out all those years ago. A Steam release was welcomed, but Final Fantasy is so closely associated with console gaming that their absence felt like a deliberate and disappointing oversight.
Final Fantasy may have made the transition to Sony hardware in 1997, but the franchise’s roots will always be with Nintendo. Six beautiful pixel-art Final Fantasy games not being available on what has quickly become one of Nintendo’s greatest consoles is a glaring omission that must be rectified for the sake of fans, Square Enix, and the series itself. The case for pixel remasters finding their way to the Nintendo Switch is compelling, and it’s a wonder they’re not already available on the eShop.