Flashback: The Best Games of 1997

With Sony and Nintendo riding high as Sega faltered, this one year defined genres and built franchises like almost no other

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Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix4/13

Final Fantasy VII

The second-best selling game on the PlayStation after Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy VII moved 10 million copies and was also the console's most-returned game. Its advertising campaign focused on CG cutscenes that were impressive in their day but not enough of a reward to maintain the interest of players who were shocked to discover a game full of random encounters and writing that was rough around the edges, to put it generously. However, those players who didn't return their copies fell in love with Final Fantasy VII in a way that was rare and enduring (a total remake is in progress today, featuring Unreal-powered graphics). Its sense of scale, encompassing not only the steampunk city of Midgar but an entire world beyond it, gave it grandeur and both its characters and the twists involving them were beloved by those who put in the dozens of hours necessary to finish it.

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