Final Fantasy IX is objectively the best game in the Final Fantasy franchise. Hey, don't blame us. If you believe otherwise, go take it up with Metacritic. But, while the subsequent attempts at a remaster of the iconic game for modern consoles haven't gone well, Square Enix remains undeterred. In fact, there's a new piece of evidence that further proves that a remake of Final Fantasy 9 is in development.
The original source is the infamous 2021 GeForce Now Leak, which has since exposed several Square Enix titles way ahead of their official launch.
However, a wild leak has suddenly appeared out of nowhere and fans are absolutely loving what it says.
The latest info, courtesy of Im a Hero Too on ResetERA, says that the remake exists and that it has "Sony written all over it." This implies that the modern re-release of FF9 is going to be exclusive on the PlayStation 5.
Not only is this not surprising but most would've been shocked if it weren't the case. The long-standing relationship shared between Sony and Square Enix isn't a secret. In fact, Final Fantasy 16 is going to be exclusive to the PS5, at least for the next two years, and an Xbox release is off the table, perhaps forever.
Often lauded as the pinnacle of the series, Final Fantasy 9 encapsulated the essence of the classic Final Fantasy experience. Its traditional fantasy setting, character-driven narrative, and mostly jovial atmosphere was seen as a much-needed return to the series' roots. In terms of gameplay and mechanics, Final Fantasy 9 was a comforting departure from the 7th and 8th installments as well. But, while it sold and reviewed well, Square Enix had yet to tap into the same elements in the two decades since its release. As a result, many see FF9 as the end of an era - the final fantasy of Final Fantasy, or so to speak.
It's this enduring charm, nostalgia, and fan appreciation that has likely spurred on rumors of a potential revival of the game, a possibility that continues to grow by the day, especially after the official announcement of Kingdom Hearts IV.
The timing of the rumors is interesting as well. Square Enix is teasing a "big announcement" for this year. Many believe that it's about Final Fantasy 16, which comes out on June 22. But, what if it's not? The year is positioned to be huge for the Final Fantasy franchise with console ports of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series, Theatrhytm: Final Bar Line, and the possible release of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
Dropping news about the remake of Final Fantasy 9 surely wouldn't hurt anyone, right?
Square Enix has been busy reviving its classic franchises in recent years to mixed results. However, Final Fantasy is a name that you can expect everyone to get on board with, even if it's a divisive title.
The strength of the brand alone is enough to consider thinking about revisiting older Final Fantasy titles. Now that Square Enix has presumably seen positive results from Final Fantasy 7 Remake, it's possible that it's moved on to the next massive remake project.
However, don't get your hopes up for an immediate confirmation. The same source confirms the Final Fantasy 9 Remake is at least two years out.
If we go by the current release timeline of Final Fantasy projects, this would mean that the big release slated for this year is Final Fantasy 16 with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth scheduled for early next year (Square Enix did say Winter 2023, a period that spans from late December 2023 to late March 2024). This leaves the 2025 window wide open for the Final Fantasy 9 Remake. But, of course, this is all speculative.
On the off-chance that Square Enix is remaking Final Fantasy 9, we're hoping it adopts a more streamlined approach that's also more faithful to the original to separate it from the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy.
For now, all eyes are on Square Enix as we await whatever the "big announcement" is going to be.
Regardless of whether it's a Final Fantasy 9 Remake or not, one thing is for sure: it's a great time to be a Final Fantasy fan.