Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy On
  1. 83
    The most beautiful MMORPG currently available. Its environments are second to none, and the character models are elegant and, frankly, a pleasure to behold. The world also feels more alive than any other.
  2. You're not going to find another MMOG that's anywhere near as welcoming as this. While the whole PlayOnline front-end interface might initially seem a cumbersome folly, it's not long before you're wishing all your online games could be handled through such a console-style browser.
  3. Offers great rewards to gamers willing to commit the time to it (player-vs.-player between warring nations is coming in January), and the community is filled with surprisingly helpful players, which makes for a deep, compelling, and perpetual gaming environment.
  4. It has more good points than bad though, at the least it will tide you over until the next generation of MMORPGs hits the streets and at best you will have fun for months, even years to come.
  5. If it weren't for a few titles like "City Of Heroes" taking the genre in interesting new directions, we'd find it far easier to recommend this more traditional life-consuming abyss of a game.
  6. Graphically, the game is a masterpiece. It is, without hyperbole, the most gorgeous MMORPG I have ever played. Characters look richly detailed, and the environment seems alive.
  7. MMORPG fans should find a deep game with a versatile job system and an detailed universe, and open-minded Final Fantasy fans should enjoy the Final Fantasy nuances and great multiplayer gameplay.
  8. You don't buy any MMORPG lightly, least of all this one. It imperiously demands massive chunks of your time, patience and dedication but the rewards are commensurately high. The fierce sense of satisfaction as your fame grows and coffers swell is hard to match. [PC Gamer UK]
  9. In all, the pros of Final Fantasy XI greatly outweigh the cons. The graphics, job and skill system, as well as the overall polish make it an enjoyable experience.
  10. 85
    It's beautiful, it's well-designed, and I can't wait to spend more time in it.
  11. Perhaps the most annoying thing in the game was the focus on gaining experience.
  12. One of those games that will probably appeal to any RPG fan, simply by the sheer scope of Vana’Diel and its ever-changing world.
  13. Naturally wanting to be played with a PS2 joypad, the controls are difficult to use and can’t be changed, although a secondary keymap allows for the more familiar [W], [A], [S], [D] combination.
  14. An online RPG that manages to break the mold, if just barely--but, actually, that's no mean feat.
  15. 80
    Things are only going to get better as they add new content, so you can expect to see this game living a long and healthy life.
  16. Overall, the game does feel rather slow in comparison to overall MMORPGs I have played, but I is still addicting. [Jan 2004, p.154]
  17. It could be compared to "Morrowind" in its depth and scope, but the real people that fill the town squares and gathering halls give Final Fantasy XI a living soul that Bethesda’s hallmark title never had.
  18. 80
    While Final Fantasy XI doesn't currently offer quite as much variety and depth as competing games --especially on the PC -- its superb graphics, sound, and dedicated community make it a match for the competition.
  19. There is a tremendous community established that is very helpful for the most part, and nothing quite surpasses the feeling of adventuring with friends throughout a world as vast as the one Square-Enix has put together here.
  20. FFXI manages to mend the idea of a persistent online community with a story, graphics, and an intuitive interface that begs to be played when other responsibilities rear their ugly head.
  21. Playboy
    It's so engaging that fans may never leave the house, much less visit a theater again. [Dec 2003, p.44]
  22. PC Gamer
    A better version of everything the MMORPG community has cooked up so far, and more. [Feb 2004, p.60]
  23. Computer Gaming World
    Square took the best things about single-player console RPGs and applied them to an MMO - a world densely populated by talkative NPCs, interesting, well-conceived quests, and a whole lot of visual gloss. [Feb 2004, p.84]
  24. Computer Games Magazine
    Because of the high reliance on other people, diplomacy is a coveted real-world skill as well, and those who can use it wisely always have the most fun. [Feb 2004, p.62]
  25. Play Magazine
    Online RPGs are not supposed to have characters that look this good, nor are they supposed to have the sort of atmospheric brilliance exhibited here. [Dec 2003, p.90]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 171 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 171
  1. Z
    Feb 11, 2010
    I don't know about many others, but I have played FFXI since 2004 and I've seen just about everything you can see in the game. The I don't know about many others, but I have played FFXI since 2004 and I've seen just about everything you can see in the game. The game started out slow, thankfully having friends to play with that I can talk to helps out a lot when you can team up to do partying. The end game starts out very brutal to people new to it. It makes the victory all the better. The game is a very rewarding experience if you have the time to play it. Which I know many people could not devote to it due to other responsibilities. I've tried many Mmos since to see if there was anything that could take me away, and WoW had my attention while I was playing final (Yes dual boxed in both games at times) for about 4 months before I got a character up to 77 and then got bored with it. I also have many other 60 + but the game never really grabbed me. Nor did any of the other mmo's I had played. My point is FFXI is a good game to play if you do have someone to play with you or at least get footing in the game with, yes it is a grind but so is any other game to get good at it. The only real complaint I hear even from people that play the game is lack of pvp, and it's understandable seeing what it could possibly turn into with the auto translating problem as well. Otherwise for the game being as old as it is, it's still a well made game that is enjoyable and still very rewarding to newer players. Full Review »
  2. TurffieL
    Dec 21, 2009
    Masochistic. Honestly it is just that; the game was heavily created around community when it first released. Don't get me wrong MMOs are Masochistic. Honestly it is just that; the game was heavily created around community when it first released. Don't get me wrong MMOs are suppose to be about people helping one another; but when you start forcing people to do just about everything together plus throw in grinding and deleveling, those are ingredients for disaster. From levels 1-12 that took around 8 hours to gain. After that you are off to the dunes (that is if you could safely make it there. No you can not ride a Chocobo there; because the license to ride one is level 20). Once there, depending on server you might have a long wait for a party. Back then if you happened to be half way to the next level while other party members were only at 10,100 or even 300 into a level you would not be considered into a party. Why? Because after you have leveled your newly gained leveled just half others exp while you wanted to gain an exp buffer. If the people allowed you to stay and dwarf their exp you would be considered lucky. It would be rather hard to find another party with in your level and exp range. Thus started the waiting game. To which people decided to quit, tried to solo on their own or simply play Beastmaster. Adding insult to injury Chains of Promathia also frustrated people. It was hard to find people; let alone wanting to be picky about what kind of people you wanted helping you do missions for that expansion pack. People weren't willing to help out with missions if you weren't popular in one level another. During my 1 year and 11 months absents the game introduced Fields of Valor which introduced training Regime. Which is very nice when one can not find a party or they do not have time to stand around to wait for an invite. With players running around occupying areas leveling their adventuring fellow and low spawn rates it makes it rather hard to enjoy using the field manual pages to gain exp better. Can't really complain, but better spawn rate could fix that issue. If field manual isn't one's cup of tea then level sync can help with find a party; without worry about dwarfing the rest of the party's exp. Looking at these things and noticing how nice they are and a welcome to the game, it makes a person wonder; why wasn't this here before? Had it been there before WoW wouldn't exactly be tooting their own horn about the massive amount of players. Full Review »
  3. DanD
    Dec 16, 2009
    This game is recommended for gamers who have no life. The gameplay and the interface is great and so is the community; but the amount of time This game is recommended for gamers who have no life. The gameplay and the interface is great and so is the community; but the amount of time that you'll have to devote to this game just isn't worth it. I will say this though: FFXI is alot more fun and in-depth than anything that I can compare it to. I just don't like how it consumes years of your life to get anywhere in the story. Full Review »