Could this be it? The moment we’ve been waiting for? Are the Final Fantasy pixel remasters heading to the Nintendo Switch? The answer is… maybe.
At last summer’s E3, Square Enix announced plans to release pixel remasters of the early Final Fantasy games as mobile games. This new remastered collection initially included Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, and Final Fantasy V. (Final Fantasy VI is set to arrive soon.)
How to Play The Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters Today
The first five games are already available on your smartphone and Steam — you can download them right now.
During the announcement, Square Enix didn’t make any mention of the pixel remasters coming to consoles.
Seems weird, right?
Why did Square Enix make these games exclusively available on mobile and PC? The Switch seems like the perfect console for them. Well, the answer’s a little more boring than you might think.
The first six Final Fantasy games have been available on mobile for more than 10 years, and maintaining those old versions of the games was becoming more trouble than it was worth.
“Up until the pixel remasters, it was possible to buy FFI – FFVI on both Steam and mobile. Some of these versions were over 10 years old, and we were reaching the limits on maintaining these games in a playable state.”
Elsewhere, Square Enix mentions that the previous versions of the Final Fantasy games came out at different times, and the games didn’t feel very consistent. Remastering the games allowed them to make versions that played, looked, and sounded the same.
(Extra points for creating a consistent experience, Square Enix.)
So… they had to start with Steam and mobile.
Are They Coming to Switch?
If you have a PC or don’t mind playing 40-hour JRPGs on your iPhone, you’re golden! But bringing the Final Fantasy pixel remasters to this generation of consoles — including the Switch — would make playing these games much more convenient and comfortable.
And, finally, we’re hearing rumblings about Switch versions of these classic games. Nintendo Prime has gone on the record to say that the pixel remasters are coming. (I really want him to be right about this.)
Why Bring the Pixel Remasters to Switch
At this point, I’m still considering this a rumor, but it makes so much sense to bring the games to the Switch. The first six installments of Final Fantasy were basically synonymous with Nintendo, but, presumably, for licensing issues, these classic NES and SNES games aren’t available on Nintendo Switch Online.
If these games get ported over, Square Enix will basically be printing money, especially if they’re priced appropriately. The pixel remasters will introduce the early Final Fantasy games to an entirely new generation of gamers who didn’t grow up with the 8- and 16-bit consoles, and they will be a quick shot of nostalgia for the rest of us. And the truth is, even those of us who own other versions of these games, we’ll probably still buy these pixel remasters just to make it easier to play on the go.
And there’s precedent for it. In 2019, Square Enix ported mobile versions of Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, and Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation to Switch. (They even bundled them on a single cartridge!)
The good news is Square Enix has left the door open to bringing the pixel remasters to consoles.
“If there is a desire for it, we may also look into making the games playable on other platforms too.”
Personally, I think there’s very little chance that the Final Fantasy pixel remasters don’t make it to consoles. The real question is, when?