FFXIV:ARR is celebrating its 8th year of activity, and players are enjoying the long lasting experience of the world’s most popular MMO.

Final Fantasy XIV, the second MMORPG installation of Square Enix’s massively popular Final Fantasy, today celebrated the 8th Anniversary of its reboot. The acclaimed MMO was released eight years ago today, with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn launching to critical acclaim almost a decade ago.

In 2010, Final Fantasy XIV initially launched to mass criticism. The unfavorable release lead to massive negative reviews and placed a black mark on Square Enix’s premier RPG brand. However, under the careful directorship of creative director Naoki Yoshida, FFXIV was relaunched in 2013.

The Big Reboot

Under the hugely ambitious revamp, Yoshida oversaw the simultaneous sunsetting of the active FFXIV game, while relaunching a brand new, build from the ground up MMO in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. This week marks the 8th anniversary of the rebooted MMO.

Going from a dismal 49 Metascore on Metacritic to an 83 for the relaunched ARR is possibly the greatest turnaround in video game history. ARR and the work that Yoshida achieved in FFXIV has become a benchmark for all games which have a shaky launch.

FFXIV's rise from average to spectacular
FFXIV's rise from average to spectacular

To celebrate the Anniversary, FFXIV ran its annual Rising event. The event memorializes those lost in the Calamity, an in-universe event that explains the reboot of the game. In it, players were able to talk directly to the in-game avatar of Naoki Yoshida, who thanked them for their continued support of the game.

FFXIV's 11 Years of Success

As FFXIV enters its 11th year of activity, it sits just three months away from its fifth and most major expansion: Endwalker. This expansion is set to conclude the storylines which were first set in place in 2013’s A Realm Reborn, and mark the conclusion to a major story arc. 

What’s more, FFXIV has seen massive growth in the past few months. With the seeming failure of WoW in the wake of massive criticism against developer Activision Blizzard, FFXIV has rapidly become the world’s most popular MMO. In August, it was the most popular game on Twitch, while in the MMO category alone, it has quickly become the most-streamed game in the genre.

While Square Enix remains committed to FFXIV for the time being, this anniversary comes on the precipice of the biggest story shift in the game’s history since A Realm Reborn. What happens in the next few months will shape the world’s most popular MMO for years to come.