Final Fantasy XV is an open world action-RPG. You play as Prince Noctis who tries to reclaim the throne with the help of his friends Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto.
Pro Impressive visuals
Final Fantasy XV is an epic game that knows how to put on a show with its visuals. Some of its best moments are visually awe-inspiring, standing out from other games through sheer ambition and huge proportions, like fighting boss battles against enormous foes. Even during regular battles, if you're at low HP and you need to finish off a group of enemies, you can summon a giant, god-like being to instakill the enemies at the cost of not gaining any experience points. The summon animation for the thunder god Ramuh is amazing, with the whole sky shifting to a violet lightning storm as the huge deity comes down from the sky, using his scepter to rain down crazy amounts of lightning to kill everything in your path. Instances like these are more of the norm instead of the exception, making for some unforgettable scenes throughout the game.
Pro Lets you choose which weapons to use to best suit your playstyle
There is a wide range of weapons that Noctis can equip, such as greatswords, lances, short swords and even guns. Four different weapons can be equipped to Noctis at once and when in battle, the weapon being used can be switched with the press of a button. This allows for you to select weapons that might be beneficial for certain fights, or for a preferred playstyle, and switch between them with ease when the situation calls for it.
Pro Great interaction between the main characters
It was enjoyable to watch how the main characters dealt with the story as it progressed from fixing a broken car on the way to a wedding, to avenging the destruction of their home to eventually saving the world and dealing with the issues along the way. What stuck out the most though was the interactions between the characters while just playing the game. They will make comments while fighting battles, banter with each other while riding in the car or on chocobos. They even make comments when you are trying to catch fish. These small interactions between the characters were a great detail is not always found in other games.
Pro Powerful soundtrack
The soundtrack in this game is grand and inspiring, going the extra mile to help plenty of moments stick out in your memory alongside the music. The prologue alone gives a great preview of a fiery level you'll reach later in the story, playing the song "Hellfire" with an energized chorus singing over a strong mix of percussion instruments. Music for regular boss fights, called "Omnis Lacrima", is as whimsical and intense, with a determined chorus singing in Latin over frenzied violins, pianos, and brass instruments. Certain story sequences are heartfelt with "Love Lost" playing in the background, featuring wind instruments and pianos that are strong enough to affect you emotionally. The music overall does a great job of elevating the plot with its huge sense of scale and emotional impact.
Con The magic system is a downgrade from previous Final Fantasy games
In most Final Fantasy games, magic spells are unlocked by leveling a character up or acquiring them through other means, such as nodes on a level grid, equipping gear that can teach a spell, or from items found in the game, such as Final Fantasy VII's materia system. Final Fantasy XV reduces the magic casting to collecting fire, ice and thunder energy from nodes near campsites, and them filling up flasks with the energy in various combos, and sometimes drops from enemies, to be able to create a spell. The ability to add what you want to a flask does allow for the creation of strong spells or spells that end up being cast multiple times, but it ends up being limited by the resources you have.
The worst part though about the magic system is that casting the spells is done by throwing the flask like a grenade causing an explosion of the spell, damaging friend and foe alike. The only way to prevent friendly fire is the Ring of Resistance accessory, which is obtained from paid DLC. It should also be noted that the ring only protects from the initial affects of the spell, which means the party can still be paralyzed from a thunder spell if they are standing in water.
Con The world can feel empty at times
The majority of Final Fantasy XV takes place in the area known as Lucis. Lucis is comprised of one main town, a beach resort, and various little outposts that mainly serve as places to get food, gas for the car, rest, and obtain hunts. The lack of multiple large towns makes the world feel rather empty at times compared to previous Final Fantasy games. The feeling of emptiness is further enhanced by some areas having few monsters encounters while exploring.
Con Core character development for Noctis' companions isn't in the main story
The weak story in Final Fantasy XV links back to Noctis' companions--Ignis, Gladio, and Prompto--and how you won't get to know the guys all that well unless you play the paid DLC. You have to reach certain points in the story before these DLC stories are available, and without the context in this content, you won't have a solid understanding of the main characters beyond the tropes they represent. Aside from a few heartwarming moments in the story, it's all too easy to dismiss Prompto as a happy-go-lucky guy with little depth to him. It isn't until you play through his DLC, Episode Prompto, that you get to know him in ways that should have been in the main story. It's a poor business decision that prevents the story from standing on its own two feet.
Con Weak story
Because the Final Fantasy series is known for its great stories, it's frustrating that the one here is badly executed. There are a lot of payoffs in the plot that the writers intended to be dramatic and emotional, and yet you probably won't feel the full impact of them since the buildup to those moments is lacking. There's too much missing with Final Fantasy XV's storytelling, all but abandoning the plot to land on its face by the end credits.