Final Fantasy XVI[b] is a 2023 action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix. The sixteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series, it was released for the PlayStation 5 as a timed exclusive. The game features segmented open environments and an action-based combat system involving melee and magic-based attacks. There are recurring series features including Chocobos and summoned monsters called Eikons, which are both fought as bosses and used through channeling their power in combat.
Final Fantasy XVI is set in the twin continents of Valisthea, currently divided between six nations who hold power through access to magical Crystals and Dominants, humans who act as hosts for each nation’s Eikon. Tensions between the nations escalate as a magical drought dubbed the Blight begins consuming the land. Clive Rosfield, guardian to his younger brother Joshua, witnesses his kingdom destroyed and becomes involved in the growing conflict between Valisthea’s nations and the secret power behind the war tied to the dark Eikon Ifrit.
Beginning concept development in 2015, the staff included Naoki Yoshida as producer, Hiroshi Takai as main director, artists Hiroshi Minagawa and Kazuya Takahashi, Kazutoyo Maehiro as creative director and lead writer, Masayoshi Soken as composer, and Capcom veteran Ryota Suzuki as battle designer. Yoshida aimed for a dark fantasy storyline that would have broad appeal and reinvigorate the series. Its production and promotion were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and later by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Upon release, Final Fantasy XVI was well-received by critics. Praise was given to its story, characters, music, and combat system. Criticism focused on its lack of deeper role-playing elements, framerate issues for its performance mode, and side quest design. The game sold over 3 million units during its first week after launch. It is the second-best-selling video game for the PlayStation 5. A Windows version is in development.