A quarter century later, Final Fantasy 7 is no longer locked to 15 fps on PC

The city of Midgar viewed from above.
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Originally released on PlayStation in 1997, Final Fantasy VII was within a year ported to Windows PCs and released in June 1998. It's a bit long-in-the-tooth, sure, but has always had a dedicated community of modders doing bits and bobs: one nut has proven especially tough to crack, however. The game is locked at 15 frames per second.

This is a particular problem with the original PC version because of the UI, which ran at a higher framerate in the original PlayStation version and also factors into certain later attacks, such as Cait Sith's little fruit machine wheels. The PC version is generally regarded as inferior for this reason, and the other problem is that the game is relatively speaking extremely old, it represents Square's first real attempt at 3D world-building, and essentially it's a nightmare to mod: It took modders years to build the most 'basic' tools and the commitment required means it's not the most attractive thing to work on, if you like to show results.

Anyway: Speaking of which, move over Final Fantasy VII Remake! Thanks to the work of the FFNx modding project, the original Final Fantasy 7 has been modded to run at 60 fps. 

"We have been asked as a group pretty much daily for this mod," says Tsunamods in the above video, before showing off the game before and after. It's important to bear in mind that he's also using a whole bunch of other mods here on top of the 60FPS mod (if you're wondering why things like the UI and character models look a bit odd).

The 60FPS mod is in public release, though the team behind it are keen to emphasise this is a beta release and it's still squashing bugs. The above video contains a download link for the mod in description, and from around 9:30 walks you through the installation process.

I thought I loved Final Fantasy 7, but this modder is basically on the verge of weeping as he watches it running at 60FPS. I'm not an enormous fan of some of the other visual mods going on here, but put those to one side and there's no question the game looks a hell of a lot smoother now. If Final Fantasy 7 Remake only ended up slightly ruining those childhood memories, this looks like the best possible alternative.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."