After almost a three year hiatus, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn —Square Enix's second go after botching the first attempt in 2010—is releasing on Aug. 27, 2013 on the PC and PlayStation 3.
A Realm Reborn is Square Enix's do-over of the original Final Fantasy XIV, which we criticized in our review as being riddled with bugs and glitches, having an indecipherable user interface and just being an overall mess.
Game Director Naoki Yoshida's solution was to wipe FFXIV from existence with a meteor shower and build Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn from the smoking ashes of its predecessor. A Realm Reborn has an entirely re-written server structure and graphics engine, new jobs, both 1v1 and large scale PVP support, and an overhauled interface.
You don't need to buy the infamous, three-year-old version of Final Fantasy XIV to play A Realm Reborn. But if you did happen to accidentally buy it, then A Realm Reborn will be available to you for free.
Pre-orders are already expensive gambles with little payoff, so we urge you to wait for our review of A Realm Reborn before putting any money on it. But if you're really hungry for Final Fantasy content of any kind, you can snag it for $29.99 along with a $12.99/ £7.69 / €10.99 monthly fee.
Those who want to double down on their gamble can grab the collector's edition for $69.99 on the Square Enix Online Store . The higher price tag will net you an 80-page art book, a development video, an album of songs from Final Fantasy composers, and a few other goodies. But again, proceed at your own risk.
Yoshida's bluntness about FF XIV's failures and his goals for the game are promising, but we'll have wait until August to see if his promises ring true.