Final Fantasy 14's low-poly grapes may have left us, but blocky food lives on in Dawntrail and I ranked them all because why not

A Vanu Vanu munches on a soft taco
(Image credit: Square Enix)

My beloved, it's been 128 weeks since I last saw you. Almost 900 days since I last witnessed your blocky stature… shining not as a bunch of low-polygon grapes, but as a gorgeous, fruity berry crystal. Which, admittedly, did look a bit naff.

It's actually kind of hard to believe that it's been two-and-a-half years since Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker's grapes went viral. Their extreme low quality was both revered and teased, before Square Enix very quietly did maintenance on a grape. It was such a minor thing, but it kickstarted a bit of a love and appreciation for all things virtual, edible and delightfully blocky. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm also an appreciator of some ridiculously detailed videogame food—I still find myself getting all mouth-watery over Final Fantasy 15's meals, and it feels illegal to skip any of Monster Hunter's incredible culinary scenes. But there's something so deeply interesting about a stunning game serving up some incredibly crusty provisions. Corners must be cut after all, lest our PCs chug and overheat from the sheer weight of million-polygon spaghetti. But I especially kinda like that raggedy vibe when it comes to food, something so reminiscent of older games that continues to live on.

So, of course, when a fellow journalist asked me during the Dawntrail media tour: "Did you see all the low-poly food?" I immediately ran over to my station to nab as much footage of the chunky culinary delights as I could before the preview session wrapped up. This is true journalism, I told myself, spending almost as much time dutifully photographing tacos as I did playing one of the new classes. Now I'm here, sharing its beauty with all of you, in a loose ranking format because I needed some reason to be weirdly giddy about these things. 

Honorary mention: This bartender 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

As a couple fellow media folk gathered behind me while I studied each and every polygonal platter, one couldn't help but notice the bartender's watchful gaze. I don't blame him for keeping an eye on me, to be fair. Here I am ceremoniously judging a spread that I, and I'm going to go out on a limb here, assume he prepared entirely by himself. I'd probably be constantly giving me the side-eye too, if I was hovering, filming and photographing sweetcorn and melon. Sorry for not buying anything mate, I will next time. Promise. 

Fifth place: Condiments? Alcohol?  

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Not technically food, I know, but I also can't quite discern what these are supposed to be. A giant bottle of green chilli sauce, mayonnaise and ketchup? Three rogue optics in the middle of the bar, offering a free-for-all on some of Tural's finest booze? They're also located behind the bar, further deepening the mystery. I have spent entirely too much time attempting to figure out just what these are supposed to be, and I fear if I spend much longer fretting over it I'll turn to dust. Feel free to debate among yourselves. 

Fourth place: Oddly proportioned fruit platter 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

I can spy melons, pineapple chunks served in a pineapple, kiwis, and oranges, but a very brief debate broke out among the media folk as to whether the giant purple orbs were frighteningly large grapes or miniature plums. I'm firmly in Camp Grape, personally. Maybe the maintenance Square Enix did on the ones in Endwalker caused some new, mutant grape variant to emerge, or maybe the grapes in Tural are naturally giant for whatever reason. In general, the fruits all appear to be very large in relation to the rest of the goodies. Maybe there's just something about the soil and tropical climate of Tural that makes for some huge, juicy fruit. Either way, I want to bite into the suspicious purple orb stat.

Shoutout to the fruity cocktails nearby, too. Oh to be a Mamool Ja sipping a pina colada out of a hollowed-out pineapple. A woman can dream.

Third place: Flat nachos 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

For some reason the nachos plate is giving me major Sims vibes. This looks like someone stood next to a fridge and waved their arms around before bellowing a hearty "Oh feebee lay!" and spawning these tortillas from the back of beyond. They're looking a little bland to me, and a little thin for my liking. I'm a fan of a thick, crunchy tortilla chip personally, so I'm not sure how happy me or my Warrior of Light would be munching on these. It doesn't look like a huge portion either which, after a long day of adventuring, I absolutely would want to demolish an entire family bag of these bad boys. 

On the plus side, the accompanying dips do look rather nice. I wanna try the green one.

Second place: Big fat tacos, big fat tacos 

Did I just want an excuse to make that reference? Absolutely, especially since these tacos seem rather small in size compared to some of the other foods on display. These appear to share the same sauces as the nachos, but this time the platter is generous enough to give me one of each rather than making me choose. They're definitely soft tacos, but I love how utterly stiff and stale the tortillas themselves actually look. They're jaggedy and some are even rigidly upright, seemingly transformed into a crunchy shell taco. They look so beautifully wafer thin, and the indistinguishable fillings within are the real icing on the cake. Thumbs down for seemingly no low-poly salad inside, though.

There is actually a comparably high-definition, much bigger, big fat taco being consumed by a Mamool Ja and Vanu Vanu that I spotted. I have included it here for your viewing pleasure, but haven't included it in the (very important) rankings as I've deemed it too good for the battle of the low-poly foods.

First place: These giant kebab skewers 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Now this is what I'm talking about. The epitome of cool-ass low-poly food. These kebabs are nothing short of glorious. The thing that really clinches it for me is what I can only assume to be a giant block of corn on the cob skewed right in the middle of a couple of them. It almost looks like a Minecraft block, and I applaud whoever is mad enough to have half a corn on the cob as a stackable ingredient rather than as an accompanying side dish to the skewer. Personally I prefer my skewers with ingredients that are easier to grab off and eat.

The other skewers are looking great too, of course—I particularly enjoy the skewers that look like nothing but meatballs or cocktail sausages stacked on top of each other—but the veggie ones really do help take these bad boys to the top spot. 

By the Twelve, I'm hungry now. Blocky bite to eat, anyone?

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.