Final Fantasy 16 and Diablo 4 Can Go From Rivals to Allies

By Matt Karoglou

Published 10 hours ago

Final Fantasy 16 and Diablo 4 Game Art

As two of 2023’s most-anticipated releases, Diablo 4 and Final Fantasy 16 are positioned as competitors but actually share a lot in common.

June 2023 is poised to be the busiest month of an already jam-packed year for high-profile game releases. Mere weeks after the release of Diablo 4, Final Fantasy 16 will drop exclusive to the PS5 as yet another long-awaited RPG franchise sequel. Despite being pitted against one another as RPG rivals in the hyper-competitive June release schedule, Final Fantasy 16 and Diablo 4 actually share more in common than might be readily apparent at first glance. Both anticipated entries in long-running and critically acclaimed RPG franchises, Final Fantasy 16 and Diablo 4 also each chart an exciting new course for their respective series by looking to the successes of past entries.

As the developer of Final Fantasy 16 has been candid regarding its desire to largely break from recent tradition, the newest main entry in the series looks to return to the high-fantasy setting of the earliest titles in the franchise. Similarly, Diablo 4 very proudly wears its Diablo 2 inspirations on its sleeve and has also been acknowledged by Blizzard as drawing from the fan-favorite Diablo title for aesthetics and tone after the departure that was Diablo 3. Considering that both games are now firmly in the territory of ARPG with Final Fantasy 16’s abandoning of turn-based combat, the Diablo and Final Fantasy series share more in common than ever before.

As one of the progenitors of Japanese RPG design, Final Fantasy is a series traditionally synonymous with turn-based combat. The last several entries have gradually shifted toward a more action-oriented combat model, turning what was once the archetype of JRPGs into an ARPG. Final Fantasy 16 sees the series finally make the full transition into character action combat similar to Devil May Cry, and the initial impressions indicate that combat director Ryota Suzuki has crafted a satisfying system for fans to sink their teeth into come June 22.

With Diablo 4’s release coming just 3 weeks before the release of Final Fantasy 16, fans of ARPGs have an entire month of ARPG experiences laid out before them. Even though the combat of Diablo 4 is less direct-input and combo-oriented than what is in store for fans in Final Fantasy 16, it is still an ARPG through and through. Where Diablo 4 will offer something different to ARPG fans is in the freedom of its class system and the opportunity for players to get creative with their builds. Even though each game is technically competing with one another due to the release schedule, they offer different but complementary experiences for ARPG fans.

Final Fantasy 16, like nearly every other main numbered series entry before it, is a self-contained single-player experience. In contrast, Diablo 4 is an always-online live-service game with drop-in/drop-out co-op. Both games are ARPGs releasing in June, but they offer something completely different to fans. If a player wants to hop into a match with some friends for some hack n’ slash and looting, Diablo 4 has them more than covered. Later in the month, if players are looking for a narrative-driven single-player experience to invest dozens of hours into, Final Fantasy 16 is there to scratch that itch.

Diablo 4’s adoption of the live-service model and reliance on co-op play with friends and strangers alike help to position it as a very different experience from Final Fantasy 16. The PlayStation 5 exclusivity of Final Fantasy 16 means that it will not compete directly with Diablo 4 for a significant portion of players, but the proximity of each game’s release does indicate a need for fans to choose between which title earns their time and money in June. In that respect, they may be rivals, but in how they are returning to their roots and attempting to carve out a new path forward, they might as well be allies.


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The material in this article is written on the basis of another article.

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