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AbleGamers: Final Fantasy XIV was the most-accessible mainstream game of 2013

Above: The beta test is coming this weekend for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on the PlayStation 4.

Image Credit: Square Enix

If you’re deaf, colorblind, or only have the use of one hand, you can still enjoy Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

The AbleGamers Foundation, which is a nonprofit that lobbies for more accessibility in gaming for those with disabilities, gave out its annual awards for games that are accessible to those with disabilities. The organization recognized the latest Square Enix massively multiplayer online game as the most-accessible mainstream release of the year due to its easy mouse controls and disability-friendly options.

“We are very honored to receive AbleGamers’ Mainstream Game of the Year Award,” Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida said in a statement. “In terms of the visual aspect, especially how color is displayed, we took in the players’ feedback and continuously performed updates so that any player from around the world can enjoy the game, and are firmly committed to this moving forward. I would like to formally express my gratitude to AbleGamers for recognizing our efforts.”

In its previous iterations, Final Fantasy XIV actually had poor mouse controls, but AbleGamers noted that the company was able to make some minor changes to earn a 10 out of 10 on its control-scale assessment scale.

“It was a largely disappointing year for video games,” AbleGamers director Mark Barlet said. “We experienced many games that were overhyped and then found very inaccessible this year. Fortunately, Square Enix delivered a very enjoyable game that is accessible to a large portion of the disabled gaming community. We look forward to them continuing to improve the experience of FFXIV to include the disabled gamers who are still waiting to enjoy such a spectacular accomplishment in mainstream accessible gaming.”

Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO role-playing game that has players living online in a fantasy world. Gamers can join up with others to go on quests and interact socially.

In addition to recognizing Square Enix, AbleGamers also gave The Stanley Parable developer Galactic Café the award for the “Best Accessible Indie Game of the Year.”

The Stanley Parable is a humorous PC adventure game that has players exploring a mundane world while a narrator over explains everything the gamer is doing.

“The Stanley Parable exemplifies the extreme accessibility indie developers can display while leaving the exciting gameplay of traditional video games completely intact,” reads the AbleGamers announcement. “Despite limited manpower and funding, indie developers continue to push the boundaries of accessibility. AbleGamers recognizes Galactic Café’s Stanley Parable as the best of the best in indie game development.”

AbleGamers gave The Stanley Parable an accessibility rating of 9.3 out of 10. Overall, Final Fantasy XIV earned a 9.1 on the same scale. That’s compared to other major games like The Last of Us (4.3 out of 10) and Madden NFL 25 (5.5 out of 10). Games like those often lose points for not providing one-handed control styles or failing to provide full subtitles for everything in the environment.

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