Final Fantasy XV has returned the franchise to the top both with its critical reception and sales.
Publisher Square Enix confirmed today that it has shipped 5 million copies of the action role-playing game in the United States, when you combine digital sales and physical retail. That officially makes FFXV the fastest-selling game in the history of the Final Fantasy series in the U.S. (it debuted here in 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System). That is huge for Square Enix, which has spent a decade developing the game going back to its original reveal as Final Fantasy Versus XIII in 2006. It also shows that the series, which was once considered by many to be the biggest in the world following the release of Final Fantasy VII for the original PlayStation in 1997, still has a huge built-in fan base that will come out to support a new entry if they like it.
FINAL FANTASY XV day one shipment and digital sales exceed 5 million units, becoming the fastest selling game in the history of the series!
— Square Enix USA (@SquareEnixUSA) December 1, 2016
Final Fantasy XV is also one of the best games in the series in some time, according to GamesBeat reviewer Mike Minotti. It is one of the rare games to feature a warm and affectionate relationship between male characters, and that alone sets it apart both from many of the other releases this year and other Final Fantasy games.
With the game finding a huge audience coming out of launch day, Square Enix is also likely in a strong position to continue making large, blockbuster video games in 2017 and beyond. The company has had a strong year with surprise Game of the Year contender (in my opinion) Hitman, impressive Minecraft clone Dragon Quest: Builders, a delightful “My first Final Fantasy” with World of Final Fantasy, and the solid Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. With Final Fantasy capping off the year for the company, it is likely feeling confident about continuing its current strategy, which involves massive releases for console and PC combined with a variety of mobile spinoffs like Deus Ex Go, Final Fantasy Type-0 Online, and Heavenstrike Rivals.