Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI logo

Developer(s) Square
Publisher(s) Playstation 2
Sony Computer Entertainment
Microsoft Windows/Xbox 360
Square Enix
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
JP May 16, 2002
NA March 23, 2002
Microsoft Windows
JP November 2002
NA October 28, 2003
EU September 17, 2004
Xbox 360
NA April 18, 2006
JP April 20, 2006
EU April 20, 2006
Genre Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Game modes

Final Fantasy XI, also known as Final Fantasy XI: Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) as a part of the Final Fantasy video game series. It debuted in Japan on the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console on May 16, 2002 and was released for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers on November 5 of the same year. It was then localized and released for the North American market on October 28, 2003. An Xbox 360 version was released worldwide in April 2006 as the system's first MMORPG. Firmware update 1.31 for the PlayStation 3 allows a user to install the game using the PlayStation 2 discs.

The story is set in Vana'diel, where various tasks can be performed to improve a character's powers or to complete quests. Five races are available to guide through the storylines of the 3 nations, the 4 expansion packs, and 2 sets of Dynamis realms. There are also numerous sub-plots, stories that players can experience while playing the hundreds of quests available in the game.

In January 2004, Square Enix announced that a total of over 500,000 users using more than 1 million characters were playing the game. As of 2006 there are currently between 200,000 and 300,000 active players logging in per day and the game is the dominant MMORPG in the Japanese market. Three expansions for the game have been released since 2002, with a fourth planned for November 20, capitalizing on the game's success. Square Enix, as well as other sources, have reported that the number of users continues to grow at a steady pace.


Final Fantasy XI is unlike previous titles in the series in many ways. The player is able to customize their characters in limited ways, including race, gender, face, hair color, body size, job, and allegiance. Unlike previous Final Fantasy games, all battles occur in real time, and enemies are no longer randomly encountered.


Players have the option of using any combination of a keyboard, mouse, and controller to play Final Fantasy XI. If a player using PS2 or Xbox 360 does not have a keyboard, the game also provides a method for him or her to communicate within the game (although it would be significantly slower than having a hardware keyboard input). The heads-up display in "Final Fantasy XI" consists of a log window, menus, and several game information elements. The log window at the bottom of the screen displays system messages, battle messages, and text input by other players. Players may choose to filter what appears in the log window. "Menus" allow the player to access different commands, status windows, and configuration options. As well as the main menu, which contains the majority of the options for the game, the "action command menu" appears just above the log window and gives the player several options to interact with the game world. Several menu options are available through the use of keyboard shortcuts as well.

Basic Gameplay

Gameplay in Final Fantasy XI consists of two major components: quests, which do not advance the main storyline but fill out the game's fantasy world, and missions, through which the main storyline of the game is told. Quests may be undertaken for various rewards. Missions are undertaken to advance in rank, to access new areas and gain new privileges and to advance the various storylines in the game. Each nation has its own set of missions, which a player must complete to advance in rank; a player may only complete missions for his home country.

Battles in Final Fantasy XI take place in the same world in which players move around, unlike previous Final Fantasy games in which a battle would take place in a new screen. Monsters within the game operate under a system of "claim" and "enmity". A monster is "claimed" the moment a player performs any offensive action upon it, including but not limited to attacks, usage of offensive job abilities and casting an (offensive) spell. With some exceptions, once a monster is claimed it can only be attacked by players in the party or alliance of the player that claimed it. A monster will focus its attention on whoever has built up the most enmity. Players have a number of means at their disposal, from spells to abilities to items, to both build up enmity and shed it.

Although there was originally no system allowing players to compete in battle with each other, it was eventually added to the game. The Player vs. Player (PvP) system is known as Conflict. Players may only compete directly against one another under very specific circumstances. Conflict happens only in "matches" that players enter by their own consent; players cannot attack one another outside of these circumstances. There are two types of Conflict matches. In Ballista, the objective is to score points by throwing a rock, or "Petra," into a castle-like construction called a "Rook." In Brenner, a newer PvP type, players must steal the opposing team's flame and place them in "Flammen-Brenner" on their side. By maintaining these flames, points are awarded. The team with the most points by the end of the round is announced the winner.