Final Fantasy is one of the most well-recognised series in gaming. Between the fourteen main series games, a number of extra sequels (such as X-2 itself) and remakes, not to mention the huge Kingdom Hearts series, Square Enix have always been able to convince fans that Final Fantasy is a series which has far more to offer.

Many new gamers will never have experienced the Final Fantasy series, as it was in its prime before they became gamers. The series had its main run between 1987 and 2002, which is where the best titles in the series were found. In light of the upcoming reboot of the main series games (after the conclusion of the XIII storyline) with Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix have released a remastered collection of both FFX and FFX-2 to give gamers who have never experienced the series a chance to see what it is like, and also to offer die-hard fans a remastered version of two games they love.

Final Fantasy X introduced many new things to the FF series when it originally released in 2001. It was the first game in the series to include voice-acting, rather than text-dialogue alone. Character customisation was also added, with the leveling system having been replaced with a more flexible one. However, as with any remaster, first time players must remember, this game was made over 10 years ago. This means some of the aspects are not going to match up to the standards of today’s games, and as such, you must treat it as a classic. If you do so, you will be rewarded with a very enjoyable game and story.

I won’t be going into the depths of the story and gameplay elements. Many players will already be aware of everything the game has to offer from their multiple playthroughs of it, while new players, I assume, will wish to explore and enjoy this beautiful title for the first time. The battle system in the game is simplified (in respect to previous games), and is easy to get to know, while still hiding more complex quirks under the hood. Players new to the series should have no problem grasping the title, and need not worry, no knowledge of previous games in the series is needed.

Anyone who played these games back at the time of its original release will receive bursts of nostalgia as they replay through the remastered versions. The dialogue and story will come shooting back to you, as you play. Both games are true gems, and should definitely be replayed by old players, and enjoyed for the first time by new players. Games of this calibre are rare to find in today’s world of gaming.

The HD remaster which has been given to both X and X-2 is outstanding. The main characters all look great, as it is clear that their 3D models have had a lot of work done. Unfortunately, some of the lesser characters haven’t had quite as impressive a facelift, but look better nonetheless. The world, environment and backgrounds have all been given a polish, and overall, these games are looking better than ever. Square Enix have done an excellent job in pumping some extra life into these titles, bringing them to audiences old and new in their best ever form.

The PS3 version is smooth, vivid and plays well. The framerate runs perfectly and the game appears beautifully on screen. However, some of the smaller elements and details of the game look of lower quality. It doesn’t damage the experience, but is noticeable at times. The PS Vita version has been reported as suffering from framerate dips and skips, however, we cannot verify this for sure, as we were provided with the PS3 version for review.

The international versions of the original games are included in this remaster, which means they both include some extra content over the original North American releases. Extra bosses and dungeons are just some of a range of additional content which NA players will be experiencing for the first time. This makes the collection seem even better value for money, and certainly offers a further incentive for old players to return for another play-through.

The soundtracks from the original games have not only been remastered, but remixed as well. While this will upset some fans of the original games, the new music still is great, and offers something a little different. Also, a number of the songs remain almost unchanged, so, the games still hold many of their original elements.

Without a doubt, Final Fantasy X/X-2: HD Remaster is worth purchasing. Even without the remaster, these games are fantastic classics, and are well worth another playthrough. New players will have just as much fun, experiencing these masterpieces for the first time. When you take into account the fact that beautiful, upgraded visuals are thrown into the mix, how could this game not be recommended?