ConclusionFinal Fantasy XV brings fresh fodder for Fantasy Series players on the PC, on top of the recently released remastered titles, which were of mixed quality. This PC port is decent (not perfect) and shows that Square Enix did take their porting work seriously. Gameplay is good, with a vast open world to explore even though the new combat system seems to focus more on fast-paced action combat than refined tactics. The story is alright and ironically picks up only in the more linear parts towards the end of the game. Witcher 3 is the reference for how awesome sidequests should be done—Final Fantasy XV is not even close. I enjoyed progressing through the main story much more than doing side quests. Overall, the game is definitely worth picking up if you are a Final Fantasy fan and haven't played FFXV on a console yet.
Graphics quality is top notch, definitely among the top 10 for what we've seen in PC gaming. Vehicles are incredibly beautiful, as are the models and textures of the main characters and NPCs. Once you progress through the game, you will encounter some low-poly models and low-res textures in the world, but these are not a huge deal. The optional 4K texture pack is a welcome addition even though it weighs in at 70 GB, most of which is due to 4K replacements for cutscenes. "Only" 10.4 GB of those 70 GB are actual high-res textures. The big issue with the texture pack is that the draw distance for these improved textures is really low, so as you walk up to an object or a wall, its texture will become blurry before the high-res version pops in at the last moment, which can be more distracting than just having normal-res textures, especially during cutscenes. This is something Square Enix should address as soon as possible. After playing through most of the game, I have to say that the keyboard and mouse controls are alright, but they will take some time to get used to, just like the new combat system, which feels overwhelmingly complicated at first. Keyboard remapping options are available, but why the menu's navigation doesn't support a mouse puzzles me.
In terms of settings, Square Enix has covered most bases. The only missing options are field of view adjustment, borderless windowed mode, and an option to completely disable the FPS limiter (which can be done by manually editing the config file). Graphics card requirements at the highest settings are demanding, but not overly so. A GTX 1060 will almost get you 60 FPS at 1080p, but you had better have a GTX 1070 Ti for 1440p. Achieving 60 FPS at 4K will be difficult with the highest settings since the GTX 1080 Ti only gets 44 FPS here. The game features a bunch of NVIDIA Gameworks technologies, so it's not surprising to see NVIDIA cards do better relative to their AMD counterparts, but the differences are similar to what we've seen in other titles.
VRAM usage of the game looks massive at first with 6–8 GB at the highest settings, but our performance numbers show that even cards with smaller memory amounts will be fine. The only scenario where VRAM size has a significant effect on performance is 4K with the high-res texture pack installed, on cards that have 3–4 GB VRAM. It seems the game engine will load as many textures and models into VRAM as possible, even if those will not be used for rendering any time soon. This behavior is similar to the Call of Duty series, for example.
As you move throughout the world, especially when driving in a vehicle, the game will aggressively stream data from your disk at rates of well above 100 MB/s, which means that you had better install the game on an SSD if you want to avoid stuttering as you move through the game world quickly.
We also tested multi-core CPU performance scaling at various settings and are happy to report that the game is able to make proper use of many cores. What we also noticed is that the game does use a fair bit of CPU power since FPS goes down quickly on configurations with fewer cores/threads. For solid gameplay, I would recommend a quad-core CPU (can be without HT). If you have a weaker CPU, tweak the graphics settings because reduced settings will reduce the CPU load required to render each frame.