Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is Best on Switch and Xbox One

Even after thirteen years, Final Fantasy XII still remains one of the most underrated entries in the franchise. That’s not to say it hasn’t got its time in the limelight, though, as the remaster of the PlayStation 2 classic first occurred two years ago, with a PC version out last year. Heck, the starting city of Rabanastre, alongside fan favorite Fran, both made significant appearances in the 24-player raid of Final Fantasy XIV. With all of that, Final Fantasy XII hasn’t breached a console outside of Sony, at least until now. Square Enix has released both the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions of the game, and they’re here to impress.

Both platforms are aimed at similar, but different crowds. For those with an Xbox One X, this is the only console that allows for smooth 60fps gameplay, whereas the big gimmick for the Switch version is that you’re able to play it on the go. We took a look at both versions, and while we weren’t entirely surprised by the results, it still had us pleased at the end of the day.

For starters, Xbox One X does run magically at a high framerate. In terms of pure graphics, is it better than PC? No. As you can see in a select few screenshot comparisons below from early on in the game, there’s deeper shadowing on models, textures (especially ground) can show more detail and there’s the capabilities of hitting a resolution upwards of 4K whereas, as far as we can tell, the Xbox One X version is at 1080p. With that said, even though you don’t need the beefiest of PCs to run Final Fantasy XII, if you only primarily game on a console, the Xbox One X version is the way to go if you’re looking for pure graphical fidelity.

(PC on Left, Xbox One X in the Middle, Nintendo Switch on Right)

Now for the Nintendo Switch version. Because this platform isn’t as powerful as other consoles, some of the visuals elements have been toned down. In comparison to the other versions, textures (more so on the environment) and anisotropic filtering are slightly worse. Shadows also take a hit, being a much lower resolution and not being as prominent. With that said, what players will no doubt be coming to Final Fantasy XII on Switch for is the mobility and it works flawlessly. We did run into a couple framerate drops while docked, and the resolution is below the console’s capabilities, but we didn’t notice any apparent issues in handheld mode.

If you played Final Fantasy XII on PlayStation 4 or PC already, there’s not a whole lot of reason to double, triple or even quadruple dip on this Remaster if you’re purely coming in from a visual aspect. Xbox One has the capabilities of being the best console version due to the higher framerate, and the Nintendo Switch can be played on the go, but that’s about it. With that said, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age does offer some additional features that you (currently) don’t see on other platforms. This includes the ability to reset your jobs later on, additional Gambit sets and an improved New Game+ that allows you to carry over your party members from Level 90 with most of their items. Technically this makes these two the definitive versions to play, but there’s always the possibility that they will be patched into the other editions at a later date. Regardless, it’s impressive what Square Enix has done with both releases as you can experience Final Fantasy XII in a whole new light.

(Xbox One X is Left, Nintendo Switch is Right)