World of Final Fantasy Maxima is a celebration of the entire franchise and its absolutely full of references to not just iconic characters but the more niche and forgotten ones too. It re-tools story fragments from most of the games and shapes them into something completely unique and different.

At its core, this game is essentially a monster collecting & battling turn-based RPG similar to games like Pokémon however it's got a stacking gimmick that adds a surprising amount of depth to the combat. It also has the amazing feature of speeding up the combat that I will always appreciate. Leveling up is as simple as battling to gain EXP and each monster has a unique skill tree to unlock more abilities and stat boosts. Nothing crazy but it captures that feel the series is known for.

I need to state that this game has some downright horrible mini-games that, although aren't necessary to complete the story, can lock you out of content that you really want. I found myself missing out on a couple of things I would have really enjoyed having because of how unplayable most of them ended up being, especially when it came to the included Maxima DLC.

This game has a lot of familiar creatures from the Final Fantasy universe, all in beautiful HD and a unique art-style that complements the story and world it has created. Chibi versions of some fan favorite Final Fantasy characters make appearances as well. Worlds are also inspired by locations from various Final Fantasy games. From the well-known Mako Reactors of Final Fantasy VII to the lesser known town of Cornelia from the original game, it pays tribute to the entire series in some way.

The soundtrack is awesome, with some original tracks but mostly remixes of older Final Fantasy themes. I loved hearing new compositions of Final Fantasy IV playing as I was exploring a certain place in the world. It was a pure nostalgia trip, we'll just say. I won't spoil anything for those reading.

This game's story is full of humor and has an incredible self-awareness of how silly some plot points can really be within the series. It never takes itself too seriously, but don't let that fool you. This game has some pretty intense moments as well as you progress through the story.

Overall, I can highly recommend this game as a love letter to fans of the series as a whole. The combat can be a little tiring as there is a lot of it, but it has plenty of depth and experimenting with all the different monsters to make your favorite stacked teams is a lot of fun. The mini-games are mostly unplayable however and the fact that it locks you out of a couple of extras really bothered me. Everything else is wonderful though and you will enjoy your time with this one as I did.