Final Fantasy XVI: The Rising Tide DLC Review

Returning to the beautiful but devastated land of Valisthea in The Rising Tide DLC after some time away was nothing short of invigorating. I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoyed Final Fantasy XVI’s robust combat, breathtaking landscapes, and overall spirit of the game. Final Fantasy XVI’s action-focused RPG approach was a welcome reprieve after spending just shy of 100 hours into the incredible game that is Final Fantasy VII Rebirth just weeks ago.

Final Fantasy XVI The Rising Tide DLC - Breathtaking scenery
Final Fantasy XVI: The Rising Tide is full of breathtaking environments and scenery

The Rising Tide DLC is the final DLC for Final Fantasy XVI, preceded by the short but enjoyable Echoes of the Fallen DLC that arrived at the back end of last year. Square Enix has previously stated that of the two, The Rising Tide was the more story-focused and larger of the two DLCs, which had me squirming in anticipation.

This new story begins with Clive receiving a letter stating that The Lost Eikon Levianthan’s Dominant is in need of rescue. Shortly afterwards, Clive and friends meet Shula, who has heard that Clive is an expert at  ‘assisting’ with Dominants. Shula takes the party to the cleverly veiled town of Mysidia, which acts as the main town of The Rising Tide DLC. That is as far as I’m prepared to go into the story without getting into major spoilers. As far as The Rising Tide’s story goes, it feels far from a cash grab. Anyone slightly invested in Final Fantasy XVI’s lore will get immense satisfaction out of this 5 to 8-hour story, as they will know the importance of Leviathan the Lost.

Final Fantasy XVI The Rising Tide DLC - Clive and Friends
The gang is back

Early on into the DLC, Clive acquires the powers of the lost Eikon, Leviathan. These newfound powers are a blast to use and broaden Clive’s wheelhouse even more. FFXVI’s combat isn’t my favourite in the franchise, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun. It is just so captivating to gain a new Eikon with new abilities and be able to test it out in challenging battles. Iconic Final Fantasy enemies make a new appearance in Final Fantasy XVI: The Rising Tide, such as the slow but deadly Tonberry. There are a few tough battles along the way, so be prepared at all times.

Once the DLC’s credits roll and you think you’re done, there is still more content to consume. The Kairos Gate is a series of the game’s most challenging battles, which will reward you with powerful equipment once successfully completed. Oh, and The Rising Tide gives Clive more than just Leviathan’s powers, but you will have to find that out for yourself (it’s really good, trust me).

Final Fantasy XVI The Rising Tide DLC - Clive and Torgal
Torgal is still the best doggo

One of the only drawbacks I found in Final Fantasy XVI was the uninspired side quests. As I said previously in my review of the base game, “It is very evident that the developers also developed Final Fantasy XIV, because the quests are ones you would find in an MMO rather than an action game.” This, unfortunately, emanates into The Rising Tide. Almost every side quest is just collecting something less than 20 metres away or simply involves talking to another NPC on the other side of Mysidia. These side quests are not in alignment with the quality of others found in RPG franchises as notable as Final Fantasy.

Final Fantasy XVI remains one of the best-looking games of this generation. But it was difficult not to compare to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, with this DLC only being released less than two months apart. Comparatively, the character models feel lifeless, with rigid animations, and very little emotion shown by the main characters. Rebirth was extremely polished in almost every aspect, magnifying the very few flaws XVI has.



The Rising Tide is the grand finale that Final Fantasy XVI deserves, reminding us of the legacy this entry into the franchise will leave. Exploring Mysidia and its surrounds, stacked on top of quality-of-life updates and new Eikonic abilities to be used, this is a must-play for anyone who enjoyed the original Final Fantasy XVI experience last year.


  • Mysidia and the surrounding land boast some beautiful scenery
  • A fantastic journey to visit Valisthea one last time
  • The new Eikonic abilities are some of the best in the game
  • The soundtrack still slaps hard


  • Every side quest still feels unnecessary and uninspired
  • Animations of the main characters in cutscenes feel outdated when compared to Rebirth
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