FF14 Best Expansions (Ranked Worst To Best)

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A monk ready to battle with her mighty fists.

Final Fantasy XIV has been seeing a significant rise of players in the year 2021; with its player base constantly rising and the server even experiencing a substantial upsurge of active players. With the game gaining popularity in its later years, many gamers and players of FFXIV might have wondered--which expansion of FFXIV is the best one? Final Fantasy XIV has one base game, A Realm Reborn, and three additional expansions, mainly Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers.

This article will discuss which expansion among these four are the best ones, and give reasons for each one.


4) A Realm Reborn

A swordsman ready to battle to claim Eorzea.

A Realm Reborn was the name of the base game of Final Fantasy XIV when it got rebooted after being closed down after the initial launch and released back to the public in 2013. Players can watch the trailer to FFXIV’s official YouTube Channel in this and this videos.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, or more commonly known as ARR, is the introductory story of the Warrior of Light, the character or protagonist each player of the game is playing. It features a story where the player goes through adventures in Eorzea in the Seventh Umbral Era after Bahamut reigned destruction over the war that happened five years ago. 

The player goes on a journey to save Eorzea from the brink of destruction from the threat of black-robed men and the invading Empire, as well as the many primal threats that several beast tribes have summoned throughout Eorzea.

As the first base game relaunched after the games closed the doors, A Realm Reborn has been dubbed the worst expansion in FFXIV throughout its lasting years, but still being widely loved by the players, especially after being compared to the disaster that was its initial launch.

However, this expansion was still far from perfect. It had its many flaws and weaknesses, including the game’s post-ARR quests, which have been called a “slog” by many players and have become one of the main reasons many players decided to stop playing the game or even buy a skip story potion.

Another reason this game is rated low is that the story is slow, and there are many parts where a player has to struggle through many fetch quests that have little importance to the world as a whole. 

In addition, FFXIV also has a slow start in combat, with players only having three to five skills in level 10, which makes the initial leveling experience seem tedious and redundant compared to the excitement in the later levels.

These points have dubbed A Realm Reborn to be the worst expansion in Final Fantasy XIV. However, it is still rated highly even among the players, and newcomers and other gamers who want to try out Final Fantasy XIV can do so by registering for the free trial. In addition, players can check out the full features of A Realm Reborn here


3) Stormblood

A female monk ready to tackle on the journeys and wars in Stormblood.

Stormblood is the second expansion to Final Fantasy XIV after A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, respectively, and players can see the fantastic trailer to this expansion in this video

Stormblood is the continuation of the story after Heavensward ended, with the Warrior of Light going on a journey to save two struggling nations from the Empire’s clutches. It features many political arguments, debates, as well as territory wars.

Many FFXIV players have called Stormblood a letdown after the epic expansion of Heavensward, and that is why Stormblood ranked third in our list even though it is one of the two latest expansions that Square Enix have dished out.

The main reason why Stormblood is dubbed not as good compared to the other expansions of Final Fantasy XIV is that players feel detached from the story itself. Many times, players might feel as if they are only a side character instead of the story's protagonist.

In addition, Stormblood is set in two completely different areas, and city-states and players might be thrown out from one place to another without warning, making the story feel like it’s being cut off abruptly at times. 

Players might also have difficulty trying to feel deeply for two different stories in different areas simultaneously. Many players have also said that because of this reason, the two stories seem shallow and not fleshed out, as if the storytelling is trying to rush through two wars at the same time.

Unfortunately, Stormblood is not included in the game’s free trial. Hence, players who would want to go through the journey of fighting for several nation’s freedom from the Empire’s grasp have to buy the Stormblood expansion or the Shadowbringers complete edition, which includes all four expansions of the game. Additionally, aspiring players can check out the full details of the Stormblood expansion here.


2) Heavensward

A Dragoon preparing to battle the dragons.

Heavensward is the first expansion of Final Fantasy XIV, launched after the game's successful re-release with A Realm Reborn. It features an epic story about dragons, and players can see the trailer for Heavensward here.

This expansion sets the player, now the Warrior of Light, in the land of Ishgard, where conflict is rising with the Dragonsong War happening in the lands. This expansion features a war between dragons and humankind, where the player is caught between everything happening.

The main reason why this expansion was significant was mainly because of its story. Many players and content creators have dubbed the story of Heavensward to be one of the best in Final Fantasy XIV.

In addition to the story, Heavensward has one of the best raids in FFXIV, which is the Alexander raid. Many people love the bosses and the songs from the raid and have become the leading sources for one of the most challenging contents in the game, which is an Ultimate Raid, The Epic of Alexander.

Not only that, Heavensward is included in the game's free trial, which new players can use up until the end of the Heavensward expansion and level all their classes and jobs to level 60. Because of those reasons, Heavensward has often been dubbed the second-best expansion of the game in 2021. Players interested about more information about this expansion can check out the official website here.


1) Shadowbringers

A Dark Knight with his trusted sword.

If many players call Heavensward a significant expansion, then Shadowbringers is an amazing one. It is the latest expansion that the players can access now, before Endwalker’s release in November 2021. Players can see the extraordinary trailer to this expansion in this video

Shadowbringers has such a fantastic story that long-term players and fans of Final Fantasy have even called it one of the best stories ever launched in all of the Final Fantasy games, which are often known for their unique stories.

Shadowbringers bring the players and explain the world of Hydaelyn, the truth about primals, and the history of the world. The story is heavy with many hidden and interlaced meanings and has the players deal with several heart-wrenching moments and scenarios that make them doubt themselves and their goals.

The epic story of Shadowbringers is the main reason this latest expansion is dubbed the best expansion in Final Fantasy XIV and the expansion that sets FFXIV’s story on par with many of the popular Final Fantasy games’ stories, such as FF7 and FF10.

Players interested more about this latest expansion FFXIV has released can check out the full information in the official website here.




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The writer from a land long-lost that has dedicated her life to working on her own writing and enjoying playing with her burly friends on the side.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Final Fantasy XIV
Top 3 Favorite Games:Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, The Sims 4

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