On the 16th May 2002, Squaresoft released Final Fantasy XI for the PlayStation 2 system in Japan. It was the first game to ever require the PS2 Hard Drive and Modem add-on and was a major departure from the rest of the Final Fantasy series - all firmly single-player affairs.
It launched for the PC several months later in November 2002, and then landed in the West for PS2, PC and Xbox 360 between 2002 and 2006. The game saw numerous expansion packs and is still going strong to this day.
Squaresoft no longer exist, swallowed up as part of a merger with Enix in the wake of the disasterous financial cavern left by the ill-fated FF movie The Spirits Within, but Final Fantasy XI remains an enduring example of what 'old' Squaresoft produced - and is still a fantastic game to this date.
In the wake of the disasterous launch of its spiritual successor Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XI's successes only shine all the brighter. A decade old, it's telling that, even with a new director at XIV's helm making drastic changes, XI is still Square Enix's best MMO.
Happy Birthday, Final Fantasy XI. Hopefully the game remains strong for some time to come. Check out the game's still amazing intro movie below. Got some great FF11 memories? Let us know in the comments.