Few things here
* Persona is a B class JRPG. Sales and critical reception have nothing to with it. I'm sure nobody considers Wii Fit a AAA game right? It is entirely budget based with games with more than 50mill considered "AAA". We on this site should know that.
* This is not about if Final Fantasy should or should not be open world game because that choice has already been made. This is also not about if Final Fantasy should be more like Western RPGS. Its more like Final Fantasy truly committing to an open world experience, and the kind changes to formula that would have to happen.
* Final Fantasy is Global AAA IP. I have seen Persona 5, Bravely default and Octopath brought up, none of them AAA. Those games can do what they do because they are not competing on global scale! Ask yourselves, when was the last time we had a Turn based AAA JRPG? FF13 right? The only time we see turn based RPGS now are on handhelds, B class developers and small low budget projects like Octo. Final Fantasy is in the same field as games like Uncharted, God of war, Halo, Witcher, Skyrim and that other stuff, luxury IP's that are suppose to represent the best of their genre. FF going back to be like SNES/PS1 games is not firing all cylinders! They were amazing for their time...15-20+ years ago.
The last time Final Fantasy really made a turn based RPG was Final Fantasy 10. This was the 6th best selling game on the PS2. The top 5 games are all GTA or Gran Turismo. Basically Final Fantasy was the 3rd most important franchise on the PS2, a role filled by FIFA nowadays. How many other huge turn based RPGs were out at the time? None. The only one even close was Dragon Quest because of Japan, and today the closest one is Dragon Quest because of Japan. Final Fantasy was unique! It was the only high budget turn based RPG out there.
Now we have 0 high budget turn based RPGs. People still want this, but no game is stepping up to fill this role, especially not Final Fantasy. GTA was an open world 3rd person shooter back in PS2 days. It has stayed true to this gameplay and it has only grown. That is what I and many other fans want of Final Fantasy. I want it to return the gameplay that made it popular. The reason why Final Fantasy is in decline is because they have alienated their own fan base.
I did. As I saw those games improving visually, I naturally expected them to transition away from being completely turn based, and preventing their games from looking like this as time goes on:
The older games and their pixel art style very much suited turn based play, but as you strive for more realistic visuals and style, turn based starts to look rather jarring and dated.
I like the art style of Final Fantasy 13 during battle. It looks really cool and fluid. And technically it is turn based, but you only control one character. What I would like is to have a turn based game where you control every character. I only want the game play to return to its roots. They are doing a good job with graphics and things like that.