Final Fantasy XIV was first released in 2010 and was an immediate disaster. It cannot be overstated what a complete failure the original game was: it was just plain bad. If you have any interest in game development, the documentary on it is fascinating. The short version is that it was a mess inside and out: a very pretty picture with no substance whatsoever.
The game was subsequently revamped and relaunched as A Realm Reborn, which released in 2013. Since then, the game has had an incredible rise, with a particular peak at its spectacular Heavensward expansion. Shadowbringers, the third expansion, released in July 2019, and has been extremely well-reviewed.
If you're a FF fan who wants to experience a new journey, you can't do better than this.
In Final Fantasy XIV, the Warrior of Light is the player character — you. For the most part the Warrior of Light is a blank slate character, which allows for more player immersion, but they do express a few personality traits to support the idea of their being a hero. The Shadowbringers expansion in particular does a remarkable job of giving depth to what is essentially a player insert.
This section contains spoilers for the latest expansion, Shadowbringers.
G’raha Tia is first encountered in the Crystal Tower storyline, a series of 24-person raids included in the base game, A Realm Reborn. At the end of that storyline, after inheriting the power to control the Crystal Tower, G’raha seals himself inside, intending to sleep until those with the technology can open the doors.
He wakes up 200 years in the future to find that the Eighth Umbral Calamity has sent the world into ruin. The descendants of Cid nan Garlond, the engineer who helped open the Crystal Tower in the first place, have come up with a wild plan: send the entire Tower to a parallel world to stop the Calamity from ever occuring.
Unfortunately for G’raha, they miss the mark by a hundred years. In the First, which has likewise been beset by apocalypse, a city springs up around the transposed Crystal Tower. G’raha, who has become partially crystallized in order to survive the century he must, takes the name of the Crystal Exarch and serves as the leader of these few survivors.
And a hundred years (and many botched attempts) later, he summons the Warrior of Light to the First so that they might save both worlds.