The Final Fantasy VII game was no open world game. While the game did come with a map, the map was far from useful since players are not allowed to go back to places they been through but it looks like Square Enix might be planning to change that with the release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake version.
In a recent interview, Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori Kitase from Square Enix revealed that they do not plan to dwell on whether the game should be called a sandbox game or an open world game which suggest that the players might be given more freedom this time around.
That was not the only thing they revealed either. They also talk about mini games and said that they want to add on mini games that the fans will love. The Final Fantasy VII Remake will also be fully voiced.
Uf they do make it into some sort of an open world game, the fans would actually try to forgive them for making the game into an Episodic game.