In no particular order
1. The Temple of Uggalepih
I loved this area. Secret doors, golem guards and tonberries aplenty! It's also one of the few dungeons which winds its path into outdoor areas and also underground into the caves. Tough to navigate, but fun to explore!
What can I say? I loved this area. Sure it was full of vicious taru-eating Orcs, but the layout of the area was very unique and used the space very well with upper tiers and shallow rivers, bridges and platforms. At the centre stood a structure of some kind and beside it some of the nastiest, most powerful orcs imaginable. Only the brave need apply.
3. Ru'Aun Gardens
This one needs no introduction. Many players know it simply as 'Sky', and with good reason given its lofty position about a mile from the ground! The final resting place for Zilart missions houses powerful god NMs, and deadly dolls. The platforms are broken up, requiring the use of the nearby teleporters to get around. Some areas are in a state of great disrepair, with crumbled pillars and staircases blocking your path. I don't think anyone could visit this area without being impressed by the careful design and layout.
This, by my standards, is a masterpiece of area construction.
4. Lufaise Meadows
I'll be the first to confess I love this area not so much for the layout of the walkable areas, but the design of the areas you can't visit. Walk anywhere in Lufaise Meadows and you're greeted by a beautiful panorama of forests and lakes. Visitors will also note the breathtaking sight of the city of Tavnazia, made famous by the intro cinematic, where powerful dragon monsters make their nest. Linger too long nearby one of the lakes in Lufaise Meadows and you too will see one of those dragons up close as it swoops overheard.
This one is simply for the beauty of the area rather than its design, which is more simplistic, but a little aesthetics goes a long way sometimes.
5. Ifrit's Cauldron
Another one I chose for it's incredible design. This place is dangerous to get around, but ultimately rewarding. The appropriately named Cauldron houses the cloister of Fire, home of the elemental avatar Ifrit. Getting there requires careful timing and patience, or perhaps just a healthy supply of ice clusters, as cracks in the land open up firey magma blasts from the ground to bar your path. The area itself is a maze of tunnels surrounding a huge crater. The bold explorer can drop down to the lower levels in the crater, but getting down is the easy part.
Its risk versus reward too for players who can claim some of the best goodies by harvesting the mining points. Unfortunately, deadly bombs lurk in the various tunnels who attack on sight and detect unwary spellcasters. Hmm, why is this sounding like a tour brochure?
FFXI had some amazing areas, and FFXIV has a few too. But those are my top 5 areas I'd love to see make a comeback in some form or another.
FFXI: Siren Server: Seiowan Lvl 99 WHM, SCH, BLM
FFXIV: Ragnarok Server: Lemuria Glitterhands All Classes 50