The ending of Final Fantasy VII Remake left fans with a lot of questions so let's break down and analyze some possibilities.
Spoiler warning: there are heavy plot spoilers ahead so please ensure that you completed Final Fantasy VII Remake before proceeding.
Whispers of fate
Throughout Final Fantasy VII Remake, we witness what are initially known as spectres intervene in different ways. As the plot unfolds, these are revealed to be Whispers; ghost-like entities whose sole purpose appears to be ensuring that the script of fate is adhered to. Of course, these were not portrayed in the original game which makes Final Fantasy VII Remake's story feel somewhat fresh and mysterious but just what are these Whispers? The answer is unclear; they could be souls from the Lifestream or perhaps spirits of the Cetra. The former would make sense considering the Lifestream intervened to save Gaia from Meteor in the original story's final moments and the latter is possible seeing as Aerith has an affinity for them but it's anyone's guess at this point. Heck, it's possible that the Whispers are merely a ham-fisted attempt from the developers to tell fans that they're going to take the franchise in new directions.
Whatever the Whispers are, our party of heroes takes on a massive physical manifestation of them which acts as Final Fantasy VII Remake's penultimate final boss. Upon defeating it, it's implied that they've broken free from the chains of destiny and presumably set out on a path of their choosing. Meanwhile, Cloud is convinced that Sephiroth is still a threat to their world.
Before the final scenes play, Sephiroth (or a clone of him or an alternate universe / future version of him or something) tells Cloud that he has 7 seconds. What the heck could that possibly mean? In the original, Sephiroth takes 7 seconds after appearing in the Forgotten City to stab and murder Aerith. Of course, if she didn't perish then she wouldn't have been able to save the world from Meteor as she channelled the Lifestream in conjunction with Holy to ward it off in the original. So, is this Sephiroth's way of giving Cloud a choice between saving Aerith or the world? There's no way to currently know for sure but that's definitely what it sounds like to me.
One aspect of Final Fantasy VII Remake's plot that is often overlooked is how Aerith appears to know much more than she leads you to believe. This is often portrayed through subtleties in the dialogue which doesn't make it easy to pick up on. For example, she seems to know all about Cloud even before he tells her anything about himself and she even tells him not to fall in love with her. Plus, she talks a lot about how the future isn't set in stone, etc. It's almost as if Aerith and Sephiroth already know what fate has in store for them and they're both trying desperately to change it. Needless to say, that opens up for a lot of possibilities in future sequels.
Final Fantasy VII-2
Even though all of these new aspects in Final Fantasy VII Remake's story have fans theorizing and asking a lot of questions, we don't really know for sure what any of it truly means. Obviously, that makes anticipation for a sequel even more exciting because it's sure to answer some questions while taking the story in an exciting new direction. Final Fantasy VII-2 (or whatever it's going to be titled) can literally be about anything at this point. For starters, at the end of Final Fantasy VII Remake, we see glimpses of Zack. Were those merely flashbacks? Has his fate changed and he's now alive? If so, could he star in the sequel? I doubt it but that would be interesting.
Perhaps Final Fantasy VII-2 will begin at the fateful scene in the Forgotten City and before Sephiroth deals the fatal blow to Aerith, maybe Cloud will stop him. From then, the party may chase Sephiroth through Gaia while trying to prevent Meteor from being summoned in the first place. Maybe we'll learn that Meteor crashing into Midgar was actually a good thing and that the planet would have been a happier place without humankind. Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants? Whatever the case is, my personal prediction is that the original Final Fantasy VII featured the bad ending while this new timeline will have the good ending. That would certainly make me happy.
The fact that many fans are discussing the ambiguous plot points of Final Fantasy VII Remake and theorizing about future sequels proves that Square Enix did a captivating job of telling a familiar albeit newly mystery-laden story. Do you have any theories? Did I say anything that doesn't make sense in this article? Feel free to comment below and we can discuss!