That part of the original is something they didn’t want to fully recreate.
The hope of any remake is that it both recreates the feeling of the original and modernizes it for new audiences. It’s a tight rope to walk, and can often be one that many developers struggle to get just right. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is in that same tight little spot, and it seems to have struck a middle ground, kind of. The battle system is somewhere between the original ATB turn-based system and a more action RPG, take with the ability to shift it one way or another. Some purists may not like it, but recreating the original’s battle system was never in the cards.
In an interview with GameSpot, producer Yoshinori Kitase confirmed that there was never any serious intention to 100% replicate the battle system of the original. He points to younger players as well as even established fans, whose tastes now bend more towards action, saying “the changing tastes of the fanbase of the Final Fantasy franchise as a whole. We’ve got lots of younger gamers now and they like that very instinctive action-game style of control.”
Thankfully, director Tetsuya Nomura did feel the need to try and create the current middle ground and not abandon it entirely to a 100% action experience. Turn-based battle systems are largely out of the mainstream with a few exceptions, but at least with Final Fantasy 7 Remake purists can simulate it when the game releases next month… kind of, sort of.