User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 103
  2. Negative: 7 out of 103
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  1. Mr.P
    Mar 1, 2003
    10
    This game is completely awesome, best graphics I've seen on PS2 and best story as well. Definitely worth it.
  2. TomH.
    Feb 14, 2004
    10
    For those curious "Der wille zur Macht" is German for "The Will to Power." Xenogears is easily one of the most complicated and most epic RPGs on PlayStation. Though only 2 discs, it easily spanned 80 hours for some. Can anybody truly figure out the story? No, and perhaps thats a good thing. Though you have a general idea, I have never heard anybody who was 100% conclusive down to the For those curious "Der wille zur Macht" is German for "The Will to Power." Xenogears is easily one of the most complicated and most epic RPGs on PlayStation. Though only 2 discs, it easily spanned 80 hours for some. Can anybody truly figure out the story? No, and perhaps thats a good thing. Though you have a general idea, I have never heard anybody who was 100% conclusive down to the detail nor do I expect anyone to. Like a great novel, some things are variable, unexplained, left for interpretation, or left to investigate. Xenosaga had VERY huge expectations to fill. Could the prequel possibly meet all these expectations? The short and obvious answer, yes, it has. Xenosaga begins with introducing us to Shion Uziki (not a coincidence she shares the same last name as Citan from Xenogears). She is an engineer of a ship, but more importantly, she is in charge of a dangerous project. This project is studying KOS-MOS. A female cyborg with much power and a danger to work around because of the unsureness of how to control her. The gameplay mechanics remind me of the innovative mechanics in Chrono Cross in two ways. First, all enemies appear in front of you and chase you around. Battles are not random. This helps for the game, even if the enemies are typically faster than you. The game setups methods of avoiding detection, trying to outrun, and even setting up traps to escape them or hinder the enemy in battle. This makes not only for more strategizing, but also for keeping the player 'on his/her feet.' Second, the game is turned based and a similar type of combo/ap system. Attacks are divided into physical and ethereal. However, some characters have a special attack and can use a powerful cannon or such by pressing circle. Typically though, each move will take up 2 AP. Your bar has a maxmimum of 6 AP, but you only start off with 4. Should you block and save, you can do devestatingly powerful moves much like "tech attacks." This creates for a nice variety and plenty of different attacks. You can even choose what kind of moves are needed in order to activate it. The magic system is one of much interest. Characters have a nice arsenal of different spells they can learn and it is not a quick process. The game can be beat not having learned everyone's ether spells. The interesting thing is you can 'transfer' other magic to party members. For example, Shion might have "Heal All." If I wanted another party member to learn it, another party member can learn the spell for giving up their magic skill points to learn it. Next, the good ole gears. They are called AGWS (Anti Gnosis Weapon Systems) in this game. They don't come off nearly as big as one expects, nor as powerful. They are given a similar type of equipment like Xenogears did, even a bit more. However, they aren't nearly as strong as one would expect. They are typically best suited for "lambs" in battle. None the less, they can save you at times and add to already great gameplay. However, later on in the game you can buy even better gears for big bucks. A nice option indeeed. Finally, the computer system of Shion. In the game, Shion has the ability to jump back into places that one cannot go into with her hologram. Shion gathers information about the environment and has the data for a person to go back to the environment, and pick up things they might have missed. Though the idea is somewhat hard to believe, it easily adds to a better gaming experience. Going back to certain places to gain more experience, look for secret items, and other events make it worth wild. The game has many sidequests and mini-games. At the casino on Jr's ship, one can play card games. With Shion's hologram and certain keys, you can play drill games, gear figting, and even more. One 'quest' of particular help is the e-mails. Sometimes if you respond differently or read e-mails that Shion gets, you can receive new weapons or attacks for characters. Even better, sometimes you will have the ability to invest in stocks. Yep, you can even play intergalatic stock market. The mixed bag portion of this idea is that dividends will always pay you out amazingly high amouts of money and you'll get huge bonuses. For example, investing in certain companies might help you get a final weapon, or get great discounts at medical or AGWS equipment depending on the company. Though something tells me nobody else will complain about that . . . About the only other problem here in gameplay is the length. I beat this game in a mere 40 hours even with some sidequests done. The storyline is top notch, touching, and absolutely beautiful. It makes for a bit more sense but its not without its mysteries and mind boggling questions still. At times, it feels over cinematic to a point of fault a la "Metal Gear" , but usually there will be lots of uninterupted gameplay before cutscenes endure, so it is more even balanced. Some parts actually had the ability to move me so much I teared up slightly. The story has an eye for art, strong metaphor, and the concept of many human themes. The characters have nice backgrounds, others have more mystery, but all have a distinct tone and demeanor that grows on you. The graphics also further improve and already great game. Everything looks how one might expect, the backgrounds are elaborate and interesting, the textures fit everything correctly. The CGs are especially a visual spectacle. The voice acting follows its lead. Characters typically speak with the lips, they do it with emotion, and change tone depending on the situation. The voices fit the characters as well. The music is not as strong a region. While its the sound and music is very high quality, often it is repeatitious. Boss battles and normal battles are not different in music. The same theme plays over and over again. Part of me wishes they expanded their soundtrack a little. They recycled a bit too much in the music department and it would've been a very strong area otherwise. Overall, Xenosaga generally matches and even exceeds Xenogears in many ways. About the only suggestion I have for the future is to keep up the new ideas to integrate into gameplay, make it larger in general, and a new game option would like other great RPGs would make this game just about perfect. To only further the depth though, it is believed that your final save game will lead to extra options in Xenosaga Episode II (I forget the german title, but it translates to "Beyond Good and Evil.") Take a look at Xenosaga II screen shots if you haven't, it only shows that each game tries to further improve rather than dishing out more of the same. Expand
  3. MarkG.
    Apr 24, 2003
    10
    This is one of the best RPG games ever made and if anyone can't handle the hourlong cinemas then stop playing RPGs cause thats what its all about. Story. Namco is giving Squaresof a run for their money cause this is way better than Final Fantasy 10...yet i still feel that Final Fantasy 7 is the best ever made ...this game comes close.
  4. JaredM.
    Apr 29, 2003
    10
    This game was utterly fantastic... Xenosaga makes FF10 look like even more of a disgrace in my mind. Squaresoft, you better get your asses in gear!
  5. JamesO.
    Apr 4, 2003
    10
    This is a great game. I think it even rivals with the final fantasy games. RPG fans will love this game.
  6. MattB.
    Jun 20, 2003
    10
    I found this to be one of the most enjoyable RPGs I've played in a long time. Sure, it has an insane amount of cut scenes (which can thankfully be paused and/or skipped) and doesn't have a huge focus on the battle engine, but the story is really what this game is about. This is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you focus on the story (which you likely would if you're I found this to be one of the most enjoyable RPGs I've played in a long time. Sure, it has an insane amount of cut scenes (which can thankfully be paused and/or skipped) and doesn't have a huge focus on the battle engine, but the story is really what this game is about. This is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you focus on the story (which you likely would if you're into console RPGs anyway), this is the ideal game. Expand
  7. BenS.
    Mar 10, 2003
    10
    Once you get the combat system down the game is great. The only thing I can call a flaw is the excessive use of cinemas, but that is enjoyable.
  8. AxelayB.
    Mar 16, 2003
    10
    Awesome game. The Graphics are a bit outdated, but they stand out so much from the rest. This game has some of the best features in a RPG, like an intricate battle system, no random encounters and thick, engaging storyline... get it !
  9. R.L.
    Mar 31, 2003
    10
    This game has everything a hardcore rpg fanatic would want! what can i say? it's just...WOW!
  10. Death_star550
    Jul 8, 2003
    10
    An excellent departure from the standard RPG's of today. Stands up to the Final Fantasy series - while not commerically, but definitely in being much more of a kick-ass game. Still under-appreciated, but Gears fans already know what that was all about.
  11. KHYong
    Aug 14, 2003
    10
    This has to be the best PS2 RPG game that I've ever played! Period. (I have played FF7, FF8, FF9, FF10, Xenogears, Chrono Cross and many many excellent titles, Xenosaga is still my best) It has deep story and beautiful cutscenes, the cutscenes are rendered so beautifully that I keep watching them over and over again. Some of the battles are difficult but are not impossible, good This has to be the best PS2 RPG game that I've ever played! Period. (I have played FF7, FF8, FF9, FF10, Xenogears, Chrono Cross and many many excellent titles, Xenosaga is still my best) It has deep story and beautiful cutscenes, the cutscenes are rendered so beautifully that I keep watching them over and over again. Some of the battles are difficult but are not impossible, good sense of tactic and attack are crucial to win every battle with minimum lost of HP. The voice over for all characters are excellent too, together with nicely drawn characters, I really thought that I live together with them. So, rush down your door and get this title if you are RPG die-harders. A must for those who like SquareSoft series. Have fun. Expand
  12. MarioM.
    May 2, 2004
    10
    This game breaks boundaries of most rpgs that are available for the ps2. The only one that is equally good is Final Fantasy X. Xenosaga has abosolutely brilliant graphics. The entire concept of the game is like an interactive movie, ading rpg elements to make one fantastic, absurdly incredible game. Any fan of anime will ADORE this game, and anyone looking for a unique rpg will love it asThis game breaks boundaries of most rpgs that are available for the ps2. The only one that is equally good is Final Fantasy X. Xenosaga has abosolutely brilliant graphics. The entire concept of the game is like an interactive movie, ading rpg elements to make one fantastic, absurdly incredible game. Any fan of anime will ADORE this game, and anyone looking for a unique rpg will love it as well. Also, if you like Xenogears, then this game is a MUST-HAVE. all in all, this game is simply astounding to the wonderful story, the beautiful graphics, the lovely characer models (especially Kos-mos and MOMO are astounding), to the incredible addictive battle system that Xenogears the lovely game that rpg fans love. Expand
  13. EricF.
    Feb 23, 2003
    10
    Better than xenogears, somehow.
  14. JoelM.
    Sep 13, 2003
    10
    This game is the best RPG EVER! Deeep storyline,android's,great graphics, awsome battle system! What else could you want, because its got it!
  15. ShionU.
    May 18, 2006
    10
    The best game series I have ever played! I have played all of the final fantasy games( including FF7). If your looking for a RPG game to play,hands down,get this one.
  16. Jan 20, 2012
    10
    One of the most mature storylines every crafted for a video game - wonderful gaming experience. I will say that some battles can last a bit longer than enjoyable necessary, but still, small distraction from a great game. Just don't play if you hate cut scenes.
  17. Mar 29, 2016
    10
    The story is presented very well, with excellent voice acting. I found myself anticipating the next cut scene to see what would happen next. That said, the story is the strong point of the game, and there is a lot of it.
    Not a game to turn to if your looking for action. This one you wanna sit back and relax.
    When I started this game I kinda felt like it was one of those games I'd
    The story is presented very well, with excellent voice acting. I found myself anticipating the next cut scene to see what would happen next. That said, the story is the strong point of the game, and there is a lot of it.
    Not a game to turn to if your looking for action. This one you wanna sit back and relax.
    When I started this game I kinda felt like it was one of those games I'd drop...Turned out to be 1 of the best games I ever played.
    Expand
  18. May 28, 2015
    10
    This and Xenogears have the most deep and intricate plot lines I have every experienced in a video game, and I have played pretty much every game that is known for having a good story. Couldn't recommend more.
  19. Mar 22, 2015
    10
    Xenosaga is personally my favorite game series, it has a lot of things going for it including some of the best music I have ever heard from in a game and also one of the most enjoyable battle styles.
  20. Jul 18, 2016
    10
    Xenosaga is the best game saga i've ever played by a long shot. No other game falls even close to it. The story is complex and doesn't treat the player like an idiot, which happens too often nowadays. The gameplay is good, the characters and great and you'll empathize a lot with them. It also have some very dark themes, which unfortunately have been censored in the western version. I can'tXenosaga is the best game saga i've ever played by a long shot. No other game falls even close to it. The story is complex and doesn't treat the player like an idiot, which happens too often nowadays. The gameplay is good, the characters and great and you'll empathize a lot with them. It also have some very dark themes, which unfortunately have been censored in the western version. I can't think of anything i don't like about this saga besides being censored. Expand
  21. Theimminent26
    Mar 4, 2003
    9
    As is this is one of the best games for Ps2. Kojoho however is expecting the entire story to unfold in 22 hours when the game is supposedely 80 hours long....get farther before you call the story dissiapointing. The graphics and battle system are very nice. The only thing that disappoints me is that the A.G.W.S. don't seem to have as tech attacks like 'gears but that won't As is this is one of the best games for Ps2. Kojoho however is expecting the entire story to unfold in 22 hours when the game is supposedely 80 hours long....get farther before you call the story dissiapointing. The graphics and battle system are very nice. The only thing that disappoints me is that the A.G.W.S. don't seem to have as tech attacks like 'gears but that won't kill. Other than that I can easily recommend this game unless you are religiously sensitive. Expand
  22. Web.Master
    Jun 12, 2003
    9
    As everyone who played this game would agree on, the game has too many cutscenes. It is the closest thing however to come close to Final Fantasy X greatness. Future Xenosaga gamers, good luck on the cathedral ship chapter of the game.
  23. BenL.
    Mar 10, 2006
    9
    This game has iffy gmaeplay, but while playing it through, I realised that I could really care less. Now, while that's not the case in most games, this game's cinematic story flows out so well that I could survive the boring battle system just to get to the next gorgeously rendered cutscene. While I realise this is more of a movie then a game, I have to say it is one extremely This game has iffy gmaeplay, but while playing it through, I realised that I could really care less. Now, while that's not the case in most games, this game's cinematic story flows out so well that I could survive the boring battle system just to get to the next gorgeously rendered cutscene. While I realise this is more of a movie then a game, I have to say it is one extremely good movie. Expand
  24. AndrewC.
    Feb 8, 2007
    9
    This game is great. The gameplay is challenging and well thought-out, and you're rewarded for getting past all the tough bosses and everything with a lengthy cutscene or three. The game has a sweeping and confusing plot that really makes you think, and is thoroughly enjoyable through and through. Those who enjoy Metal Gear Solid's cinematics should love this game, but those who This game is great. The gameplay is challenging and well thought-out, and you're rewarded for getting past all the tough bosses and everything with a lengthy cutscene or three. The game has a sweeping and confusing plot that really makes you think, and is thoroughly enjoyable through and through. Those who enjoy Metal Gear Solid's cinematics should love this game, but those who are put off by this kind of thing...well, you won't like this. Expand
  25. FongF.
    Mar 16, 2003
    9
    OK, it's nowhere near Xenogears... but i'll be damned if it doesn't shove it's foot right up FF10's ego-inflated ass. I'm not the least bit disappointed in it, and I can't wait for the next 3.
  26. Reaper
    Mar 21, 2003
    9
    Awesome game with a great combat system and story, only bad thing was when I completed it and saved my clear data I couldn't load it SO DON'T SAVE WHEN YOU BEAT IT. Also I wish I didn't have to wait two years to see what the heck happens next because the end of the game leaves so many questions...alas it is slated to be a series.
  27. LarryE.
    Apr 25, 2005
    9
    A really good game but could use fewer movies.
  28. Mar 16, 2015
    9
    This is easily one of my favorite games of all time. It's a JRPG, so there is a LOT of cinematics and story; in fact, it's almost a really long movie. However, that being said, the customization of the characters attacks is quite in depth in that you can switch out both characters and skills quite frequently.
    The graphics are, well, they're the graphics of a PS2 game. Even so, the
    This is easily one of my favorite games of all time. It's a JRPG, so there is a LOT of cinematics and story; in fact, it's almost a really long movie. However, that being said, the customization of the characters attacks is quite in depth in that you can switch out both characters and skills quite frequently.
    The graphics are, well, they're the graphics of a PS2 game. Even so, the graphics are still great, especialy during some of the more in-depth cinematics as well as some of the battles.
    The story itself is deep with an enormous lore that would take hours to go into. You may find yourself frequently sitting back to watch yet another cinematic, but you'll rarely find yourself not wanting watch the next one. The story starts relatively simple and quickly becomes complex and engrossing.
    There are some aspects that are could use some work. Even with character ability customization, sometimes the battles can feel tedious and repetitive. Some people also would also prefer background music as most games often have (I am not one of them, however).
    Currently I have a PS4 sitting not 20 feet away from me, but I frequently find myself returning to this game and the series as whole because I enjoy the games and the story that much. I'll grant that this review is a bit late, but I would strongly suggest this game to people that enjoy RPGs
    Expand
  29. Dec 30, 2010
    8
    i loved xenogears it is still my favorite RPG of all time . so when i heard it was getting a prequel i couldnt wait to get my hands on it . much like xenogears this game is heavily story driven and there is alot of cut sceanes which i love if its got a story that grabs me and intresting charicters . i loved KOS-MOS a kick ass female android who could bust **** up . but kinda like FF8 iti loved xenogears it is still my favorite RPG of all time . so when i heard it was getting a prequel i couldnt wait to get my hands on it . much like xenogears this game is heavily story driven and there is alot of cut sceanes which i love if its got a story that grabs me and intresting charicters . i loved KOS-MOS a kick ass female android who could bust **** up . but kinda like FF8 it has the same problems the combat system just isnt as fun mainly because the mech combat just plain sucks . the game is also very challanging and not that i mind that but it gets to the point where its very frustrating . the final boss is one of the hardest boss fights ive ever fought ina RPG i fought that basterd for almost a hout and still couldnt beat him. but some of the voice acting is some of the best ive seen. crispen freemen who does albedo really stands out . i mean wow he made that guy look like a freekin insane madman that i believed 100%. its not exactly the awsome sequel i was hoping this to be but it didnt dissapoint in the story area one freekin bit. and thats the most important part to me for any RPG. Expand
  30. Jul 25, 2012
    8
    Some of the cutscenes can be long, but its not like other games dont have long cutscenes as well. This is a great game to start what is a fantastic trilogy of games. The story is good, battle system unique, just a solid game from top to bottom. In my opinion nothing like Xenogears if any of you think this is a sequel, I hated Xenogears but loved this game and the 2 that followed.
  31. Oct 29, 2013
    8
    It is a story-based RPG with great game play and an innovative system. If you are looking for a rewarding game, you've found it, sometimes the scenes go on for a while, but that is what most RPG fans dig. This game isn't for the impatient and those who lack imagination, this is truly a gem and it's easy to find a copy.

Awards & Rankings

37
38
#38 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
19
#19 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2003
Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 70
    The narrative of Xenosaga dwarfs all of its other elements, which are under-developed in comparison.
  2. Xenosaga has that extra special something that has been missing from RPGs for the last couple of years, an enthralling, profound story that leaves you truly wanting more.
  3. The brilliant story is enhanced by a beautiful score from Mitsuda and cinematic sequences which are stunning, to say the least.