Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
  1. Feb 16, 2012
    90
    I absolutely love the game, and found myself totally absorbed in everything it has to offer.
  2. Feb 16, 2012
    90
    Despite it's poor pacing during the second act and its less than satisfying end, Final Fantasy XIII-2 can hold its head up high as a large improvement over its predecessor in the places where it counts.
  3. Feb 12, 2012
    90
    New players may find all the back story and references from XIII a bit confusing, however with the inclusion of a "beginner's primer" in the menu, there's no reason why longtime fans of the series as well as complete newcomers won't get a brilliant gaming experience out of this title. Two thumbs up!
  4. We were relieved to discover that FFXIII-2 had much more to offer than its sterile CGI-driven predecessor. Not only are there some great mini-games in the form of time paradox puzzles, there are also plenty of side quests. It goes to show that Square Enix truly listens to its fans. [February 2012, p.84]
  5. Jan 31, 2012
    90
    Story gripes aside, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is just hands-down better than Final Fantasy XIII. It has more replay value, a more compelling battle system, an open world, an innovative exploration premise, and much more. If Final Fantasy XIII's laundry list of flaws turned you off to the Final Fantasy franchise, then Final Fantasy XIII-2 will get you back in.
  6. Jan 31, 2012
    90
    If FFXIII was an exercise in form over function, its successor is exercise in working with what you've got – and doing a brilliant job of it (for the most part). It does some things better than its predecessor, some things worse, but what's most impressive about Final Fantasy XIII-2 is how much feels new and different, despite sharing most of its guts with XIII.
  7. Feb 6, 2012
    89
    This is definitely a step in the direction of that old Final Fantasy feel we've come to know and love. It feels like what the original Final Fantasy XIII should have been.
  8. Mar 15, 2012
    88
    FFXIII-2 earns its score with aplomb, and I'd go so far to call it a sleeper hit. It's a genuinely great-playing game with an imperfect story, though to its credit, it eventually engages and justifies the wait. Its greatest battle now is escaping from the shadow and stigma of its big brother, but you should ignore the anti-hype, take a leap of faith and give it a chance.
  9. Jan 29, 2012
    88
    Unequivocally better than the original in almost every single way, XIII-2 presents a rehabilitated spin on one of the most polarizing Square-Enix releases in recent years, as well as a promising way forward for the franchise. It may not be enough to undo what's already been done, but for what it's worth, XIII-2 may just change your mind about the future.
  10. Jan 30, 2012
    87
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a step in the right direction. There were too many innovations in Final Fantasy XIII and now the developers incorporated all the feedback from the community to improve the game and offer all the Final Fantasy fans a better gaming experience. This strategy worked – the gameplay is pretty cool, the atmosphere as well as the effects (graphics and sounds) are stunning and the well-known setting is a nice bonus for fans of FF XIII.
  11. Feb 13, 2012
    85
    An enjoyable and entertaining game that proves Square Enix is not down and out. However, it puts fans of the series in an awkward position, intriguing us enough to play through the game but constantly reminding us of its inadequacies.
  12. Jan 31, 2012
    85
    Final Fantasy XIII-2, like its predecessor, takes bold chances that pay off in nearly every way. It is clear that the folks at SquareEnix have listened to their fans and have made a great many changes based on that feedback. While there are some aspects that could use some shoring up, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is very worthy of the mantle of this long-standing series.
  13. Jan 31, 2012
    85
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 is what Final Fantasy XIII should have been, with lots of sub-quests, mini-games and a little more exploration. Despite responding to fanbase requests, the team left unaltered the fighting system and the linearity; so this is not the comeback of a classic Final Fantasy.
  14. Jan 30, 2012
    85
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 improves on the formula of FFXIII in just about every way possible. And yet, we lose a little more of what makes Final Fantasy a story-driven role-playing game. It's amazing that this happens given all the great features and gameplay elements that should've been included in FFXIII. I'm actually thinking that if you combine this sequel and its predecessor, take the strengths of each, and abandon the weaknesses, you'd finally get a 9+ game.
  15. Jan 30, 2012
    85
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a vast improvement over its predecessor from a gameplay standpoint. Not so much in the story department. It's a very complex and deep tale, but it's also full of plot holes and nonsense, flaws that make it less meaningful than the old one. Despite this, The sequel to Final Fantasy XIII is a great J-rpg, with an amazing amount of content.
  16. Jan 29, 2012
    85
    The most important positive point about Final Fantasy XIII-2 is that the gameplay has been strongly improved. New features like Paradigm Shift and Mog Clock are a really good addition to the game. Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a nice story but unfortunately not as epic as we expected.
  17. Feb 5, 2012
    83
    Final Fantasy XIII-2's time-travel plot wallows too much in poorly sketched paradox, but it does offer the opportunity to skip from fantastic world to fantastic world without a care. The greatest benefit is that this outing feels much less linear than its predecessor-players are invited to back away from brick-wall bosses and explore the timeline, gaining strength, gearing up, and chasing new quests at will. The freedom is appreciated.
  18. Feb 3, 2012
    83
    Two years has passed since Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 has partly solved the problems that plagued the first attempt of Square Enix, with an interesting "monster collecting" part and a less linear gameplay. It's a shame that the story and character development are not as good as the original title.
  19. Has made some really solid steps forward in combat but needs a more readily digestible plot to entice newcomers. [March 2012, p68]
  20. Mar 2, 2012
    80
    Although not the complete overhaul that some may have desired, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a surprisingly bold and distinctive sequel.
  21. Feb 27, 2012
    80
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 delivers on its promise to right past wrongs, even if only marginally. While it still cannot be said that the series is back to the quality the name Final Fantasy is synonymous with, it can be said that FFXIII-2 is a lot more fun than its predecessor, and definitely a step in the right direction. It may take another title or two, but Square definitely seems poised to re-claim the title of the world's best RPG developer.
  22. Feb 23, 2012
    80
    Thirteen steps forward, two steps back? Final Fantasy XIII-2 resolves most of the main problems that the first game had, while introducing a number of new ideas, of which a few feel underwhelming or completely out of place. The characters, visuals, story are engaging and the narrative better told. It will be a hard sell for skeptics of the first game, but for fans it's an essential play.
  23. 80
    A clear improvement over its predecessor. The story is better told, and you'll have a lot more freedom in how you choose to approach the game. Final Fantasy fans will find plenty to enjoy here.
  24. Feb 13, 2012
    80
    Offers a lot of gameplay and a great addition to the XIII plot. Even though the graphics weren't revolutionary like XIII's and the slight pacing issue still remains, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is very good.
  25. Feb 13, 2012
    80
    Final Fantasy 13-2 does not represent in any way a return to traditional ways but recovers some to create a formula much more cohesive than the original XIII.
  26. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    I can commend Square-Enix for what they were trying to do with XIII-2. I personally didn't think much of XIII as it abandoned the stuff I liked about the series. XIII-2 brings some of it back, making it a great compelling JRPG, but what it brings most for me is that I found it much more fun to play, and that's a correct thing for any game to do.
  27. Feb 6, 2012
    80
    A superior game to its predecessor, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the game that probably should have been originally released. Even if it doesn't quite achieve everything it sets out to do.
  28. Feb 6, 2012
    80
    Clawing its way back to relevance, XIII-2 introduces a heap of new and desirable systems into XIII's familiar architecture, and even though some of them are handled rather clumsily, the final product is ultimately better off.
  29. Feb 1, 2012
    80
    FFXIII-2 combines the best of FF XIII (combat and world), and a new, original structure which clearly prompts the player to involve himself in the unraveling of the game. It's sufficiently well-executed and unique to charm most of the fans, even though one comes out of the adventure with a strange feeling. A feeling of a Square Enix who put more focus on exploration and secondary quests than the conclusion of its story or the challenge of its combat. But the freedom feeling that was so absent of the previous game is back there, even though in an unexpected form, and the content is rich. A good game, even though it will not enter the inner circle of the cult Final Fantasy titles.
  30. Jan 30, 2012
    80
    Although I had many visions of murdering the Moogle and will leave it to others to actually like the music, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is still a very enjoyable return to more familiar grounds. (...) It creates its own little four-dimensional microcosm full of wonders and surprises.
  31. Jan 29, 2012
    80
    Almost the opposite of its predecessor: a lesser story that isn't particularly well told, but with a staggering amount of exploration, side-quests, post-game content, and surprisingly deep mechanics.
  32. Jan 29, 2012
    80
    What really made Final Fantasy XIII-2 an enjoyable game was that Square Enix brought the fun back. They brought back some the inventiveness, creativity, humor and uniqueness that we sorely missed in Final Fantasy XIII. Maybe this game tries to do a bit too much, and it's probably too late to dig this story out of the hole that it's in, but it was made with a heaping dollop of that undeniable charm that we loved in the older series games, and that goes a long way towards making it enjoyable.
  33. FF XIII-2's reliance on recycling locations and reluctance to indicate the next course of action hold it back from scoring as highly as XIII, despite its improvements – but its grand ideas, bigger monsters, and bigger still haircuts make it an adventure worth getting lost in time for. Lightning can strike twice after all.
  34. Jan 28, 2012
    80
    Although it could have been much better than it actually is, Final Fantasy XIII-2 proves to be a well-crafted product that compensates for gamers' disappointment over Final Fantasy XIII.
  35. Jan 27, 2012
    80
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 proves itself the better game, but it lacks the same focused storytelling employed in the original. It benefits from an improved battle system, open environments, and an overall level of polish that deserves a nod of respect.
  36. Jan 25, 2012
    80
    Not the vastly different experience we might have expected, but no less welcome as a result. FFIII-2 comes recommended for those who didn't get enough from the last game - however, those who were unconvinced are going to remain just that. [Issue#214, p.74]
  37. Beneath the emotional tale and a superb cast of characters lies an abundance of shallow filler content with no real purpose It's disappointing to see a game with so much heart struggle under the burden of artificial mechanics. [Feb 2012, p.80]
  38. Jan 11, 2012
    80
    Progression is player-driven, combat is even more entertaining, and an array of other adjustments makes it one of my favorite RPGs from a mechanical perspective. I just want all of that integrated with a story that isn't laughable and borderline insulting, and that's where Final Fantasy XIII-2 falters. [Feb 2012, p.88]
  39. Feb 9, 2012
    78
    If you hated its predecessor you will surely not warm up to this sequel. On the other hand Serah and Noel do a lot better than Lightning and her friends in Final Fantasy XIII. Here's more to do, more to discover, more roleplaying.
  40. Feb 14, 2012
    77
    An intriguing time-hopping concept hamstrung by substandard combat and unrefined level replays. Good, but not good enough. [March 2012, p.102]
  41. May 4, 2012
    75
    All in all, I enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII-2 – it was a fun RPG game to play, looked spectacular and ate up a significant amount of my free time. It didn't give me everything I wanted out of the experience, but I still had fun.
  42. Feb 14, 2012
    75
    The game looks great and the combat system is fantastic but the urge to 'improve on FF XIII' resulted in a step backwards for the franchise. The distinctive feel of the previous game is gone. [March 2012, p.66]
  43. Feb 7, 2012
    75
    A fair instalment in the series that should leave fans happy enough but eager to move on.
  44. 75
    Perseverance is another possible name for this game, since the flow of the story is somewhat sporadic, but it's rewarding to do so. It still has a strong Final Fantasy feel, albeit not as strong, and some of the great changes are contradicted by odd or particular ones.
  45. Feb 1, 2012
    75
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 isn't quite on par with the best Final Fantasy adventures, but it's a competent, enjoyable adventure from start to finish-something the series has been lacking in recent years.
  46. Jan 31, 2012
    75
    So while this might not feel as polished in its presentation as Final Fantasy XIII, the sequel certainly manages to get more things right about its gameplay than before.
  47. Jan 29, 2012
    75
    As a whole, the package doesn't come together nearly as well as FFXIII did. It's a mishmash of interesting systems and bold ideas that never quite gel.
  48. Jan 28, 2012
    75
    Just remember to keep your expectations in check: Final Fantasy XIII-2 isn't a timeless adventure in the grand tradition of the beloved series. But if you're curious to see the next stage in this ongoing tale, there's no reason you shouldn't chase after Lightning. After all, she can't defeat Caius without you.
  49. Feb 22, 2012
    70
    Yes, it's better than Final Fantasy XIII, but the legendary franchise needs more than that. Fans of FFXIII will probably be happy with this one, but older gamers will be disappointed.
  50. Feb 11, 2012
    70
    In Final Fantasy XIII-2, a lot of what was wrong with Final Fantasy XIII has been repaired and improved upon. Everything is not perfect - the soundtrack, loading times and animations could use some more work, but overall Final Fantasy XIII-2 shows that Square Enix still knows how to make great games.
  51. Feb 15, 2012
    60
    A system-enhanced sequel of by many the controversial thirteenth installment is like a sad song. Its form wins clearly over its content that has been "improved" to the utter dullness. Buy only in the case you don't care about a story nor about a fine-tuned combat system that would offer you an appropriate challenge.
  52. Jan 29, 2012
    60
    An improved sequel on paper only, with an overall experience that is still ruined by incoherent storytelling and unsympathetic characters.
  53. Jan 31, 2012
    50
    This is a big game, clocking in at about the 40-hour mark, but the lack of challenge in combat combined with the formulaic missions and frequent cutscenes too often make it feel like a sticky trudge.
User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 603 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 193
  1. Jan 31, 2012
    10
    Without a doubt this is worthy of a main FF game number. If it had different characters they could have named it FF 15. Do yourself a favorWithout a doubt this is worthy of a main FF game number. If it had different characters they could have named it FF 15. Do yourself a favor and buy this game, play it, and judge for yourself. I loved XIII very much, however many griped about the linear story line...well part 2 is far from linear. I am glad that SE listened to their fans and made adjustments. Enjoy it and happy playing. Full Review »
  2. Feb 4, 2012
    7
    FInal Fantasy used to be the pinnacle of 'next generation' videogame during the PS 1 era.....but something along the way was lost...SquareFInal Fantasy used to be the pinnacle of 'next generation' videogame during the PS 1 era.....but something along the way was lost...Square Soft seemed to lose their connection with their own customers. I remember back in the PS1 days, Square was the best game developer there is...Every game that they made were gold, even outside FF! Yes, FF 13 part 1 and 2 looks amazing, but it feels 'awkward'. They're not immersive...You don't get sucked into the worlds as you used to. There's too much cut scenes. Better yet, learn from the best JRPG of last year, XENOBLADE Chronicles. For now, FF feels like a shadow of its former self Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2012
    5
    Is it me, or are the vast majority of the top 10 most helpful reviews written in broken English? I wonder if SE pulled a Bioware and pushedIs it me, or are the vast majority of the top 10 most helpful reviews written in broken English? I wonder if SE pulled a Bioware and pushed their employees to create accounts for the sake of bringing up the user score. Yes, I'm being ridiculous, but I'm not joking about the poor English. Take a look for yourself.

    As for the game, I couldn't even endure the demo. I've tried to give it a chance (3 to be exact) but I would always end up quitting, mostly due to boredom. I've tried playing the game with and without auto-battle to see if it made a difference but to no avail. Even if you manually input the actions, with such a limited amount of abilities, you end up performing identical or similar move sets. So it seems like the more time efficient method is to select auto-battle. There's also paradigm shifting, but really, it just hot swaps your class. It doesn't make the game any more interesting, varied, or challenging. My impressions of the story were not positive. I'm not a fan of the two main leads. Having recently found out that these two are the only human (playable) main characters in the game I was immediately turned off. For every terrible FF character in recent games, there were usually a handful of other more decent characters to focus your attention on. This game doesn't offer you that luxury and if it was their intention to have you focus on these two characters, they should have taken better care to ensure that their personalities had more depth. Instead, they are bland as bland can be. Completely forgettable. The story segments I experienced were laughably bad. Pretentious, cryptic dialogue returns to give you a sense that the FF13 universe believes its own depth. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the game doesn't have a clue what its talking about at times, or that could be an instance of poor translation/writing. Apparently, the story for the full game is not as strong as previous titles so I take it my impressions were not far off the mark.

    What's worse, this game will sell. People will eat this game up because it's Final Fantasy. That's what bothers me. This game would have been acceptable in 2007, when showing off a systems graphical potential was fresh, but this is 2012. Many recent game releases already exhibit amazing graphical capabilities for severely dated consoles. Graphics are no longer a selling point, but a standard. And while this game does look and sound pretty, it doesn't bring anything else new to the table and it barely refines the source material it has to work with. It's a shame, because the artists and sound designers/musicians could be working on much better projects as opposed to being reduced to another 'phoned in' Final Fantasy title.

    Also, the old fans of Final Fantasy will not just 'move on'. We are the reason why the series got as far as it did in the first place. True fans give praise where it is due and critique on things that are either flawed or dated. They don't just say to themselves "WELL HURP DERP! It's Final Fantasy and made by Square Enix. Therefore, whatever they make I'll have to love and treasure without question". That may be why things got as bad as they are now. I don't know for sure. What I do know is that I was a fan of Final Fantasy and I'm not anymore. The series had its ups and downs, but now I only see downs. With every bold step forward (ff12) comes a cautious step back (ff13 and ff14). I really do hope that the fan base starts to take a hard look at the obvious decline in the quality of SE's recent games and take appropriate action. That is, unless you're perfectly content with slop and mediocrity.
    Full Review »