Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 83
  2. Negative: 1 out of 83
  1. The streamlined, focused structure eliminates potential tedium without dumbing anything down, and the battle system strikes an elegant balance between strategy and fast-paced action. Stunningly beautiful graphics and a pervasively meticulous level of polish throughout only add to the experience.
  2. The graphics only represent the topmost layer of a pervasive meticulousness, and every last detail feels thoroughly polished. [Apr 2010, p.66]
  3. 100
    Everyone who likes Japanese RPG will love Final Fantasy 13.
  4. It probably goes without saying that this is one of the most gorgeous games to grace a video game console. FFXIII's in-game graphics look like other games' cutscenes. Its cutscenes look like other games' full motion video, and its full motion video looks like a Hollywood blockbuster.
  5. 95
    One of the best games that I have played so far this year. The team at Square Enix has really taken a leap in the right direction for the JRPG genre. They have made a gorgeous game that is fun to play, yet at times challenging and rewarding.
  6. No, Final Fantasy XIII isn't perfect. It is, by and large, an absolutely incredible accomplishment in terms of technical wizardry and streamlining of so much of the unneeded fluff found in a lot of JRPGs.
  7. 95
    Despite the omitted tune, Final Fantasy XIII overall is a high quality RPG that is worth every ounce of the hype. It most likely won't change the minds of those who dislike JRPGs, but fans of the genre will love every minute of the 70-100 hours they will invest.
  8. A phenomenal RPG destined to be remembered as a technical milestone for the series. [Issue#203, p.88]
  9. Square-Enix should receive high praise indeed for their continued willingness to take chances with their flagship intellectual property. While many of the JRPG standards are missing, what remains is an incredible game experience.
  10. We can't assure it is a turning point in the series, but it manages to make fights fun and it's no doubt an outstanding game.
  11. Final Fantasy XIII isn't just a game you merely enjoy. You fall in love with it. It's gorgeous worlds have you stopping to admire them in complete awe, while a graceful soundtrack massages your brain (despite the unfortunate replacement of the original Japanese theme with a song from Leona Lewis).
  12. 92
    Final Fantasy XIII is a fantastical foray into a magical imagination. Ably supported by gorgeous visuals, the gameplay ramps up at a rate than can only be described as perfection as you fall in love with the characters in your party and the environment in which they adventure. It's not perfect in every way but the imperfections that are to be found are like dust on a diamond - there, certainly, but utterly irrelevant.
  13. Final Fantasy XIII is an epic game that plays to its strengths by taking risks.
  14. 91
    Like Mass Effect 2, FFXIII seems to be an attempt to answer the question of how to create an RPG for the modern, console-owning masses. Square Enix's solution is certainly different than BioWare's, but it's arguably just as effective in its own way.
  15. Final Fantasy XIII goes back to the J-RPG-roots of the franchise while stripping away that which made its predecessor appealing to fans of western RPG. For Fans of the linear J-RPG genre, FF XIII is a great game; fans of western freedom had better stay away from it.
  16. Ten hours in you might have doubts, but stay with it and you'll be smitten right through to the frankly unbelievable end. [Apr 2010, p.104]
  17. If you expected a traditional JRPG, Final Fantasy XIII will be very disappointing for you. But that's not what Square Enix wanted it to be: this thirteenth chapter is a completely new point of view for the saga, which was in terrible need of a new direction. The plot is intense and built on an enjoyable smaller scope, the battle system is deep and satisfying, and technically (albeit a couple of unexpected flaws) the game delivers. So that's it, a NEW Final Fantasy: if that's what you were waiting for, big time.
  18. The story, its great combat system and its sublime production values all work in one direction: submerge the player in the kind of hyperbolic odyssey that only the JRPG genre can offer.
  19. 90
    Thank goodness for the battle system, then, because it saves the game while you're wincing through the saccharine banter and waiting for the training wheels to spin off.
  20. Final Fantasy XIII establishes a new reference and reinvents itself again, offering an experience unlike any that came before.
  21. 90
    Square Enix has brought some RPG elements to the forefront, while putting some away in the back. This might offend some gamers, but with a mix of tactics, a deep battle system and action-filled battles Final Fantasy XIII will entice plenty of players. The interaction between the characters and the gradual revelations within the story are placed within a wonderful audio-visual jacket and manage to grab the gamer without letting them go. The linear aspect shouldn’t bother anyone in this thirteenth step of one of the most popular franchises out there.
  22. Final Fantasy XIII is an amazing game. With an engrossing story and a thrilling new battle system, this is one title you can't afford to miss as an RPG fan. However, though it succeeds on the most important fronts, there are some notable areas where the game could have been better. The linear level design is a fairly large stumbling block, and if you are used to open-world games, it can make the entire experience feel a little claustrophobic.
  23. Whether you enjoy it or not will depend on your expectations. Walk into it with a clear mind and you will get lost in this magical fantasy world.
  24. Final Fantasy XIII isn't your typical Final Fantasy, but what is? Final Fantasy's tradition is its divergence, and when its execution is ever so clearly in line with its vision, there isn't much else quite like it.
  25. Final Fantasy is back, and it's not afraid to take a few risks along the way. Square Enix have taken a giant leap towards genre reform and should be congratulated for it. This is the best JRPG of this console generation by far.
  26. Superb storytelling, a very human cast, and visuals that will change your life, there is nothing to stop anyone from enjoying what this adventure has to offer.
  27. The linear beginning may disappoint hardcore players but Final Fantasy XIII is a journey from start to finish and it is worth losing a few days or weeks over.
  28. Even the thirteenth installment keeps the series in high standards and comes with an interesting battle system and stunning visuals. Story though is rather straightforward and more technical than stirring. [Issue#190]
  29. 89
    Hardcore Final Fantasy fans might be disappointed by the game's abandonment of franchise traditions like open worlds, town exploration and complex mini-games. The game is still worth buying, but it doesn't quite feel as complete as its well-loved predecessors.
  30. Final Fantasy XIII is very entertaining even if the borders between the different genres aren’t visible anymore. Not just great graphics, the simple controls and the interesting story motivate me every time to play another hour.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2189 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Breck
    Mar 9, 2010
    0
    Quite possible the worst final fantasy in the entire series. It shouldn't even be considered a true final fantasy. Nothing about this Quite possible the worst final fantasy in the entire series. It shouldn't even be considered a true final fantasy. Nothing about this game is good, I returned it. Something that took 2 years to make, was delayed for ps3 for another 2 years and downgraded so they could put it onto 360. Pathetic. Besides that, graphics still are bad with ps2 style environments. Annoying characters, and the same damn plot you've heard 100 times. Unless your a 6 year old girl, avoid at all costs. Full Review »
  2. Aug 24, 2010
    4
    Before buying FF13 I knew of two crushing facts about it - no overworld map/controllable airship and extremely linear gameplay. One of theBefore buying FF13 I knew of two crushing facts about it - no overworld map/controllable airship and extremely linear gameplay. One of the main reasons I bought a PS3 was for this game, so even after learning of the disappointments I still gave it a try. Now I've been an rpg fan for a long time. Playing through Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, and Secret of Mana were some of the most memorable expereices I've had. These games have a certain charm, a certain soul, that I believe Square has lost. Indeed, the brilliant minds behind these games are no longer working together (Sakaguchi, Amano, Uematsu, etc.). FF6 I believe was the pinacle, with my enjoyment declining with each subsequent release. There's something quite endearing about the old overhead-view and world maps. You're able to take it all in, your imagination turns, and you feel a real sense of the universe that's being portrayed. But now because of cut-scenes, fixed viewpoints or locations, and flashy graphics we're given a much more controlled and limited environment. With that said, I did enjoy FF7 and I wish they would have stuck with that format at least. I honestly cannot comprehend how they thought taking away a free-roaming world and airship travel would be received well by fans. Actually, I'm sure they realized it wouldn't be, but instead did not care and opted to appeal to a newer generation, thus making more money. Overall, this Final Fantasy is not for me, and I am ok with that. But it is a shame that the days of Final Fantasy as I knew it are gone.

    Ok, as far as FF13 goes... after 15 hours of playing I have completely lost interest. The story is the only reason I played this far, though at this point I feel as though I understand it enough to not continue with it. The major things that prevent me from finishing are the core gameplay (as I mentioned earlier) and the characters. The characters have stupid names. There I said it. Vanille, Snow, Lightning... Anyone of those is fine by itself but all 3 together? They act too childish. And with all their action, vibrancy of colors, their whining and shouting, I am somehow still left with a vapid taste in my mouth; not to mention how annoying some of the voices are. Most everything about this game comes off as way too contrived. Another thing that has not sat well with me since it was introduced are fight scenes, or cut-scenes in general. This is just a way of making the game more presentable and easier to consume by the masses, who by and large appreciate this and find it entertaining. I do not. I am not a huge movie/television fan to begin with so it does not appeal to me in the least. Maybe a few cut-scenes here and there are fine (like with FF7), but when it's done as much as it is in FF13 you feel as though you're playing an interactive movie, and in an essence that is really what it has become. So if you are new to Final Fantasy, I urge to to take a look at the older ones (or older Squaresoft games like Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana), and try to have some patience and imagination and I am sure you will find a much more rewarding experience.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 2, 2011
    10
    While still playing this game, I can assure you that Square-enix took one step in the right direction. In Final Fantasy XIII you will findWhile still playing this game, I can assure you that Square-enix took one step in the right direction. In Final Fantasy XIII you will find everything a game should have: Great story, well-developed and compelling characters, stunning enviroments, one of the best musical scores of the series, entertaining battle system, and DIFFICULTY. Every role is vital, and strategies are key for some battles. For those who like to compare FFXIII to other FFS just remember how great were FFVIII & FFVII, but how easy they were as well. I found that FFXIII is the oppossite of FFXII. Whereas FFXII gave you the freedom you 'need', tons of quests, it offered, IMO, the weakest story and character development of the series. In contrast, FFXIII is brilliantly developed, as characters and story is concerned. Sure, some things can be improved, some towns and quest can be added, but I, for one, cannot complain, as this game exceeded my expectations and I can't wait for its sequel. It's not a 10, as I gave. I would probably rate it as a 9.5, but hey, some put 0s and 1s so I wanted to raise the user score. Full Review »