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Generally favorable reviews- based on 2118 Ratings

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  1. Aug 2, 2011
    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 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. Expand
  2. Jan 8, 2011
    When I bought my Playstation 3, just a few weeks ago, I knew right away that my first game would be Final Fantasy XIII, in spite of all the criticisim from critics and fans. For the first 5 hours, the game, if not for the beautiful cutscenes and story, was for me quite boring and tedious. However, once I started to be given more Paradigms, which is the basis of the ATB battle system, battles became more fun and less tedious. After the 10 or 15 hour mark, I was thoroughly enjoying each battle, as each battle was different from the last. I rarely had, early in the game, to do any grinding to continue through the game, but in Chapter 10, the game suddenly became excruciantingly difficult, and I had to do hours of tedious grinding to handle a the chapter's second Boss Battle. After that, the game went back to its usual fun and engaging self. Putting that aside, the story in Final Fantasy XIII is great. It is wonderfully crafted and was almost (but not quite) in the level of the Metal Gear Series in terms os storytelling. I found all the Playable Characters great and engaging. I know that most people complain about Vanille's personality and voice, but I actually found her to be the most likable character in the game, and from the very moment she began to talk she made me smile. Lightning, Snow, Hope and Sazh were great characters, and their voice actors were excellent. Fang herself is also perhaps the second most charismatic character of the cast. As for the Secondary Characters, I was very dissappointed for the lack of development they were given, especially Cid Rains and Galenth Dysley. In graphics, I think its the best game yet. The enviroments, cutscenes and especially the character models, are beautiful and detailed. The characters themselves look extremelly realistic, even in cutscenes with the in-game engine. The only moment in which I found the graphics a little bland was in the Vile Peaks, where I saw many low resolution enviroments and objects. The rest of the areas were amazing, especially the "Lake Bresha", "Palamecia", "Eden" and "Nautilus". The soundtrack is great, but not the best in the series. I think it should have been more orchestral and less eletronic, and a few of the tracks became too repetitive for my taste. The best songs for mewere "Fighting Fate", "Born Anew" and "Fang's Theme". The voice acting was excellent all around, although on a few, small ocasions, the lips movements were not according to the words said. The battle system is most of the time fun, and it's both fast paced and strategic. The game is, until Chapter 11, very linear, but I didn't find it as extremelly linear as some critics said, and I think that the linearity can be excused thanks to the fun that the battle system gives. Also, about the lack of towns, well, I wasn't so annoyed at this after I realised that there were towns, just without NPCs and Shops, and that they were fun to see and explore. In conclusion, Final Fantasy XIII is a great, fun, beautiful game, with just a few small flaws that, thankfully, don't ruin the experience. I don't think it's the best of the series, in fact, I think that Final Fantasy XII was a lot better, but it is still excellent andnot nearly as bad as some critics said. Expand
  3. Dec 29, 2012
    I wouldn't say I'm an avid FF fan. I've played about four of the games, and enjoyed every one immensely. This is no different. Sure, this game, at times, became 'boring'. But I use this word in its loosest sense. The game kept me on my feet, yearning for what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the character's stories and their relationships with others. Many people disliked the battle style, but I found it intriguing and different. So many games are just, *press b to slash* or *hit this button to use a special move*. But you actually had to use your brain for this. Tactics were needed instead of button mashing. I would have given this game a ten, hands down, but one thing. Towards the end, the story sidetracks, and you are placed in the middle of nowhere. You have to fight a billion (quite literally) monsters to be good enough to move on. It took me, personally, at least ten hours (also literally) to be even close to killing the monster in the next area. In some ways, I enjoyed this because I could see how much I improved not only by the amount of damage I could deal, but by the tactics I used. As soon as I finished the game, I immediately went to buy the next one. Final Fantasy XIII is not for everybody, I understand that. It makes you think, it keeps you on your toes, it incorporates a very different battle style to ones used so often today. If you like games that are straight forward, easy, and not satisfying, don't get this game. However, if you are like me, someone who likes to get into their games, who likes to wrap their minds around them, who likes to analyze them and work out the best possible strategy to defeat that certain enemy, buy this game right now. Heck, by a PS3 just to buy this game. Expand
  4. Sep 13, 2010
    I got this the same day i got god of war 3 and i kid you not after playing the two, it took me 2 weeks to go back and play the GOW3. it is that good. A lot of people say the game is "linear" all because they are too used to running around like headless chickens for hours in free roaming games. honestly i think this game was brilliantly made so that if your the type of person thats in a hurry you can play through the the in 25 hours flat and move to something else. Then if you want to do all the sides missions all you have to do is turn around and take care of it. its that simple.
    if you ask me.. I'd say whats the point going into areas where the bad guys will kill with one swipe at the start of the game? its not the regular cliche of boy meets girl, love and unicorns no. Its deeper than that.
    And the battle system keeps you on your toes every second. If you thought Final fantasy X-2 was fast your in for a huge surprise.this game moves at a blistering pace. when i see games like fallout 3 rated at 90 and this beauty of a game given a measly 83 i'm crushed. Where have the real gamers gone..
  5. Feb 19, 2011
    Most in depth battle system Ive ever seen in an RPG maybe any game. A game clearly driven by its narrative the 1up review the best Ive seen. Is it linear? Yes, but I believe it served a purpose the second best RPG behind Valkyria Chronicles for me.
  6. Feb 20, 2011
    Okay, this isn't want everyone expected but several things you have to understand. It's not 1998 anymore, it's a completely new battle system. And if you were able to control all the players it wouldn't be the paradigm system at all. The linear storyline is to help newer fans know where to go, but the game isn't easy at all. You have to actually learn how to play and learn the system. If you go through the game in a good pace, it plays out well. This game is linear yes, but all RPGs are just their sandboxed most of the time. In my initial playthrough, I raced through it, and I started resenting the game because how hard it got during gran pulse, the doom clocks, and if the main character dies it's game over. But you can start right back where you left off, don't have to reload a save and waste hours. Many long time RPG fans have to realize that games like FFVII, Chrono Trigger, and other classics are considered dated game dynamics now. Even the reviews for the remake of DQVI pointed that out. We RPGers have to evolve, and this game is nowhere near as bad as crazy RPG fans think it should always stay the same. I love turned based, controlling all characters too, and free exploring and more eastern elements but you can't just rip on a game because it's not just like your dear favorites. As a hard core expert RPGer for 15 years I can say this game is a well worth edition. Just learn how to stagger and save your party, and then the game will be much more enjoyable. Expand
  7. Oct 5, 2010
    Final Fantasy is a great game that is both rich in graphics and gameplay. My only flaw is that the game can appear a bit boring for some, but it can be easily avoided if you stay away from long grinding sessions. I would happily recommend this game to anyone.
  8. Jan 23, 2011
    Final Fantasy XIII takes awhile to get the ball rolling but once you get in there's no coming back. The graphics are beautiful but that was almost a granted with this game, the battle system also takes a road somewhere between tradition FFX or FFVII battles and FFXII's complete departure. At first the game may seem simplistic but don't let that full you, I found it (in terms of pure enemy strength) to be the hardest in the series. However it is the least punishing as well, and deaths won't set you back to your last save point but right before the battle. The game walks you down a linear path in the beginning, but this helps more then it constricts. It lets you focus on becoming a master of the battle system before your thrown to the hellishly difficult open world where you'll die again, and again, and again. The story is certainly not the best in the series but it is still interesting with plenty of twists to keep you interested, also there is a ton of life in the game, enemy life mostly, but the world will always feel alive in some way. Finally I must state that I was disparaged with other reviews that criticize this game from departing from series trademarks like towns and airships. This new focus is more easy, all shopping is done through save points and teleporting around the world of Pulse means you'll never find yourself walking for 15 minutes just to get where you need to go. This is a bold step in the right direction for the series and Square Enix is best to ignore the detractors when making 13-2. Expand
  9. Dec 30, 2010
    Perfect. The graphics were completely amazing, the battle system was just the way it was like before, storyline shocked me significantly through many changes, and it should be in part of Game of the Year. Not only that, I think the linear nature of the gameplay is still fine because although it wasn't challenge, it did make the gameplay more easier in my opinion and allows players to concentrate their battles on bosses more than the dungeon itself. That way, people can fight along the way than to just ignore them and get beaten Expand
  10. May 14, 2011
    This is the best Final Fantasy game I have played in years, since FFVIII in fact. I love the old FF games. I've played FFIV and FF VI over and over again and was hesitant to get into this 'new fangled' game, but I ended up loving it. I know there has been a lot of criticism of the linear format of the game, but I actually liked it, I thought it worked. Besides, there is plenty of room for free, independent quests while completing the missions in Chapter 11.

    The characters are cool, the battle system is fun and interesting and as a whole the game is challenging. I really like that the lead character is female, Lightning is great, the best lead I've seen in a long time, my favourite FF female since Celes in FF VI!

    Looks wise this game is gorgeous and Masashi Hamauzu's fantastic soundtrack is haunting and memorable, I often found that the game's music was stuck in my head even when I wasn't playing the game.

    I wasn't crazy about the fact that there were no towns and I had to get used to the upgrading system and how hard it is to get gil, I sort of wished that your levelling up didn't completely stop with the crystarium, but those are small flaws. I liked the freedom of not having to cure after every battle like in some of the previous FF games that had the player so dependent on buying items.

    This game has restored my love for Final Fantasy and I can't wait for FF XIII-2
  11. Aug 30, 2012
    Linear some people say, but most of them had probably not finished the marks off. I think the game is well up there with most of the FF games with epic scenery´s, very good environment art work and a good story. However, I´m not fully satisfied with the characters personality wise even though the game overall did not let me down. I recommend this game, one of the best RPGs for sure for PS3. Expand
  12. May 23, 2011
    Purely Epicness! Gameplay is great, story is interesting, characters are memorable and graphics are AWESOME! So far best game what I have ever played. Yes I'm FF13 fanboy.
  13. Jun 4, 2011
    This certainly isn't the best Final Fantasy, but it's not the worst either. I thought the game play was a tad oversimplified as others have mentioned (spam Auto-battle for pretty much 95% of the battles), but the graphics were very impressive and I personally thought the story was very good. The linearity didn't put me off very much because I tend to play Final Fantasies very linearly during the first few hours anyway. Those who are giving the game anything less than a 5, if you played up to Chapter 11 I guarantee you that your opinion of the game would change. The last 3 Chapters really felt like a more nostalgic FF experience. Expand
  14. Jun 9, 2011
    I don't see how people don't like this. It has excellent characters, excellent game-play, and an excellent plot. The voice acting was wonderful and it is very challenging at some points. Looking for a challenging time killer? This is for you. Oh, and the graphics are also wonderful.
  15. Aug 25, 2011
    I've never seen a Final Fantasy game that is so big, even Cloud Strife ever had a sword. Final Fantasy XIII is without a shadow of a doubt, the best game of 2010. Call it like you mean it, but with a phenomenal set of battle systems, impact challenges, and even new characters like the always talented Lightning, the fans keep spreading the word after almost 25 years of JRPG awesomeness. I'm am so dying for a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII because it's coming out next January. Until then, maybe I'll spend time playing hour after hour until I may die tryin'. But Final Fantasy XIII is the best game since Final Fantasy X. Expand
  16. Feb 4, 2012
    I love this game. So beautiful and action packed with a story line that is entrancing as it is involved. I will continue to love this game for all time and it will go down as the most beautiful console game to date. The grinding will get on your nerves a little after the game is complete, but that should only worry the Platinum hunters. Oh yeah, that treasure hunter trophy is a nightmare and is definitely missable. I will support this franchise from here on. Expand
  17. Dec 22, 2011
    I play the Final Fantasy series since the V. I really love RPGs and, like many others, VII is my favorite and it will always be. But I think many people people simple don't understand that not only games changes as time passes, but also our preferences and desires. Final Fantasy XIII is far from the previous ones for its linearity and an optional auto battle. A game consists not only in gameplay, but also plot, soundtrack, graphics and fun. Each FF offers you new experiences, and that is why the series get high rates in most websites. Games must innovate in some way. We don't want more from the same, like most shooters. Square makes some mistakes, but they're trying. And gamers should recognize it, because one day Square can make something really awesome. My life changed a lot since FF V. Today I work, I have a girlfriend, social life, personal projects and family to give attention. I don't have time to explore 100% of what the game offers. FF XIII has an advantage on its linearity: if you have short time to play games and if you love RPGs, FF XIII is great for you. I loved it and I'll buy FF XIII-2. If you want to focus on traditional gameplay and more from the same, maybe you should take a look at some shooters out there, like Call of Duty. Maybe a lot of players didn't like FF XIII, but no one can deny that each time you get a new FF you'll see something different. And that is something many companies aren't capable of. Open your mind for new experiences: it will be good for your games and your life. Expand
  18. Jan 6, 2012
    Great story, great battle system, and an amazingly beautiful game. Sure there are no towns and the game play is linear but when the story is about these characters fleeing from the purge, is it realistic that they have time to poke around towns with NPC's being friendly, or to wander on meaningless side quests as if they had all the time in the world? Sure these things could have been written into the story, but it wasn't and I respect that decision. The game was worth the $60 I paid at its release and it is surely worth the $20 it costs now, especially with its sequel XIII-2 coming out on 1/31/12, which will have towns and side quests etc. I highly recommend this game. Expand
  19. Jan 16, 2012
    Amazing visuals, amazing gameplay. This is my first final fantasy and since the start of the game i've been dragged into the plotline, its not the perfect game but it has a thrilling battling system that will keep you constantly involved in the combat and not just the usual turn for turn rpg. Yes it has his flaws like the slow develop of the gameplay but once you are in the 4th chapter of the game the battle system will begin to build itslef and will become extremly fun. Easly controled and no tedious waiting for attack turns since when you are not attacking you can use objects or watch the other npc's attack the enemies, despite the fact the other 2 members of your party ar ai controlled you'll have a truly "final fantasy" experience. I highly recommend this game to those who are beautiful graphics and strong story lovers. Expand
  20. Mar 5, 2012
    A FINAL FANTASY at a height of the saga. It is possible that it is linear in excess but in the rest of other aspects it dazzles. Very nice the history of lu´cie and the fal´cie, Cocoon, Pulse, Lighning and Serah. The beautiful recreation, your powerful sonorous band, the intelligent system of combat or the emotion of your prominent figures, complete an excellent game. It is not FFVII, not X, but it is Final Fantasy undoubtedly. Expand
  21. Sep 21, 2010
    Its a beautiful game, but it fails in the aspect that it is too linear and it still does not beat FFVII for story and variety. The battle system, while no doubt some will love it and some will hate it, i was disappointed by it. These flaws are i can only give it a 9
  22. Oct 23, 2010
    This game has me split into two. One part of me hates the corny story and mostly lame cast. The other part of me is addicted to the combat mechanics of the game and is only thinking about getting that platinum trophy. I think the combat is good enough for me to forget the lame story and just enjoy the game when I can. Oh and by the way this game looks insanely amazing, I still don't know how they pulled this graphics on a PS3, you would need a massive PC to replicate them. Expand
  23. Oct 15, 2011
    a perfect Final fantasy game, from the story to the graphics to the actual gameplay. i could literally play for most of a day at a time and still want to keep going
  24. Nov 4, 2011
    Final Fantasy XIII is an interesting game to say the least. As an old time Final Fantasy fan since PSX Final Fantasy games, I was eagerly anticipating FFXIII. Before I bought it I heard a lot of controversial opinions about this game. In fact, my own opinion about it wasn't clear until about 2/3 of my own playthrough of FF13. The thing is, FF13 is different from its predecessors in many ways, but there is one thing that is the same. The quality, my friends. This game was meant to be exactly what it is and the execution is pretty much perfect. And here comes the major problem. A lot of people are expecting traditional Final Fantasy elements to be in every new numbered Final Fantasy games, and they will see the lack of aforementioned elements as a major flaw. In short, don't buy this game if you're looking to see many traditional Final Fantasy elements, you will be severely disappointed. However, if you're looking for a good JRPG with high-production values, plot that focuses on main characters (personally, I haven't seen that in the main series since FF10, 10 years ago), fun and fast battle system, stunning design and graphics and an outstanding soundtrack from one of the FF10's composers then Final Fantasy XIII is definitely worth checking out. Expand
  25. Jan 16, 2012
    For the typical Final Fantasy fan, you will love this game, but to those who are hardcore FF fans might find this game a bit displeasing due to the changes made into the overall game compared to other games in the series. Regardless, Final Fantasy XIII brings in a breath of Fresh air when it comes to Character Design, Battle System, Music and overall story telling. You will enjoy this game and it is worth every penny! Expand
  26. Jan 22, 2012
    This game is a masterpiece. The best RPG of this generaion (but XIII-2 looks even better).
    Everybody should buy and enjoy this masterpiece.
    A true Final Fantasy, and one of the best games of all the story (or maybe the best).
  27. HD3
    Dec 16, 2011
    Good story, interesting and flashy combat, excellent soundtrack, lush enviroments. Very linear though to the point you may find it annoying if you prefer to just wander. Never the less, quite an enjoyable game.
  28. Feb 1, 2012
    This game was my first final fantasy and I enjoyed it. Battle system was great. The characters are great, The story is OK. This deserves a well earned 10
  29. Feb 4, 2012
    Despite being a polarized Final Fantasy, especially for letting many elements of previous titles aside, there is much to enjoy in Final Fantasy XIII. With a fast and functional battle system, flawless artistic direction, great narrative and a high quality soundtrack, Square-Enix proves that traditions are not necessary to forge an excellent game in the series.
  30. Feb 11, 2012
    I thought this game was great. Awesome battle system, beautiful graphics. The story was going along great until I got to the final boss, then i was like, "WTF"?! It's also pretty difficult when you get to the last level, but other than that, I think this is a great entry in the series and it shows the company moving forward and trying new things.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 83
  2. Negative: 1 out of 83
  1. 81
    As an RPG, it is an excellent experience that provides a beautifully crafted world and engaging battle system. However, as a Final Fantasy game, it falls short of expectations somewhat.
  2. 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]
  3. An unexpected Final Fantasy. The 13th chapter has a great story and some of the most incisive characters of the whole series, and even the battle system works very well, being deep and complex (even if you control only a single character). But on the other side the overwhelming linearity of the plot, the absence of cities to explore, and the small amount of side quest will disappoint fans' expectations.