Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62
Buy On
  1. 90
    It's a pity that a lot of players have been so fixated on the perceived gameplay weaknesses of each of the games in this trilogy, because in doing so they've really missed the broader philosophical richness of the story of Lightning and her ragtag crew of allies and antagonists. Ironically, those people will also find Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII the weakest game in the series, when thematically speaking, it's actually the most powerful.
  2. Feb 11, 2014
    It’s the third game in the thirteenth of a series dating back to 1987, yet it’s also one of the most successfully inventive games I’ve ever played. It puts you in control of everything, which is a total inverse of Final Fantasy’s traditional position.
  3. 85
    Lighting Returns takes to the end of the world with vivacity and conviction, reshaping the way that RPGs can and should be in many great ways. Even if the game engine is well past its prime and the voice acting is weak at times, the overall package is an entanglement of nostalgia and intrigue for fans of Final Fantasy XIII and the RPG genre.
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    The incredibly fun combat system and the sheer amount of customization options make this final entry in the trilogy well worth seeking out. If you’re coming into this with the hopes of seeing the story turn itself around then you’re going to leave disappointed. But if you enjoyed the refinements made in Final Fantasy XIII-2, then I think you’ll find a lot to love about Lightning Returns.
  5. Feb 27, 2014
    Lightning Returns is a fun game filled with myriad things to do. The combat system is excellent, and the many options with with you can customize Lightning brings are impressive. It's a fitting end to the series and bodes well for the future of Final Fantasy.
  6. Feb 11, 2014
    As a game for XIII’s downtrodden fans, Lightning Returns is excellent. It fleshes out the interesting world, gives each of the cast a little more screen time without singling any out as more or less important (well, except Lightning) and brings an extremely stupid story to an extremely stupid conclusion in style. And the haters? They’re gonna hate, clearly. That’s kind of their thing. But this isn’t a game for them. No, it’s a reward for those bold enough to be of the apparently controversial opinion that Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t awful. And a fine reward it is too, so long as you don’t go into it expecting a traditional Final Fantasy experience.
  7. Feb 11, 2014
    It's quite a new adventure, or at least it's the first Final Fantasy that changes the old-school scheme the franchise has used for many years. Doesn't look like Final Fantasy anymore, but at least it's worth the try... and the money.
  8. Feb 11, 2014
    Square seems to have taken critiques of the first two games to heart and corrected them. Gone are the oppressively limited environments and the convoluted stories. In their place are a large world, clear story, and the latest refinement of what was already among the most radically inventive combat systems to hit JRPGs in years.
  9. Feb 11, 2014
    For all its weirdness it actually is a pretty compelling adventure. Excellent combat mechanics and the pairing of an open world with a harsh time limit help the game overcome its technical shortcomings and impenetrable story.
  10. Feb 11, 2014
    Surprising, but not for the reasons you might think. With only thirteen days to go before the end of the world, Lightning has her hands full. This final chapter tries a lot of new ideas, many of which work. Unfortunately, the game is a little messy and tonally all over the place. Fans of the series will be satisfied with the emotional finale.
  11. Feb 11, 2014
    Even with its mediocre plot and heavily emphasized fan service aspects, I really enjoyed Lightning Returns. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve followed the series since the beginning, or because I’m a sucker for the characters and their relationships between one another, but this game made me experience a range of emotions that I haven’t experienced from a game in a long time.
  12. Feb 11, 2014
    The game has several technical flaws but on top of this it tries to emulate the western RPGs suffering with NPC you’ll forget easily and gameplay that fans of the series may not fully enjoy.
  13. Feb 11, 2014
    It does not have the soul of a Final Fantasy game, but still we had lots of fun playing it. If you take it as a spin-off, then you'll find a very enjoyable game, especially for Lightning fans.
  14. Feb 17, 2014
    Unsurprisingly, Lightning Returns : Final Fantasy XIII is like the trilogy it ends: full of appeal but ruined by flaws you can't help to notice. We're speaking about the technical aspect that the ip has stacked since its arrival on PS3 and Xbox 360, which still harms the game and our eyes. We're even more disappointed to see that it ruins the good artistic direction of the game. We also have to mention the difficulty, set on extremely hard in a hope to increase the life of the game. But Lightning returns also has some great features, the 13 days left to Lightning to achieve its mission, and the quests to be achieved give a good rhythm to the title, while the costume system give a true strategic dimention to the fights. Don't miss it and hang on tight.
  15. Feb 14, 2014
    Lightning Returns is not the closure we hoped for and represent a slight step back for the series Nevertheless is a good game, graced by an amazing combat system that that probably deserved a better context. If you are a fan you certainly enjoy the game, but its magic seems to be lost somewhere else.
  16. Feb 11, 2014
    There's plenty of fun to be had in Lightning Returns if you're open to it, and are willing to overlook some of the messiness.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 567 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 150
  2. Negative: 52 out of 150
  1. Feb 11, 2014
    Contrary to the popular belief that the FFXIII series is garbage and no one likes it, I actually love it. I know the characters can be overContrary to the popular belief that the FFXIII series is garbage and no one likes it, I actually love it. I know the characters can be over the top at times but that's true of most anime you watch and just part of the culture from where the game originated. I enjoyed the entire series. Full Review »
  2. Feb 15, 2014
    I've been a fan of the FF franchise for 20 years now and this is the first installment where I simply don't want to play anymore. I might giveI've been a fan of the FF franchise for 20 years now and this is the first installment where I simply don't want to play anymore. I might give it another shot later, but here are my first impressions after 3 hours of playtime. I really enjoyed the last two games in this trilogy and was excited for a third.

    Story: I'm immediately adverse to the story line. The game basically seems pointless. In 13-1 we were tasked with saving Cacoon. (We may have failed, but we gave people a new home on Gran Pulse.) In 13-2 we were tasked with saving Lightning and restoring the timeline. In 13-3 the world's going to end in 6 to 13 days no matter what we do. We can potentially resurrect Serah (to live on some new planet) if we save enough souls before the end of days. We are essentially Bhunivelze's pawn for this task. We feel much less like a hero, and Lightning herself doesn't seem thrilled about the task.

    Combat: The combat is often one of my favorite parts of an FF game. Being able to strategically plan out my moves and watch my characters grow there combat skills has always kept me entertained. This is the reason that I gave this game a 1 and not a 0. The combat system is new, but it seems to have potential for keeping you engaged. Setting up your schema is a lot like choosing combat roles in the previous installments, but you have even more flexibility. The problems, not enough combat and you don't get XP from killing monsters, you only gain skill ups through quests (which so far have not been entertaining).

    Open world / Time Limit: The open world would not normally be a bad thing. In fact my complaint about many of the recent FF games was how linear they felt. The problem is the time limit. I want to go exploring, but I feel like I can't because I need to be completing quests. In fact if I don't complete enough quests, Lightning won't even get 13 days to save souls in the world. This makes me very stressed about how I spend my time in game, and I have enough stress in my lift. I play games to relax, and this game doesn't give me that luxury.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    Worst ff game i have ever played and i have played x-2 and dirge of cerberus(another pos).
    What's the point of having an open world to
    Worst ff game i have ever played and i have played x-2 and dirge of cerberus(another pos).
    What's the point of having an open world to explore when you have a freaking time limit?
    What the hell were they thinking?
    This is not final fantasy.
    Do yourself a favor take those 60 bucks and buy ff1-6 on psn and play those again.
    Full Review »