User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 480 Ratings

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  1. Feb 15, 2014
    1
    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 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
    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 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.
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  2. Feb 13, 2014
    3
    This game is nothing like any other FF game, the characters are really boring, and the dress up is more like a barbie game.. this is not what i expected from FF 13-LR it is much worse. the game don't have any good reason to be out there and the time limit just make it worse. the only good thing about the game is the fighting. but when you got to do boring side quests to get more powerfulThis game is nothing like any other FF game, the characters are really boring, and the dress up is more like a barbie game.. this is not what i expected from FF 13-LR it is much worse. the game don't have any good reason to be out there and the time limit just make it worse. the only good thing about the game is the fighting. but when you got to do boring side quests to get more powerful the game has lost the "Final Fantasy" feel that 13/13-2 had. its not fun to do quests to get stronger you want to beat enemies but when that is taken away why do you care about them? they are just in the way in this game, so in my opinion square did a huge mistake and made it a dress up game with some action were u don't want to fight because there is no big reward for it. Expand
  3. Feb 15, 2014
    1
    this gamefailed me..and whose idea to put time limit in rpg game while you can explore the open world? no sense at all and waste of money. what happened square enix?
  4. Feb 12, 2014
    5
    Frustrating, this word resume what I think about this opus. Great battle system, customization, exploration, technically sound but sooooo frustrating. The story is bad, but I can go past this. No the problem is the timer : you just don't have time to really do what you want, to explore every single part of the world, to develop your character. You must go quickly from one quest to another,Frustrating, this word resume what I think about this opus. Great battle system, customization, exploration, technically sound but sooooo frustrating. The story is bad, but I can go past this. No the problem is the timer : you just don't have time to really do what you want, to explore every single part of the world, to develop your character. You must go quickly from one quest to another, always rushing and never spent time doing anything else if you want to finish the story. Add to this that it is nearly impossible to do without game over and go in some kind of New game + : you keep your character as develop as she was, but have to redo everything...... Soooo frustrating. Expand
  5. Feb 11, 2014
    5
    Quality game= Good music, Good graphic, good game-play
    Bad story = It's BORING/BAD/HORRIBLE/It feels FORCED.
    Lightning is WAY too Mary sue-ish and in all honesty, the story seems like a poorly written fan fiction. Making her all powerful doesn't make her EPIC. It just makes her OP. I could play underrated games like Sengoku Basara for HOURS compared to LR:FFXIII. By the way, the
    Quality game= Good music, Good graphic, good game-play
    Bad story = It's BORING/BAD/HORRIBLE/It feels FORCED.

    Lightning is WAY too Mary sue-ish and in all honesty, the story seems like a poorly written fan fiction.
    Making her all powerful doesn't make her EPIC. It just makes her OP.

    I could play underrated games like Sengoku Basara for HOURS compared to LR:FFXIII.
    By the way, the FFXIII trilogy ISN'T underrated! FFXII, NOW that's a FF that is underrated.
    FFXIII's story was horrid and people don't like it.

    Not only was it bad, there are games that SE was suppose to bring and they didn't: Chrono Breaker, FF Agito that became Type-0 and Versus was delayed as **** Not only that, all I see is FF everywhere. I want more variety from SE.
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  6. Feb 14, 2014
    0
    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.
  7. Feb 11, 2014
    8
    I beleive people are making this game seem a lot worse than it is, people are giving this 1's and 0's! No game is worth a zero unless it is completely unplayable. And this game isn't. This has an incredible new combat system that is extremely customisable, and is really fun. The story is told the way its supposed to, Lightning is supposed to save souls, and thats what she does, their is noI beleive people are making this game seem a lot worse than it is, people are giving this 1's and 0's! No game is worth a zero unless it is completely unplayable. And this game isn't. This has an incredible new combat system that is extremely customisable, and is really fun. The story is told the way its supposed to, Lightning is supposed to save souls, and thats what she does, their is no other part of the story to it.I know lightning isn't the most likable character in the world but she is becoming a god basically in this game. And the people who made this understood that in all cultures gods don't have emotion. But most fof the other characters in this game are pretty likable. The open world is fantastic! I mean how many other games can you make a certain type of monster species go instinct, there is so much stuff to do in this game that are behind the scenes. I believe this game is a great way to close a fantastic triology in the Final Fantasy series. Expand
  8. Feb 11, 2014
    6
    I'm sorry but this is the worst FF game I've ever played. And I love FF from VII-XII and VI Advance (main series only; didn't care for any sequels, spin-offs or online). After the disappointing XIII and XIII-2, why do they bother with this game instead of XV. I stuck by Square Enix when they said that they wanted to address the issues that their previous game had by making a sequel to it.I'm sorry but this is the worst FF game I've ever played. And I love FF from VII-XII and VI Advance (main series only; didn't care for any sequels, spin-offs or online). After the disappointing XIII and XIII-2, why do they bother with this game instead of XV. I stuck by Square Enix when they said that they wanted to address the issues that their previous game had by making a sequel to it. It's clear to me now that that was just an excuse to cash in the FF XIII trilogy. Much like The Matrix Trilogy, it got worse and worse. The only thing that's good about this game (and pretty much the previous two games) is the battle system. It's more action-oriented and fast-paced battle system makes battles more thrilling but sadly, you can no longer gain experience from battles. For some reason, the graphics is worse and the countdown is completely pointless. It diverts you from freely exploring the open world of the game, I would've love to spend more time looking around (as FF is known for designing one of the best looking environments) but I didn't want the timer to run out, even if you extend it, so I just tried to complete the game as fast as possible. The FF XIII series is weak in storytelling but sadly, it's the same thing here. The story is inconsistent, many of the characters lacked development and the attempt at humor is very typical in Japanese storytelling. I've lost all respect I had for Square Enix but even though this gen's FF is very disappointing, I still have high hopes for the franchise. They may release another crap FF game but if the franchise came to an end, there would be no chance of having another great FF game with the high quality standard of PS1 and 2's FF games. Lightning Returns isn't entirely terrible but it's average and disappointing, only hardcore fans can make the most out of this game. For everyone else, look away from JPRGs. There hasn't been any great JRPG games this gen (except for Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii) so I hope Square Enix can pick up the franchise again for the eighth generation, hopefully that will be FF XV. Expand
  9. Feb 12, 2014
    1
    Doesn't surprise me this poor reviews for FF13 LIGHTING. The whole 'Fabula Nova Crystalis' thing was Garbage, IMO. Yet, Square-Enix insist on sticking with it for FF 15,pfffffff. Who in the hell thought that a time-limit for an RPG was a good idea?!
  10. Feb 12, 2014
    3
    Although I disliked the linearity of FF XIII I still enjoyed it and the battle system, more so with XIi-2 where more path option were available.
    This, 'game' however, gives you back some real freedom then snatches it away instantly with constantly being reminded of time limits, quests that are the basest of RPG fetch quests, no incentive to enter combat as you do not get exp from it and
    Although I disliked the linearity of FF XIII I still enjoyed it and the battle system, more so with XIi-2 where more path option were available.
    This, 'game' however, gives you back some real freedom then snatches it away instantly with constantly being reminded of time limits, quests that are the basest of RPG fetch quests, no incentive to enter combat as you do not get exp from it and with a gameplay that discourages you to waste time looking for fights by the quest structure. If you ignore everything the game wants you to do there are a few hours of gameplay here but only if bought from the remaindered bin.
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  11. Feb 15, 2014
    0
    Waste of time by Square-Enix who should have instead used that time and money creating literally anything else. Farewell to the worst protagonist in Final Fantasy history.
  12. Feb 12, 2014
    10
    it is sad that haters get on here and give the game a zero just to be jerks, no game deserves a zero....and it just makes their reviews worth zero also.
    if you are going to do such an ignorant thing, at least back up your rating with some sort of INTELLIGENT reasons.
    something besides "this sucks" would be appreciated. i gave this a 10 to try and offset all the fake hater reviews, the
    it is sad that haters get on here and give the game a zero just to be jerks, no game deserves a zero....and it just makes their reviews worth zero also.
    if you are going to do such an ignorant thing, at least back up your rating with some sort of INTELLIGENT reasons.
    something besides "this sucks" would be appreciated.
    i gave this a 10 to try and offset all the fake hater reviews, the game deserves a 7.
    please actually play this if you are going to review it.....
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  13. Feb 15, 2014
    0
    I'm giving this game a zero because that is what it deserves based on the fact that this is the final nail in the coffin of one of my all time favorite RPG series.. I am disgusted by what square enix has done to a classic series.. Heres to you Final Fantasy.. I will honor your memory by playing 6 9 and 10 and by pretending these 3 13 games never existed.. Lightning is an awful characterI'm giving this game a zero because that is what it deserves based on the fact that this is the final nail in the coffin of one of my all time favorite RPG series.. I am disgusted by what square enix has done to a classic series.. Heres to you Final Fantasy.. I will honor your memory by playing 6 9 and 10 and by pretending these 3 13 games never existed.. Lightning is an awful character her personality is truly boring, they gave us a female squall.. the protagonist that most true FF fans hated.. Why can't FF have lead protagonists with personality anymore? Do they all have to be a brooding emo tool? Miss you Zidane... Luh you.. Expand
  14. Feb 11, 2014
    10
    Did the users giving it zeroes even play the game? Don't listen to these trolls. . Despite popular and retarded belief, this game is alright to play, not the best, but still very good, gameplay and story.
  15. Feb 11, 2014
    7
    Okay, so listen up guys. This game will either be, in my opinion, a 6 or a 9 for you. If you didn't like the other two entries, chances are that you will find the story and the characters really dull, boring and confusing. The gameplay, music and art direction could keep you playing though, (though the textures had gone worse) However, If you did like the other two entries of the series,Okay, so listen up guys. This game will either be, in my opinion, a 6 or a 9 for you. If you didn't like the other two entries, chances are that you will find the story and the characters really dull, boring and confusing. The gameplay, music and art direction could keep you playing though, (though the textures had gone worse) However, If you did like the other two entries of the series, chances are that you will thoroughly enjoy this game. The conclusion of the saga is a hit or miss, personally I'm satisfied of how it ended and how I got to say good bye to everyone.
    Now let's all, fans and haters, unite in waiting for FFXV!
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  16. Feb 11, 2014
    0
    Why did you do this to me square? I used to love you!
    Why have you forsaken me! What did enix gave you i couldn't give you?
    Money? Is that what you want?
  17. Feb 11, 2014
    0
    This game is the reason I have cancer. Final Fantasy 13 was okay. Final Fantasy 13-2 was meh. This game, is a disgrace. It's a sign that Square Enix has fallen off their throne as RPG king. They no longer have the capacity to make semi-decent characters, plot and wrap it neatly in a game. This game is a laggy, bug ridden, MESS. Additionally, the plot is fanficiton gone wrong and the endingThis game is the reason I have cancer. Final Fantasy 13 was okay. Final Fantasy 13-2 was meh. This game, is a disgrace. It's a sign that Square Enix has fallen off their throne as RPG king. They no longer have the capacity to make semi-decent characters, plot and wrap it neatly in a game. This game is a laggy, bug ridden, MESS. Additionally, the plot is fanficiton gone wrong and the ending is why children in Africa are starving. This game just proves how you can slap a brand name on a piece of **** and people will still buy and love it. Disgusting. When will Final Fantasy fans wake up?
    On the plus side, Lightning has a bunch of great costumes. Have fun paying $60 for a dress up game since that's the only feature that works.
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  18. Feb 11, 2014
    10
    As a lover of 13 part 1 and part 2 this game really gives a strong finish to a great series. Lightning is a great character and one I will remember for a long time.
  19. Feb 11, 2014
    0
    Worthless game. No effort put in whatsoever by Square-Enix. The story is ridicoulosly bad, the gameplay is broken and will probably be liked only by the small minority that liked the previous two chapters that don't represent in any way shape or form the majority of FF fans and fans of good games in general.
  20. Feb 11, 2014
    6
    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 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.
  21. Feb 11, 2014
    10
    The XIII series as a whole is amazing and I don't understand the unnecessary hate towards it. The story, characters, battles... everything was awesome! So far that hasn't changed in Lighting Returns either. I'm enjoying it very much so. I think a lot of people (mostly guys) are scared or just straight up pissed off by having strong female lead roles in the gaming world today. Lightning isThe XIII series as a whole is amazing and I don't understand the unnecessary hate towards it. The story, characters, battles... everything was awesome! So far that hasn't changed in Lighting Returns either. I'm enjoying it very much so. I think a lot of people (mostly guys) are scared or just straight up pissed off by having strong female lead roles in the gaming world today. Lightning is strong, independent, goal oriented, and having a female protagonist is something pretty new in the gaming scene. Only a select few females leads have made it "acceptable" by the community, such as Lara Croft. We need more of those in the gaming world and Lightning is the right role model for that! Expand
  22. Feb 11, 2014
    0
    Awful story. Awful main character. Awful dialogs. Awful quest. Awful graphics. Awful ending. This is an awful entry in a franchise devastated by a terrible producers.
  23. Apr 25, 2014
    4
    I play Final Fantasy games since the NES era, so I know what I am talking about. Additionally, I have played them ALL, with the exception of 11, as I was never into MMOs anyway. Even the last entries (13 and 13-2 had great moments and I had a lot of fun with them - I have actually finished 13 twice). I think Lightning is a great character and truly represents the new generation of FF and,I play Final Fantasy games since the NES era, so I know what I am talking about. Additionally, I have played them ALL, with the exception of 11, as I was never into MMOs anyway. Even the last entries (13 and 13-2 had great moments and I had a lot of fun with them - I have actually finished 13 twice). I think Lightning is a great character and truly represents the new generation of FF and, in my honest opinion, she is a very badass heroine. I simply love her. Lightning Returns finally converts her into the war-horse she is, making her a one-woman army. The gameplay/combat is SICK, original and a lot of fun. But that is all, I'm afraid. The rest of the game is a complete mess... and, seriously, why, WHY make a countdown in an open-world game? Why make a countdown that punishes you for wanting to explore and see all those cool settings and cities? Why make battles that don't give experience? It just does not make sense and gives me a feeling that the game is broken. I feel sad for hating this game, I really wanted to love it. But even for a true fan of the series, it is impossible. Lightning Returns is probably the worst game in the franchise and a shame that the trilogy has to end in such a sad, mediocre note. Expand
  24. Feb 19, 2014
    6
    Much less than i was specting , poor game interaction , you just talk , upgrade gear , battlebattlebattle and battle , just annoying for me , really..., and you gotta really be a fan of FF series to like and understand this game(story) , to like its mechanics and to play with "enjoyment", just another game that make me want my money back( I DONT RECCOMMEND IT if you never played finalMuch less than i was specting , poor game interaction , you just talk , upgrade gear , battlebattlebattle and battle , just annoying for me , really..., and you gotta really be a fan of FF series to like and understand this game(story) , to like its mechanics and to play with "enjoyment", just another game that make me want my money back( I DONT RECCOMMEND IT if you never played final fantasy before) Expand
  25. Jun 22, 2014
    9
    88/100: A great third part of FINAL FANTASY XIII has been made by Square Enix. The battle system is very different to the other Final Fantasy games but although they made it different, it worked out really well. Also they time limit of 13 hours to save the world in this game makes the game very special and especially because it's an RPG it's very special. The characters are great and the88/100: A great third part of FINAL FANTASY XIII has been made by Square Enix. The battle system is very different to the other Final Fantasy games but although they made it different, it worked out really well. Also they time limit of 13 hours to save the world in this game makes the game very special and especially because it's an RPG it's very special. The characters are great and the story is pretty entertaining. Overall a very good Final Fantasy game! Expand
  26. Mar 27, 2014
    0
    time limit, you absolutely need a guide to know about certain times/enemy encounters to progress, lot's of dlc to play cosplay with lightning.

    is this really a FF game? it feels more of a game released just to get more money on a poor and popular character. AVOID.
  27. Apr 18, 2014
    4
    This game is the reason Sony sold their investment into Square Enix. The characters are still mundane, the action is still mediocre, and the graphics continue to be the only thing this game has going for it.
  28. Mar 5, 2014
    0
    Loathed this game completely and this is coming from someone who thought the first two were decent! The production value and presentation is horrendous it feels so cheap and they but flashy lights everywhere to try and cover it up, the voice actress even sounds like she hates the game, the time aspect is so stupid considering they're selling this to a FF audience which ruins what couldLoathed this game completely and this is coming from someone who thought the first two were decent! The production value and presentation is horrendous it feels so cheap and they but flashy lights everywhere to try and cover it up, the voice actress even sounds like she hates the game, the time aspect is so stupid considering they're selling this to a FF audience which ruins what could have been great about te game; the depth! The battles are nice enough too but with lack of exp feels pointless. Worst FF they have produced by far... Expand
  29. Mar 31, 2014
    3
    The fans want to desperately trick themselves into believing this game is good, but it is not. If you enjoy taking on 10 different and boring enemies, yeah the game only has about 10-13 different types of enemies. If you enjoy a story that is a nonsensical mess. If you enjoy truly worthless items. If you enjoy the most insipid repetitive shallow boring fetch quests. If you enjoy an RPGThe fans want to desperately trick themselves into believing this game is good, but it is not. If you enjoy taking on 10 different and boring enemies, yeah the game only has about 10-13 different types of enemies. If you enjoy a story that is a nonsensical mess. If you enjoy truly worthless items. If you enjoy the most insipid repetitive shallow boring fetch quests. If you enjoy an RPG whose entire area can be 100% explored in a good 1-2 hrs(meaning the game is very small). If you enjoy bosses that are not difficult but that take 100 years to kill by mashing the same buttons over and over. If you enjoy NPC's who are far worse animated and acted than anything seen on the movie The Room. If you enjoy crappy graphics that are blurry, pixelated and blurry(the pretty CG does not count, along with Lights model). If you enjoy boredom, then this game is for you. Expand
  30. May 1, 2014
    1
    This is the end of the FFXIII trilogy but unfortunately this trilogy ends on a sour note. The story and characters are both dry and ridiculous as there is little or no depth or development. The time limit should have scrapped early in development in favor of something else because combining the open world, main story and, sidequests give the game a very unbalanced feel and while I am gladThis is the end of the FFXIII trilogy but unfortunately this trilogy ends on a sour note. The story and characters are both dry and ridiculous as there is little or no depth or development. The time limit should have scrapped early in development in favor of something else because combining the open world, main story and, sidequests give the game a very unbalanced feel and while I am glad that sidequests are an organic part of the game this time around they feel more like errands and it feels extremely unpleasant. I will give world design high marks but the inability to freely explore the game counters this as you are constantly rushing through the game doing quests and proceeding through the main plot and having all this stuff going on all at once can have you feeling lost. The graphics also have problems there is ridiculous amounts of lagging in some areas and textures look very rushed and muddy and some textures look closer to plastic rather than looking organic it looks and feels very cheap and it's VERY disappointing especially for a Final Fantasy game. While the battle system is the best part of the game it feels a bit weird since there no other playable party members other than Lightning (except for certain parts of the game where you get a temporary party member but I am not counting these) and I do admit I do miss having a full party since the Schemata system feels closer to a game of Dress Up. In the end Lightning Returns is something that should never be revisited in the future and it's easily the worst Final Fantasy of this console generation. So instead of playing this game you will want to play either Zelda: Majora's Mask or Bravely Default these are masterpieces and Lightning Returns on the other hand it's better off thrown in a fire or left in crystal stasis for all eternity. Expand
Metascore
66

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62
  1. May 11, 2014
    70
    Lightning Returns shows us a flashy new wardrobe but looks still rule over personality. Sadly Lightnings chance of clothes does nothing for the lack of her personality. Overall it is enjoyable, but messy story and flimsy characters don't do it any favours. [March 2014]
  2. 60
    Beautiful world and solid gameplay, countered by a boring story and not very likeable characters. [Issue #240]
  3. Apr 2, 2014
    70
    I spent 25 hours with Lightning Returns and most of them were pleasant, but it was mainly entertainment for my eyes and fingers rather than my brain. I reckon it to be the best game of the XIII trilogy, but it’s far behind those really outstanding Final Fantasies. [04/2014, p.60]