Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 50
  2. Negative: 1 out of 50
Buy On
  1. Jan 27, 2012
    Despite its severe lack of closure, Final Fantasy XIII-2 still deserves your time, especially for a few poignant moments set at the end of days.
  2. Jan 28, 2012
    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.
  3. Jan 11, 2012
    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]
  4. Feb 20, 2012
    There's enough good stuff here to recommend it to genre fans and fans of the previous game.
  5. Jan 29, 2012
    For all its mechanical cleverness and forward-thinking design, Final Fantasy 13-2 is also convoluted, complicated and unfriendly to newcomers. In Square-Enix's desperation to discover what its flagship series looks like in the modern world, what should be an interesting curio has been inflated to blockbuster proportions.
  6. Feb 3, 2012
    It would be a shame for Final Fantasy XIII-2 not to receive the attention it deserves. It is one of the best games that Square Enix has made in recent years, and a good proof that the venerable Japanese company can evolve the formula of the genre it helped create. FFXIII-2 mantains its personality and has its own ideas very well executed.
  7. Games Master UK
    Jan 31, 2012
    A great improvement from FFXII, but a poor battle system takes away challenge. [March 2012, p.79]
  8. Jan 29, 2012
    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.
  9. Feb 7, 2012
    There are enough improvements to both exploration and combat to appease the old school FF players while keeping the game play fresh. If you're a fan of Japanese RPG's, you'll love the game. Despite the story slowing down at times, the game is really impressive and a lot of fun to play.
  10. Feb 6, 2012
    FFXIII-2 is a game for fans of Final Fantasy XIII and JRPGs in general. It improves the original in every aspect, but the history and "surprise effect" are gone.
  11. Jan 30, 2012
    It's a unique and interesting way of handling time travel in games too, and while XIII-2 might fall foul of all the usual time-hopping pitfalls (read: it's really rather stupid at times) it's hard to recall a sequel that makes such major changes to a great game and still manages to get things so right. If XIII was making a case for the quickest route from A to B being a straight line, XIII-2 instead argues that a time gate directly to your destination is both more practical and more interesting. We're inclined to agree.
  12. Jan 31, 2012
    I had great hopes for this game, just like I had for the original title. Square Enix addressed nearly every issue from the previous title and delivered in a huge way. With a non-linear world, plenty of side quests, puzzles, and much more, Final Fantasy XIII-2 adds yet another smash hit to the RPG powerhouse.
  13. Jan 29, 2012
    Square Enix set out to correct the issues fans had with the first game, and they have succeeded across the board. With improvements to combat, exploration, and storytelling, it feels like this is the game that XIII should have been. But it isn't just a sequel, as it carves out its own tale to stand among the Final Fantasy pantheon.
  14. Jan 29, 2012
    It's not a watershed for the genre, nor is it a return to the franchise's glory days. This is a game for admirers (however grudging) of Final Fantasy XIII and JRPG fans in general.
  15. Feb 27, 2012
    This direct sequel isn't an improvement in every single way, but it's a huge step forward that corrects many of the most glaring mistakes the fan base took issue with. What of Lightning and her gorgeous Valkyrie-inspired costume? You'll have to play to find out, and I recommend that you do.
  16. 90
    FFXIII-2 repairs almost every problem with Final Fantasy XIII, delivering an experience that feels like what that original game should have been. If your faith in Final Fantasy has been damaged by past disappointment, playing FFXIII-2 will restore your excitement for the franchise's future. [Feb 2012, p.68]
  17. Feb 15, 2012
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a few weird changes to the formula, like superficial RPG-elements and a low difficulty. The fantasy world is breathtaking, but the game that takes places in it feels like it has an identity crisis.
  18. Jan 30, 2012
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 improves the original in every possible aspect, except for the story. It's a pity that we have such a weak story, as it's a fun game, with many things to do and many surprises in store for RPG lovers. It's also a nice change of direction from Final Fantasy XIII, so we can expect better things for the future of the franchise.
  19. Feb 1, 2012
    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.
  20. 80
    The true paradox of Final Fantasy isn't a temporal one. It's how it can conjure a feeling that's a combination of love, hate, derision and awe. XIII-2 gets less love than XIII. And the simplification dampens the open awe of previous games. But it's still the dominant feeling. And the fact I finished the game with only a quarter of the collectible fragments and very little idea of where to find them? Well, I just can't wait for the FAQs to start coming out.
  21. Feb 2, 2012
    In years, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the first game in the series that has a rousing and epic story and amazing cut scenes as well. Fans who were disappointed with the last two releases should really take a look at this one. The graphics and the sounds are outstanding and there is more freedom in gameplay than you were offered in Final Fantasy XIII. The only bad things remaining are the most boring combat system I have ever seen and lame side quests by Final Fantasy standards. A step – hopefully just a first step! – back on track and certainly recommended.
  22. Feb 12, 2012
    At times, Final Fantasy XIII-2 does become a little convoluted but somehow it successfully creates a modern fairytale of good versus evil.
  23. Feb 7, 2012
    It's fair to say Final Fantasy XIII-2 is an appealing return for the much-adhered franchise. It offers some truly unique and intriguing gameplay elements that will invite newcomers whilst challenging series aficionados. This is extremely important after the failings of XIII, as it shows Square Enix are prepared to keep building on the RPG formula they shaped. Serah's adventure is an entertaining and dynamic one, signalling that Final Fantasy is moving in the right direction once again.
  24. Feb 20, 2012
    A massive step in the right direction for the series, and helps repair some of the damage done to the brand's reputation over the past few years.
  25. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Jan 26, 2012
    The level of customisation, freedom of choice and unending list of things to do makes this one of the most worthy and substantial sequels ever created. [Issue#81, p.79]
  26. Mar 18, 2012
    If you take XIII-2 and grade it on its own merits, it stands out as a fantastic game. But, if you walk in looking for some semblance of what made the series a household name in the RPG world, you'll be sorely disappointed.
  27. 80
    This is the game that shows that Square Enix do listen to their fans. We get a more open world, more interesting stories and the charm from the older games in the series. A must to buy for all fans.
  28. Feb 9, 2012
    Square Enix made a good job in listening at fans requests and bringing us a better game than FF XIII, even though the combat system is still too similar to the previous one; the involving story, a greater focus on exploration and the many things to do make it an advised buy for every fan.
  29. Jan 31, 2012
    I find myself oddly pleased with my playtime of Final Fantasy XIII-2. The game isn't long for those who want to just take down the story - perhaps 25 hours at most - but it was a mostly enjoyable experience.
  30. Jan 29, 2012
    While the side-quests can underwhelm and frustrate, the sheer amount of extra content is a welcome addition, making for a more well-rounded role-playing experience and one that well lives up to the Final Fantasy name.
  31. Mar 2, 2012
    With numerous endings, extremely challenging bonus bosses, and a pokemon-like addictiveness of trying to catch them all, Final Fantasy XIII-2 definitely surpassed my expectations and I'm glad that many of the shortcomings of XIII have been addressed and fixed. If you were let down with XIII, give XIII-2 a shot, you might be impressed with all the improvements and changes.
  32. Feb 24, 2012
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a step in the right direction for the franchise and it is clear Square Enix have listened to fans and implemented a lot of the changes they wanted. One thing that will be frustrating is the ending, or at least one of the ten possible ones, and that it's left on somewhat of a cliff hanger which would indicate some lengthy DLC or another sequel. Other than this it's definitely a great game and for any RPG fans a must have.
  33. Feb 7, 2012
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 is better than its predecessor, but it's also a game made especially for fans, for those who were not ashamed to admit that they liked FFXIII.
  34. Feb 15, 2012
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 isn't a full blown return to the classic Final Fantasy games many people know and love, but it is certainly a step in the right direction and offers a great deal more invention, exploration and good, old fashioned fun than its predecessor. The story and characters are a little weak in places but it is hard not to get swept along by the charm of it all.
  35. Feb 1, 2012
    Quotation forthcoming.
  36. Jan 29, 2012
    Recommending Final Fantasy XIII-2 is an interesting proposition. If you don't like menus and cutscenes, Final Fantasy XIII-2 won't change your world view, because they're still there. However if you, like me, have been waiting for a reason to like Final Fantasy again, this is it.
  37. Jan 30, 2012
    While the story may still leave something to be desired, the overall graphics, drool-worthy cut-scenes and improvements to the Active Time Battle system are necessary changes to a franchise that is still showing its age and struggling to embrace modern RPG conventions. It hasn't reached breaking point yet, but let's hope future iterations take a few more chances to breathe new life into the series before it's too late.
  38. Jan 29, 2012
    If you're a newcomer, answer this question as honestly as possible; are you likely to be put off a game by the idea that one of the protagonist's most powerful weapons transforms into an adorably cute imp that says "Kupo!" at the end of every second sentence? If the answer is no, then FF XIII-2 is well worth exploring. If the answer is yes, then move on – there's nothing for you here.
  39. Jan 30, 2012
    Despite its disappointingly open ending, Final Fantasy XIII-2 surpasses the original in every way. The monster hunting is fun, the presentation is a blast and the gameplay is way more open than in Final Fantasy XIII. If you liked the predecessor, you will fall in love with the newest installment of Final Fantasy.
  40. Feb 10, 2012
    Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a solid title that course corrects the series from its thirteenth outing. It's a step in the right direction with a fun story, beautiful music and settings that enthrall.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 272 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 82 out of 272
  1. Jan 31, 2012
    So if you stopped being a FF fan, respect the thousands who currently enjoy the series, and go play and watch another game. If you think thatSo if you stopped being a FF fan, respect the thousands who currently enjoy the series, and go play and watch another game. If you think that the series has "died" why are you here commenting about it? Final Fantasy have their real fans and not needs those who once were, but today only know to criticize. You are a zero to the left! Very hard to find a true fan of the Final Fantasy series. What there are people who are/was fans of one or another episode, and all they know to do nowdays is follow the series news just to criticize and say that "it was the good on my time, now it is garbage". So pay no attention to haters, realize that each FF has something new and different to offer and has no obligation to please fans of previous episodes. Full Review »
  2. Feb 1, 2012
    This game isn't a masterpiece... But it is still fantastic. More open, good story, unique soundtrack, and amazing gameplay make this gameThis game isn't a masterpiece... But it is still fantastic. More open, good story, unique soundtrack, and amazing gameplay make this game great. A huge improvement on xiii and the whole feel of the game is much more loose and open while still having a good story (which is very hard to do btw, just ask skyrim and its amazing world and addictiveness but horrible plot). I don't understand all the people who give this game crap. I understand you want final fantasy to be like it used to be but you can't just let that cloud your minds from seeing when square has put out yet another great game. You won't find this game as one of the final fantasy classics, but this game is still very good and shows squares determination to make the game that the fans want to play. Full Review »
  3. Feb 12, 2012
    Although I'm a long time fan of the series, I don't want to let my bias affect what I say about this game, so I'll review it from a neutralAlthough I'm a long time fan of the series, I don't want to let my bias affect what I say about this game, so I'll review it from a neutral standpoint, as if it were not part of the Final Fantasy series. I have to say that I'm disappointed with FFXIII-2. Whether or not the game is well made, beautiful, interesting, or unique, it lacks the most important component in a video game. It just isn't fun. The graphics are fantastic, but the exploration feels like a chore. The area map is difficult to access, and doesn't feel accurate, and the setting is overly dramatic and uninteresting. The game failed to capture my attention. There are sidequests and missions that can be picked up from NPCs, but as far as I could tell there was no way to track any objective outside of the main storyline, making these sidequests frustrating to deal with and minimally rewarding. I'm sure there are many substories and special items that I missed because I just could not bring myself to go after the sidequests. That aside, even just wandering about in the game was never enjoyable due to constant chirpy quotes from annoying, unrelatable, characters. The music isn't anything special either, so turning off the dialogue volume doesn't solve this problem. Now on to the feature that should be FFXIII-2's selling point: the battle system. I was actually excited to try it out. Again, I was disappointed. You can select paradigm setups in the menu outside of battle, which I found to be enjoyable, but using them in battle is not as rewarding or fun as it should be. For the most part, you select what role you want each character to fill, and then you only have control as one of them in battle, and you choose a chain of moves from a list and then wait. The other charactes run around and do their job, healing the players or doing damage to the enemy. It's nearly impossible to pay attention to them, because the battles are a mess of spinning swords, flashing numbers, and explosions. It's all cinematic, you could select a paradigm that gives the party one attacker and one healer, and then put down the controller and go do something else. You'll eventually win. There's no skill, logic, or thinking involved whatsoever. Your input is completely insignificant to the outcome, and the battles drag on. It can take upwards of 5 minutes to win some of the early battles in the game. I found myself avoiding most enemy encounters, although in other similar games, I tend to search out battles to try out my parties new techiniques and strategies. FFXIII-2 ultimately failed in this regard. Nothing about the game captured my attention or was any fun at all, aside from setting up characters in the menu that I never used. All in all, whether you're a long time fan or a newcomer, I can't bring myself to recommend this game. Rent it or play the demo. Maybe you'll find something you like, but I honestly can't believe this game has receieved any ratings above a 6. Full Review »