Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 54
  2. Negative: 2 out of 54
  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. 100
    Everyone who likes Japanese RPG will love Final Fantasy 13.
  3. 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.
  4. Final Fantasy XIII is an excellent game regardless of what system you're playing on. However, the Xbox 360 version's graphics are a few steps behind, with noticeable compression in the cutscenes and less impressive lighting.
  5. Final Fantasy XIII is an epic game that plays to its strengths by taking risks.
  6. If you love JRPGs, Final Fantasy XIII is a must have, and even if you don’t, it’s still worth checking out as it’s one of the best RPGs to come out of Japan in a very long time.
  7. 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.
  8. Square Enix took a great risk changing all the series core mechanics, but it turned out to be a winning bet: a great technical realization and an over-the-top combat system make this game worth the buy for every Final Fantasy and JRPG fan.
  9. 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.
  10. An epic adventure that shakes things up quite a bit yet still manages to retain the elements that've made the series great.
  11. While the game's first 10 hours still give me pause, the 60 magnificent hours after those initial steps onto Cocoon make up for the tunnel-vision tutorial. [Apr 2010, p.68]
  12. 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.
  13. A classic game and well worthy of the Final Fantasy moniker.
  14. Overall, Final Fantasy XIII is an exceptional title. I really don’t have any big complaints about it and thoroughly enjoyed my time going through the world of Cocoon.
  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. 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.
  17. 90
    As long as you don't judge the game on its beginning, Final Fantasy XIII is a game worthy of the series, and a terrific game in its own right.
  18. 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.
  19. While the emphasis on the story of Final Fantasy XIII makes for an interesting tale, the gameplay feels sacrificed, making FFXIII a good game but unfortunately not a great one.
  20. XIII will definitely be remembered for it’s spectacular visuals and suiting score I’ll remember it for it’s interesting story and wonderful characters that Square even make the lip syncing match the English voices; something that I wish all JRPG’s would do for the added immersion.
  21. While I did find the linear game style to be slightly annoying, it’s a small flaw in what is otherwise a really enjoyable game to play.
  22. Final Fantasy XIII is a big and impressive adventure that manages to push the genre in the right direction. The characters, battle system and the story are all great. The fact that there are parts in the game that are unnecessary long and boring is to bad, still FFXIII is the one of the best RPG’s of this generation.
  23. 87
    Final Fantasy XIII is probably the RPG of the year and therefore a must have for any RPG-lover. The game is very strong, has beautiful graphics and good voice-acting. Unfortunately after completing this adventure we again have to wait a couple of years for a new part.
  24. While the story is beyond confusing and gets further complicated by the cockamamie Japanese nuances and character archetypes, the game is still something that can be comfortably tackled by veteran RPG players.
  25. Final Fantasy XIII does not only offer the best presentation of an RPG on the Xbox 360, it also entertains for many hours because of the great though linear story.
  26. The most beautiful Final Fantasy game yet is an imperfect but still impressive saga that will touch your heart.
  27. Final Fantasy XIII will probably not go down as one of the high points in the series. However, on its own, FFXIII is still a really good and enjoyable game with a fantastic battle system and gorgeous graphics.
  28. 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.
  29. Square Enix expands the Final Fantasy series with a title full of new mechanics and important design decisions, all of them oriented to tell to fans a great and exciting story. The progress in the game is extremely linear, the cinematics are numerous, but the battle system is simply awesome and the big tool of the J-RPGs to claim its big values again. Thirteen is a good number for the Final Fantasy series, but we feel that it could been even better.
  30. The shock of change is overwhelming at first, but give the game enough time to develop and you'll soon appreciate its intricacies. A few problematic design choices aside, there's a lot of fun to be had in this newest and most Final-est of Fantasies.
  31. Final Fantasy XIII at times doesn’t feel like a Final Fantasy game; what with its traditional mechanics streamlined down to next to nothing and not much outside the main scope of the game to get on with. If you can put that aside though and sit through a painfully slow beginning, then Final Fantasy XIII is as rewarding as any JRPG on the console.
  32. Those looking for a traditional game may find the linearity restricting. [Issue#57, p.88]
  33. A beautiful adventure that you can’t put down for the first thirty hours. The second half isn’t as gripping as the first, though. It’s interesting that the game sways away from the previous games in the series, but not everyone will be pleased with the linear gameplay.
  34. Those who don't check their preconceptions at the door are missing the point. Novices and veterans be warned; Final Fantasy XIII demands your complete and utter surrender. Those willing to comply will be rewarded with a unique and compelling gaming experience accompanied by visuals that can only be described as completely out of this world.
  35. It's still a game I would thoroughly recommend to people, especially those who, like me, are afraid to touch RPGs nowadays because they're afraid of the time investment.
  36. Stir up a fast-paced, strategic battle system, some awe-inspiring sounds and visuals, and a unique story told through a frustratingly linear adventure, and you get Final Fantasy 13.
  37. 80
    Ultimately the lack of anything substantial to do beyond fleeing and fighting soon brings the game crashing back to earth, and even when the walls are lifted Final Fantasy XIII’s world can seem strangely lifeless.
  38. A good starting point for newcomers to the franchise - and indeed the genre; however fans and veterans may see it as an RPG in a strait jacket.
  39. It’s a mixed bag and the game is nowhere near perfect. Stick through the linear and less gripping parts for the first few hours, and you’ll end up with a story and combat engine that’ll hold you hostage until completion.
  40. If you're looking for complex multi-layered characters and a thrilling storyline, I seriously doubt Final Fantasy XIII will give you the ride of your life.
  41. While Final Fantasy XIII is ultimately an enjoyable experience, the change in pace will throw off fans of turn-based battles or those who enjoyed the immediate grandeur of the twelfth installment.
  42. Final Fantasy seems to have fallen in a rut, but if you can put up with the linearity for long enough, there is an interesting story and game at its heart. That said, even hard-core Final Fantasy fans are going to struggle to find an A++ RPG here.
  43. It may feel a bit different from the Final Fantasy you're used to, but Final Fantasy XIII deserves the chance to branch out and develop on its own.
  44. It’s also worth noting that there’s a huge difference in visuals when playing this game on the Xbox 360. The game seems to have been made for Blu-Ray, and it’s only on one disc, making the PS3 version the more appealing one to buy.
  45. You have to hand it to Square Enix for trying to move things forward - better that than yet another rehash of the tried and tested Final Fantasy formula (the less said about Infinite Undiscovery the better). But it does so along a path so narrow and straight that you long for the days of old.
  46. High production values and charming characters make Final Fantasy XIII a good game. But an all too linear structure and a boring story keep it from being brilliant.
  47. By eliminating many of the factors that we've come to expect Square-Enix has delivered a Final Fantasy XIII that is different, but also desperately attempts to cling on to some elements of the past purely to maintain conventions. Unfortunately, the biggest criticism is the fact that you're left with a feeling of playing for the sake of it, rather than savoring it.
  48. 70
    It's a gigantic, beautiful game, but it's one that irreparably hurts itself with an unforgivably slow introduction.
  49. Too much streamlining has blunted FFXIII's hooks. This isn't epic, it's arduous. [May 2010, p.67]
  50. Taking way too long to become compelling, the game is among the most facetious RPGs on the market. It wants to play the part, but alas, it’s only playing one big practical joke on the gamer.
  51. Final Fantasy XIII just needed to be about half as long as it is, with tighter pacing and a faster ramp up to entertaining combat in its first half. But at least whether it's entertaining or boring you, it's unflinchingly gorgeous from one end to the other.
  52. Final Fantasy XIII shoves a handful of protagonists in your face that look like they were designed at a cosplay convention and asks you to care about them simply because they’re wearing a beanie, have a cool nickname or speak with a mysterious Australian accent.
  53. A game whose concept of player agency is so dull that you can conquer large portions by mashing one button. You don’t play FF13; you’re grudgingly invited to participate in it.
  54. 40
    With Final Fantasy XII being such a revolution to the series, creating the series’ best battle system in the process, Final Fantasy XIII feels like a massive backwards step.
User Score
6.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 446 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 110
  2. Negative: 27 out of 110
  1. Aug 16, 2010
    4
    Gamepro descriped this game best: "a long hallway toward an orange target symbol on your mini-map that triggers a cutscene, a boss fight, or both. Frankly for the first six chapters I thought this game had longest tutorial ever, with total lack of towns, exploration or people to talk to. In short anything fun. There are some good points in the game of course. Story isn't horrible, it isn't anything to write home about either, and combat is much improved, however all together game is just bad even with all the improvements. If you want to play final fantasy I suggest you play any other number from I-XII, they are all better than this one. Full Review »
  2. Sep 30, 2010
    3
    Uttter **** the first 6 hours you constantly spam one button and run along a linear corridor, later in the game you can switch stances witch only is useful between the boss fights aka "hours of boring bull**** for some other bull****".

    The story is only good for weaaboos.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 15, 2012
    4
    Final Fantasy XIII is a pretty game but it lacks all the elements that make a Final Fantasy game good. The characters are boring, unmemorable and at some points even annoying. Lightning is a perfect female replica of Cloud if you take away all of the details that make Cloud interesting. The game is extremely linear and even when you reach Pulse. The battle system is extremely annoying because your party tends to randomly wander around the field and that causes problems during many boss battles when a boss is able to do damage over a specific piece of area. Leveling up is also annoying in the game because you have to use the crystal system. It's not the worst game I've ever played but it's nowhere near the excellence of the games 7 to 10 of the Final Fantasy series. Full Review »