User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 150 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 150
  2. Negative: 42 out of 150

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  1. Feb 11, 2014
    9
    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 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
  2. Feb 12, 2014
    10
    Lightning Returns improves upon everything its predecessors brought to the table tenfold. Having the same feel as the previous two games but improving upon the battle system, exploration, and customization are only some of many multitudes of improvements found in Lightning Returns. Another big feature is the timed mechanic not unlike those found in Deadrising and Majora's Mask, which makes the game more hectic and fast paced. All in all it is a terrific game that get's an incredibly high recommendation. Expand
  3. Feb 15, 2014
    1
    this game failed 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. 1/10 just for you.
  4. Feb 13, 2014
    10
    I would say that this ff13 game has the best combat out of the trilogy. The world is vibrant and has a sense of urgency. I am rating this game based on the fun factor and seeing people give this game 0's and 1's is sickening.
  5. Feb 13, 2014
    10
    Ignore all of the nostalgia tards. In terms of actual gameplay, this is one of the best Final Fantasy titles to date. Story: so-so. Characters: so-so. But the game itself is damn amazing.
  6. Feb 16, 2014
    2
    I liked the ability to change costumes and customize your character, but thats about all i have to say thats good about this game. The advancement system is terrible. The game was not one that i found enjoyable to play, it felt more like a chore and i found myself playing for no more than about 20 mins at a time before getting bored and frustrated and going off to play something else. The time limit is the worst idea that SE have ever put into a game, even if you can go new game plus you replay most of the same crap over and over again for very little gain. The whole FFXIII series has been a gigantic disappointment and i'd much rather play the classics from FFVI-FFXII. I hope square fixes their games and that the next FF has a decent story with more likable characters or i wont be purchasing any more in the future Expand
  7. Feb 18, 2014
    0
    Wow talk about beating a dead horse. 13 was bad at the start now they think it was a good idea to make 2 sequels to it....unbelievable Awful story. Awful main character. Awful dialog. Awful quest. Awful graphics. Awful ending. This is an awful entry in a franchise devastated by a terrible producers.

    IF YOU WANT A FUN RPG TRY ANY PERSONA GAME OR BRAVELY DEFAULT
  8. Feb 17, 2014
    6
    i love FF games, i've played so many, and beaten so many, unlike most, my favorite is still FF8. this game has so much promise and so much possibilities, but there is an attempt at a forced connection with people in this game, but i don't want these connections. the only reason for my 6 is the visuals and the style, the gameplay is a 0, the plot is a 0, but they forgot what made FF games so great, the story and the characters, and the gameplay.
    i'm not buying another FF game until they can at least hire a writer that knows how to create a compelling story.
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  9. Feb 19, 2014
    0
    In a word: "shovelware." Extremely disjointed and obtuse story elements compound the many problems of an already poorly written plotline; rather, a poorly localized plotline, marred by inconsistencies, contradictions and apparent fanservice that goes awry the minute the models start moving. Technical issues abound including many npcs clipping through each other to an increasingly staggering framerate likely due to a possible memory leak, poor lighting and poor collision only heighten the disjointed presentation.
    Square-Enix plastered "IT ALL ENDS HERE" on the back of the XBOX box for Lightning's return. . . .
    -Let's hope so! :(
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  10. Feb 12, 2014
    9
    First off, good things: The combat system (a mix of three personally created classes with your own attacks that you can switch between at any time in-battle) is fun, fast-paced, and keeps you on your toes. Lots of customization as far as outfits go, colors and garments and a depth to outfits never seen before in a FF-related title. The music is fantastic as well. You can also just jump wherever you feel like around the maps, even though you'll wind up wasting time trying to step-ladder up over a wall using crates or what-have-you, which leads to the bad...

    being the massively constricting time-system. It gives you 13 in-game days to beat the game, and while doing side-quests and the main story missions can increase your days and the time you have, it still feels incredibly limiting. On the plus side, if you fail, you can just start over with a new game and have all of your things there. Still, the added time-constraint is something that just never should have been put in the game, I don't like feeling pressured. Story is as (un)believable as the last two, but if you've played both of them, there's no reason you'll be turned off from this entry! You made it this far, you're not repelled by it. If you're one of those that didn't like the previous two games--don't even look at it. What are you even doing here? To the others--go rent it, have fun!
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  11. Feb 13, 2014
    9
    This game is very well done i heard from IGN that this game is confusing but i played FFXIII &FFXIII-2 so i knew the backstory before heading into this and i found it not confusing at all besides that with 24 hours under my belt in this game i feel it deserves a 9 out of 10 purely from the gameplay alone and customization while i do enjoy the story i am probally 6 ingame days left till i complete the game aka all main quests stop after 1-5 are done you have to wait till the last day so if you get done with them early leaves plenty of time for sidequests which are the only way to level lightning up upon completion but are fun in their own right (coming from someone who plays alot of MMORPGS im used to fetch quests) in all if you liked FFXIII-2 this game will blow it out of the water its very open world i would recommend any skeptics to rent this or buy it !!! Expand
  12. Feb 17, 2014
    1
    Ho, boy...what a disaster.

    I was pretty unimpressed by FF13, for all the reasons you've probably already heard. You don't need to hear those reasons again...but suffice to say aside from the game's pleasing visuals, it wasn't very well executed.

    So, why was I willing to give Lightning Returns a try? Well, I happen to find a way to play it with no expense to myself, and I wanted to
    see how or IF Squenix managed to fix anything.

    Nope. Lightning is still a boring, slightly arrogant, monotonous, annoyance. She is, perhaps, the WORST character in the entire franchise...often times being meaninglessly violent or stupid, and only serving to drive by "plot points" that further the game's convoluted writing.

    And yet, so many people are willing to turn a blind eye to her dullness and stupidity because, well, "sex sells". Lightning Returns is more of the same, only somehow they managed to take the old formula and make it even more boring.

    If you still hold cherished memories of the Final Fantasy series as it used to be somewhere in your heart, then DON'T play this mess of a game.
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  13. Feb 13, 2014
    9
    The second better FF that i ever played.
    FFXIII it's awesome, the combat system, the class personalization and everything else, i really enjoyed it.
    Some people like to live stuck in the past and that is what is killing the final fantasy series.
    The bad point is that there are some little bugs, but i really enjoyed playing this game in the PS3.
  14. Feb 22, 2014
    3
    I enjoyed FF13, the story was good and the combat was decent, but everything has went downhill since the first entry to this series. I gave Lightning Returns an honest try, but the story was just terrible. They completely abandon everything that has happened so far to make Lightning the savior of a previously unmentioned god? And you have to save souls which make a tree grow which somehow extends the amount of time you have? Whatever, I could just ignore the story if the gameplay was good, but that is not the case. The combat is too simplified and stale, which has been the case with the other entries in the series, but at least they had a decent story and more than one character you could control. This game just isn't worth your time, just wait for the FFX remaster, or FFXV to come out. Expand
  15. Feb 15, 2014
    10
    It's a good game, no matter what they say. What I don't understand is that Nier has the SAME (almost) score than Lightning returns, when obviously Nier is worse.
    Too many haters/spoiled fan boys.
  16. Feb 20, 2014
    10
    While I totally agree FFXIII was a terrible game, it also appears this game is being unfairly judged in it's wake. The storyline and voice acting is mediocre at best, but the game play is excellent. After completing my first play through the time issue seems intimidating but I assure you its not. Obsessing with freezing the clock through in game abilities only added unneeded stress as I completed the majority of the game by day 6 of 13 or 14 depending on how many side quests you do. There is more than enough time. Play the demo and if you like it ignore the games low rating. You won't regret it. Expand
  17. Feb 27, 2014
    3
    Such a wasted opportunity. I've been looking forward to a new RPG to play from SE, even after the mediocre FF13 and sequel. And it could have been good. BUT:
    No xp for fights - why bother, apart from MMO style collect quests.
    Time limit... in an RPG? WHY? Other reviewers say 'oh its good, it makes you strategise and plan'. But being 'made' to play a certain way is awful. Sure some people
    play that way anyway, and this game is for them. But many play rpgs to relax, explore, delve deep into stories and side quests.
    Not knowing rewards before doing a quest, kind of like a blind sphere grid.
    Lastly, being reminded of said time limit constantly, 'sense of urgency' you say? Fun-killing anxiety rather

    Whoever put the time limit in should not be allowed near games, never mind RPGs. Stop ruining FF. Ugh.

    Maybe Mistwalker will make a sequel to Lost Odyssey... I give up on Square
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  18. Mar 8, 2014
    1
    This game is a metaphor for everything that is wrong with society. Flashy text and data all over the screen any time anything happens. Over importance on clothing and presentation. Being constantly told to go here, do that, help this person, visit this place. It's one thing to be given an objective, it's another thing entirely to have a character in your ear constantly wittering away, I just want to know when will Hope shut the hell up?? being given a ton of stuff, but having no time in which to do it.
    By the way Square-Enix this is a final fantasy game, what in the hell is up with no experience from fights??
    They've taken my favourite character and twisted her personality so she is nothing like she was originally. I can't believe I paid full price for this garbage. Square-Enix have lost a customer. I will never buy one of their games brand new at full price again.
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  19. Mar 11, 2014
    5
    The pressure of having a deducting time system bearing down on on open world RPG is just stressful, things are going to be rushed if youre not careful.

    The stagger system is good but for such a limited amount of ATB on the gauge you can hardly reach stagger points on certain enemies (such as the Gertrudes!!) and the battle just drags on and on until by chance you get a stagger and then
    have to change schemata to wail into the enemy. And as for the guard thing? That's **** annoying!! specifically when you know you have pressed it on time and you still get knocked on your ass

    Aside from all that I give the game a 5 out of 10.
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  20. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    Far better than other ff13

    Combat system improved and far better than other ff . Freedom of quest and exploration. Nice non-linear story telling so far. Difficulty intersting. And no more forced mob grind as previously.
  21. Apr 5, 2014
    8
    The biggest detraction for this game is having a time limit to complete main quests.I spent a lot of hours completing many side quests and exploring besides finishing 2 of the main quests only to face a "Game Over" screen.However,I love the series too much to put it down.I'm almost halfway done with my 2nd time around - in about a third of the time.This is because they allow you to keep almost everything you earned and found from the first attempt.I discovered the best way to do quests is to keep moving to different regions everyday,use chronostasis a lot but keep main quests a priority and finish what you can.The story is ok but Lightning plays the tough girl a bit too much.

    For me the battle system had a big learning curve to grasp (playing in different costumes that alter your stats rather than a party).Sure dress up was fun, but speaking as (a guy) the nicer outfits definitely need more experience to master.This has been a revised review as I'm having more fun the (2nd time around).
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  22. Mar 23, 2014
    1
    I don't give a behemoth's bare backside if it's been mentioned before. I'm going to say it again. Why is there a time limit in an open world RPG?? That time limit killed ANY and all fun I could have gleaned from the game. I respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer. A game deserves a 0 if the person who spent their hard earned money on it found it to be a pile of steaming summer harbor trash for whatever reason. Only reason I gave this thing a 1 is because Lightning is pretty hot (despite the fact that she weighs about 22 pounds). Expand
  23. Apr 2, 2014
    5
    I'm a huge Final Fantasy fan. I have played all of the games and I think they still didn't fix the problems of FF13 from this. The horrible turn based combat, linear world and total lack of fun things to do ruin the series reputation. I love the turn based combat in all of the other Final Fantasies, but this one has the worst. Battles are boring and take forever to finish. Final Fantasy 12 has the best combat system and the most open world of all of them. Why didn't they do something like that with this series or something like the PS1 Final Fantasies combat systems and world maps? Expand
  24. Mar 15, 2014
    8
    The characters of this game could be better but there is still a lot to like about this game. The battle system is the best in the series with a lot of depth put into it. The environments are good and the plot is fairly interesting as well
  25. Feb 18, 2014
    7
    This game is by no means a perfect one, but it is still a well rounded, enjoyable experience. As always with Metacritic, a lot of dissenters seem to be awarding absurdly low scores for laughable reasons.

    I'm going to keep this one brief. Lightning Returns is a good game, but that's it. There a few flaws (noticeably, performance seems to have taken a hit), but they are by no means deal
    breakers. What the game lacks is any truly amazing standout moments and features. The 13 series has stumbled since it's first steps, but it still manages to land on it's feet. The battle system in particular is a far more interactive and thoroughly enjoyable experience.

    If you're looking for a fun JRPG to spend the weekend on, give it a try, you might be surprised.
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  26. Feb 26, 2014
    9
    This game did a lot of things right by listening to complaints about previous games while innovating on the systems in place in this 3-game series.

    The combat has quick pacing and a challenging, but fair difficulty. Selecting new actions and switching between setups has a seamless and snappy feel to it. The enemies all have different weaknesses, which adds more strategy than your
    typical button-mashing ARPG.

    The story is compelling and interesting. If it has a fault, it is that you need to be pretty familiar with the series to know all of the layers. But the Fabula Nova Crystalis mythology is coherent. The characters have mostly become darker over the span of the series, which actually makes an interesting and relatable character out of someone as annoying as Snow. To cap it all off, the player is free to complete the main story segments in any order they choose, which is a valuable design decision in a time when gamers devour anything that is open world.

    If the game has some significant flaws, it's in the music and visuals. This last entry in the series was clearly rushed and does not have the visual quality of the first two. There are some weak textures and very few pre-rendered scenes. The music also appears to be mostly recycled from the previous games. In short, the gameplay is fantastic, but it looks like it could have used some more polish time. Still, it is passable and rarely detracts from the gameplay.

    Ultimately, this is a "pretty good, but not great" game. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who was unfamiliar with the first two games, but it is a faithful conclusion to the trilogy with innovative and fun gameplay.
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  27. Mar 3, 2014
    4
    One of the best battle systems that square has made, the worst story that Square has ever made, seems to be just like FFX-2, great battles, crap story.
  28. Mar 15, 2014
    10
    A fantastic game that brings a great trilogy to a close. Don't understand why it gets so much hate the story is excellent as is the game play a must play.
Metascore
69

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Mar 25, 2014
    50
    A weak ending of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. Lightning Returns lags behind with its crappy story, atrocious dialogues, and new genre mechanics that work only sometimes.
  2. Mar 9, 2014
    60
    While Lightning Returns is in most ways the opposite of Final Fantasy XIII's overbearing linearity, it ultimately shares the same core recommendation; if you manage to stick with what's a very uneven first half, there's definitely an enjoyable and satisfying role-playing game to be found. It's just a shame it takes so much time to get there.
  3. Feb 24, 2014
    65
    There is a lot wrong in this last installment for FFXIII. Fans of the franchise will need to play it to enjoy all the nods to past characters, yet it is not worth playing for those who aren't already huge FF or JRPG fans.