Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Image
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66

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critic Reviews What's this?

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6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 667 Ratings

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  • Summary: A direct sequel to the unhelpfully titled Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns is another action-RPG, this time with a retooled gameplay system and a story that picks up a mere 500 years later, concluding the FFXIII saga.
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Lightning Returns: FFXIII - TGS 2013 Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62
  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
    80
    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.
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    75
    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.
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    70
    Lightning Returns has some genuinely great ideas as far as modern RPGs are concerned, and despite being let down by a shoddy story and some graphical issues, it remains a shining example of how dynamic battle systems and thoughtful character customisation can save an otherwise trite, lifeless game.
  5. Feb 24, 2014
    65
    Well, this is a bit of a disappointment... The story isn't as gripping as it could have been, the game feels rushed and the visuals aren't as good as you'd expect. It offers closure for the fans, sure, but as the final part of an epic trilogy it doesn't even come close to the mark.
  6. Feb 20, 2014
    60
    Sadly, that fresh new take on combat is hamstrung by a camera that can’t keep up with the elaborate effects, animations and blistering speed.
  7. Feb 14, 2014
    38
    It’s just a quickly thrown together mess of mechanics that feels like it’s trying and failing to be an open world American style RPG. Frankly, you aren’t missing anything if you totally pass this title up.

See all 62 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 162
  2. Negative: 55 out of 162
  1. 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 wasThe 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
  2. Feb 21, 2014
    10
    Not as bad as everyone says, the time limit makes you stratagies and plan, and the combat system is new and refreshing with a combination ofNot as bad as everyone says, the time limit makes you stratagies and plan, and the combat system is new and refreshing with a combination of action and active time based mechanics and done better than FF13 imo, the story is no better or worse than your typical rpg storyline {save the world, save loved ones, have moral delemas}.

    There's alot of returning characters and this time around they are not all carebears and roses, most of them want to kill each other because they made a bargain with god to save a loved one, something alot diffrent from original 13 where everyone is annoyingly positive and cheerful about the world ending, i find lightning returns a big step up from ff13 and -2 with a dash of originality in the mix, the soundtrack is also very good as it always is, not bad at all!
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  3. Feb 13, 2014
    9
    A good game, its like a new baseball glove, takes some time to break in. There's a lot to take in at the start, new combat system and the factA good game, its like a new baseball glove, takes some time to break in. There's a lot to take in at the start, new combat system and the fact the world is ending and the in-game clock is quick to countdown. This can lead you into a stir of panic of you being used to having all the time in the world to sink into sidequests from previous installments, but there is a neat way to stop time in the game and using it to the max is how to manage the countdown to doom.

    The battle system is very fresh and has some old feel to previous 13 series, you still have an ATB bar, if you didn't manual input your actions from previous FF and just let them fill you will be dissapointed here in FF:LR as you must input your commands, but this is where the battle system comes into being fresh and fun and at the same time complex. Square seems to be in transition with Final Fantasy's becoming more real time action, so your enemies in FF:LR are never paused as you look through commands in past Final Fantasy's..you debate whether to attack or use fire your enemy might just be unleashing a attack upon you and then you have to decide if you need to guard as well then which is a new feature in FF:LR, you've had mediguard in past 13 series, but here in FF:LR there are several guard types, but you must execute them yourself with your own timing in accordance to your enemy, alot like how you would switch to Turtle paradigm before Ultima to absorb damage. The Battle system keeps you on your feet, constant action and decisions to make between management of your ATB bars and the enemy actions. The boss battles in this game are tougher to just brute force win, all take strategy, which is a good direction for the series, for to long have you been able to out level the game and just brute force a epic boss, it feels more epic when my health bar is flashing red and I have to decide if I should stagger the enemy and all out or take a recovery path and try and rebuild my health while gathering stagger again, the game requires strategy in its fights and that's enjoyable to have to actually think while fighting.

    The graphics are a tad blotchy and jagged for a game coming out at a systems life end. CG scenes are beautiful, but while in the traverse world there are many examples to be seen of jagged edge and pixel box. Also its noticeable how Lightning recieved alot of care to her appearance and npc's did not and look rather bland when your in a conversation with them and have Light standing next to them.

    The music is splendid, like pretty much every Final Fantasy there is, one can not complain.

    The story is odd, cheesy, different, complicated, hard to follow. It is good but at the same time its hard to tell the story of the world is ending and you are the chosen one to save it so many times and keep it fresh. This is FF13 after all and there's been plenty of FF before it telling a story a long those lines.

    In the end I give it a 9/10. Not perfect but not horrible. Square is changing the franchise and you can embrace it and have fun or move on. The battle system is strategic, the panic of the doomsday clock is fun to manage your time wisely. The saga you started back in 2009 comes to a close and its satisfying to meet past characters in your farewell game. The game has a feature of New game + and the game is definitely built around you playing again, via stat progression, spell progression and the general that the game is chaos and your second time through you will find quests you didn't before and you have to play again to unlock Hard mode and get the best gear. Happy time management, and good luck saving the world.
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  4. Feb 19, 2014
    7
    it's so weird people are **** about 13 now and pretend it's a new thing. I remember way back when people were **** about FF8 and 9 cuz itit's so weird people are **** about 13 now and pretend it's a new thing. I remember way back when people were **** about FF8 and 9 cuz it wasn't FF7, then people complained FFX was just plain bad and they hated it and it was stupid, and now everyone's like FFX was epic and blabla. Honestly.... As for the FFXIII-3... It must be cuz I'm getting older, I don't get sucked into games (storywise) as much as I used to, same with this game. Personally I liked the first XIII the least of all 3 games, and it's actually rather nice they abadoned the auto attack thing from 1 and 2. Downsides are it's timed, I love free roaming and taking my time in places and I can't now unless I wanna use New Game + to no end, but then I gotta replay certain sections... I don't like the many conversations, for every side-quest you have to talk to someone, and at first that's fun a bit, but later on it really gets on my nerves. It's pretty Obvious to see this installment is like a cult-game almost. The graphics are far far below FF standards, and something feels very low-budget about it, like they've just wanted to end the series but don't really care for it anymore cuz customer whined too much about the previous ones. Then there are the very small maps (relatively), but unlike FF XIII this game isn't linear as much, you can pick your own order in which to do things. All in all, I find it an enjoyable game despite its faults. Expand
  5. Feb 12, 2014
    5
    Frustrating, this word resume what I think about this opus. Great battle system, customization, exploration, technically sound but soooooFrustrating, 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
  6. Jun 7, 2014
    4
    Algunos dicen que es el mejor de los tres sólo porque ya no es lineal. Y es que vale, mejora un problema muy grande que tuvo XIII, peroAlgunos dicen que es el mejor de los tres sólo porque ya no es lineal. Y es que vale, mejora un problema muy grande que tuvo XIII, pero también es verdad que se carga lo mucho bueno que brilló en este primer capítulo. Y es que, ¿dónde ha ido la épica, la historia y los grandes personajes de antaño?, esto más bien es un simulador de recados a personajes frikazos, en plan busca mi peluche, traeme esto, mata treinta monstruos, busca números, etc, en fin, una jugabilidad muy divertida para ofrecer en el 2014. Encima con prisas porque va contrareloj. Vamos, que parece un batiburrillo de ideas extrambóticas que no terminan de funcionar ni cuajar bien. Sigue así Square enix, otro Final Fantasy del montón y van unos cuantos... Expand
  7. Apr 20, 2022
    0
    A very tedious, dull and irritating RPG game that manages to find every conceivable way to irritate the player and waste their time. FromA very tedious, dull and irritating RPG game that manages to find every conceivable way to irritate the player and waste their time. From the dull and uninspired dialogue, to the stupid clock that makes the player anxious and is only compounded by the horrendous level design and a map that’s virtually useless, to the hideous graphics that look worse than a PS2 game, to the boring and uninspired plot that’s a blatant mish mash of Christian and Norse mythology this has to be one of the worst RPG games ever made. Expand

See all 162 User Reviews

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