Generally favorable reviews - based on 61 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 61
  2. Negative: 1 out of 61
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  1. Feb 27, 2012
    Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu team up again to make a Japanese RPG which can be easily considered one of the best in years. It succeeds in innovating in a lot of features, with a charming gameplay that works and is very fun. It also has an epic and well-told story. A must-have for fans of the genre.
  2. Mar 19, 2012
    If you're looking for an atmospheric RPG for your Wii, you can't go wrong with The Last Story.
  3. Mar 8, 2012
    Simply a delightful game to play. With its rich, lively combat system and entertaining characters, it strikes a masterful balance between engaging gameplay and heartfelt story-telling.
  4. Sep 4, 2012
    This game is the product of a true master.
  5. Aug 25, 2012
    If Sakaguchi believed that fantasy of decades ago shouldn't be the final, may he now see that this story shouldn't be the last.
  6. Aug 24, 2012
    A strong story that doesn't drag on too long makes for a satisfying RPG experience.
  7. Aug 20, 2012
    The Last Story isn't perfect, but its engaging characters and strong gameplay are more than enough to carry it through any rough patches.
  8. Nintendo Power
    Aug 1, 2012
    Overall, however, The Last Story is an awesome experience. [Aug 2012, p.84]
  9. Hyper Magazine
    Apr 12, 2012
    Everything is tied together by yet another gorgeous soundtrack by long term Sakaguchi collaborator and true mater of the art, Nobuo Uematsu. [May 2012, p.62]
  10. Feb 29, 2012
    If this is Hironobu Sakaguchis last story, it's certainly sad, since it feels like he's finally managed to get back into form. It's a lavish, emotional tale told in a high pace, with strong, unusual characters, moral ambiguity and delivered with the precision we expect from the man. The one major complaint? It should have arrived earlier, while the Wii still had some life in it. Now it risks sinking into obscurity due to the target platform collecting dust in wardrobes.
  11. Feb 28, 2012
    The Last Story is a brilliant role-playing game that's as rich and emotionally affecting as the best in the genre.
  12. Feb 27, 2012
    The Last Story definitely deserves to follow in the footsteps of Xenoblade Chronicles, appealing to RPG fans everywhere, tapping into what makes the classics, such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy so addictive, namely a strong focus on story with good pacing and a fluid battle mechanic that works almost flawlessly throughout the adventure.
  13. Feb 24, 2012
    The Last Story combines the best we can expect from modern gaming-luxuries with elements we know and love from the 16-bit-days and Japanese RPGs. This includes likeable characters, a well thought-out combat-system and a story that will keep you at the edge of your seat hour after hour.
  14. Feb 23, 2012
    This may well be the last great jRPG on Wii, so if you're a fan of the genre you really shouldn't miss it.
  15. Feb 17, 2012
    Sakaguchi knows how to make great JRPGs. The Last Story is a memorable and magical work. The combat system is brilliant, it's fun, and Nobuo Uematsu's music helps you to remember the great games of the genre. Nintendo Wii has another essential. Zael will be your friend.
  16. Feb 10, 2012
    Mistwalker once again delivers an interesting and deep role-playing game that also manages to innovate the RPG-genre in some aspects. A convincing story, combined with a unique combat system and a great audiovisual presentation, makes The Last Story a must-have game for anyone who has a special place in their heart for special RPG's.
  17. Aug 28, 2012
    The Last Story is a great way for the Wii to go out.
  18. Feb 21, 2012
    The Last Story avoids classicism and discovers a new way in the world of J-RPGs. Hironobu Sakaguchi manages to create with it an innovative combat system and a deep story.
  19. A brash, engaging tale of swords, sorcery and every sort of hair dye. [March 2012, p.93]
  20. Apr 5, 2012
    The Last Story bravely asks those who believe the JRPG genre has nothing left to offer to take another look. Beneath its surface, it bears little resemblance to its peers. At the same time, it's in good company as another entry on one of the most intimidating resumes in the video game business.
  21. Games Master UK
    Mar 13, 2012
    Fun ideas clash with mundane storytelling, but the nimble action wins out in the end. [Apr 2012, p.74]
  22. Mar 5, 2012
    One last, enjoyable story on our Wii: if all you care in a JRPG is a good story and a well crafted battle system, don't miss Mr. Sakaguchi's last ride.
  23. Nintendo Gamer
    Feb 26, 2012
    Lively combat and fun scenario design plaster over the narrative cracks. Not the glorious last hurrah we'd hoped for, but as fun as Wii games are going to be in a dry 2012. [Feb 2012, p.92]
  24. Feb 23, 2012
    It's a game worthy of its pedigree, then, and sits comfortably alongside Lost Odyssey as Mistwalker's best work.
  25. Aug 24, 2012
    The Last Story employs some bold mechanisms in an attempt to chart new territory. If not for a few undercooked components like the multiplayer, it would stand among the best on the Wii. Still, it's a strong RPG in its own right, excelling precisely where you'd expect such a game to. The Wii could have done much worse for a bookend to its storied history.
  26. Mar 11, 2012
    The menu system for character management and upgrades is particularly well done, albeit in a style that is at odds with the rest of the game (more modern in styling).
  27. 80
    While my review may seem overly positive, the game's small number of flaws are incredibly frustrating at times. That said, if you feel you can look past a few missed opportunities and a flawed but fun combat system, I can't see why you wouldn't enjoy The Last Story. Just don't expect it to be as genre defining as previous Sakaguchi titles.
  28. Aug 15, 2012
    Its elements are very well-executed, though some of the more elaborate encounters can really make the Wii chug. I suspect that experienced role-playing fans will find it a bit on the easy side, but The Last Story nevertheless has plenty of merit, and is certainly one of the better Wii games ever made.
  29. May 5, 2012
    On the outside The Last Story appears to be nothing more than a stereotypical role playing game, but look scan be deceiving. It's actually a quick and daring action game that only falls back to its roots during the story. It's a surprising take on the genre, and makes for a very modern experience.
  30. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Apr 25, 2012
    Classic JRPG with a great story lets you enjoy its dialogues and storyline because of – and thanks to – its strictly linear gameplay. [Apr 2012]
  31. Apr 17, 2012
    An engaging and refreshingly svelte JRPG, but one that offers mere hints at where the genre may go from here rather than the new blueprint it could have been. [Issue#121, p.110]
  32. Apr 15, 2012
    A beautiful story and compact gameplay of this game are spoiled by some technical issues and by a lower difficulty level. Thanks to its dynamic fighting system, its absence of grind mechanics and because the mix of those two is easily understandable, this Japanese RPG game is perfect not only for the newcomers to the genre, but also to those players, who wish to mainly enjoy the story, and who wish to take a break from long and hardcore games.
  33. Mar 21, 2012
    The Last Story is an important chapter from master Sakaguchi. Quite possibly his best work for the current generation platforms, but not his definitive work.
  34. Mar 9, 2012
    An homage to the old coated in a shine that stands it proud alongside the new. We'd welcome a sequel to tighten up the odd area, but if this ends up being Sakaguchi's last story, he can ride into the sunset in considerable glory.
  35. Mar 7, 2012
    The Last Story's preferred focus on combat and characters puts it far enough apart from Xenoblade, with its focus on exploration and the wider world that there's more than enough space for both games to carve out their own identities and stand proudly together.
  36. Mar 5, 2012
    Sakaguchi's latest is not a tribute to JRPGs of old, as many might have expected, but a bold new step for the genre. Although it's quite short and suffers from many cliches, Last Story is, without a doubt, one of the best games Japan has to offer in this generation.
  37. 80
    Japansese role playing games are better than they've been in years, and that's thanks to great games like The Last Story which really redefines what a JRPG should look like.
  38. Feb 29, 2012
    The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles are two different games which both try to achieve certain similar goals, however, The Last Story often shows potential without ever fully succeeding in basically every field. Visuals are absolutely pretty but special effects cause heavy FPS drops; battles are intriguing but extremely easy and confusing; the story itself is well told but very cliché. It's an overall good game, although it doesn't live up to its own hype.
  39. Feb 27, 2012
    For all its inconsistencies, complexities, inadequacies and oddities, The Last Story offers an entrancing and seamless flow of interesting experiences. And surely that, in the final reckoning, is what counts.
  40. Feb 26, 2012
    The Japanese RPG may have suffered heavy blows at the hands of Western RPGs such as Skyrim and Fable, but The Last Story does much to demonstrate there's still life and innovation in the form. That this game should come from one of the genre's progenitors is testament to a creative spark that still fires even after all these years.
  41. Feb 23, 2012
    The Last Story is not the last classic japanese RPG, as it diverges deeply from the tradition of the genre, lacking some of its core elements and borrowing something from others. It tells a marvellous story, through solid gameplay which shines in the versatility of the combat system. We're well aware it may not be what fans have been asking, but if you'll give it some attention, you will be carried away.
  42. Feb 23, 2012
    Offering a great atmosphere and impressive graphics The Last Story definitely is a great J-RPG. But the innovative fighting system often seduces the player to do button-mashing. With a completion time of around 30 hours it is quite short compared to many other RPGs.
  43. Feb 23, 2012
    Easily Mistwalker's best game so far and another sure sign that, with a bold enough creator, Japanese role-players can be just as exciting and innovative as their Western counterparts.
  44. Feb 21, 2012
    With gameplay that is both simplified and complex, solid controls, attractive presentation, online multiplayer and a touching, well-paced plot, this title can be considered as a definitive entry in its genre.
  45. Feb 20, 2012
    Full of gags, bawdy humour and pratfalls (what other game gives you the chance to shoot bananas at the feet of citizens for comic relief?) it's got charm to spare. Unlike Sakaguchi's biggest hit, The Last Story's title is more likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it represents compelling proof that there's still life in the old JRPG yet.
  46. Mar 2, 2012
    The Last Story tries to walk on a new path – and quite successful at times. But sometimes it just gets caught somewhere in no man's land between action and roleplaying.
  47. Pelit (Finland)
    Mar 13, 2012
    The Last Story is an unfortunate disappointment. The battles are plagued by bad controls and a horrible camera, and the story suffers from unintentionally humorous dialogue. [March 2012]
  48. Aug 24, 2012
    Lovers of dark fantasy and charming characters should play Last Story without a second thought, but a gamer used to modern-day levels of production value and polish won't easily set those expectations aside.
  49. Aug 21, 2012
    Overall, The Last Story is a game that evoked mixed emotions, swinging from hate to pure captivation at the unique approach to storytelling.
  50. Aug 27, 2012
    At the end of the day, The Last Story is a decent RPG, but nothing to be excited about. A dull story and uninteresting characters mar a unique combat system and solid gameplay.
  51. Aug 21, 2012
    The Last Story is by no means a perfect game. However, the good here far outweighs the game's shortcomings, and, unlike RPGs that are bloated with fetch quests and tiring level-grinding, everything here is absolutely in service of the game's story.
  52. Aug 14, 2012
    While The Last Story is a solid offering from Japanese RPG legend Hironobu Sakaguchi, the boilerplate storytelling, familiar tropes, and lack of meaningful exploration make it feel like it could have been so much more.
  53. Mar 16, 2012
    By the end it can be hard to care, even if the plot is far more interesting. Couple the mediocre story with the less than fulfilling gameplay, and you have an experience that drags to begin with in both story and gameplay, discouraging you from progressing, but once it picks up pace it is far more enjoyable and worth the trudge.
  54. Feb 24, 2012
    Mistwalker has made a great effort to add new ideas, but the game falls short of its own ambitions.
  55. Feb 23, 2012
    It's a familiar mix of wonder and frustration, and it's eclipsed by Monolith's more intoxicating vision of the JRPG's future. The end result is a tale that's worth hearing out, but hard to hold dear.
  56. Aug 22, 2012
    A mixed bag. Those who don't mind some badly written jRPG tropes will find quite a bit to love in combat, but the game is generally too linear and plodding to earn anything above the praise of "decent."
  57. Aug 14, 2012
    The Last Story is the latest project from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, and industry luminary Nobuo Uematsu composed the soundtrack. Previous collaborations involving these two legends have resulted in titles like Final Fantasy IV, Chrono Trigger, and Blue Dragon. I had high hopes for this Wii-exclusive RPG. Given its pedigree, I never imagined that it would fail to meet the low bar set by dozens of middling entries in the genre.
  58. Feb 23, 2012
    Technically outdated on a aging Wii console, The Last Story ends up being quite linear... and too short. Online games and the New Game + feature won't really make up for it, despite the artificial extension of its life span. Hopefully, the voice acting is good, and combat is quite satisfying. And there's always this Sakaguchi's touch... which is always nice to have... The last game of the genre on the Wii?
  59. Aug 28, 2012
    The Last Story feels like a JRPG that took incomplete notes as it tried to learn from Western design. The simplistic implementation of massively multiplayer online (MMO) combat motifs makes battles boring or frustrating. The character customizability, though wonderful, is purely cosmetic, never really extending into the play or storytelling. Worst of all, the gameplay and story might as well be two ships passing in the night. While Zael confronts the game's real antagonists in cutscenes, the player simply sits on the sidelines. In games, that's the last way you should try to tell a story. Ra
  60. Mar 14, 2012
    Look past the industry veterans standing behind it, and The Last Story fails to garner any sense of wonder. The new gameplay and combat mechanics are a refreshing addition to the genre, but doesn't hold up under much scrutiny. Clichéd characters and trite storytelling grind the experience down to a mediocre one.
  61. Aug 14, 2012
    If The Last Story is the Wii's swan song, it is a miserable dirge, full of regret and remorse.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2012
#4 Most Shared Wii Game of 2012
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 238 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 238
  1. Jan 8, 2014
    I wrote a review of this game August 14th when it was released, and while my score doesn't differ, my opinion does.

    I hadn't completed the
    I wrote a review of this game August 14th when it was released, and while my score doesn't differ, my opinion does.

    I hadn't completed the game when I wrote the review, but when I finally did, I realized just how much I loved this game and will remember it for years to come. The Last Story and Lost Odyssey really show Mistwalker's talent, and I hope they come out with something new soon.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 14, 2012
    What an amazing game. it is worth every penny. it is one of the best j rpgs of all time and i think its close to xenoblade. had a great story.What an amazing game. it is worth every penny. it is one of the best j rpgs of all time and i think its close to xenoblade. had a great story. i did not finish the game yet but so far its been a great experience. good graphics for the wii and had great gameplay Full Review »
  3. Aug 14, 2012
    The Last Story - A game from RPG mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi. Sounds good, right? Sadly, "The Last Story" is the exact opposite - A gameThe Last Story - A game from RPG mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi. Sounds good, right? Sadly, "The Last Story" is the exact opposite - A game with horrible gameplay and an underwhelming story where only the characters shine... And only at very few, certain moments of the game and without doing sidequests, this 15 hour game has not much time to show you those moments anyway.

    The main character of the game is Elza (Zeal in the PAL and NTSC/US version), who's part of Quarks (Dagran) mercenaries and always dreams about becoming a knight, since mercenaries are looked down to in the world of The Last Story (among other things).

    After the first battle in the game, you probably hope and expect that the gameplay offers more... WAY more, correct? Sadly, besides positioning yourself before the battle, how you start it (killing the enemies healer, using your crossbow or sword or destroying a pillar or bridge), there's not much to control in the battle. Do you expect to get to control the whole party, use lots of skills and items, among other BASIC aspects of the genre? That with 7 mercenaries and a party out of up to 6 characters that you can at least CHOOSE which character you want to control? Yes? Well, to bad, there's NOTHING like that. No items, the amount of skills and the amount of strategy is a joke. Yes, you read right. That's pretty much your WHOLE strategy. In every single battle. If you expected lots of strategy because you're playing an RPG, you'll get disappointed. Gameplay-wise, The Last Story resembles more an Hack'n'Slay.

    During battle, when your bar is full, you can give your party orders. But not even then you have much of a "choice". Every character has ONE skill (left), ONE special attack (up) and 2 other commands. At least something, right? Again: No. With the exception of Manamia (Mirania) and Kanan (Calista), the special attacks are THE SAME as their normal skills, just stronger. For example: Jackal (Lowell): He uses ice magic and if it's diffused, the enemies slip on it. His special attack? A stronger ice attack. That's it. Manamia can resurrect (giving your characters an additional life) and Kanan can create a barrier. The often ridiculously bad AI sometimes forces you to use the command option as often as possible, especially if you fight enemies which get healed by ice magic and Jackal / Lowell ONLY uses his magic. (To name an example)

    The story is below-average at the very best. It's obvious when playing that Mistwalker tried to make something more original, but the execution is done VERY badly. Thankfully(?), you don't have to endure it for a longer amount of time since the story (without doing sidequests) is only 15 hours long - Less than 1/3 of what you expect from an AVERAGE RPG. But even WITH sidequests... which are few, don't take long and aren't much fun anyway, you'll be VERY lucky to hit the 20 hour mark.

    Upgrading is a joke. The armor differs between a "heavy" type with more defense, but less magic defense, a "balanced" type with the same amount of defense and magic defense and a "light" type, which offers more magic defense, but less physical one. And their boni often only differs WHEN you get it (e.g. at +6 or +7).

    The online mode offers boss fights and PvP. Whereas the 1st one is rather challenging at first, it gets boring and annoying REALLY fast, since most people (IF you find someone online) prefer to use their physical attackers (like Elza). And having a party out of 6 different Elzas results in a very quick Game Over. Why? Simple: If just a single player loses all his/her lives, you have 30 seconds to finish the battle. If you didn't, your whole party loses. No drops, no anything. Having the option to yell stuff like "Someone diffuse that magic!" doesn't help since nobody listens to it anyway.
    PvP works different, but it's even less fun. The balance in PvP is non-existent. You either enter a map where magic users can and WILL one-shot you EVERY SINGLE TIME or a map where they have no chance at all. Also, if you don't "dodge" magic or hide behind a boulder or wall, you CAN'T survive magic. Even dodging or hiding results in high damage.

    Long story short: The Last Story gameplay is below-average at the very best, the story is way too short and the story-telling isn't very good either. The characters themselves are pretty good (Besides Elza), but since the focus is on him ALONE, you'll barely experience anything interesting about your other party members anyway. The soundtrack isn't bad, but you expect WAY more from Uematsu. The world is tiny, brown and doesn't offer much anyway. The online mode is just plain bad and the replay-value is practically zero, so if you're planning on purchasing it, don't expect anything better than a short, mediocre game.
    Full Review »