I am currently in the process of reviewing Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin and whilst engaging with this I have become obsessed with everything Final Fantasy all over again. I am playing this as well as Final Fantasy VII on the Switch, Final Fantasy XIV on the PS5 as well as… Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox Series S. Whilst none of the former titles need any defending and are constantly heralded as absolute masterpieces… Final Fantasy XIII gets such a bad rap and I am here say:

Look… I get it, I know Final Fantasy XIII is the Final Fantasy game that everyone loves to hate on. I even remember it getting lots of hate when it originally came out and my brain just couldn’t wrap my head around it. What I remember from XIII is a game that I adored so much, which led me to worry that in my adult life, would replaying these titles make me jump onto the bandwagon with everyone else? Well, thanks to Game Pass, I am finally taking the plunge and replaying these, and no, I don’t dislike them at all.

Firstly the fact that I have such a huge backlog of video games to get through and yet I am still piling hours upon hours into this game all over again is such a testament to the adoration I feel for this title, but let’s dig in shall we?

Last time I played it was in 2009 and since then I lived my entire 20’s, became 30 whilst getting married and having a child, though the second the theme tunes kicked in I was young(er) again, the music featured within these titles is absolutely beautiful and whilst I am not a music reviewer of any kind – I will hear no different opinions to its music being masterpieces.

Yes I agree that the maps aren’t as open as some previous (and future) Final Fantasy games but I also don’t think there is anything wrong with a JRPG telling a more tightly paced story. I also agree that 99% of this game is corridors that lead to the next story beat, but nobody really cared when Final Fantasy X did this a lot before you got the airship..

I do appreciate that this game is missing towns and interactions with NPC’s though I just don’t see this working in the context of the storyline. Having their faces plastered everywhere for being from Cocoon in a world where all of Cocoon is hated just wouldn’t work to make towns without creating gaping plot holes.

I also really like the battle system and a lot of complainers clearly didnt play FF7 or 8 back in the day and it really shows, I know the main argument here is that you can just select “Auto-Battle” and get through the entirety of the game but I cannot help but feel this is false. When you get part way through disc 2 it becomes apparent that Auto Battle is not optimised to get you through the majority of battles safely and the game does begin to force you to think about your next move/character presets.

One thing I do agree with is that Hope sucks. I also know some of the other characters can be grating as all hell (VANILLE) but in Vanille’s defence the first thing she does is hit Hope in the face so she instantly becomes the best character. Also, all of that is completely negated because one of Final Fantasy’s best characters is also in XIII and that’s Fang. Further to all of this:

Sazh has a chocobo that lives in his hair. ARGUE AGAINST THAT.

Also you know what? Screw you. I love Snow.

In terms of the storyline hatred of Final Fantasy XIII I often see two main arguments which are:

1. The story is far too simple

2. The story is far too complicated

Well my friends, I’m not sure how it’s both but I love the story as well. It was quite refreshing at the time to play something a little different to everything we’d had before.

I appreciate this article is essentially just me telling you that you are all wrong about FF XIII (if you don’t like it) and not giving much reason other than my blind fanboying over the titles but that’s what I wanted to write this week. If you have an opinion then let me know what YOU think of Final Fantasy XIII? Let me know in the comments below and if you liked this: come back soon where I will be defending Final Fantasy XIII-2 as well!

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