Poll: Is Final Fantasy XIII/XIII-2 The worst Final Fantasy games?

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So, with Final Fantasy XIII-3 coming out in 2014 and sale at Gamestop this weekend, I've decide to see if I can purchase both these titles. However, from what I've been hearing about Final Fantasy XIII and it's sequel has been over the place. A lot say it's the worst game in the series, some say it's the best. So, Escapist Forum, I want your thought. Is it the best or worst?

That or 10 for me.

I loved 8 and 9, thought 6 and 7 were alright (played them later) but 10 and then 13 were downright horrible in my opinion. I think 10 is worse to me personally because 13 only confirmed that the pile of shit 10 was part of a trend.

It's a shame really as the final fantasys were one of the first games I ever played, to see it get to a stage where I never want to play one again is quite sad in a way. End of a gaming era for me and all that, I bet this is how Sonic players felt.

I couldn't finish Final Fantasy XIII. It was more the straw that broke the camel's back than anything, but it was still a terrible game. I wasn't the biggest fan of FF XII, and then playing XIII, I found none of the characters likeable or sympathetic, the story started out as nonsense and progressed into further nonsense (as opposed to the usual tactic of starting out as somewhat normal and then becoming balls-out absurd), and the game just wasn't fun to play.

There was no strategy involved in the fights. Since you were timed, you couldn't navigate menus fast enough to select all the attacks you wanted. So the devs gave you an option to "auto-select" attacks. And then you just pressed X and watched the game play itself. It was a step further from FFXII's gambit system. The level-up system also gave the illusion of customization underneath pretty shiny crystals, but was really just nothing but a linear progression when it boiled down to it.

I didn't play Final Fantasy XIII-2, and I don't think I'll be giving Final Fantasy games another chance at all because of XIII.

Anyone who says XIII is the worst Final Fantasy hasn't played Final Fantasy II.

Of course, if we are talking about PS1 and beyond then I still like XIII better than IX which was just too slow.

Well I've only played FF13 so I can only give judgement on it and not how bad it is compared to the others. The gameplay is like Thebazilly said, it handles combat for you. You just have to switch formations and occasionally use a revive or heal potion. The story... Well I'm on chapter 7 and have no clue what the fuck is going on so that should answer the story. The characters all suck besides one guy. You have: A bitch, A guy who thinks with his dick over his head, a random Aussie person, a whiner, some woman, and a funny black guy. Not the best cast of characters. Even with all of it's flaws the game isn't that bad if you get it for like 10 or so bucks, it's a decent deal.

I did enjoy them both far more than 10. Especially 13-2. So no, they are not the worst.

10-2 has possibly the best iteration of the ATB combat system I've seen.
It's not strategic at all, but it's fun in it's own way.

You could think of this way, older FF's are to Disgaea and 10-2 is to Makai Kingdoms.
The former being games that require a good amount of thinking and strategy and the former being pure beat downs.

Since I came into the series in '06 I've only played, in order:

X-2 wasted hours, I recall. I did like the ATB system it had, I'll give it that. I felt dirty once I looked at the reviews. Only then did I understand why my friend, a longtime fan of the series, gave me such a pitying look when she heard that I not only bought it, but it was my first time with a game that had the Final Fantasy title.

X because I wanted to see if it was better, didn't finish it but I enjoyed it a lot more than X-2 and ended up watching the Spoony One's review for the ending a couple years after the fact.

XII which I loved, but I still feel Balthier should've been the 'Leading Man' or at least Basch whom they originally replaced as lead for the ascended-side-character and all-around-unnecessary-to-the-plot Vaan.

III for the DS which I also loved.

... and XIII which I quit after an hour more than Yahtzee played, an hour that was spent reading the in-game encyclopedia just to figure out wtf was going on. Spoony's review only reaffirmed what I already thought of it.

XIII-2, I didn't even open the box and traded it in with it's prequel just to get them out of my apartment. I can only say they were the worst from my rather limited experience with the series.

Nah I thought XII was the worst. It was a shitty singleplayer MMO with a terrible story and a completely out of place main character.

WeepingAngels:
Anyone who says XIII is the worst Final Fantasy hasn't played Final Fantasy II.

Of course, if we are talking about PS1 and beyond then I still like XIII better than IX which was just too slow.

Strange, I liked IX a hell of a lot more than XIII; at least in IX you had some freaking idea what you were doing going into the game, starting out trying to kidnap the princess and then the situation spiraled out of control until you're stuck saving the multiverse from an Omnicidal Maniac.

XIII gave you no~o~o~o bloody context for what you were doing until several hours into the game, and then it takes even longer for the game to actually get good. I can agree that IX is a bit slow at the beginning, but at least you never had to sink 20 c***-gargling hours into it before the game "gets good".

There hasn't been a single Final Fantasy game I've played yet that I disliked...aside from XIII. And I hate it, honestly. The combat system and story are just so goddamn boring that I simply cannot stand playing it anymore. I've tried, but I can't. I can't do it; I refuse to do it. And you can't make me! So in my opinion, yes, yes it is the fucking worst (again, that I've played, but I find it hard to imagine a more soul-wrenchingly terrible experience lurking in the franchise. Dear Bahamut, that's a scary thought).

Needless to say, I never touched XIII-2 (except for the demo, which even then I barely played before giving up on it), so I can't say much about it. The general consensus is it's better, but still far from worth bothering with if you ask me.

Now, that said...I think Lightning Returns looks promising and this coming from someone who had a knee-jerk reaction of "RAAAAAAH, WHY IS SQUARE ENIX MAKING ANOTHER ONE OF THESE GODAWFUL THINGS? DIE, DIE HEATHEN! DIIIIIIIE!"

Mangod:

WeepingAngels:
Anyone who says XIII is the worst Final Fantasy hasn't played Final Fantasy II.

Of course, if we are talking about PS1 and beyond then I still like XIII better than IX which was just too slow.

Strange, I liked IX a hell of a lot more than XIII; at least in IX you had some freaking idea what you were doing going into the game, starting out trying to kidnap the princess and then the situation spiraled out of control until you're stuck saving the multiverse from an Omnicidal Maniac.

XIII gave you no~o~o~o bloody context for what you were doing until several hours into the game, and then it takes even longer for the game to actually get good. I can agree that IX is a bit slow at the beginning, but at least you never had to sink 20 c***-gargling hours into it before the game "gets good".

What I meant by slow is that the ATB in IX is pathetically slow. The story in iX is fine, the characters are fine and the world is fine but if battle is slow....I couldn't finish more than once and that was back in 2000.

XIII is nice and fast and I guess I like that better in 2013. The story and characters in XIII were fine if you read the datalog (I agree that you shouldn't have to). Hope was the only character I really disliked and that passed once he stopped procrastinating about killing Snow.

Tips to make XIII Enjoyable:
Turn off auto-attack
Ignore the story
Rush to post game.

Alright, what happens post game is that the game opens up considerably. More battles, that require some actual strategy to it, item hunting, optional areas, repeatable battles so that you can try to get better at them, and more overall customization. The crippling linearity is gone once the credits roll, and a lot of the battles become far more enjoyable.

If you remove the auto-attack, the game swiftly becomes about quick thinking, ad accurate menu navigation. The paradigms system actually Adds to the combat to make it more frantic, and takes more careful planning. In the last stages of the game, a paradigm swap to the wrong thing for too long could spell out doom for the party. However, after getting everyone's Crystarium maxed out, the best paradigm palette, is simply Paradigm x3 for each of the six roles.

No, the game is not great, it's merely passable, but it is far better than people make it out to be.

Now then. XIII-2. XIII-2 is far better than the prior game. It's a lot less linear, there's tons of things to do, hard battles (Until you get to a certain power level, then everything falls) The qualms I have with it, mostly lie in the leveling system. The leveling system does allow you to end up with significantly less than optimal characters. The monster raising aspect fits well, and actually lead to much better paradigm diversity (as each monster had a role, and you can only have three on your party, which means that though you can set up 6 paradigms, only three roles are available for the monster portion of your party at any given time) The ability to "tune" paradigms is a nice addition too, as it allows you to set whether the party targets individual enemies, or if they target the same one. The music is XIII-2 is kinda awesome, the things to do are so much better.

The plot is still garbage. Toss it out.

ShadowRatchet92:
However, from what I've been hearing about Final Fantasy XIII and it's sequel has been over the place. A lot say it's the worst game in the series, some say it's the best.

Welcome to Final Fantasy.

No, really, taking the average forum around the size of the Escapist, you could just have a list of every main-series Final Fantasy game, throw a dart at it, and whichever title it lands on you'd be able to find an equal number of people claiming it's both the "best" and "worst" in the franchise.

Personally, excluding X-2, XIII is the only game in the franchise I've played that I couldn't finish. I haven't played any of the pre-Playstation era ones (I don't count VI one way or the other yet, because I've only put a collective fifteen minutes or so into it), but I've played VII-X and XII and immensely enjoyed all of them. I still play VII and IX today and rank IX as one of my favorite video games of all time.

On the other side of the coin, a fair number of people with little or no exposure to Final Fantasy have few issues with XIII. Disregarding how crushingly linear it is, and how annoying the characters can be (which is mostly a personal thing anyway), the biggest problem it has in my eyes is just that it doesn't really feel like a proper Final Fantasy title, because about the only striking similarity it has to the earlier games is that the story is absolute insanity.

God no! Final Fantasy 8 is by far the wrost one I've played.

The draw and junction systems were terrible, and the story was ridiculous. Final Fantasy XIII is definetly not the worst.

ehhh... they're all kind of the same.. Final Fantasy has always been about bombastic operatic setpieces, it was just locked in 16-bits so it was hard to see for itself. If you play say FF6 and then play FF13... 13 might be worse, but it's really exactly the same thing. People complain about "the hallway", but final fantasy has always had a hallway.

I think it's just taking nostalgia and looking through your nostalgia glasses in reverse gives you a headache.

My personal opinion is that FFXIII is not a good game by Final Fantasy standards, but is still a great game regardless that is unfortunately let down by pacing and linearity. Basically, if you love the earlier Final Fantasy's, you probably won't like FFXIII, but if you are like me and can get drawn into the story and world that the XIII portrays and don't mind linear levels, you will have a blast with it

My least favourite is actually FF9. The game was supposed to be a last hurrah for old style FF games, but for me, it tasted like stale bread.

It's WAY too slow. The ability system (learning from items) is hands down the worst system ever used in an FF title. So many useless high level items since I'm forced to use underpowered garbage to learn the abilities contained within. Blugh.

Stealing from bosses for 40 minutes is not fun. The times where the party is forcibly divided are unbalanced - both white mages on the same team (!?) who the fuck made that decision!? The card game is nigh unplayable. And it's about the only JRPG where I actually agree with the steroetype that the main character and villain are incredibly effeminate in appearance.

FFXIII had a very fast and fun battle system (for those willing to go past the auto-battle - which I'll argue DID NOT pick the best outcomes). FFXIII-2 improved on FFXIII in almost every acpect.

Edit:

WeepingAngels:
What I meant by slow is that the ATB in IX is pathetically slow.

Agreed.

Miss G.:

XII which I loved, but I still feel Balthier should've been the 'Leading Man' or at least Basch whom they originally replaced as lead for the ascended-side-character and all-around-unnecessary-to-the-plot Vaan.

Fun fact, Basch and Balthier were supposed to be the main characters of XII, but Square felt that they were too old for the audience to relate too so they made Vaan and Penelo.

OT: My answer was already stolen by Shrekfan pretty much. X was my first Final Fantasy and after that I played the old numbered ones going from I to IX. My personal favorite is XII actually because I liked the huge emphasis on sidequests and sequence breaking giving you good rewards. My least favorite is probably II, because...it's just so weird when coming from Final Fantasy.

That being said I still enjoy all the Final Fantasy games, and while XIII disappointed me I won't say it's entirely bad.

Best or worst at what? I'd say it's a natural progression for the series, really. Better looking than the last one, completely incoherent world and storyline. That's the direction they've been going since VII. Game mechanics have had their ups and downs since then, but since they started making MMOs they've tossed the classic line up direct control ATB system completely... What they replaced it with is like a distillation of MMO combat roles with an indirect party control scheme. Not my cup of tea, but I'd be remiss to call it objectively bad.

So...

If you're lookin' for a visual spectacle, lots of pretty lights and action sequences... XIII is great for that. Probably the best in the series.

If you're lookin' for memorable, relatable characters with understandable motivations interacting with a world that operates under consistent logic... XIII is terrible for that. Probably the worst in the series.

I do not think 13 was all that bad to begin with. However a case for 13-2 may be made. However Its a pretty strong bet that it will fall under the heel of how terribad 10-2 was

Final Fantasy XII, II, and VIII are the worst out of the numbered titles without direct sequels. I don't really know about XI, XIII, and III but you can't really do worse that XII.

Final Fantasy I or II, objectively speaking.

The worst ones? Eeh, that's really more toward FF2's territory, since that has a gameplay system that was panned by bloody everyone (for good reason).

Personally speaking, I do like the aesthetic design of FF13's world and characters and, honestly, I've heard so many people saying that the story is both hard to follow and that the story CAN be followed if you put some effort into it. Of course, a lot of people are gonna pull the "We shouldn't have to do extra homework in order to understand the plot!" card, and yes, I do agree that it is bullshit if you have to do homework in order to understand why people are doing whatever, buuuut I am willing to give them that if the ending plot is good.

And despite what Yahtzee, Spoony, damn near everyone has said, I do have a lot of close friends that swear, up and down, that FF13 has a story that is both coherent and interesting, so I feel that, eventually, I'll have to concede and try playing the game.

As for Final Fantasies that are bad, honestly, that's more to personal opinion if anything. I know a lot of people hate FF10's story and characters, but (Tidus's more annoying moments aside) I liked both FF10's story and its gameplay system. The design of Spira, imo was FANTASTIC. FF10-2, despite having some... interesting changes to Yuna and Rikku, made up for it with some really great gameplay (although I won't deny that FF10-2's story is pretty shite... when it even bothers to advance it). FF6 is my personal favorite, but I do think that every Final Fantasy has its specific niche that pleases the certain individual.

Except 2. That can go burn in a hole.

Haven't played 1-3, but 4-10(XII too, kind of) are awesome games which I spent a lot of my childhood/very early teens with. Replayed 7-10 again for the first time in close to ten years recently and they were still great.
XIII/XIII-2 are probably fine as a JRPG, but I wasn't very fond of either. On played through them once, close to release date, so I really don't remember much other than that I didn't like them.

So based on the ones I played they're definetly the worst. Story, combat, world... all at the bottom.

Neronium:

Miss G.:

XII which I loved, but I still feel Balthier should've been the 'Leading Man' or at least Basch whom they originally replaced as lead for the ascended-side-character and all-around-unnecessary-to-the-plot Vaan.

Fun fact, Basch and Balthier were supposed to be the main characters of XII, but Square felt that they were too old for the audience to relate too so they made Vaan and Penelo.

I know, I just wish they kept with Balthier/Basch. I mean think about it; after the opening sequence and Reks' bit where the Archadians meant for there to be a living witness to what appeared to be 'Basch' betraying the king, you can literally skip straight ahead to when Balthier and Fran come into the story and not miss a thing. Vaan and Penelo slow/hinder the narrative more than help it whilst contributing nothing because they are so far removed from the high-stakes political intrigue going on in this game. There was a way to make them work within the narrative if Square really wanted to keep these two and it annoys me that the opportunity was missed. If those two were immediate family to any of the key players, but still a little out of touch with the situation enough to be an audience expy, kinda like Captain America was in the Avengers movie, this would've been fine and they would've actually had relevance.

Mangod:

WeepingAngels:
Anyone who says XIII is the worst Final Fantasy hasn't played Final Fantasy II.

Of course, if we are talking about PS1 and beyond then I still like XIII better than IX which was just too slow.

Strange, I liked IX a hell of a lot more than XIII; at least in IX you had some freaking idea what you were doing going into the game, starting out trying to kidnap the princess and then the situation spiraled out of control until you're stuck saving the multiverse from an Omnicidal Maniac.

XIII gave you no~o~o~o bloody context for what you were doing until several hours into the game, and then it takes even longer for the game to actually get good. I can agree that IX is a bit slow at the beginning, but at least you never had to sink 20 c***-gargling hours into it before the game "gets good".

Don't even bother dude, people who think Square is going in the right direction with FF now aren't worth arguing with because they have such a small perspective. You can't describe the stunning beauty of a misty sunrise in the mountains to an ant.

12 and 13 were the only ones in the series I have played that I did not finish. So I think they are pretty much bottom of the barrel.

I've played a lot of them (I think the only ones I haven't played are IV and V), and I have to say, I enjoyed XIII plenty, enough to get the sequel and I'm really enjoying it, too. Apart from II, where the levelling system, while making sense, is so painfully slow, I've enjoyed all of them.

omegaweopon:
Tips to make XIII Enjoyable:
Turn off auto-attack
Ignore the story
Rush to post game.

I agree with this, except the rushing part. You need to learn what all the roles can do for you and get used to changing them when needed, and that is why the party gets separated like this, with the leaders changing every time. So make sure you take your time, until you're sure you've understood them (took me way too long to realise Saboteur have the same effect as Commando on the stagger gauge, for example).

I thought the worst ones would be the MMOs. Though I haven't bothered with any since 11, so I can't say how crap the newer ones are.

I would have to say ff8 was one of the worst jrpg's ever. I hated the characters and ridiculous gameplay where the enemies level with you, and the draw system did not work as in it was simply not fun. Squall, I hate you.

Final Fantasy 13 annoyed me with its nonsensical narrative (the Fal'Cie wanted shit done but gave their footsoldiers almost zero direction other than a hazy glimpse that the heroes may misinterpret and fuck up what the Fal'Cie want, pretty silly considering one of them FUCKING TELLS YOU what he wants with no bullshit included) The combat was boring and played for you, the battles were also long and if you didn't win against certain bosses fast enough, have fun getting the doom spell. The crystarium was a piece of shit too and weapon crafting made finding new weapons worthless.

Final Fantasy XIII-2...the combat was much faster and battles didn't take half an hour of mashing X/A and hitting the shoulder button. The synergy between Serah and Noel as a non-romantic duo worked well and the monster taming thing was a good idea. The story is meh, but it was better than 13 and the game gave you some good freedom. The crystarium was still bad, but the weapons system was a good "find better weapon, equip it"

Put it this way, I liked 13-2 enough that I plan to get 13-3.

I think 13 is one of the worst in the series, but 13-2 I actually rate relatively higher than some.

Final Fantasy 13 is actually among my favorites. I was actually surprised when it was so universally hated by gamers after the positive reviews.

Favorite FF games:
1) FF6
2) FF2 for SNES (I think it's FF4 but I get that one mixed up)
3) FF (NES)
4) FF 12
5) FF 13
6) FF 10
7) FF 7

From here I'm not crazy about the series.
I've played every release but FF 8 and FF 9.

I liked how FF13 focused on the story and the party characters. I LOVED how it minimized the senseless grind that the series is known for. Walking down straight hallways is fine by me when that's essentially how I played every other FF up to this point. I'd deviate from the path on occasion but I still played those games by it's intended route. The combat system in FF13 is the best the franchise had to offer and had me hooked. My gripes with the game was the crazy long tutorial (especially on multiple playthroughs) and the non-sensical 'meh' storylines that the franchise can't seem to shake off.

Final Fantasy 13-2 on the other hand is quite possibly the worst of the franchise.
It'll stand tall along side FF 10-2. I give 10-2 some slack because it didn't try to be serious.

ShadowRatchet92:
So, with Final Fantasy XIII-3 coming out in 2014 and sale at Gamestop this weekend, I've decide to see if I can purchase both these titles. However, from what I've been hearing about Final Fantasy XIII and it's sequel has been over the place. A lot say it's the worst game in the series, some say it's the best. So, Escapist Forum, I want your thought. Is it the best or worst?

FF 13 is a good game, if a bit back-heavy. It takes a long time to really get moving - it spends a lot of time introducing and developing the characters. Several characters start off fairly annoying, but grow into people you like and care about.

It has several flaws, and it had very linear dungeons which really pissed people off (even though FF 10 also had very linear dungeons and no one seemed to mind).

Of FF 10, 12, and 13, I'd put FF10 as best, FF 13 as 2nd best, and FF 12 as a stain at the bottom of my toilet (I hated FF12).

As for FF 13-2 - it is one of the top five best Final Fantasy games ever made. It fixed ALL of the problems with FF 13, had complex dungeons that were interesting to explore, and encouraged exploration and side-questing throughout the game. It is a masterpiece - far better than FF 13 itself.

Even if you don't much like FF 13, you should slog through just so you can play FF 13-2.

As bad as it was (and it was certainly bad, in many ways) there are "worse" Final Fantasies. Particularly 2 - awful skill system, awful spell level up system, boring plot, boring characters. 4 is also on the brink - it "had" a story but the story was very cliche and love triangles are cheesy, but the game was also bogged down with one of the worst class systems in the entire franchise (characters glued in to a role with no real way to change how they played).

13 made the mistake of pretty cutscenes and boring linear hallway festivals and combat that wanted to involve the player as little as possible. FFX is where that godawful linear corridor trend started, but FFX at least had some redeeming elements. 13... doesn't, really. So the only games that are "worse" are the ones that are just all bad, all the time - like 2 and 4. And x-2.

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