While you wait for Final Fantasy 16, consider playing the unfair Final Fantasy 13 on Game Pass

Everyone has their favorite Final Fantasy. Many people love Final Fantasy 7 because of how much impact it left in 3D, and just because it was their first release. There are people who love Final Fantasy 9 because of Vivi. As messy as it gets, you can’t help falling in love with those boys in 15. But perhaps no Final Fantasy has been more divisive. Final Fantasy 13.

For years, I heard nothing but complaints about the game. ‘Corridor’ is a word that can give some people horrible flashbacks of their gameplay, many refer to Lightning as a ‘cold clone of Cloud’, and some simply don’t like the two-part game next. So when I see that Final Fantasy 13 is now on Xbox Game Pass During the holidays, I know there’s only one thing I can do: find the truth. And you know what I found? Shock horror: a pretty cool video game.

Now, I will say this right away: some of the aforementioned corridors are quite long. The game could certainly have made a few cuts here and there, no doubt about that. But my first point of frustration with the decades of criticism I’ve heard is that the tide of negativity surrounding the game has completely washed away any discussion that might have been deepened about how good the game is. More than anything else, it introduced the Paradigm system, a game mechanic that requires you to switch your characters between different roles.

Turn-based RPGs have a habit of disguising some of the finer details that are important in their combat systems, requiring you to spend some time learning how they work. That didn’t happen to me with the Model system. By simply switching between different roles and paying attention to the different metrics as I played, I was able to understand exactly how the game worked. Finally, when you have the ability to choose your team members – and specify what roles they play – you suddenly discover that there is a lot of freedom to play the way you want. And that’s the complete opposite of what I’ve heard about the game before getting into it.

Some skirmishes are too difficult, and there are strange instances where things get repetitive due to the lack of enemy diversity. But the game forces you to change your party members during its first half, so you constantly need to reevaluate how you approach skirmishes. You can’t just rely on the same flush and repeat technique. Final Fantasy 13 keeps you going.

But a fun game is not necessarily a good game. It’s a Final Fantasy after all; A game in the series known for its epic and ambitious storytelling as well as complex, layered characters. This leads to one of the biggest frustrations I’ve had when it comes to historical criticism of the game.


In the beginning, you are like being thrown into the story. The story takes a while to explain itself, and even when it all starts to come together, it’s just like digging into how a l’Cie, or a Fal’Cie, even is. . But it’s not very important. People often get annoyed by the nonsensical fantasy language some games use (as a Kingdom Hearts fan, I’m used to that), but lore isn’t really about 13, right?

I was surprised to see that it was a parent-child role-playing game; each of the main actors take on one role or another. Lightning must be the mother of her younger sister, Serah, and reluctantly becomes a role model to Hope as well. Snow is an orphan, and he also acts as Hope’s parent. Sazh is a true father, devoted to his son Dajh, while also taking care of Vanille. Hell, the final boss of the game literally called Orphan. The game is not exactly subtle.

On top of that, Final Fantasy 13 tells a story that is surprisingly relevant to our current experience. Cocoon – the world in which most of the main actors live – is powered by Fal’Cie, what I think are gods (like I said, it’s not 100% clear). But the government is happy to sacrifice the masses for the sake of these gods who are in charge of this unelected world. Sound familiar?

It is like a condemnation of the mixture of state and church, and how a government will fail when it acts only in its own interest. These are some heavy, complex, and often emotional themes, all wrapped up in trauma and fantasy drama. I love Final Fantasy 15 with all my heart, but I just wish it could tackle political themes as interestingly as Final Fantasy 13.


The characters’ wants and needs all relate to the fate their misguided government has provided for them, and I was shocked to see how enjoyable Lightning’s character development really was. any. Hours into the game, Lightning makes the acquaintance of Hope, who not long ago watched her mother die, and continues to follow Lightning around like a lost puppy.

Lightning is a trained soldier who acts heartlessly even towards her loved ones. During her alone moments with Hope in the hours before that, she taught him some pretty terrible lessons. He learns to be aggressive and solitary, and focuses solely on his mission to avenge his mother’s death. Lightning does not seem to care about her children too much, but still takes on the role of a mother and an educator. But over time, she begins to see the damage her influence has on Hope’s life. And so she changed, she loosened up, and tried to untie the knots that she pulled too tight.

This doesn’t mean Lightning isn’t cool anymore. There’s an amazing line when a soldier tells her to die, she says “you first” without closing her eyes, and I love it. But she’s learned not to be too cold and open to the idea that having someone else by your side is a good thing. Comparisons with Cloud end up feeling completely unfounded and entrenched in myth.

Cloud’s growth following the events of Final Fantasy 7 positioned him as a moody maniac, which was positively changed for Remake as it didn’t fit his personality. Forum posts from over a decade ago describing why they didn’t like Lightning just felt plain and seemed to suggest that it’s impossible for a woman to have a complex personality development. Is everything about Lightning perfect? Of course not, but what the hell.


I know Final Fantasy 13 isn’t a perfect game. But it is a great one. The Final Fantasy series has been very messy since Final Fantasy 13, with Final Fantasy 15 known for going through a tough growth period, and Final Fantasy 14 must be completely restarted due to poorly received 1.0 launch. Still, there’s hope that the next game, Final Fantasy 16, may not have some of the same complications.

Naoki Yoshida is now famous for helping to save 14, and has positioned it as an MMO so popular that they had to stop selling the game for a while. So far, we’ve seen very few of the 16 – because of the pandemic – but a new Final Fantasy is always exciting. I worry about the fact that another game in the mainstream doesn’t have a prominent female character, since historically the series has been filled with them. I worry that placing Lightning as a poster child for Final Fantasy over the years has Square Enix worried about doing the same thing again.

More than anything, however, I hope that 16 is a bit odd. Final Fantasy does best when it tries something different, which I think is the best thing about Yoshida and co. can learn from 13. With a release likely imminent in 2022, it might not be long until we figure out what the teh development teams have learned.

Oh, and 13 is Sazh’s best chocobo-only game.


https://www.vg247.com/can-we-just-admit-final-fantasy-13-is-actually-good-xbox-game-pass While you wait for Final Fantasy 16, consider playing the unfair Final Fantasy 13 on Game Pass

Fry Electronics Team

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