There was a time when each system got its own Final Fantasy trilogy, and nothing had me more excited than seeing the first game premiere on each iteration of PlayStation. Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X both sold me on their respective platforms, and in fact, the former was the only reason I ever betrayed my inner Nintendo fanboy. So, unsurprisingly I held off on a PS3 until Final Fantasy XIII arrived. Alright, here we go! Back to the glory of days of Final Fantasy VI, with a female protagonist! The graphics were great, the character designs looked awesome, so what’s not to like?
For me, nothing. I loved Final Fantasy XIII. Yes, you spend quite a bit of time walking in a straight line. Many RPGers live for the sidequest, or the secret weapons and items, or the grind. I’m here for the story and characters. While I wish Lightning had more of a personality, I loved the story and plot of Final Fantasy XIII, and cried at the sacrificial ending; I still get sniffly hearing Leona Lewis’ “My Hands.”
While several other Final Fantasies have gotten to Kingdom Hearts level of nonsense with their misshapen lore, Final Fantasy XIII’s world made sense to me. The classic battle between fate and freedom made for strong motivation for the protagonists, and is a markedly Christian motif. In fact, we see several Christian ideals: a father’s love for his son, as witness Sazh fighting for his son Dajh, and the ultimate sacrifice that Fang and Vanille make for everyone else. (Well, until Final Fantasy XIII-2, ruined everything.)