We’ve got all your Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII reviews gathered here By Erren Van Duine on February 11, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is out today in North America and with it a rush of reviews penned by the English speaking press. With the embargo now lifted, we’ve collected the majority of reviews for your perusal below – including a batch of fresh screenshots covering the entirety of the game. If you’re interested to read what we as a network think of the game, you can read Alex’s English review here as well as my original import review at the link here.

Keep checking back for more as we update this master list.

USGamer – 4/5
Eurogamer – 8/10
Joystiq – 4/5
Dualshockers – 8/10
X-One – 8/10
Play UK – 8/10
RPG Fan – 79/100
Vandal.net – 7.8/10
Destructoid – 7.5/10
Press Start – 7/10
GamesTM – 7/10
IGN – 7/10
GameInformer – 7/10
Digital Chumps – 7/10
Videogamer – 7/10
OXM – 7/10
GamesTM – 7/10
Gamekult – 7/10
Venture Beat – 65/100
Now Gamer – 6.5/10
LEVEL – 6/10
Game Trailers – 6/10
Gamer Escape – 6/10
Gameblog.fr – 3/5
RPG Site – 6/10
Polygon – 5.5/10
GameSpot – 5/10
Metro – 5/10
CVG – 5/10
EGM – 4.5/10
Final Fantasy Network – 3/5
GamesRadar – 2.5/5
Rocket Chainsaw – 2.5/5
FF and More – 2.5/5
Game Revolution – 2/5

  • The reviews in general shows exactly what I was expecting: the game has a great battle system, but lacks in story consistency. XIII-2 was confusing already , and LR seems to be even more nonsense. I really enjoyed FFXIII, but I can’t deny these sequels were completely unnecessary!

    It makes me wonder how the future of FFXV will be, considering they already showed intention to make damn sequels of it!

  • Daniel Masterson

    But if they are already thinking about making sequels then they might be more cohesive and make more sense instead of deciding to make a sequel after the fact.

  • Daniel Masterson

    Very excited to play this game. The reviews are what I expected but I always reserve judgement till i play it myself. I can’t wait to get home from work and pop this in!

  • あかりん (Akarin)

    Tonight if I get time I am going to run these through some statistical analysis. I am very much interested in a few little variables, as well as some hypothesis testing with regards to the variabilities in attitude to LR and a, highly suspected, “dependent on attitude” variable, the gamescore. Thank you for the scores Erren.

  • FinalFantisiac

    Herp-derp, reviews mean nothing to me. Can’t wait to play today!

  • Anime10121

    It actually scored better than I thought it would…not that it’d stop me from getting the game either way (need to know what happens with Serah, Caius, and Yuel, and slightly less interested but Vanille and Fang also, the rest, I couldnt’ care less about). UPS needs to hurry up and get here, I want my LR and BD!!!

  • JoeDowntown

    Thanks to Digital River for making this incessantly difficult my CE wont be here until Friday.

  • Ryuukishi

    The reviews are actually more positive than I expected… But it’s cool either way. I know I’m going to love this game and it doesn’t bother me too much whether other people do too or not.

  • FFFan

    Wow what a shocker, the “most polished FF evah” is mediocre, at best… An average score of 6.5, no way??

    Grabbing some popcorn in preparation for the endless stream of lame excuses and delusional comments on how ALL reviewers are biased. Does anyone want some?

    PS: Please keep cyberbulling to a minimum.


    Don’t give a shit. Playing the game now and love it <3

  • I’ve never really teased the notion of paid reviewers or bitter reviews. Funny thing is now, I tend to remember negative reviews more than positive. I hardly ever read or confide in a person’s opinion unless I know they have had similar tastes and distastes, usually. I use to go to school with a friend Patrick who 5 or 6 years ago was lucky enough to work for a few gaming magazines while studying journalism. I asked him, “Why do people need your opinion when they may have nothing in common with you?”. He didn’t really have answer. Mind you we were in high school at the time and he hadn’t really ever told me he wanted to work in gaming journalism. We just played games and he had a lot of magazines.

    I know it’s not really what you are looking for but just my 2 cents on the matter ^_^

  • This is in no way sarcasm. You should Copyright that 😉

  • As of this morning, my Collector’s Edition’s status finally changed from “Pre-Shipment” to “In Transit.”

    May all of you who ordered a CE get it soon. 🙂

  • stevenm281

    We can clearly see that it all depends on personal preferences because the score from reviews are all over the place, from very low score to very high.

  • stevenm281

    Mine’s in transit as well.

  • Mateus.E

    well,a 7-8 is “about” right for this game.Most of those reviews that gave lower did so because they were afraid of the “fanbase” calling them bribed.Opinion is opinion,won’t change mines.
    Oh well,nothing will stop me from buying this game.it won’t be fans nor double standard reviews.

  • *High five* The status of mine was stuck on a “pre-shipment” stage since last Thursday or Friday, so I was starting to worry.

  • Mateus.E

    Well,a rpg story is just like a book,if you jump pages it won’t make sense.It has a prelude,a mid and an end.I saw LR in english and well,I finally got some of the more fuzzy points in the story,like who the “Maker” from XIII was,what was Chaos and the cycle of souls.The story to me is worth an 8.0…they could have explained more of the mythos on the original XIII and left less unexplained plot points to be filled later..Oh,an unexplained plot point is not a plot hole.

    if those sequels were really unnecessary then you just did an futile effort:It is like you make a journey without knowing what moves you and what expects you on the end.


    Got mine! Along with my Collector’s edition guide book <3 I love love love the pocket watch! <3

  • Mateus.E

    if that is so,then they will just do like XIII-2 and put a “to be continued” on the end and pull a LR.
    Honestly,it doesn’t matter when they decide,as long as they leave just a small window for it,like X,they can pull it off.

  • Alleo

    I agree with some comments that it really comes down to personal preference. 🙂 And the reviews are not that bad. Till now over half of the listed reviews give it a 7 or higher which is not bad. On facebook is a link to a german review where they give it a 9 out of 10 and in one german magazine they gave it a 90 out of 100 =) so yeah it really varies from person to person. That´s why I don´t understand the comment in the article about the english trailer where some say that the ones that hated this site´s review look silly now..it´s not like every review gave it a 5 or lower <_< In the end it comes down to what you prefer more. It´s not like you can really see why they gave it that score. They never rate each part individually (like story, game play…), they only give you one number at the end and we never really know how it was put together. ^^

    So in the end the only thing that matters for me is, how I will like it 😉 I mean even if a game gets only top scores I still could not like it and vice versa ^^.

  • Alleo

    Problem with the story is that it´s completely subjective ^^;; I liked the story in XIII and XIII-2 and did not found it confusing. But I understand that it´s not the same for everyone. I always get the feeling that some see the story as the most critical part in a review and I´m not sure if this is good. I do not mean that they are wrong to dislike it or that they should not include it in their rating but sometimes it really feels like it´s one of the only reason for a bad score. Some reviews really likes to highlight their negative point and skim over the other parts of what should make a game good. This makes it really hard to take it as something objective (And no I don´t mean the review on this site ^^;;) One of the reviews I really liked (not for the score but for their structure) was the one from final fantasy network. The text was split in various parts and each one explained the negative and positive aspects. Even without a score you will get a grip of how they saw it and they did not let single parts impact the whole score too much. ^^ This does not mean that other sides didn´t do that too but it was the one that left the most impression on me.

    (Sorry for this long post ^^;)

  • stevenm281

    Where do you live? Did you pay any extra for shipping?

  • stevenm281

    Me too! I even called Digital River to know more about it,


    U.S. And yeah, I payed for day 1 shipping.

  • stevenm281

    I’m far north of Canada and payed for 2-3 days delivery. According to the tracking, should be here by Thursday 5pm, which could lead to the Friday morning since Mail here is….difficult.

  • Wazi the pa

    To be honest….. I think a score of 7-8 is just about right for Lightning Returns. Based on observation of walkthroughs of the Japan import of the game….. I could tell what they focused too much on and what they didn’t focus on.
    Right off the bat, you can tell that the combat system has been given a massive overhaul: If you played the demo, you can tell It’s fast paced, easy to learn and very satisfying every time when a battle has been completed. However the downside of this combat system is that they completely took out the leveling system and because of that, there is no sense of accomplishment. For example, the player is fighting an incredibly hard boss and after finally beating it, all you get is Gil and GP……. Doesn’t feel like you’ve done something amazing and worth your time, right?
    Secondly, its additional content outside of the story missions. From Luxerion to the Wildlands, the player is able to explore vast and gorgeous places, each with its own setting and theme. This gives the player that sense of freedom in which the first game of the trilogy (Final Fantasy XIII) failed to offer…. But its not appreciated unless there is something for the player to do within the worlds. Thus, the side quests and deep exploration. Although I do not know much of the exploration and side quests, after looking through forums of opinions, on average, they said the quests isn’t at all interesting and there is not enough back story or lore for the deep exploration to make it an enjoyable experience.
    Finally, The story. This is basically the meat of every Final Fantasy game which makes each title unique and memorable. As you may have known, characters from FF XIII have made a return to Lightning Returns and sadly Square has failed to make the story within Lightning Returns interesting at all. Im not going to spoil much from the story but I could tell you that they didn’t focused on the emotions of the characters very strongly as they did back in Final Fantasy XIII.
    I’ve still kept my order for the game and it should be arriving soon. However, its pretty weird how they focused too much on one section but does not put in as much effort to the story of the game…. Well you know what they say: You learn better from your mistakes…… even if the mistakes the person has dealt will be at a cost…. 😛

  • The pocket watch is awesome. Mine was waiting for me at home. 🙂 Gorgeous packaging.



    It’s bootiful! o3o <3

  • benrockwrites

    I don’t even know when mine will be here. Because I ordered them together and there was no disclaimer on the Digital River website, DR didn’t have my LR CE shipping until X|X-2 comes out in March. I had to call DR yesterday and cancel the X|X-2 preorder, so they would ship LR. I got my tracking number late last night, but the USPS website says the tracking number is not found and to check back later or double-check the tracking number. Giving it until tomorrow before I call them and complain again…

  • Gust

    Well the game is doing pretty well in reviews I hope it sells well

  • JoeDowntown

    Yeah, they also didn’t tell me until I called today that launch day shipping was only for expedited shipping. I guess the customer service bugs me the most I don’t think I’m being overly critical I can’t wait for the game. Not sure why I’m getting down votes.

  • RoxasXIIIK

    Never really cared for what reviewers say about a game. I like the FFXIII series so thats all that matters. 🙂
    I just got the game in the mail and I’m about 2 Hrs into the game! I still have yet to get my Cloud & Yuna DLC codes from Amazon though. :/

  • Somber

    That is what I expected. I know XIII series isn’t universally adored. But it still has its own charm.

  • Well, I played both XIII and XIII-2 until the end, but I still think that XIII’s ending is “closed” enough to not need a sequel. The main problem that I see in XIII’s sequels is the fact that they want the new players (the ones that didn’t play XIII) to understand the whole plot of the new game, so they scrap lots of the elements of the previous game just to not confuse the newcomers and they did the same with LR, creating a new world. In short, they create “isolated” games even though they’re sequels to each other.

  • あかりん (Akarin)

    I liked this article’s perspective on the whole FF series and also on LR, so I am going to share it here, if the moderators are willing:


  • Alleo

    I love this article =). It´s always funny how far some people go with their hate instead of just ignoring things that they truly dislike. (you know the one that go to fanpages just that they can leave some hateful comments)

  • あかりん (Akarin)

    I have seen it everywhere with the final fantasy series, although 13 suffered the most. I am more than happy to bow down to someone that presents sensible arguments with respect to technicalities of ANY game such as textures, engine performance, frame rates, soundtrack analysis, proper plot reviews, etc.Those things have a place for discussion but not as cheap material to further one’s disdain of a game. And you correct with the summary you gave on how it goes on fanpages.