With over 185 million units sold, Final Fantasy is one of the oldest franchises in the gaming industry. Final Fantasy 16 is the latest flavor of this series, contributing over 3 million to the overall sales figures.
Square Enix is continuing the tradition of releasing new games in the IP with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, which is the most anticipated game for many in 2024. However, months before this release, Final Fantasy 13 celebrates its 14th anniversary today.
Why it matters: The Final Fantasy franchise is so vast that it can be difficult for games to stand out. However, for better or worse, the 13th mainline release does not suffer from this problem.
Final Fantasy 13 is among the more controversial and divisive entries of the series.
This title brought many changes that were a first for Square Enix in 2009. For starters, the game was released on the Xbox 360, and multiplatform development came with its own set of challenges.
Following the transition to HD gaming, Final Fantasy 13 was poised to showcase the studio’s talents with the new hardware, and it debuted stunning visuals in 2009, even after doubts about a downgrade compared to the first reveal.
Despite its controversial nature, the game quickly sold 1.7 million copies to become the fastest-selling game in the series 14 years ago. To date, it has sold 7 million units, being among the better sellers of the IP.
The game was set in the floating world of Cacoon. It also introduced Lightning, a former Cacoon’s Guardian Crops Army soldier who later became a notable part of the series after she was featured in two additional mainline games and spin-offs.
However, the overall narrative was a mixed bag. The game’s combat system was also not to everyone’s liking, with many criticizing the little freedom offered in the battles.
Command Synergy Battle had its ups and downs with elements like the Chain Gauge, but the combat was not an undisputed hit among the fanbase.
These elements were combined with a linear-level design at a time when the industry was more curious about the open-world genre.
This meant that Final Fantasy 13 was criticized at the beginning. However, with nostalgia building up and the element of hindsight, the game has earned a reputation for being an underrated entry in the JRPG series.
Exactly 14 years later, Final Fantasy 13 remains a game worth trying, if only to explore its divisive nature.
For PC and Xbox owners, the game is still easy to grab and play, but the lack of PS3 backward compatibility on Sony consoles means that PlayStation users might need to dig up that dusty old PS3 to revisit or play this game for the first time.
Obaid is pursuing a Law degree, while working as a content writer. He has worked as a gaming writer for over a year because of his passion for the medium and reporting the latest updates in the industry. Having played hundreds of games, Obaid finds himself coming back to Elden Ring and Red Dead Redemption 2, with these games being among his favorites. He has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as Wccftech, Metro UK, PS Lifestyle, GamePressure, VGC, and Gamespot.