Final Fantasy XV has been a massive disappointment. While people thought it would be the series’ saving grace, it plunged the series into an even deeper hole. While the Final Fantasy XIII series has been blasted by critics, XIII and XIII-2 have comparable metacritic scores compared to XV. Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a 79 metacritic score, while Final Fantasy XV has an 81 score. What’s even more amusing is Final Fantasy XIII, which is criticized so heavily, has an 83 score. Yes, different times, different reviewers, but it’s still relevant. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is better than Final Fantasy XV because the characters are more engaging, the story is superior and well told, the combat is better, and it’s just more enjoyable.

Where Final Fantasy XV really falters is the narrative. The story has an interesting premise, but the story is so poorly told. Parts of the story are not even told in-game, which is an absolute joke. I should not have to watch a film and an anime series to get the full story. Put it in the game. On the other hand, Final Fantasy XIII-2’s story is fantastic. Yes, it does use a lot of the set pieces from XIII, but the time travel aspect of the game really makes the narrative shine. Final Fantasy is all about story and is one of the paramount reasons why Final Fantasy XIII-2 is better than Final Fantasy XV. The narrative isn’t sloppily put together like XV and it’s a very enjoyable tale.

Final Fantasy XV is a story about a boy band gone wrong. At least that’s what it feels like. The brotherhood aspect is understandable, but the characters are so underdeveloped and really boring. Noctis is a horrible lead character and the only member of the cast I even cared about was Ardyn; he was a fantastic villain. Final Fantasy XIII-2’s story was fantastic. It always kept you guessing what was coming next. The Historia Crux was a great way to navigate the world and keep the game from being linear. One of the major problems with XV is that it gives the illusion of an open world. Yes, you can go around and explore, but it’s nothing like Xenoblade X where you can go and explore each continent from the get go. This is what many Final Fantasy fans were hoping for and were let down. Driving the car is a total pain and the game’s story was a major let down, especially chapter 13.

The characters in Final Fantasy XIII-2 have a lot more depth than the characters in Final Fantasy XV. It’s what makes the game and is one of the reasons why Final Fantasy XIII-2 is better than Final Fantasy XV. One of the major problems with Final Fantasy XV is that there are no strong female characters. This is a huge problem; there’s no diversity. It’s just four guys traveling around in a car. XIII-2’s Serah may appear weak in the beginning of the game, but as the game goes on she shows her inner strength. There is so much character development in the game and it’s really powerful that the lead character in the game is a young woman. Noel is also a great character and and develops throughout the game and is the perfect companion for Serah. It’s also helpful that there are just two main characters compared to four in XV. Even the villain Caius has a complex motivation and while Ardyn is a great villain, I would put him on par with Caius.

The combat in Final Fantasy XV is weak. It’s full of button mashing and simply put, it’s not enjoyable. Just attempt to cast magic spells. Your party members will get caught up in the blast. Have your party members cast spells and you are most certainly to get caught up in the blast. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is better than Final Fantasy XV because the combat is better, in part. While Final Fantasy XV’s combat is more button mashing and action-adventure, Final Fantasy XIII-2 utilizes paradigms and is actually quite fun. You can either attack manually or have your characters attack automatically once you figure out the enemies’ weaknesses. Real time turn-based combat in JRPGs are almost always superior to action-type button mashing, proving once again Final Fantasy XIII-2 is better than Final Fantasy XV.

Final Fantasy XV can be an enjoyable game, but it is a huge letdown. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is superior in almost every facet, it just gets a lukewarm rap because it’s associated with the XIII series, which is actually quite good. It just has a group of vocal fans who dislike it intensely. XIII-2 is the best Final Fantasy game to come out since X, and I would argue it’s better than that game. From the characters, combat, and narrative, Final Fantasy XV is just weak. There are so many reasons why Final Fantasy XIII-2 is better than Final Fantasy XV. Come a year from now after the hype has subsided, people will rip into Final Fantasy XV like they did XIII.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of VG Culture HQ. He has been writing about games for over four years and has written over 900 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture.

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  • Skydog6301

    I would not say that FFXV has plunged the series into ‘a hole’. It’s brought the series to new heights, if anything.

  • Nine

    Final fantasy is fantasy jrpgs it’s not a sci fi game or an action game, ff15 was not a bad game at all it’s just not a very final fantasy game as a matter of fact if they kept ff13versus it would be better and I agree the story was like half complete

  • Docmortem

    FFXIII-2 did not have a good story. It was confusing as shit and did not make any sense at all. Especially with all that time traveling that made you lose any connection that was left.

    A light harted female character (who definately did not have any depth at all … except for her cleavage maybe) does not make a good story. If you cant stand hanging around dudes … fine but dont pretend XIII-2 had anything more than a really shallow and confusing storyline. XIII-2 and Lightning Returns were really unnecessary story extensions.