As the 2010s came to a close, game trilogies seemed to become a norm. A number of excellent trilogies concluded, such as the Zero Escape trilogy, the Mass Effect trilogy, the Gears of War trilogy, and even the Modern Warfare trilogy. There are so man more to count. The 2010s were excellent for gaming and there were so many quality franchises that were either developed or concluded over that period of time. No trilogy was better than the Final Fantasy XIII Saga though. This RPG series is not only criminally underrated, but in a class of its own. The gameplay/combat is some of the best in the Final Fantasy franchise. The narrative is both epic in scale and personal in scope. Some may think the mythology is over-pretentious or the first game too linear, but each title offers something different, and when put together, forms the best video game trilogy of the decade. The ironic thing is that in the Final Fantasy franchise at least, direct sequels are usually little more than spinoff games. This wasn’t the case with Final Fantasy XIII-2. From the moment XIII-2 was put into development, a clear vision for a trilogy took shape. Interestingly enough, Final Fantasy XIII-2 fixed many of the so-called “issues” people had with the first game (which was still a fantastic game) and in many ways was a superior game. In fact, it’s the best Final Fantasy game, period. The time-traveling, non-linear aspect of the game, combined with exploration and combat that built on the near-perfect combat of XIII made it an elite title and one of the best games to come out in the past decade. The story may be the best in the franchise and ends on such an incredibly tragic note, setting up for a fantastic finale in Lightning Returns. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is a special game. It took many risks and was vastly different than any other Final Fantasy game, but it worked. The story was superb and was the perfect continuation of Final Fantasy XIII-2. It was the lesser of the three games, yet when the three are put together, they form a near-perfect trilogy. They don’t have the problems that, for instance, Mass Effect suffers from with a massive drop off in quality with the second two games compared to the first (gameplay-wise.) Mass Effect’s ending was also meddled with and while yes, when plotting stories things do change, the change in the Reaper’s motivations altered the entire story for the worse. The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy doesn’t suffer from these issues. Now, this is just one comparison to one other trilogy, but it just shows how cohesive the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy is, even if, at first, it wasn’t conceived as a trilogy. The ending ties everything up perfectly and the overarching story is the best in the Final Fantasy franchise, being both epic in size and personal in scope. There are very few stories like it, and like every great story, it’s the incredible cast of characters that make it so wonderful. Each character, in each game, is given a moment to shine. No one is cast off and put in the background. While the gameplay shifts a bit from game-to-game, it keeps the combat from becoming stale. It still has the same basic tenants though and is a lot of fun, which is what every RPG should be when it comes to gameplay. The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy is the best trilogy of the 2010s. It’s vastly underappreciated, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s the most cohesive and most enjoyable trilogy in recent memory. It’s also the most underappreciated set of Final Fantasy games, but that’s okay. It just means that in the future, when the games are eventually re-released, fans will finally be able to appreciate them for the masterpieces that they are. Trilogies are difficult to craft, but Square Enix did a masterful job in creating the Final Fantasy XIII Saga, which are the best Final Fantasy games since X, at least, and is leaps and bounds above Final Fantasy XV. 2010 was a special decade for gaming and there are so many wonderful trilogies that were released. If you haven’t played the XIII games, play them. It may affect your life as much as it’s affected mine.