Very few people realize this, but the Xeno “Saga” began in 1998 with the game Xenogears and was once considered to be the next Final Fantasy game. This proposal was rejected but Xenogears became a cult hit, and because of its success, Tetsuya Takahashi was able to build his own studio, Monolith Soft, and produce the Xenosaga games. Xenosaga was a special series and extremely story-based, but the problem with the series was the fact that there were so many years between release dates of each entry in the franchise. The sales by the third game, Also Sprach Zarathustra, dropped off dramatically, but it’s arguably the strongest entry in the series. It definitely has the best story, possibly of any of the Xeno games. It draws so much from religion, philosophy, history, etc., and ties together the Xenosaga in an almost perfect way, even though a fourth game was in production. The perceived commercial failure of Xenosaga, though they and Xenogears were incredible games, caused Takahashi to go back to the drawing board and spawned the Xenoblade series after Monolith Soft was bought out by Nintendo. Though the games can’t legally be connected, anyone who reads into the games fully realizes that they are, in fact, connected on a deep level. The “Conduit” from Xenoblade 2 is, in essence, the Zohar from Xenogears and Xenosaga. It serves the same function and is a source of limitless energy. They even take the same shape and glowing aura. Look familiar? The Zohar This is connected to Xenoblade as well, considering the Conduit was the source of the experiment which created Klaus’s new Universe(s). The Zohar/Conduit is also present in Xenoblade X as well. Look Familiar? While many look at the Xeno series as a relatively new franchise, it’s actually 22 years old and has never put out a bad entry, although you could argue Xenosaga 2 is somewhat lackluster, though it is still enjoyable. While the Xenosaga games were fantastic with incredible lore and enticing stories, the three Xenoblade entries have catapulted the franchise into the greatest RPG series of all-time, surpassing even Final Fantasy. Yes, Final Fantasy is incredible, and this isn’t to take away from it. And although there are less entries in the Xeno franchise, the series does not have one truly bad entry. All differentiate themselves from one another but still stick to the same common themes and the stories and gameplay are superior to Final Fantasy, especially the latest entry in the franchise, Final Fantasy XV (I haven’t played VII remake: disclaimer.) I loved the Final Fantasy XIII games, but they were flawed on a fundamental level. The Xeno games don’t have these problems. While Final Fantasy has stagnated over the years, the Xeno games keep getting better and better. What’s even more impressive is that each game has something different to offer; they are all distinct, yet they are all connected on a basic, fundamental level. Story-wise, the Zohar/Conduit connects the entire series in a way that wasn’t thought possible before Xenoblade 2. The Lifehold from Xenoblade X is eerily similar to the Conduit and the Zohar in how it works and its function. It’s possible all these games either exist in the same universe or in alternate universes, but because of the Eternal Recurrence as explained in Xenosaga III, this isn’t out of the realm of possibility. The gameplay really shines in Xenoblade and the other Xeno entries. The turn-based combat in Saga is great, with III perhaps having the best turn-based combat system of all-time. While the last four Final Fantasy games have tried to mix it up combat-wise, it’s failed. This culminated in Final Fantasy XV’s atrocious combat system. Xenoblade has set the standard for combat in the RPG genre as of this moment. Not only that, but the stories, music, lore, and worlds are much more interesting. They’re not convoluted. From everything we have seen thus far, it seems like the Xenoblade Definitive Edition will catapult the series to even greater heights. The original was already fantastic, but now the production values will be on par and even surpass not only the other Xeno games, but Final Fantasy itself. While we believe Xenoblade 2 is the best Xenoblade game, Xenoblade Definitive Edition could easily change this, as it will fix many of the problems we had with the original, though it was still a masterpiece. The epilogue is a welcome edition as well, and depending on how long it is, could easily make the game even better than it already is. The staff from Xenoblade wants to make sequels to Xenoblade X and Xenoblade 2. We couldn’t agree with that sentiment more. If Final Fantasy wants to take the top crown back, they will have to earn it. As of right now though, the Final Fantasy franchise is somewhat of a mess.