Final Fantasy XIII.
I am and have always been a pretty dedicated fan to the entire series since I started watching my brothers play VII as a little kid. I was always into the amazing stories, the character development, and just seeing a wimp turn into someone that was a key to saving the entire world. That idea was just completely ridiculous in itself.
As the games progressed, so did the backlash. Final Fantasy VII was the captain of the ship, praised for it’s…well, everything (minus the Materia system). All other entries were either “not as good” or “up to par”. And that is where my personal opinion comes in: Final Fantasy VII was it’s own “Final Fantasy,” it is also highly, highly over-rated for it’s own good. It’s the Kanye West of the series, basically. Tu ego es no tu amigo, comprende?
Now, setting that aside, I would like to say that Final Fantasy XIII is MY Final Fantasy - a simple way of saying “it’s my favorite.” The story, in my perspective, revolves around accepting people for who they really are no matter the differences (Once they become a l’Cie, they are enemies, no matter what; BS) and saving the world because it’s not as bad as it may seem. You can all live together if everyone just dropped their prejudicial train of thought, and I liked that message, I liked seeing the characters realizing all of this instead of selfishly abiding to their own wants. You’ve got almost all sorts of characters in these, the wimp, the one who won’t accept reality so they have to be a hardass, the one who always smiles no matter what, the one who has trouble standing up to themselves, etc.
People said it was too linear, didn’t have an open world (until towards the end of the game,) blah, blah, blah…Final Fantasy hasn’t had an actual open world since like IX. X and XII all had “huge areas” but not an actual open world, at least not until the end where you could go anywhere you’d like.
In short, I just think that a lot of “Final Fantasy fans” never really gave XIII a chance, or simply never got passed the slow beginning. Ever time someone sees the title ‘Final Fantasy’ they expect it to be something of the past, another VII or X. But in reality, every entry is sort of it’s own game with very few similarities. That’s the point.
Go find YOUR Final Fantasy, but at least give others a chance. And if you haven’t played the series at all, give it a chance - and it doesn’t matter where you start because they are all different. Except for the ridiculous amounts of VII related movies and games…And of course direct sequels like X-2 and XIII-2.
I may be biased, I may seem like one stupid fan amongst those that “know better.” But I simply have an open mind and walk into these games expecting a new story and not some recycled garbage.