Should I play Final Fantasy XII or XIII next?
People in the FF fandom seem to be very adversarial about their preference between the two, so I’m not even sure…. I heard the battle system in XII is a bit frustrating, but I haven’t really looked up why.
I don’t know how much tolerance you have for these games and what you’re willing to sit thru, but I think it would be better to start off with XII first then move on to XIII (and the XIII series?). I’m not going to retort how neither series is perfect because perfection doesn’t exist, however some games have an existential amount of flaws that inhibit gameplay experience. If you’re a hardy gamer, then you’ll have no problem with either of them. Not the hardy kind like you’ll sit thru hours of grinding… that’s a key element to all FF’s and RPG’s, but just the game’s aspects… mostly.
Comparing the two, XII is one of my personal favorites mostly because of the battle mechanics and overworld. The story is not its strong parts, and neither is most of the main cast of characters, but they’re not cringe worthy that they make you want to rip your hair out. Only the bare bones of their stories are told within the game, and most of the details are left to the imagination. Instead, most of the game’s vivid story telling and building is for the world itself, and makes for a fun experience. The battle system gives you so much control, an that annoying battle transition screen is completely gone, which keeps the flow of gameplay going. The battle system might be complicated, but I see it’s mostly because of how much customization is needed to get things working properly. The graphics itself are not top notch, but the way they handled it for system limitations is certainly genius. If you know anything about 3D modeling, they sacrificed polygon count for intricate texture maps, which makes the world jam packed with details.
I enjoy the XIII series for alternate reasons. It’s not the worst within the FF series, as it does have redeemable aspects, and if you’re hardy enough you might just enjoy what is has to offer. The gameplay is like XII but without -that- much control. It’s not that bad but it’s workable for the style they were aiming for. The game is graphically gorgeous but its world is not fleshed out thru exploration, but reading. Characters themselves are not all that cringeworthy either, some of them might even grow on you, but their dialogue just tends to be very nonsensical. Its mythos is very interesting as well, if anything one of the best, but isn’t fleshed out coherently, but if you can sit with it, it makes for a very interesting ride. I’m trying not to say too many things that may come off as “negative” about XIII because I don’t want to come off as if I hate it, there just isn’t a lot to say about it… it’s just… “interesting”, both gameplay and story wise. Despite its racist depiction of a character or two, it’s still worth a shot or some sort.
I’m not an FF fan that will kiss the ground that SE walks on, but I hope my alternate insight about the two games helps somehow in your decision making (and what to expect whichever you choose).
Thank you! That was very detailed.