I can hear you from here. “What?! Why is Final Fantasy XIII the 20th game of your decade?!” and stuff like that.
But when I was writing my TOP 20 of 2010-2019 (here you can find the 3 outsiders of my chart) I knew that Final Fantasy XIII deserved a place, because it was the first RPG I bought in my entire life.
I stil remember the 9th March 2010: I went to my local game store (at the time I was living in a small town here in Italy) with all my savings since all the people I knew told me how much Final Fantasy was a good RPG series. Little I knew about this chapter in particular, but… I actually enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII more than some die hard fans.
Especially now that RPGs have become very important in my life as a gamer, I can see the flaws of the game and why many fans of the franchise didn’t like it. The beginning was really slow (the game starts having a good pacing from Chapter 9), the gameplay was pretty boring to say the least, and half of the main characters looked like they were randomly put into the game. The only two exceptions were Fang and Vanille, the latter being the true protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII.
Everything in the story rotates around Vanille and her decisions and how she affected the entire world with her choices. It’s a mystery to me why Square Enix decided to invest time and money in making two sequels, with respectively Serah and Lightning as protagonists, instead of making a prequel on GranPulse about Fang and Vanille and their first mission as L’Cie. I’m not saying that it would have been the best game ever, but certainly better than what we got instead, two sequels full of plot holes and that don’t even follow the ending of Final Fantasy XIII.
Final Fantasy XIII is the reason I approached RPGs and I will always be thankful to this imperfect game. It deserved a position in my TOP 20 for this very reason.