All 13 Final Fantasy XIII Chapters RANKED!

All 13 Final Fantasy XIII Chapters RANKED!

I am one of the few long-time Final Fantasy fans who believe Final Fantasy XIII is a top-tier Final Fantasy game—I've played the series since I was three, starting with the original Final Fantasy! This game has so many outstanding chapters that make up some of the best content from the series! So, I had to make this ranking for the sake of my sanity! One thing to note: I will not be including the Cie'th Stone Missions as part of Chapter 11, but only the content that is part of that chapter story-wise. But I digress. Now, without further ado, RPG Ranked presents... All Final Fantasy XIII Chapters RANKED!

13: Chapter 5

Gapra Whitewood : r/finalfantasyxiii

Solely focusing on Lightning and Hope, this isn't really my cup of tea. This chapter mostly centers on Lightning trying to toughen Hope and Hope's plan for Operation Nora, a.k.a. Hope, wanting to stab Snow to death for his indirect killing of his mother. This chapter isn't bad at all. I enjoyed every chapter of this game, but it doesn't have any major highlights that make it stand out. Besides, Hope and Lightning don't have any intriguing gameplay chemistry like most other duos of the game. In the end, this is a good chapter, but it is easily the worst of the bunch.

12: Chapter 6

Even less happens character-wise in this chapter than in the last, but the duo of Sazh and Vanille is tons of fun both in terms of story and gameplay! The weather-changing orbs were a neat mechanic that added more interaction within a game that was majorly focused on story and combat. This chapter also puts the adorable Dahj in the limelight, one of my absolute favorite fictional children of all time. He and Sazh are the best! Ultimately, this chapter isn't too significant to the plot and is better than Chapter 5, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

11: Chapter 9

This chapter focuses on the four uncaptive l'Cie attempting to rescue Sazh and Vanille on the Sanctum ship, Palamecia. The six reunite and decide to confront Sanctum Primarch, Galenth Dysley, who is later revealed to be fal'Cie Barthandelus, who is attempting to use the l'Cie as pawns to destroy Cocoon to revive the divine being, Orphan. The end of this chapter has excellent plot twists, but the Palamecia falls short—it could've been much cooler to explore. Besides, most of the intrigue about this chapter is built upon in Chapter 10 anyway, making this one of the weaker chapters of the game for me. It's a great chapter, and I really enjoyed it, but it fell short in comparison to other chapters of the game. This chapter being so low is a simple testament to how much I enjoy this game.

10: Chapter 2

Story and character-wise, this was a really great chapter, focusing on the Pulse Vestige and trying to save Sarah from its bounds. Unfortunately, as much as I love the story, the combat is obnoxiously tedious here, as Paradigms, Crystariums, and experience points are nowhere to be found. While Chapter 1 had a brilliant intro with great character moments, this chapter rides on the residual coattails of greatness. It feels like an awkward bridge between the prologue and the meat of the game. How unfortunate for a chapter with some story promise and a fantastic cliffhanger. If the gameplay weren't still bizarrely restricted here, this chapter would likely jump up a placement or two, but, alas, its B-Tier storyline can't secure it any higher of a place on this list.

9: Chapter 10

This chapter follows the gang after being transported to a Pulsian Arc by Barthandelus to fulfill their Focuses to destroy Cocoon. This chapter is mainly character-focused, with the main cast deciding they will ignore their Focuses and save Cocoon on their terms. Outside of character moments via cutscenes, this chapter is lacking in terms of action and memorable setpieces. However, the end of the chapter is fantastic, as it marks the arrival of Gran Pulse, causing a paradigm shift in the feel of the game and some absolutely gorgeous cutscenes. On top of that, this chapter also adds a new level of gameplay, as everybody unlocks the true power of the Crystariums, giving all six characters access to all six Paradigm Roles. In terms of story and heartfelt cutscenes, this is a perfect and pivotal chapter with strong emotions, but this is not a really fun chapter in terms of gameplay or epic cutscenes, even with the Crystarium upgrade (because it requires way too much CP to upgrade).

8: Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Final Fantasy XIII Guide - IGN

This chapter focuses on Sazh and Vanille arriving at the town of Nautilis during a festival that displays the war between Cocoon and Gran Pulse in their attempt to escape the PSICOM soldiers that are chasing them. This chapter is all about emotional weight and payoff, centering around how Vanille and Sazh are at odds due to Vanille's involvement in branding Dahj as a Sanctum l'Cie. Sazh attempts to shoot Vanille but can't bring himself to do it, so he decides to take his own life due to failing his son. However, before he can do that, Sazh and Vanille are imprisoned onboard the Palamecia, a Sanctum ship hosting Barthandelus, the High Primarch of Eden. Gameplay-wise, this is a rather weak chapter, but character-wise and story-wise, this is a phenomenal chapter.

7: Chapter 13

Orphan's Cradle | Final Fantasy Wiki | Fandom

This game has one of my favorite final sequences of the Final Fantasy series and, surprisingly, a tremendous final dungeon for the alleged hallway simulator of a game this is! The conclusion is that they went against their Focus and used Ragnarok to save Cocoon instead of destroying it. It is a relatively simple yet heartwarming conclusion to one of the most overrated games of the series—a genuinely fantastic finale.

6: Chapter 3

Lake Bresha (1 Hour) - Final Fantasy XIII

After the monotonous gameplay of Chapter 2, this chapter introduces the Crystarium and Paradigm Shifts and begins to kick the game into full gear with the implications of the character cast being branded as l'Cie! Now that they are l'Cie, they thankfully aren't relegated to attacking and hand grenades. This chapter shows five of the six main characters really getting to know one another and arguing over what to do next, establishing the unique party dynamic. It deals with the meaning of Focuses, Crystallization, and Cie'th, building a bleak foundation for the events of the narrative. This chapter made me fall in love with the broken cast of characters, the brilliant battle system, the lore, and the narrative. The first chapter may have hooked me into this overly hated, top-tier Final Fantasy, but the third made me realize this game was something extraordinary. What a chapter.

5: Chapter 12

Eden Concept Art | Fantasy artwork, Concept art, Futuristic city

This is a brilliant chapter with amazing cutscenes, phenomenal art direction, and so much more. It has the most gravitas of any chapter in the game, with a race to the finish line in one of my favorite towns of the Final Fantasy series, Eden. This is simply a brilliant chapter all the way through, being one of the most fast-paced and awesome event sequences in Final Fantasy. This easily deserves a placement in the top five.

4: Chapter 1

Datalog (Final Fantasy XIII)/Events | Final Fantasy Wiki | Fandom

While the gameplay is lacking here, that's forgivable for the tutorial of any game, so that's moot. The cutscenes here are beautiful, the characters are introduced fantastically, and the central conflict instantly hooked me into what would eventually be one of my favorite games of the series in terms of story. If the chapter wasn't a gameplay tutorial somehow, it could rank a spot or two higher, but as a bombastic introduction, it still takes a top-five spot.

3: Chapter 4

I've heard a slate of complaints about this chapter, but personally, I loved the entirety of it. This is one of the longest chapters in this game, splitting the party into pairs for character development purposes, restricting the players from understanding how to maneuver the paradigm Shift system. While I could see this being a frustrating chapter on replay, I'm not one for playing games, so I'm not bothered by it. In the end, this chapter is astonishingly good in terms of cutscenes, and as a character study, this is a remarkable chapter that made me a massive fan of the character cast.

2: Chapter 11

While I don't mind this game's linearity, there's something to be said about the wondrous moment when the team reaches Gran Pulse for the first time, and the Cocoon l'Cie realize that Pulse isn't the hellscape they initially speculated it would be. This chapter excels in the more human, low-stakes character interactions and, of course, the fun exploration of Gran Pulse. With exploration, terrific setpieces, and more, this is a top-tier Final Fantasy XIII chapter.

1: Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough & Guide - GameFAQs

This is one of the greatest sequences in Final Fantasy, in my opinion! With stunning cutscenes, phenomenal character moments, epic action, a fantastic setpiece, and the introduction of Fang to the party? This chapter is superb. This chapter simultaneously has very grand stakes but also very personal stakes, making every second of the chapter very engaging. Ultimately, this is my favorite chapter of the game and is peak Final Fantasy in my eyes.

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