Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Takes 20-30 Hours To Clear

By Spencer . September 11, 2013 . 2:26am

imageThe average player will complete Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII in around 20 to 30 hours. If you want to see everything in the game and not skip any events, the game will take roughly 50 hours, says Famitsu magazine.


After you finish Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII you can play through the game again and change the difficulty level. Your garb (costumes with different skills), abilities, and leveling up progress carry over in a second run similar to a New Game+ mode.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII comes out on November 21 in Japan. Square Enix will release the game in the West on February 11 in North America and February 14 in Europe.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • LightningFarron19

    Welp, look who is getting all 50 hours on my game ^^

  • $36487238

    SWEET. I love games like this. I’m in! (But I have to get through the first two of the FFXIII Trilogy though).

    • NRool

      If you’ve played other FF Games (mainly numbered ones) then a fair warning, XIII is VERY linear until Chapter 11 or so, personally I quite liked it’s linearity, but for a lot of FF fans it was a very touch pill to swallow, but I get why.

      As for XIII-2, it’s a lot more like classic FF games in some ways, sure the plot is quite Linear still, but it offers up more freedom in how you do things, the places you go, etc, but takes the story XIII made and quite literally throws 80% of it out the window, which again, bothered a lot of people who enjoyed XIII’s story, just a fair warning.

      Even with their faults I’d implore you to definitely give em’ a try, they may end up being one of your favourite or most hated JRPGs for a long time.

      • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

        I love that you threw that “or most hated” part in as well, lol!

      • $36487238

        I’ve heard about the linearity. Actually, I don’t mind. I’ve played a lot of linear games, and a lot of them I digged. I don’t think I’ll mind the linearity in this one.

        As for FFXIII-2’s way of things, won’t mind it either.

        I’m an open-minded gamer. So overall, I’ll give them a try. Besides dood, I skipped the current-gen so, why not just give it a shot and enjoy? I’ll be buying a PS3 this holiday (and possibly a PS4, if my money permits me) so those two and this third game? Not a problem for me.

        • courte

          Which one had Mass Effect?

          • $36487238

            I haven’t played a single Mass Effect game, so I wouldn’t know whether it’s linear or not.

          • courte

            no no. i’m asking which one of these final fantasy games had the mass effect in it?

          • $36487238

            Oh, okay.
            Maybe you can ask somebody else here.

          • courte

            found it
            13-2 DLC

  • JunHoward

    20-30 hours to finish eh? and that compares to any other Jrpgs matter, why?

  • notforsale

    …then it takes an extra 50 hours to get platinum trophy

  • Tom

    50/24=2,08 -> you don’t need the 13 days limit, even the primary limit is far away from that (about 7 days I think that you can expand?…)

    • Ehren Rivers

      Umm… I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how this game works.

      You have 7 IN-GAME days, to a maximum of 13, not real-world days as you seem to be counting. Each in-game day is one real-world hour. The in-game time doesn’t advance in menus, battles, event scenes, or in The Ark. You can also stop time temporarily via the Chronostasis EP skill.

      • Tom

        I was half-joking. I guessed that the time doesn’t flow in real time but I didn’t know how long an in-game day lasts in a real world time. Thanks!

  • Rogerrmark

    I thought multiple playthroughs were necessary to finish the game?
    I wonder if those 30 hours are on a straightforward playthrough .

    • Virevolte

      Same concern here.

    • Ehren Rivers

      Multiple playthroughs are supposedly necessary to experience all of the content offered. It should take 20-30 hours to beat the end of the game, and closer to 50 hours to experience all of the content it is possible to experience in a single playthrough. This is assuming Normal difficulty, it would seem.

      • Rogerrmark

        Just hope you’re right. 50hrs to play/watch/battle/explore/max out everything seemed kinda short,compared with last FF entries.

        Although 50hrs is still longer than most games.And if the 50hrs are good…well,I’m good too.

  • 20-30 hours included main story cutscenes which can take up to 10 minutes+ using older FF games as reference?…Well then~

  • ragingmerifes

    I’ll probably take more, though. FFXIII was supposed to last 20 hours and I’m 45 hours in because I feel the urge to grind before fighting that last boss.

    • Vesperion

      Who said XIII was 20 hours? It takes about 20 to be able to get all the characters together

      • ragingmerifes

        Really? Maybe those guys at 4chan lied to me again to make the game look bad…

        • Rogerrmark

          Took me 50 hours to beat the main story. I’m past 100 hours and neither have defeated Shaolong/Long Guis and scored 5 Stars on every Cieth Stone yet,nor maxed out all weapons to Ultima Weapons. It’s pretty long(and good),maybe better than XIII-2.

    • Herok♞

      I heard people say it takes 20 hours to get good, but never 20 hours to complete.

      • Armane

        I don’t know about 20 hours to get good; I’d say it takes about 20 hours for the story to evaporate and for you to get the chance to do some side content. But you can’t do too much side content otherwise you’ll cap your experience before defeating the final boss.

    • Ryuukishi

      Who in the world said FF13 takes 20 hours to beat? More like 45 easily, just for the main story. And another 40 for the postgame content.

      • Armane

        You can get all the trophies in 60 hours or less if you abuse Vanille’s Death ability and plan your grinding well (and obviously aren’t unlucky with trapezohedron/platinum ingots drops).

        • Wait what

          Where is the fun in that?

          • Armane

            I found the optional content pretty tedious, so I found spamming Death a lot more fun. It’s also much easier to 5 star battles when you aren’t upgrading your weapons.

          • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

            Yeah it was tedious as hell. Still managed to get my Plat despite disliking it in the grand scheme. I did like all the fan service the extra bosses and end game content offered though.


      the first XIII don’t take 20 hours to finish. 20 hours is to finally get the whole party together. XIII-2 takes 20 hours to finish

  • Unsigned Artist Suicide Help

    I wanna be able to explore and go everywhere without worrying about timer wtf.

    • Wait what

      Then play any of the other games?

  • KingGunblader

    Very glad I can carry my progress to a new save. I spent about 200 hours combined into XIII and XIII-2. I love dem sidequests and trophies (although I ultimately gave up because some of those later ones just aren’t worth the effort.

  • Oliver Teigaga

    Perfect! I hate it when the main story is stretched out to 50hrs, leave that for the optional side quests.

  • RoxasTheUnknown1

    The average player will take 20-30hrs. Guess those groups of people that burn through games for youtube footage will take 10-15hrs lol. They said XIII-2 would take 40hrs to beat. Took me 19hrs and I didn’t even rush was the funny part. NG+ is good. Wonder if some style of NCU will return.

    • saxophone15

      How long it takes will vary depending on the person. XIII-2 took me about 30 hours to complete just playing normally and skipping most side stuff. The original XIII took me 60 hours to complete playing normally and also skipping most side stuff.

      • RoxasTheUnknown1

        I guess I play fast then. XIII took me 65 hrs and I did everything you could possibly do that wasn’t locked to post game. Same deal with XIII-2 which is why I was shocked at 19 hrs. Nothing beats X-2 where I reached the end in 11 hrs on my first run lol.

  • Suriel Cruz

    “Honey!” The first two got me hook, so 20, 30 or 50 hours where nothing, this one, where you may need to do 3 playthroughs… “DAMN!!!” Glorious! xD

  • Manny Being Manny

    I miss the days when FF games were long

    • I’m guessing 50 hours mean nothing to you?
      FFVIII took me 60 hours, and I’m playing IX now and I’m hearing it takes roughly 45 hours.

      • Manny Being Manny

        nah, 50 hours is nothing these days. FF12 took me over 120 hours, and FFX took me over 100 hours to complete everything. Even FFXIII-2 took me over 80. But its just going down and down in time. Soon enough it’ll take like 20 hours to complete everything in a FF game, which’ll be a joke. Hell, FF15 is already an action game so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’ll be that short.

        It sucks too since FF isn’t the only series thats suffering from this, either. Tales of Vesperia and Tales of Graces both took me over 100 hours, but Tales of Xillia had so little content it only took me 50 hours as well (which is the main reason I have it at the lower echelon of Tales games). A great game needs to be long and full of content.

        • Brandonmkii

          I’m okay with this time frame, if it’s good you know? I’d rather have 30 hours of fun than 80 hours of meh.

        • EggmaniMN

          Your ability to waste time maxing everything out has no bearing on how long other people take to play through 13-3. Chances are you’d take more than 50 hours for that too just due to play style. The game has a ton of content, you’ll just be playing it more than once, which is no different from a few other RPGs.

        • “A great game needs to be long and full of content.” I agree. But anything over 40 hours is LONG to a lot of us.

          Therefore, if a game is 40 hours long, has great characters, story, and content to last you all 40 hours, we’re pretty satisfied.

      • Im currently playing IX, am on Disc 3 and it’s just 20 hours since I started lol.

        • I’m taking so long because I’m using a walkthrough and I’m doing all the sidequests.

          I hear there’s a bonus weapon you get for speedrunning the game, though…

          • Well, got stuck on Disc 3 doing some sidequesting too. Hey, using guides or walthroughs ain’t cool!

            And yeaaaap, if you are pro enough you can get Excalibur II if you reach Memoria in less than 12 hours I think.

          • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using walkthroughs, I only do so for games like this because it kills me to miss out on so much content.

          • I think the fun is solving and finding every bit of the game yourself rather than someone else doing it for you.

          • I completely agree 100% there.

            But there are way too many games in my backlog and upcoming for me to really take my time playing a classic.

          • Well, faaaair enough I guess lol.

    • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

      Quality, not quantity. But I doubt this game will have either. Zing! I kid.


      the main scenario of a FF game never took too long to finish

  • Ferchenko

    My deception is augmented

  • In that case I’ll wait for it to go on sale


    more experienced players probably will finish the game under 10-15 hours.

    Same occured with type-0 they said 30-40 hours to finish the game. i finished my first run in 22 hours

    • RoxasTheUnknown1

      No joke? 22hr buddies! xD I remember them saying that too. Granted thats not bad. I did play a few more runs for Gilgamesh and stuff.


        i played the game a few more times too. ng+ content and stuff like the crystal fragments hunt was fun (i hated agito tower though)

    • Slayven19

      Same with any game really, some even take longer than the time given.

  • I think 20-30 hours is fine. Not too long, not to short. I can beat it happily and enjoy it, and then move on to something else =^_^=

  • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

    I said it before, milking every ounce that’s left in FFXIII. Short is no surprise. Hopefully it makes enough revenue for them to finish the game everyone actually wants, FFXV.

  • I think 50 hours is good enough considering there’s a new game plus and as long as I know, you can’t do anything in the game on the first playthrough. For example, I really enjoyed Persona 4 Golden and it took me around 100 hours to complete, but there’s a lot of things I can’t get in the first playthrough and I’m not willing to spend + 100 hours to get it. IMO it’s too long for a game that has a new game + feature.

  • Storm

    A new scan has surfaced. Vanille got a new outfit, Caius and Yeul are present:

  • Slayven19

    Don’t worry, people that fish for trophies will play longer to platinum the game.

  • Ric Vazquez

    Knowing me who explores every nook and cranny I would say about 70 hours maybe, I was expecting a longer game though

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos