Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (ライトニング リターンズ ファイナルファンタジーXIII Raitoningu Ritānzu: Fainaru Fantajī Sātīn?) is a console action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released on November 2013 in Japan and February 2014 in Europe and North America. The game is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII-2, concludes the storyline of Final Fantasy XIII, and forms part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. Lightning Returns employs a highly revamped version of the gameplay system from the previous two games, with an action-oriented battle system, the ability to customize the player character's outfits, and a time limit the player must extend by completing story missions and sidequests.
The story takes place five hundred years after the previous game's ending. Lightning, the main protagonist of the first game and a key character in the second, awakes from a self-imposed hibernation thirteen days before the world's end, and is chosen by the deity Bhunivelze to save the people of the dying world, including former friends and allies who have developed heavy emotional burdens. As she travels, she learns the full truth behind both the world's fate and Bhunivelze's true agenda.
Development of the game started in May 2012, shortly after the release of XIII-2's final piece of DLC, and was unveiled at a special 25th Anniversary Event for the Final Fantasy series in September that year. Most of the previous games' key creative minds and developers returned, and it was developed by Square Enix's First Production Department, with developer tri-Ace helping with the graphics. The development team wanted the game to bring a conclusive end to the story of both Lightning and the XIII universe, and to address criticisms leveled against the last two games. The game has received mixed reviews in both Japan and Western territories: while the main praise went to the game's battle system, opinions were more mixed for the graphics, time limit and other aspects of gameplay, while the story and characters were criticized for being weak and poorly developed.
Source: Wikipedia, "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII", available under the CC-BY-SA License.