For what it's worth I actually liked FFXIII ok. FFXIII-3 was the one I didn't like the most, I hate games that impose a time limit.
I liked FF13 as well. It had a very epic feel to it, especially once the linear two thirds of the game were finished.
As for time limits, Pikmin comes to mind as a game that does time limits well. Majora's Mask. Persona 5, to some extent. FF7's opening sequence even has a time limit. But I get what you are saying; Lightning Returns was also my least favorite of the bunch, but I don't know if it's entirely because the time limit or not (I didn't like the depressing overtones).