It's not bad as long as you can deal with the heavy linearity (I don't mind it), but I feel like the sequels really ruin it retrospectively with awful story decisions.
Really? I love linear games and overall tend to prefer them over open-world or nonlinear games. FFXIII might as well have been on rails. You have virtually no agency whatsoever until chapter 11. You have a very distinct, nigh-immutable series of events down to the sequence of fights and events and even your character levelling is basically a straight line.
Linearity is fine, but it also has to be tight. You can't have a game this linear and still fail to actually use proper exposition or world building. if a game is this linear, I expect it to be engaging and enjoyable, not a scattershot, haphazard mess. Linear gameplay is great...but you can't also have a story you have to read via an ingame encyclopedia. Either your gameplay is good and the story is a nice bonus, or the story is the focus and gameplay is ancilliary. (Ideally both would be balanced, but you gotta ahve at least one). FF fails both by being linear and absolutely failing at the one thing you gotta succeed at when your game is linear: Tightness of narrative.
My Console Library:
PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360
3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android
Top 6 this generation:
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II, Rock Band 4