if ffxiii would have been pulse only people would have loved it and compared it to ffx. but because of the cocoon part a lot of people hate it. to me ffxiii is over all better than ffx allthough i didn't like a lot of the cocoon chapters as well.
FFX was linear, yes, but it had side content, exploration, minigames, secrets, and blitzball. FFXIII might have well have been on rails for all the freedom it gave you. While yes, Gran Pulse had a bit of exploration, it was still basically a flower, 90% of it linear, one spot that kinda branches out,t hen back to the stamen which is linear.
And people hated XIII for reasons other than its linearity. they hated the flat, two dimensional characters, they hated the poorly told story and how 90% of the plot had to be read from an encyclopedia, the conceptually flawed battle system, the boring character and item customization, etc. Strict linearity was NOT the only reason people hated XIII.
X, on the other hand, gets hated for a few different reasons, such as the lack of a world map, terrible voice acting, and annoying characters. All valid reasons to criticise, but not nearly as bad as 'broken gameplay' or poorly told story". Take Wakka for example, one of the most hated characters in all of gaming actually had one of the deepest and most nuanced character arcs ever. People hated Squall for the same reasons, started out closeminded, annoying, and generally unlikeable, only to basically turn everything around as the plot progressed. Squall was SUPPOSED to be hated at first. Wakka and Tidus were SUPPOSED To be hated. IT's called character development.
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