For me Xenoblade Chronicles X did quite a few things better than Xenoblade Chronicles:
1. Exploration was enhanced by the map and probe system.
2. Combat and gear was more complex and interesting.
3. Side quests were great.
4. End-game is a lot of fun.
5. More real-world character themes and philosophy in the story, rather than the abstractness of Xenoblade Chronicle's gnosticism. Not necessarily better, but different. As far as science fiction goes, Xenoblade Chronicles X is just harder scifi than Xenoblade Chronicles.
I just wished the story didn't fade into the background so much, and that they had confirmed any intentions to make a sequel, having known how the story ends. The pacing of story content was a big negative for me. The cut-scenes until the last chapter were pretty bland and too dialogue-based. I also wish there were more centralized settlements and towns to explore. Otherwise I'd say a solid 8.5/10 due to the deep and interesting game-mechanics, exploration, and side-quests.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2, in comparison, improved on many things (particularly story presentation, some combat mechanics, and towns), but also was even less polished as far as Quality of Life and UI are concerned, and regressed in terms of side-quests and endgame content. I'd give Xenoblade 2 a 9/10, mostly for its story, handcrafted villages/locations, and the blade system.
Xenoblade Chronicles was very polished, but was also a less ambitious of a game than Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I'd give it a 9.5/10, which is probably the best for any Xeno-game (including Xenogears.) It excelled at many things, was good at most things, but I can't say it was bad at anything really, unlike other Xeno games.
If I were to rank all Xeno games, it would be as so:
(Xenoblade Chronicles >= Xenogears )> (Xenosaga: Episode III >= Xenoblade Chronicles 2) > Xenoblade Chronicles X > Xenosaga Episode I > Xenosaga Episode II.
Xenoblade Chronicles gets a 9.5, while Xenosaga Episode II gets a 6.5.
1. I agree. The first game was a pain to move around, even with the quick travel.
2. I felt this was a negative. Both games have way too many things to keep track of. Western RPGs I guess are more for me; I just want to play the game and experience the story, not overthink stats.
3. The side quests were far better than XC1, though my one complaint is the textboxes. I miss the voice acting from the first game.
4. I haven't tried this yet.
5. Hmm, I don't know. The ending of XC1 (SPOILER) revealing it is all just a simulation and the "god" is just a crazy scientist was one of the wackiest syfy things ever lol.
I stopped reading at XC2 cause I don't want any spoilers on that game lol