I actually really enjoyed XIII tbh. People hated the linear aspect of it but I didn't mind that, it enabled the game to stay focused and on point. Story was quite good as well. Especially when you reach a certain point in the game where it opens up and gives you a tonne more freedom.
The thing that most stuck out for me was the combat (paradigm) which was really unique and flowed well. Was tactical and fun. And the music was usual god tier, especially the last boss theme battle. XIII-2 was interesting too with Pokemon/Ni No Kuni esc gameplay, totally skipped the last one for some reason though.
I got no problem with linearity. I often prefer linear games. The thing I hated was the story, the characters, the combat system, the level progression system, the generic-feeling visuals, the hilariously bad dialogue...etc. I genuinely do not understand how anyone can praise the paradigm system (especially not when also bitching about FFXII's gambit system).
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