Didn't play XIII-2. It seems to be universally considered better than the first one.
But what I don't understand is, if they don't want to create new characters (which is understandable), WHY NOT GIVE US THE VII HD REMAKE!?!?!?!? I understand there is an appeal about Lightning (among my favorite FF females), but I guess my outrage is not based on XIII being bad (it's really not a BAD game, just not up to the standards of FF in my opinion) but more on the illogical decision to keep pumping them out. Does XIII really deserve 3 console games, when better (and more popular) Final Fantasy installments only got 1?
Embarrassingly, I haven't played Dragon Quest 8. Need to add it to my list. As much as I play modern Western RPGs and am impressed by them, my favorite RPGs are still Japanese. That's why I'm so in to Last Story right now. For what I like about video games (fun and characters), JRPGs > WRPGs