I think the story, setting and characters of FFXIII and FFXIII-2 are really good. I like the style and feel of the story overall. However the battle system is not so great. It's not so bad that it's unplayable but it's just not very interesting. Unfortunately much of the time you are just pressing X and waiting for the fight to be over so you can continue on with the plot. The only real strategy/interest in the battle system comes with switching paradigms, which you will really only have to do for the hardest of battles. I really wish FFXIII would have had a battle system more like FFXII. I feel the exact opposite about FFXII, where I find the characters and story lacking but the battle system is rich and deep. I wish the two games could be sort of merged together into one really great game lol. But anyway, thats my opinion, FFXIII and FFXIII-2 are worth playing for anyone who is a "Huge Final Fantasy fan."
I watched this review saying that FF13 sucks, that basically all you do is press L1 and X button all game long.
Aren't most JRPG made of this? Seriously, take... uhm... "Lunar: Harmony of the Silver star". Yes, it's a remake, but look at the combat. All you do is pressing X and moving your cursor through menus. In a sense, FF13 is the same. FF12 was far worse. Set your gambits, walk to some enemies, put down the controller and watch the group fighting the bad guys. Go to the kitchen, make yourself a tea or sandwich as you wait for the battle to end. Or just look at older Final Fantasy-Games. Despite using ATB, all you do is pressing X and scroll through menus. Dragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei, Pokémon... feel free to add more series or standalone RPGs.
I avoided the first game as well, because of the backlash from fans. And since the first game is cheap now, curiousity got the best of me. I found it to be an enjoyable game. FF13-2 was a fun game as well. So, yes, I think both games are worth the money. And both games use the same combat system, just so you know.
Better you ask a friend to lend you FF13 or 13-2 or rent it. Then see for sourself if you like or dislike the game. That way, you save money, in case you don't like them.