Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Should I play XBC 1 and 2 first?

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Since Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is part of a trilogy series, many new players may wonder if they need to play the previous XBC installments 1 and 2 first before diving into the latest epic Japanese role-playing game. After years of waiting, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has finally been released on the Nintendo Switch. Although the characters and the story Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is completely new to the franchise, players who want to plunge into the critically acclaimed series for the first time will have to decide whether they should go through the trilogy in order or not.

Series Monolith Soft first debuted in 2010 with the release of Xenoblade Chronicles on the Nintendo Wii. The game tells the story of Shalka and the secret of the mighty Monado sword. After the huge success of the open-world game in 2017, the Japanese role-playing game was continued by Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Nintendo Switch. The title introduces the new Blades system, and focuses on Rex and Paira’s quest to find out the truth about Paradise Elysium. After the release of the Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition remaster in 2020, the saga finally returned with the launch of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 in July 2022.

As in the previous installments, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 features new characters and a central plot different from other games. Despite this, the storyline of the 2022 JRPG sequel is ultimately related to the previous games, as the continuity of the Chronicles saga is complicated. The following explains whether players need to play XBC 1 and 2 before they start Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Do you need to play Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2 before Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Although technically each Xenoblade game is a separate story, their worlds are actually connected by a common plot. Because of this, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is littered with Easter eggs and characters referencing previous entries. Japanese role-playing games also always contain a great revelation in their stories, which shows how each of the games is connected to each other. Therefore, those who want to get the most out of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 should first play XBC 1 and 2.

However, due to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 leaks and spoilers posted all over the internet, some players may just want to play the game now so as not to be spoiled. Since the main campaign has a new cast of characters and a 100-hour story campaign that stands on its own, players will be able to immerse themselves in JRPG as their first entry and at the same time understand almost everything that happens. Compared to XBC 1 and 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 also features the most advanced gameplay and graphics in the series. However, it is recommended that players eventually come back and play the previous two games, as they are excellent JRPGs in themselves and help to flesh out the story of the series.

Although the gameplay of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is also significantly improved compared to the first game in the series, it will still be useful for newcomers to play the franchise in chronological order if they decide to play XBC3 after completing previous games. But players can also dive right into Xenoblade Chronicles 3 first, as Monolith Soft has made every effort to make the 2022 JRPG accessible to everyone, including newcomers to the franchise.

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