Personally I don't think scores ever reflected a games worth, its one persons opinion.
Things that fans wanted from a traditional FF game were removed and thus in turn have made them biased. Removing tedious things such as shops/exp?(cp here)/world map/game mechanics etc that give a false sense of freedom is a nice change. FF has always been cure>cura>ether, full health after doesn't diminish the game at all.
Story wise it must of been very complex to piece each character and amalgamate into a single story. The scenery complements this complexity nicely, rich environments and scenics views are quite breathtaking.
13 story/gameplay wise if viewed for its merits and not from missing traditional traits of its lineage is a great game. Compared to recent jprpgs such as wkc,so4,valkyria chronicles,demon souls,eternal sonata theres just no comparison when it comes to the overall feel nothing short of a Final Fantasy and that's without the victory theme