It's difficult to assign the entirety of Dragon Quest XI a single score. I've been playing this game on and off over the last three years, and according to my final playtime, that comes out to 113 hours.
DQXI hasn't been an insignificant part of those three years either, and all three acts have come to represent a sort-of lifelong saga for me. When I finally reached end credits, I felt lost.
DQXI had always been there for me, in the background, wanting to be played. Its world and its characters were a part of me, and although I was desperate to finally get the game over with, now that it's actually done, I've come out with mixed feelings.
Am I really ready to say goodbye to this world? To these characters? What does my life look like without Dragon Quest XI sitting in the back of my mind?
It's hard to say. I have plenty of criticisms and there's a good chunk of it that didn't work for me, but there are very few experiences in this medium that I can walk away from and feel this lost.
I think it'll take many months of reflection for me to fully understand my own feelings on it. For now, all I know is that this game is truly special.