Xenoblade Chronicles is an open world action role-playing game developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo for the Wii. Initially released in Japan in 2010, it was later released in the PAL regions in 2011 and then in North America in 2012. A port for the New Nintendo 3DS was released in 2015, and a high-definition remaster for the Nintendo Switch was released in May 2020. Xenoblade Chronicles is the first entry in the Xenoblade Chronicles series, a subseries which forms part of the larger Xeno metaseries. Although no direct narrative connections exist to previous Xeno games, it incorporates aesthetic and narrative elements from both fantasy and science fiction. The game features navigation through an open world split into zones, side-quests tied to party members' affinity, and a real-time action-based battle system which incorporates the main character's ability to see brief glimpses of the future.
Xenoblade Chronicles takes place on the frozen bodies of two warring titans, the Bionis and the Mechonis. The people of Bionis, including the human-like Homs, are in a perpetual war with the Mechon machine race of Mechonis. Key to the Homs' efforts in fighting against the Mechon army is the Monado, a sword that is said to have been wielded by the Bionis. During an attack on his colony, the main protagonist Shulk discovers his ability to wield the Monado and sets out on a quest for revenge with his best friend, Reyn, with others joining in as the game progresses.
The concept for Xenoblade Chronicles originated in June 2006 when the game's executive director and lead writer, Tetsuya Takahashi, visualized and then constructed a model of two giant titans frozen in place with people living on their bodies. Development began in 2007 under the title Monado: The Beginning of the World, though it was eventually rebranded with its current title in honor of Takahashi's previous work. The script was worked on by Takahashi, anime writer Yuichiro Takeda, and Nintendo writer Yurie Hattori. The music was handled by six different composers, including first-timer and lead composer Manami Kiyota and industry veterans Yoko Shimomura and Yasunori Mitsuda, with the latter writing the ending theme.
The game was announced in 2009 under its original title and released in Japan the following year. Despite releasing in Europe and in Oceania, its North American release remained unconfirmed until December 2011, during which time a fan campaign called Operation Rainfall drew considerable attention to the game. Upon release, the game received critical acclaim as one of the best recent role-playing games, while its New Nintendo 3DS port was praised for successfully re-creating the game in portable form. Particular praise went towards its storyline, which was called innovative and surprisingly complex by many critics. It also met with commercial success in both Japan and the West. A spiritual successor by the same development team for the Wii U, Xenoblade Chronicles X, was released in 2015. A sequel for the Nintendo Switch, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, was released in 2017.