Final Fantasy X-2 is the first direct sequel in the history of the series. The events of the game take place two years after Yuna and her guardians defeated Sin in Final Fantasy X, and peace was restored in Spira. The Yevon religion has all but disappeared, and two political factions begin to compete for dominance: the Youth League, led by Mevyn Nooj, and the New Yevon Party, led by Praetor Baralai. Meanwhile, Yuna's cousin Rikku finds a strange sphere that mysteriously shows an image resembling Tidus, Yuna's one and only love. Rikku brings the sphere to Yuna. Determined to discover the truth behind the mystery, Yuna organizes a journey of "sphere-hunting", to collect more spheres scattered around the world and perhaps find Tidus.
The sequel brings back the ATB (active time battle) system, which was replaced by turn-based combat in its immediate predecessor. The battles develop at a somewhat quicker pace than earlier games in the series, with more emphasis on quick decision and timing. The player can control only three characters throughout the game, all of them female: Yuna and her friends Rikku and Paine. The job system similar to that of Final Fantasy V is featured, with the possibility to learn various abilities and customize character classes. Limited jumping and climbing are now possible in certain locations. The game's structure is less linear than in most other games belonging to the genre. Though there is only one way to advance through the main story, the player can opt to visit most other locations early in the game, since the airship is available already at that stage.