In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning, accompanied by Sazh Katzroy, reaches Anima along with Snow, Hope and Oerba Dia Vanille, two surviving Purge exiles. When they find Serah, she turns to crystal. Then Lightning and the party fight Anima and are marked as l'Cie when PSICOM, Cocoon's main military force, destroys Anima. Skeptical of Snow's resolve to save her sister, Lightning abandons him and Serah, both of whom are then rescued by Oerba Yun Fang and a rogue Cocoon military force called the Cavalry. Splitting up from Sazh and Vanille, Lightning ends up traveling with Hope. During their time together, Lightning inadvertently summons Odin and unknowingly supports Hope's plan to assassinate Snow as she protects and mentors him. Throughout the game, Lightning struggles to deal with her nature as a l'Cie, her anger at being made Cocoon's enemy, and her guilt at disbelieving Serah's story. After overcoming these issues, she acknowledges Snow's relationship with Serah and his faith that they will restore her. When they kill the Sanctum fal'Cie Orphan to save Cocoon, Lightning, Serah and the party except for Vanille and Fang are allowed to return to their normal lives as Vanille and Fang form a crystal pillar to stop Cocoon from colliding with Gran Pulse.
Final Fantasy XIII: Episode I, a short novel set immediately after XIII, shows Lightning uneasy about whether her battle is over or not. She leaves to save Fang and Vanille, but first gives her blessing to Snow and Serah's marriage. Eventually, Lightning finds herself caught in a dark void, but she decides to keep moving forward.
In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning has disappeared, and all but Serah believe that she died with Vanille and Fang to save Cocoon. In reality, Lightning was brought to Valhalla, capital of the Unseen Realm ruled by the Goddess Etro, as a direct result of Etro releasing her and the others from their fate as l'Cie. These events had distorted time and erased Lightning from history after Cocoon's fall. Hoping to atone for the deaths she caused as a l'Cie, Lightning chooses to stay in Valhalla and protect the dying Etro from Caius Ballad, an immortal man with a grudge against the goddess. Lightning eventually asks Noel Kreiss and Serah to help her stop Caius from ending time, which he plans to do by releasing "Chaos", a supernatural energy controlled by Etro, into the mortal world. Serah and Noel travel forward in time to fix distortions in history caused by Caius' interference, and Serah eventually dies when history is restored. In the DLC episode Requiem of the Goddess, Lightning is defeated by Caius and loses hope after learning of her role in Serah's death. Lightning is comforted by Serah's spirit, who asks not to be forgotten. Vowing to preserve Serah's memory, Lightning turns to crystal, which prevents her from being affected when Etro's death releases chaos and merges the mortal and unseen realms together.
In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning is revived after 500 years by the god Bhunivelze. The world is set to end in thirteen days, and Lightning is chosen as the Savior, a spiritual guide for humanity, which has ceased to age due to the influence of chaos. In return for Lightning's help, Serah will be resurrected. Aided by Hope, Lightning frees her former allies of their emotional burdens, reunites with Odin in the form of a white Chocobo, and frequently crosses paths with Lumina, the physical manifestation of Lightning's suppressed vulnerabilities. Lightning begins to doubt her humanity, and, when she learns that Bhunivelze stole Serah's soul and manipulated Lightning's memories, she plans to betray him after he has finished building the new world. When the end of the world arrives, Lightning fights Bhunivelze, who wants to transform humanity into his ideal image and has been shaping Lightning to become Etro's replacement. Although she is prepared to fulfill her new role and abandon her human life, Lightning instead chooses to call for help and accept Lumina as a part of herself. Everyone she has saved, including Serah, unites with her and defeats Bhunivelze. Lightning then witnesses the creation of a new universe, into which she goes with her allies and the souls of humanity. In the epilogue, she is seen traveling to reunite with one of her friends.
- Lightning lives currently the City of Chicago and stays there willing to protect the city and as well as around the country.