Turn off the minimap!
I'm serious. Just press the back/select button and the minimap disappears.
- The levels quickly lose a good deal of their sense of linearity
- it encourages you to explore more and pay attention to your surroundings
- you enjoy and appreciaty the scenery more
- it makes discovering item spheres more enjoyable
- it softens the division between game and cutscene
- It makes an insultingly easy game a little more challenging
- And most importantly, it removes a big blotch of non-game world elements in favor of a more immersive picture.
It may be stupid, and in terms of linear level design it might be deceiving yourself, but it works wonders! Imagine what Dead Space or the PSX Final Fantasies would have been like if there was a huge navigation map on the screen all the time.
Final Fantasy XIII gives you the option to turn this element off. Use it!
The world may still be linear, but its not shoved in your face all the time, and you quickly forget it, as you look around for new paths and branches. You should really turn it off.