Even super buffed as they are Crusaders are still one of the softer classes in the game in Hardcore; just keep bumping up the difficulty until you find one you like. Everything scales so there's no danger of "over-leveling."
This is simply not true. Crusaders are extremely tanky and have permanent immunity to enemy crowd control effects via Akarat's Champion along with the huge armor bonus from the Prophet rune. They have also have 2 ways to cheat death and their best end game build can permanently stun and knockback enemies. Crusaders have the best survivability in the game.
The FFXIII saga. Visually, yeah, it's Square Enix at (or close to) the top of their game. Everything else...? Eeeeh, not so much. Gameplay in all three was serviceable at best. The characters, story, and writing though were all completely insufferable.