The inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings has been a "disaster in terms of time and expense", Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said.
The £190 million Saville Report will finally be published on Tuesday - over 12 years after the inquiry was opened.
Thirteen people on a civil rights march died in Londonderry on January 30 1972 when soldiers from the Parachute Regiment opened fire on crowds.
Mr Clarke said the inquiry, led by Lord Saville of Newdigate, had got "ludicrously out of hand" and he was "anxiously considering" how other inquiries should be held in the future.
The former lawyer told Sky News' Sunday Live: "There's no doubt that the kind of sums we spend now on public inquiries have vastly exceeded anything we would have contemplated when I was in practice.
"So like everything else, across the whole of the public sector really, you have to go back to the beginning and say 'Why is it costing so much more than it used to? Why is it costing so much more than any other country? What do you need to spend money on?'
"And Saville as an inquiry has been a disaster in terms of time and expense."
Mr Clarke said there would inevitably be judge-led inquiries into other issues in the future, adding: "But I can tell you, in discussions I'm already having, I'm anxiously considering how we can stop such inquiries getting ludicrously out of hand, in terms of cost and length, as the Saville Inquiry was allowed to do."