FFIV - Love this one, DS version is my favorite.
FFV - People go on about how gameplay-wise it’s excellent but there is barely a story. But I like the characters/story - it doesn’t have to be this epic, convoluted mess to be enjoyable.
FFVI - Another excellent entry, large and varied group of characters, good battle system, great music, a villian you’ll love to hate (one dimensional? Cartoonish? Maybe, or just a sick, sadistic SOB).
FFVII - Skip it. You had to be there in 1997 to enjoy this one, I think. Then, it was an incredible display of tech (it came on 4 CDs!!!) with those amazing cut-scenes. Today, it’s very clunky and the core story is good but it’s just not told well at all. Could do with a major script re-write and higher res character models.
FFVIII - This one is neither here nor there for me. I’m replaying it now on my Vita and enjoying it so far but I remember pacing being off, story not being that exciting and the battle system being a step down from all the FFs before. It’s an average game but let’s see how I feel when i finish it, playing it again 19 years later.
FF IX My favorite FF. Love the characters, the artwork is beautiful, the music is another amazing score and it balances serious and dark with whimsical charm. It also goes back to a more medieval knights and castles setting than the futuristic settings of the three games before and all the games after. Battle system is back to good but more random battles this time which is annoying, but I believe the PC version allows you to speed up battles.
FF X This game has temples you have to complete puzzles in, the push-this-object-here-and-that-object-there kind. They get harder as the game progresses. I don’t have patience for these and if not for this, FF X would be in my top 3 fave FF games. That and something called “Blitzball” that you are forced to play once (thank goodness) and then it’s optional after. Those two annoyances for me aside, this one has the best FF combat system up to this point. Story is good, music is good. First FF with voice acting and it’s a mixed bag but not as bad as it’s been made to be (that “laughing” scene is taken out of context).
FF XII Probably my 2nd favorite FF. Maybe tied for first. I will need to replay it (so glad it’s coming to Xbox One!!!). Loved everything about this game except that toward the end the story just sort of lost momentum… I never made it to the end credits, spend a lot of time fighting the same type of enemy over and over in the last section. Even then, I loved the setting (set in Ivalice, same place as FF Tactics and Vagrant Story), the combat system (which was completely overhauled), and this one had a larger, more convincing overworld to traverse than previous games. This was peak FF in many ways, it’s a shame Square decided to go in a different direction with the next few games.
FF XV Put about 10 hours into this one. Only enjoyed it when I figured out you can set the combat to a sort of PAUSE-while-not-moving, otherwise it’s just too fast and confusing for me. Interesting take on the FF formula. Need to get back to it but definitely better than FF XIII and a step in the right direction. But I wish Square would pick a style and stick with it. Dragon Quest never disappoints and it’s been essentially unchanged for years, just refined and improved.
Play Final Fantasy Tactics.