And Planescape:Torment, Baldur's Gate II, FFT, Persona 4, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, Vagrant Story, Valkyrie Profile, Mother 3, and The World Ends With You are the grestest RPGs ever. The main FF series doesn't really come close (except VI, which is sweet).
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I agree FFIX is my favourite final fantasy of all and I've played nearly all of them (not played XIII and haven't really gotten far in I-III). Second favourite is FFIV which fittingly FFIX took most of its inspiration for.