X has the better villain... but not by much. It also has the better soundtrack and better heroine. And a more interesting setting. IX has a better party overall, better gameplay, and a better protagonist.
But the villain is a thong-wearing hermaphrodite.
So even though I voted for IX in the poll, I am now seriously re-evaluating that opinion.
"And you see where that can lead you, into what mistakes and absurdities, when you are dealing with a man like Arsene Lupin."
depends on what you prefer. FFX was the first with voice acting and full 3d graphics, so it was a major cornerstone in the series. Story-wise it was familiar but still one of the best. The mini-games were ok, blitzall was nothing revolutionary but all of the pluses were in the main game.
FFIX was an old-school throwback to medieval themed fantasy that made up for what it lacked graphically with depth and gameplay. The story is OK but a lot of peeps who enjoyed FFIV-VI prefer this one to the dystopian-future settings of FFVII & VIII. I remember wasting a lot of hours in the choco-dig mini game too.