Lots of this is just personal preference really...neither were terrible games. When they originally came out I absolutely loved 8 and really disliked 9. They both have their good and bad points. Both deserve a play
A tiger doesn't lose sleep to the opinions of sheep PSN: Spetsnaz420
Thing about FFVIII is that it executes many facets of the game questionably, such as junction and draw system as well as the ridiculous amount of plot twist yet there is something magical when I see the opening cutscene, the amazing Balamb Garden and its musics, all those SeeD missions, the OST.
Forgot to mention the damn sound effects. The sound of footsteps were surreal back in the days, and I always love SFX played when moving the cursor and loading a save file.