Technically you can beat FF9 in under 12 hours, hence the Excalibur II 'challenge'. If you need to ask someone if they played it by asking what you did then I have to ask whether you have played it yourself.
If you're out to get everything though (well everything but Excalibur II), there's a lot more hours in it.
Either way, they're both great games. It's hard to really pick one between these, I'd personally get both if I didn't have them already
Yeah, in fact I'm playing it right now off and on. I'll tell you that it's been a lot longer than 14 hours and I just recently got to the second disk. I do a lot of grinding and sidequests though, so that might be a factor. I don't just speed run through these games. I take my time and enjoy them.
You don't even need to draw magic in ff8, just get the card abilities on Quezacolt and refine all the magics you need. Heck I got 100 Tornadoes before leaving to dollet and one shot everything, it was purdy funny.
It's not the great who are strong, It's the strong who are great!