Not only is it the worst FF, its one of the worst games ive ever played, and a lesson in how not to make an rpg/game.
Bland world? Check.
Even more bland and boring characters? Check.
Forgettable soundtrack? Check.
Story? Not that itll keep anyone awake, but its there! If you look hard enough.... Ah whatever, lets go with Check.
Battle system? Well, as long as you know how to read, youll be able to program it and just.... let them fight by themselves, can even eat or play another game while waiting for long battle to be done with. In other words, crappy and as boring as everything else we have put in this game. I call that a Check!
FF13 was disappointing, not a complete mess of blandness and boredom that FF12 ever will be, and i hope ill never get to see anything as bad as it was.
XII is a Shakespearean masterpiece in comparison to XIII.
In terms of dialogue, kind of, but not really. XII also has its fair share of overwrought and cheesy lines, and a lot of the interaction between characters is wooden. The story in XII is also far more dull and underdeveloped. XIII's only true story troubles were in the finale when everything was just complete **** thanks to endless Deus Ex Machinas and asspulls that also required reading the Ultimania to understand.
Just replayed XII (okay not really, I YouTubed it...anyways), and I could barely see any moments of cheesiness, the excellent writing of that game is complemented by its characters. Unlike XIII, there were literally mountain loads of great characters, as I have aged its more clear to me now. Balthier, Gabranth, Basch, Asch, Larsa, Reddas, Cid and many more, even Vaan. Went back to find out he wasn't as bad as I had first thought, he was a...kid, p***ed off and confused at how to deal with his emotions. And yes it can be argued they didn't get to focus on all characters, but that's because they attempted to work on almost everybody and for the most part, succeeded.
Also I disagree that the story in XII is dull and underdeveloped and XIII's superior, aside from the ending. For me, they both had an excellent premise and potential to be great, but as you said the story of XII was flawed. XIII shares an equal fate, majority of the characters DO NOT complement the game, only worsen it. You also complained long ago, if I recall correctly, that the story in XII had way too many unimportant plots and too many 'treasure hunting' sequences. To that I say, have you forgotten XIII's endless corridors to absolute pointlessness, hell half the the time I didn't even know where we were going. Until we reached the town of course, than we hit the plains and s*** got even weirder. On top of that there are far too many annoying moments that don't even correlate with the stories atmosphere, like chilling with the Chocobo's, what the hell happened there? And on top of that, as I said earlier it had great premise. But it completely failed to deliver a proper portrayal of the civil war (in both physical and emotional sense), the bad guy leaders appeared here and there and were completely forgettable, we don't even know what they fought for because they only appear once or twice (except for that b**** who takes Dazh) and get straight into a battle, only to die reciting bad speeches. Now for the 'rebels' part, first we have Snow's poor excuse for a beach-boy battalion that only serve to make their cause look like a joke, as for the real rebellion, I think at one point they decided to aid you, but than all of a sudden IIRC they start attacking you or stop helping you entirely (probably because of Snow, can't say I blame them), not only was their appearance/existence random but it served no purpose what-so-ever, because everything ended up relying entirely on Lightning and her actions. Oh and than that ending....
Oh and lets not forget the side-plot of Snow, I think trying? to save Serah.
How is XXII bad? This I don't understand :/ There was so much to do in XXII and the story was something new. Its easily one of the better made games in the franchise. Are people still trying to say that the ONLY "good" FF was VII because it wasn't the greatest and these people need to actually play some other games.
It was the only FF game were the story took a backseat to the gameplay, some might dislike it for that? The game also did feel a little bit too much like a offline MMORPG with the long stretches of grinding.
It's like the BioShock phenomenon. Great story for less-than-perfect gameplay. As for XII, great/decent gameplay for less-than-perfect story. *shrugs* It doesn't always work out I guess...