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9 < all in every aspect except graphics. The single player quest was hurt quite severely by the emphasis on multiplayer and sidequests. And each game card has only one save file, which is maddeningly dumb. If you want to replay the quest, you either have to erase all your work, including the possibly unique downloads and dungeon maps you found, or spend $35 on another copy.
Not a bad game, but nowhere near the best of the DQ series.
TC, I'd say either 4 or 5 are your best bets. 6 is actually fairly difficult by comparison, so save that one for last.
Religion is like spaghetti: either stiff and fragile, or wet and limp.
V is good stuff. Though I also love 9. Of course, I think it's because of the side quest and post-game content. I love post-game content. That, and that DQVC is pretty addictive for those who like collections. The visitors also add some nice aspects to it. 9 is for content collectors, which isn't a bad thing. I've always been a Dungeon Hack/Loot person myself, so 9 satisfies in a big way. I also like the Celestial angle, though I know that alone doesn't make the best story. Just an entertaining one for me.
"because 'Clerks' is NINJA in itself." - Ninja Mask lessons by Vem Reld (http://server6.uploadit.org/files/greatisgood-Ninja.jpg)