I love rambling reviews, and like to provide a good few myself! With that in mind, let's go!
First off, let's run through some Final Fantasies.
VII: We are of one mind.
VIII: We are of two very different minds. I couldn't bear 8. I might have one day accepted the junction system, but I will never accept the characters. For me, and it's a matter of discussion between Final Fantasy fans, I love the melodrama and what is commonly referred to as the "angsty" side of Final Fantasy. I still do, and am disappointed when my expectations are not met. However I differentiate between the melodrama of VII, IX and X, and the outright absurd-angst and romance of VIII. It plays like a parody to me, and I find it quite insulting, and general prefer to refuse to acknowledge its existance.
IX: Had a lot going for it, in my eyes. I didn't care for the setting, and I didn't like the cutesy-ness of the world, but I felt that many of the characters were strong and the weaker characters were ignorable. I also believe quite strongly that in terms of combat FFIX was the strongest of all the FFs I have played in terms of its battle mechanic and character balance. Having to balance a party and, heaven forbid, having characters who are not interchangeable on the battlefield was great. Story wasn't as strong as the others around it, but it was still an acceptable romp and well worth a go.
X: FFX has a threshold you have to cross, and I sympathise that you quit because I almost didn't make it myself. Tidus and his ilk are, for those first few hours, bloody insufferable and almost seem to prod you to press the power button. Having just said that, I'll now state that I think that FFX's characters are at least on a par with VII's and perhaps even shade it. The story, for the most part, is second only to VII and there is a real beauty in there. It's also great because the happy-go-lucky boyancy of the first few hours is a shield against the moutain of misery it provides. On the downside, FFX marked the start of the "hand-holding" combat, and a system inferior to VII and IX turned out to be but the tip of a terrible Square-Enix iceburg of non-involvement.
XI: I didn't play it, as it was online. I've served my mmo time, and consider myself rehabilitated and hopefully not a serial offender.
XII: This was where the Final Fantasies lost me. The combat was, to my mind, the worst incarnation I have played, and the story seemed weak and distant from me. I could have looked past these faults, were it not for a) The longest and most boring penultimate dungeon of all time, followed by the shortest final dungeon ever, and 2) Absolutely terrible characterisation. Actually, that's not even correct. FFXII doesn't have bad characterisation - it has an outright absence. I said it best last time when I said that the characters are completely flat in terms of their characterisation - though that could equally describe their affect.
XIII: I didn't play. I heard horrible things about it that put me off, before my resolve weakened and I tried to gather some support for it in order to convince myself. When Anguipes, here, said that it wasn't the worst Final Fantasy, I had found my support. When I finished reading her post and realised she was including Dirge of Cerebus, I quickly lost it.
One other thing. You say you've played every Final Fantasy apart from VI
? That's a serious weakness in an otherwise rich CV for Final Fantasy discussion, my friend. The battlegrounds of internet need
* Final Fantasy VII fans to continue in the discussions of which is the greatest Final Fantasy with those stubborn remaining VI fans, and the only way you can hope to fight is if you've played it. Also, it's very good (though not, to my mind, as good as IX or X - but I've set out my stall of what I like and little of that existed before VII) and well worth a play, particularly if you still have time for the SNES FFs.
*Disclaimer: Utterly, utterly false
Oh, and if anyone hasn't seen it yet, I must link to my favourite FFXIII review (and indeed, my favourite reviewer generally).CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND ADULT THEMEShttp://youtu.be/KmnAL60mfSg