FF fans really really miss out by not playing FF14, it's a shame casue the game is a damn swansong nostologia trip to FF games of yesteryear and it's stand alone content and story puts every FF since 9 or 10 to shame.
I would say IX. Is the last true FF in its most purest form; A solid (but somewhat slowed-paced) RPG that is unapologetically charming from the beginning to the very end. A tribute, as well as a swansong, to what FF was at its core with its original team.
XIV falls much in the same space to what IX is. Which is sort weird from a certain angle because is a genuine miracle that we got an FF that feels that would be something SquareSoft would do with the kindest of their heart. At the same time, is a bit of a double edge-sword that it is stuck being an MMO. Is as much of an strength as it can be seen as a weakness.
And I've seen a lot of discussion out there of what is it about the modern takes that FF has had (VII~X and XIII) that causes this division within the fans, casual players and the devs. Because usually the ones that goes after the iconic look and feel of FF, are comfy with them in the long run.
Japan is a dying console market. You look at some of the sales numbers of console games that are released ever since the PS3 was released and its pretty sad. Unless FF15 or Persona 5 does it, no home console game released in 2016 is going to reach 1M in sales. http://www.vgchartz.com/yearly/2016/Japan/
Yeah. Around 2005 or '06 if I recall things rapidly got messy for the market as well as game development in Japan. They had made their advancements since then despite the West having a clear advantage. It hasn't been easy, but hey, there has been plenty of good stuff along the way.
This bubble with mobile gaming though is really chaotic because of how fickle and shallow most of it seems to work. And Asia is all over it as I understand.