I've always thought that FF9 was the best game in the series. My favorite is FF8, but 9 is the most solid, and it has most of everything I love about FF8, but more cleanly done. It was the last and best exploration Final Fantasy, and the last and one of the best soundtracks by Uematsu. I think it's absolutely brilliant, in my top 5 RPGs ever made. Yeah, the load times are pretty bad, but there are some far worse ones on the PS2 (Dragon Quest VIII and Suikoden V to name some of the worst). Somehow, I kinda like the camera angles thing, and I sorta miss it from time to time. Some of the best characters in the series too, every single one but Quina and Amerant are just wonderful and full of unique personality. Also, my favorite villain in the series, and EASILY my favorite plot.