VIII was a personal favorite. But I saw the inherent flaws. It's more of a preference based on fond memories. I'm not really an MMO fan, but I see the appeal, especially in the battle system. VII is my first FF too, so it always mattered to me. IX wasn't that much fun for me. It wasn't anything against the game, it just never sank in. If we're talking PS1 RPG's. I'd say Legend of Legaia, Chrono Cross, Lunar 2, Wild Arms, Tales of Destiny 2, and Valkyrie Profile were some personal, non FF, favorites. By the time I wanted to play Xenogears it was REALLY EXPENSIVE. So I gave up. Newer FF ( X+ ) just aren't as much of a grab for me. Nothing against them, just not my thing.
IX was probably the first RPG I really sunk in to in trying to do everything or near everything. I know with VII, I gave up on a lot of the side quest stuff or didn't even bother so I didn't get to see/do everything (defeat all the Weapons, Chocobo Breeding, etc.).
I own Legend of Legaia & Chrono Cross but I don't think they ever really got a fair shake from me. Might have to give them another go. Right now, I'm limited to what's up on the PS Store for the PS1 stuff so that's why Xenogears and Front Mission 3 are on my radar (same reason for not playing Xenogears earlier: it was too expensive/too much of a hassle to track down and I like to buy new when I can). Valkyrie Profile is also something I want to play so if that's not on the PS Store, I might have to see about the PSP version (Lenneth).
Final Fantasy sucked after 7, just face it.
7 was glitchy, horribly written, and hid behind its dark and edgy-ness. Its only considered great because of its visuals.
8, is the same as the above, except a bit better written, and the protagonist is whipped.
9 tried to go back to the old days but then Kuja appeared and it was 'oh never mind'.
10? 10 was hilariously bad. 10-2 I even enjoyed more and I'm a guy so what does that tell you.
12 was horrible, horrible, horrible. Bad story, bad characters, horrible gameplay, and it was a graphics engine test for KH2 anyways so it doesn't matter.
13, 13-2, and 13-3 (I know its Lightning Returns but I'm calling it 13-3) were just "Lets Be Final Fantasy 7 Except Less Gameplay.)
Now, you want a Final Fantasy protagonist who matters? Bring out the Warrior of Light. Or heck, I'll even take Gilgamesh.
Honestly though we need far less swords users. I suggested Simon Belmont in an earlier thread because he'd add something completely new to the game. Whips. Which would be awesome.
I mean, I'm psyched for Kat. I really hope she makes it. After playing and beating it, I'm even giving it the time of day to 100% it, and that's something I barely do. But she'll definitely be a more situational 'magic'ish character instead of what we usual see.
TL;DR - More Doctor Strange, less Hulk.
I found this old thread because I agree. I think Allstars would benefit from a character that's not another pile of melee attacks. I drew up a crude sketch of the mage from Wild Arms, Cecilia Adlehyde, to illustrate how a mage might play. Explanations are bellow the pic, and keep in mind that, like Sly, she would engage in battles very differently than most characters.
Earth - extrudes a bit of ground that knocks enemies back and give a raised platform from which to cast spells more safely.
Ice - Cold wind gives AP, slows enemies and returns projectiles. Does not cause any flinch but will freeze enemies if they stay in it long enough.
Blast - Simple explosion that hurls enemies away
Fire - Fire erupts from the Necronomicon
TRIANGLE (here's where it starts getting fun/OP)
Randomizer - Guide an area of effect to cast a random ailment on enemies. In decreasing likelihood they are: Confusion, Poison, Sleep, Slow, Paralysis, Berserk (2X AP gain but can't block or dodge), Regen. Duration of ailment based on charge time
Valkerie - Sprays all 7 elements from the game. Accuracy based on charge time
Thunder - Creates a cloud that emits lightning at random. Duration based on charge time
Vortex - Creates a tornado that travels back and forth. Duration based on charge time
Chain Lightning - Because it's cool
Regen - Steadily gain AP without hindering your ability to fight as normal. Duration based on charge time.
Haste+Invisibility - Greatly increases speed and turn you invisible (obviously). Duration based on charge time. Spell breaks upon attacking.
Life Guard - If active when killed she will not not explode and respawn. The enemy will still get the kill but she will be unaffected.
Lock State - While active she cannot be affected by status altering attacks or items.
Bomb - Opponent is tossed and explodes away.
Shrink - Shrink opponent and stomp them
Drain - Levitate opponent and suck the AP out of them directly.
Sea Rune - Summon Lucadia who creates a tidal wave behind her and moves forward. Only 1 or 2 characters tall and shrinks as it progresses.
Desire Run - Summon Luceid who blankets the top of the stage in clouds that rain giant swords. Lasts no longer than respawn.
Saint Rune - Summon Ione Paua who instantly kills all three enemies and grants Cecilia all her circle button buffs.
She teleports instead of rolls
Alternate costumes would include her appearance from later in the game.
Temple of Memory would make a good stage.
Golems would make a good stage invasion.
Can turn items into AP instead of using them. This is called Mystic in Wild Arms.
I've done a few more, if you're interested.
The future, is in the past... ONWARD, AOSHIMA!