Also, IX wasn't as good as the others, unless you like cookie-cutter, super-deformed characters, random story interjections, and frogs. :P
But I've found that Final Fantasy games are like losing your virginity. Your first might not be the best, but it keeps a special place in your heart. Unless you were forced to play it, in which case I'm sorry you were molested, kupo.
Opinions of FF games are numerous and varied. Back in the day, I kept hearing how disappointing VIII was in comparison to VII, yet the game has its fans. There are a lot of people who like X, but I find it overrated.
To be honest, I knew nothing about IX until recently, and that game definitely has fans. I've been playing it on my PSP, and personally I like it, but it doesn't stand out like some of the other games.