FFVIII on the other hand, I never cared for but I was kid back then. It's one of the few RPGs I played as a kid that I didn't re-play as an adult.
It's not the best game in the series, but it's very much overhated. The end of the game locking out all other locations besides the final dungeon is still unforgiveable, but as a whole I appreciated the change of pace and the attempt to do something new. With some fine tuning, it could've been pretty damn great. Junctioning shouldn't have been so cumbersome, especially since you had to requip characters when you'd switch to Laguna and back, draw farming was a bore, and the story came off as really dumb at times, but I'm not entirely sure if it was always that way or if we got a spotty translation. The visuals and music are some of the best in the series by far.
Enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than IX at least. That is one of the most overrated entries in the series for me. I don't get what people see in that game to hold it in such high regard.