I may be dating myself here, but I went all the way through FF1 way back in the day. I remember seeing it demoed at the Nintendo World Championships way back when - and although I will always consider Dragon Warrior (ie, Dragon Quest) the first real RPG for the NES, Final Fantasy was way advanced beyond it. I still feel a certain loyalty to the Enix Dragon Warrior line, but the Final Fantasy franchise definitely sucked down more hours of my life. And it was probably only through hints in Nintendo Power guidebooks and posters that I actually finished it, but it was still very fun, though Final Fantasy II (AKA Final Fantasy 4 in Japan) was a lot more fun, and I also beat that, but Final Fantasy III (FF5) came at a time where I didn't have as much time to devote to games as I liked - pretty much every year of my life after 12, probably - and 7 was the one that ruined everything after it for me.
Final Fantasy 7 was groundbreaking in many ways, and the storyline and characters were some of the best that had been created up till that time, and some might say, ever. I still haven't honestly finished it, despite several 95% attempts, and some day I will finish it, although I will finish it on the PC version that takes advantage of somewhat more modern hardware than the single-speed PS1 with slightly-3D-accelerated hardware that couldn't do high res and antialiasing and bilinear filtering and all that..
FF Mystic Quest was a joke compared to FF1 and FF2, and though I never played through the FF gameboy games, it was because there wasn't anything about them that made me want to keep playing them... so they can be thrown into the bucket as well.
Dragon Warrior, on the other hand, was fantastic for it's time. Dragon Warrior 2 was even better, and 3 (I seemed to have missed it somehow) was cool, but DW4 was killer. And this was still all on the good ol' 8 bit NES. I knew there was a 16 bit Dragon Warrior that never made it to America, and I was always frustrated that when Enix re-released some of the Dragon Warrior games on the Gameboy color or GBA, they didn't bother making a big screen version for those of us that didn't find ourselves with spare time AND our Gameboy within reach - ie, I wish they made a console "remix" version as well.
[rant] That's one of the things that really turns my crank. Namco, Capcom, Konami, Nintendo, Sega, even HudsonSoft and smaller publishers/game houses that barely have enough games to pad out a "remix compilation" type release, have put together modern console versions, or at least, emulations, of their old classics. Namco published a great series of them, a couple times (and probably will again), Capcom the same, and yet we never see a next-gen console compilation of the best of Enix, or SquareSoft, or RareSoft, even, one of the biggest and most successful game houses (although I guess Microsoft wants to keep that all to themselves now), when really, when a company releases a compilation like that, they don't just re-sell the games to every gamer that's ever bought them before, but gain a whole new audience that never had a chance to play them before. Minus Nintendo - who in their right mind would pay $20 for one of the pathetic re-releases they put out for the GBA - for example the release titles from the 8-bit NES - without some kind of new bells and whistles? I could see paying $2, maybe, but really, those games have been paid for, and paid for, and paid for, and it makes me look at Nintendo like I look at Disney, re-re-re, and re-releasing titles again and again and again, because apparently "out of print" means "for a while". At least, until enough people start paying $50 for a VHS copy of Little Mermaid, because all the stores have sold out of the DVD versions and Disney isn't making any more ..... for a while. My friend owns a Wii, and he showed it off to me, and while the price seems right (if you can get one) I can't believe people are paying $5 or whatever for re-released games without any kind of enhancement or benefit. DAMMIT NINTENDO, we've ALREADY PAID for these games! Is a software license so specific that it states you can only use it on ONE type of computing device? By that logic, should we charge owners of German automobiles extra for driving them on American roads? NO! You buy the car, you drive it wherever you want. You paid for the car, you do whatever you want with it. I paid $40 for Super Mario Bros. in 1987, should I have to pay $20 again in 2002 to play it on my Gameboy Advance? Or is the $20 just a "delivery fee" for the cartridge and manual? Is then, the $5 you pay for the Virtual Console Super Mario Bros. a "delivery fee"? I don't have a degree in business, but I know this - gamers generally don't have tons of disposable income. If you want to grab what they DO have, you better give them damn good value for your money, because you KNOW they can get it for free if they try hard enough, or someone else will get there first. So why not charge a REASONABLE price for something you've made millions on already? Do you expect a gamer to sit and play the original Super Mario Bros for more than a couple hours before going back to nunchuk sports and pretty graphics? They'll pay for convenience, for nostalgia, for a little fun - but they won't pay much. Nintendo would make $1,000,000 a lot faster if 1,000,000 people had to be convinced to pay $1, than if 200,000 people had to be convinced to pay $5.
I would really love to see game companies put together a periodic compilation of old titles for new consoles. Bells and whistles aside, I wouldn't mind paying a reasonable price ($30?) for the entire Dragon Warrior collection, most of which I have already paid for once, for the privilege of playing it on my [insert favorite new console here]. If they spruced up the graphics a bit, more power to 'em... but if not, oh well, as long as it's not only 2-4 but missing 1, 5, 6, and 7. Same with Final Fantasy, but if you're going to bother putting together a compilation, do it right, I want the whole set, 1-7, then in a few months, 8-12, or something like that.
..er, the rambling machine has ceased, I feel better now. Thanks for listening!