I took advantage of my sickness and completed Final Fantasy III on the DS. Now I can say that I've played all of the classic Final Fantasy mainline games to completion! (Tactics, Mystic Quest, Crystal Chronicles, and the numerous other spinoffs don't count.)
Platforms used (for the spiel on "definitive versions," click here):
I - Sony PlayStation (included in Final Fantasy Origins)
II - Sony PlayStation (ditto)
III - Nintendo DS
IV - Sony PlayStation (recommended, included in Final Fantasy Chronicles)
V - Sony PlayStation (included in Final Fantasy Anthology - slow and not recommended)
VI - Super Nintendo (censored, not recommended), Sony PlayStation (slow and censored and not recommended), am currently playing an RPGOne fan re-translation (highly recommended)
VII - Sony PlayStation (recommended), have played the PC version many times too but never to completion (buggy and fussy and not recommended)
VIII - Sony PlayStation (I don't even want to think about the PC version of this!)
IX - Sony PlayStation
To paraphrase Douglas Adams, it's an increasingly inaccurately named series, isn't it?
Favorites, in descending order:
VII, VI, IX, VIII, IV, III, I, V, II
The only games I really dislike are V and II:
II was the game where somebody thought it would be a good idea to do away with experience points, making building your characters into kind of a random joke. To its credit, it was the first to introduce player characters with personalities, but the story is kind of bland and not a lot of fun. The first game is unforgivingly brutal, but unlike II it contains enough surprises to be interesting.
V is like a 16-bit trip to the dentist. It's innovative like VIII is innovative, and if you don't get the hang of things right away, it's a drag from start to finish. I actually ended up starting over from scratch because I was so damn frustrated with how crappy my party was and how I was getting my butt handed to me everywhere for seemingly no reward except visiting other lame towns and other tedious dungeons. If you're wondering why it wasn't released for the Super Nintendo, play it and you'll see.
So I guess now I can finally get a PlayStation 2 or 3 and continue forth! ;-) But I think I'll have to move my N64 and VHS player to accommodate it. j/k