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Final Fantasy question: where to begin?

I was chatting with a friend about my Final Fantasy X replay (about which more at another time), and she expressed an interest in the series but was wondering where to start -- which makes sense, it's a huge series with no clear starting point since so many of the games stand alone. I have my own thoughts on this subject, of course, but I wonder what the rest of you think.

So here's the question: if you were to rec one and only one Final Fantasy game to someone who has never played anything in the series, which game would it be and why?

On balance, I think I would lean toward FFX, because of the depth of its story, world, and characters, with the caveat that they shouldn't expect the graphics and voice acting to be up to current standards. Although if I knew the player was a big fan of epic fantasy, I might rec FFIX instead, or if they loved political intrigue, I might suggest FFXII. So those are my picks, but then I've never finished FFVI, and my meh-ness toward FFVII is well known.

Update, Tuesday evening: it turns out that my friend doesn't have access to most of the platforms that have FF games made for them, so this discussion is mostly theoretical, alas. But thanks, still, for weighing in, and feel free to keep commenting! It's still an interesting topic and I've enjoyed seeing what everyone has to say.

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/624047.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on DW.

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