I've already played many rpgs that are better than ffvii. Not from the present gen though.
FFxiii looks good but I think removal of random battles take A LOT of difficulty away from the game. Think about it, before it was scary to run into a marlboro because of a likely game over if unprepared (and you never could be fully prepared) due to the ridiculous number of status ailments caused by "bad breath" but now you can see a marlboro from across the map and plan accordingly. The ailments even work differently due to the real time battle system.
Random battles are kind of dated and only existed because back in the NES era, letting you go to battles optionally was not possible because of the limited hardware. I personally feel that random battles can get tedious especially if the encounter rate is high.
EDIT:FFXII got rid of random encounters and was still a relatively difficult game.