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3. Final Fantasy IX (3)

This is hands down my favorite Final Fantasy game, largely because it goes back flawlessly to the roots of the series.  Indeed, part of the allure of this game was the story (my favorite), set not in a futuristic setting but instead the standard fantasy medieval setting.  There is plenty of lore, backstory, and allusions to previous games that will make you smile if you've played previous games.  The combat is good with a four player lineup and simplistic trance system.  More interestingly is how equipment and skills work together in character development.  Using your weapons to master new skills you can use and then deciding upon a limited amount of points worth of skills to keep active makes you put some thought into how you build your characters within their designated classes and allows you to adapt your builds to the type of combat you are enduring.  In addition, there are plenty of minigame opportunities between the tetramaster card game, moogle mail, and chocobo content.  Chocobo hot and cold remains my favorite Final Fantasy minigame to date.  The music in this game is also exquisite with songs like Vamo' Alla Flamenco and Melodies of Life.

Primarily an RPG player but have interest in any game that will make me think.