I love open world games and exploration and for myself I dislike linear games but while being linear... the world feels alive making it feel less linear also because the game has a ton to do, extra dungeon/hidden aeons and stuff I don't want to spoil but all the extra stuff makes it easily one of the longest games if you want to platinum it. I loved the combat/sphere grid in fact the sphere grid is still my favourite way of upgrading your character. The music is great and the story may be annoying/entertaining depending on your taste but at the end of the game I cared about most of the characters.
I like that the combat system for every character was unique till basically the end of the game and from that point you can make them literally all the same and make them huge powerhouses , it has a sport that is hated by some and others seem to enjoy it, I don't know you well enough to know if you would enjoy the game.
Also their is also technology in the game but it is a whole subplot.