Well FF6 was my first FF and I liked it a lot, FF7 was ok but I couldn't understand the hype, nowhere near as good as 6 IMO, Then FF8 blew both of them away imo but voicing that opinion was about as popular as saying you had smallpox at the time.
Now have played every FF multiple times and my top 3 are 12,13 and 8 in that order (then 6, and I try to look as objectively as I can at 6 as I know in this series many never get past thinking their first played is 'the best' but I really cant justify any others above it in 4th place)
Being a literature fan, Personally I the series is getting better as the stories are getting more novel/cinema-like, and the constant gameplay changes, though all have their flaws in some places and none are perfect, keep the series fresh and interesting.
But the magic is contually growing for me, if it were not for this series I wouldn't be playing games, this series singlehandedly justifies the hobby for me. There are other good games out there without a doubt and I enjoy them a lot but I probably would have dropped the hobby long ago had it not been for FF's progression keeping me interested, especially with all the negativity that seems to be in gaming media these days (of which Mr Sterling here is one of the most negative), at times it can be as dismal a media to look at as political media.