Personally, I feel the FF franchise has been steadily accelerating downhill after the release of IX.
FFX: While I liked the combat (standard turn-based for those of you who have not played it). I hated the linearity...and the whole Sin story...well...sucked. But most of all, I really REALLY hate Tidus...and his incessant whining. Every time he opened his mouth I felt like punting puppies.
FFXII: Eh, what to say. This whole game was kinda meh, not terrible...just meh. The lead character wasn't as annoying as Tidus, although that's not saying a lot. Combat felt like an playing an MMO with a pet class that could have more than one pet out.
FFXIII: I hated the linearity, and the story is crap. The combat system is the crappiest out all the FF games that I have played (all of the main series up to XIII). Either give me a turn based combat system, or an all action based system....but this hybrid crap sucks. It's like playing whack-a-mole in that you are constantly flipping through different pre-made "builds" through out the course of the battle depending on which skills/spells you need at any given moment. This makes pretty much every fight in the game tedius. Oh, and they cant take Snow, Hope, and Vanelle (spelling?) and flush them down an industrial strength toilet.
I don't know, since the release of X...Final Fantasy games just haven't felt like Final Fantasy games. X seems to be where they decided down the path of graphics over gameplay, and the series has suffered for it. To me FF games were always about an epic story (though usually pretty standard JRPG epicness). Turnbased or ATB battles. A large world to explore, not just a map with "pins" in it to land on, and lot's of secrets to find.
I know there are lots of fans of the newer style FF games, and good for them...if they enjoy it by all means play the hell out of them. They are just no longer the games that I fell in love with starting with the first one on the NES. They introduced me to jrpgs and I am grateful for that...but long gone are the days when I would wait for a new FF release with gleeful anticipation.