I've just finished this game barely 20mins ago...I MUST say that this game is a masterpiece, everything we've liked so far about the Final Fantasy franchise is reunited in this single title. It has hold very well against the test of time, everything from the charming characters to the incredible FMV's are visually pleasing.
Characters all have strong/unique personalities, with nice backstories told throughout the gameplay. Character development at its best. You will feel attachment even also caring for them.
The plot/story is engaging, you will want to know what’s coming next after each playthrough. There are plenty of sidequests that you can do just for fun, and some of them can actually help you a lot with your game with items or weapons, some even add some extra content to the game, there are also plenty of mini-games to enjoy. This game also has plenty of references to previous titles and to the entire Final Fantasy franchise.
At first, the main villain seems a little bit generic but as you advance through the story his motivation starts to make a lot of sense and becomes interesting almost like a lesson.
Battle mechanics work like a charm, new skill system is very useful to play with and works out really well, each character plays as a specific class, adding a lot of tactic along with the skill/ability system to the battle mechanics, being its highest point the latest battles on disc 4, making you to choose wisely your abilities and characters.
One of the best things this game gives us the fans is it's superb soundtrack...music is not only beautiful but vast, since there are a lot of songs to enjoy, having numerous memorable themes such as the main villains theme, or the "trouble" music or the black mage song, just wow.
Gamespot giving this title an 8 is just bad and makes no sense, I can understand it will not give a game like this a 10 (which totally deserves it), but its worth AT LEAST a 9.5 score. This title is the point where you could say Squaresoft closes the door of what epic Final Fantasy games have been and should be so far, it's a perfect closure for their "Golden Age", from this point on they started doing and testing different (mainstream) things, so...starting the decline in overall quality, this game is far superior to FFX.
To put it simple: This game is like playing a Fairy Tale. Kudos to Squaresoft.