Oh I was originally going to post that in the hot takes thread after I realized how mild my video game opinions truly are lol.
For me it isn’t so much of a backlash (if anything, most of the hot Final Fantasy takes I’ve seen lately are outpourings of love for some of the more overlooked main series entries like 8 and 9) as my history of being left kinda cold by a lot of the Classics™, especially of that era. Stuff like Ocarina of Time and Half-Life kinda got hit with the “Seinfeld effect” where all the stuff they did that was new and fresh at the time got adapted and iterated on by everything else that came after. Coming to games like that late makes them feel a little underwhelming compared to the hype.
FF7 by contrast feels more like an evolution of what Square was already great at than a huge sea change forward - the switch to 3D lets them go even wilder with art/animation but doesn’t fundamentally change how a Final Fantasy game plays. I feel like what makes this game special is the amount of time, resources and talent that have clearly been poured into it; it’s constantly throwing cool, weird, authored stuff at you in a way that feels refreshing compared to a lot of modern open-world games.
(Anyway not to imply I’m some sort of iconoclast for liking the Thing That Everyone Likes, more that I’m in Natalie’s situation where nobody I know has played this game and I gotta talk about it! It’s good!!!)
Also speaking of good RPGs I just finished West of Loathing’s first DLC which is predictably fantastic. Highly recommend for anyone who’s played the main campaign and wants to hop back in that world for a few hours and solve some ghost mysteries.