Gamnesia: "But Dylan", you're probably thinking to yourself. "Why make us sit through a review of a game from years ago that most of everyone has already played?" Well, there actually is an answer to that - I wanted to both enlighten the people who've never played it, and possibly send a reminder to those who have.
You see, speaking as someone who has just finally stepped into and completed Final Fantasy VII, I can't help but feel that everyone has it wrong. All horribly wrong. Maybe I'm just absolutely terrible at gleaming context and emotion from stories (which is fully possible), but the overarching feeling I got from this game was not one of angsty sorrow and bleak rage. This was not a game that at all fits the endless pieces of fan and official art depicting Cloud as a dark figure with flawless skin and mopey eyes. Final Fantasy VII continuously exudes one thing above all else: charm. It's a really damn charming game, and that's all there is to it.
That is the tragedy of Final Fantasy VII - that it is no longer remembered for what it actually is, but what people assume it must be like based on what Square Enix treats it as. It doesn't matter what the game itself is like anymore, only what the side content says the game is like. And that is a damn shame.