Seems these days there's always an user in a Final Fantasy 7 related article commenting how the game is overrated and whatnot. In my opinion these are probably people whose first console was a sixth generation console (ps2/xbox/gamecube) or maybe old n64 fan boys that were unable to play Final Fantasy 7 way back when.
First of all lets do the visuals, Final Fantasy 7 came out in 1997, 15 years ago, so how did Japanese rpgs look those days?
Wild Arms for the Playstation, released 1996.
Final Fantasy 7 for the playstation, released 1997.
Wild arms was a fine rpg but we can see how Final Fantasy 7 was on a different level of visual quality in those days. Not only did the game look good but there were many locations with impressive looking backgrounds. I remember playing this game for the first time and thinking how Midgar would be the only location and that was fine by me I was enjoying it so far, when I entered the wold map for the first time after 10 hours I was even more excited. The FMVs were epic, the backgrounds were great, the combat visuals were simple 3d that looked amazing at the time, visually Final Fantasy 7 did a great job.
The gameplay was great, the materia system was a cool way to get new spells and it felt good getting that new materia wondering how many more spells it would hold. The limit breaks were fun to look at and crucial to combat. This game had one of the most fun mini games in any Final Fantasy, chocobo racing. Not only was chocobo racing fun but it was necessary to get the strongest summon spell in the game. The Golden Saucer was a fun place to visit for the arena and mini games. The game also had 2 bosses stronger than the last boss to provide a challenge after you completed the game.
The music and story in this game made you feel part of an epic story. Aeris theme made you smile, Sephirots theme intimidated you, the boss battle theme excited you, the chase theme pumped you up. Chasing all game after a seemingly invincible villain made the last boss fight feel very satisfying, specially if you hadn't seen Omnislash in the whole game like me. I last played this game years ago but I remember how Shinra wanted to use the earths life force for their greedy ways, I remember that SOLDIER was the military organization protecting Shinra, I remember that Avalanche were the rebels fighting Shinra, I remember that Sephiroth wanted to destroy the earth to become a god. I can barely remember what i was doing in Final fantasy 13, which i played like a year ago, I remember there was a black guy with a chocobo living in his Afro I thought was funny, that's about it.
While I enjoy every Final Fantasy for what they are, good rpgs, none of them impressed me and stayed with me the way Final Fantasy did and the way Square Enix is going I don't think they ever will again. The reason we haven't seen a remake of Final Fantasy 7 and will not in the near future is because Square Enix simply doesn't make epic rpgs anymore, they just make shallow/fmv filled/bad anime inspired rpgs that leave nothing memorable with you after completing them. In order to remake a game like Final Fantasy 7 with a long story, many locations and mini-games it would probably take them 10 years to complete. Respect what Squaresoft accomplished in 1997, hope and dream that we will eventually see an rpg like this again from Square Enix.