FFX was my first good game it's still one of my favourite games of all time and has stolen several hundred hours of my time.
The game is linear and cutscene heavy, it's a story to experience, not create. A journey through a beautiful but monster ravaged land. There is a way to stop the monster, it's been done many times and yet the monster came back. But this time it may not, there is hope. As such, the gameplay is part of the narrative, showing the pains of this long difficult journey that so many fail.
The gameplay in itself is far more tactical than most FF games. It's turn based, turns decided on speed and move choice. The order for several turns is displayed and using it to employ the right attacks is vital.
At any time active members can be switched out for inactive ones and battles involve knowing who you need for what enemy. The mighty and stoic Auron has a hefty punch can take out the strongest armoured foes. Impatient and keen Tidus can take out creatures that are too fast and evading for Auron to touch. This matching of combat and character makes them feel consistent in gameplay and cutscene, they are still the same person.
Levelling up involves moving along curving and intersecting paths and buying attributes and abilities with spheres dropped by the enemy. Each character has paths that define them but there is enough flexibility to adjust the party and by the end everyone as started branching out on other paths.
The setting is breathtaking and combines with the plentiful cutscenes to drive you ahead, to see the next magical and marvellous thing in this world. Stopping and staring is well known. The story has some amazing twists and some more complicated ending and a more mature ending than could have been expected. There is always enough mystery to hold interest and the music is some of the best piano music of all games.
There are plenty of sidequests and a particularly deep turn-based sport sim. Love or hate them, you can ignore them but they are required to unlock the best weapons (if you don't build your own).
In the end this games represents the best of fantasy. It's both escaping into a whole new world and dealing with important facets of character and society. Only the voice acting is poor and that alone can keep people away. But I managed and at the very least please check out the opening cutscene on youtube.