Great game, good experience! But it's not for everyone.
A lot of people bash Final Fantasy II for many reasons. Maybe it's the stat grinding system, or the lack of directions or the empty rooms leading you into death. Either way, they hate it.
That negative reception is bullshit.
Final Fantasy II is a game I liked for a few reasons. You really don't have to grind too much. As long as your spell selections are good, you can almost breeze through and enjoy the game. The first half of the game has monsters gradually increasing in attack power and HP, so weapon, spell, and stat growths occur while you traverse dungeons. That's a reason why the encounter rate is higher than other games, so you get those growths. People who say that you have to make yourself overpowered haven't really played Final Fantasy II. Trust me on this paragraph.
Also, status effects work on any enemy, guaranteed. Infamously, no enemy is immune to instant-death, which seems broken at first, but you'll need it throughout the game. Other statuses are fun to throw on enemies AND can potentially save you. The lack of status immunities in enemies is another thing I love about Final Fantasy II. Maybe you will, too.
With all that said, Final Fantasy II isn't a game you can jump into right away. You'll have to plan out your main characters and what they do throughout the game. Equipment pieces have hidden magic penalties that reduce the hit rate of your spells, so you have to unequip your hands before casting a spell in battle, lest it fails or deals less damage. Also, monsters love to come in groups later in the game, and can rip your entire party to shreds if you're ambushed or unprepared. All that planning, unequipping, and getting annihilated can get frustrating very quickly. But, if you do manage to escape that frustration and get used to it, you have a Final Fantasy game that is well worth playing and experiencing. Did I mention the music in this game is amazing, just like every other Final Fantasy game?