Final Fantasy VIII and IX are both very good games, but also very different.
Final Fantasy VIII looked forward into the future of JRPGs. Notice the fast-paced combat, semi-realistic character models, futuristic setting, etc.
Final Fantasy IX looked backward at what made Final Fantasy great. Notice the job system, chibi characters, medieval setting, etc.
Final Fantasy VIII was ahead of its time in what JRPGs could do within the game’s mechanics. Final Fantasy IX finally perfected the old system of JRPGs.
Final Fantasy VIII was divisive between all Final Fantasy fans. Final Fantasy IX bridged the gap between new and old-school Final Fantasy fans. VIII and IX are the Ying and Yang of the Final Fantasy series. Very different, but complementary…