Final Fantasy VII was fantastic in the year it came out. Now, it's understandable why there is such a controversy over it in 2006: people are now expecting better graphics and bigger, more complex storylines. In 1996, Final Fantasy VII had these so the american population went crazy over it. Sure, there was no need to hype it up, but most did anyway. Just like people are doing now for video games like Kingdom Hearts (II) or Warcraft or ven Xenosaga(I, II, or III).
In another ten years, these games are going to be looked at the same way Final Fantasy VII is now being looked at: overhyped.
Final Fantasy VII has a deep and moving storyline. However, most people prefer other games in the series, because they may think that, for example, Final fantasy VI had better graphic or more complex characters (or even both).
Whether or not you enjoyed the game depends on your own personal taste.
For me, I thought that Final Fantasy VII had a great storyline, terrible graphics(the cut scenes could've been better, but then again I didn't play it in 1996 and am now used to game characters that can talk and 45-min long cutscenes: blame Xenosaga), and one of the most messed up main characters around. I mean, seriously, Cloud was screwed up for more than a disk. Well, anyway, I would much prefer Final Fantasy X's graphics anyday. Other then that, kudos to Sony for bringing about one of the best rpgs in 1996.
Final Fantasy VII was fantastic in 1996. In 2006, however, I'm looking towards Final Fantasy XII, because frankly, it'll have the graphics and storyline expected for this decade...I hope. In 2016, we might have hologram videogames...I can't wait.