The characters are all unique and are brought to life by a beautifully written script. Nobuo Uematsu returned for his last solo FF sound track and it was amazing. From the beginning piece 'The Place I'll Return to Someday' to the emotionally powerful 'You're not alone', the music never fails to pull at those heart strings.
The gameplay is solid and enjoyable despite lacking any uniqueness. Which brings me onto another point about FFIX in that it was intended to be a throw back to the earlier Final Fantasys. In that respect the plot, characters and setting were not ground breaking. But all these aspects were done so damn well that Sakaguchi, the series founder called it the best Final Fantasy yet. Uematsu said the same.
In conclusion, FFIX is a magnificent game although it failed to make the impact that many FF fans (such as me) feel it deserved. So, for those of you who haven't played it, go play it now! It is more than just a game, the experience and memories may well last you a lifetime.