I never played the original on the PS1, since I only became a gamer since the 2010s. This was my first exposure to the FF series.
Having said that I can't overstate how much I loved this game.
Sure it has its flaws, some weird mechanics while traversing the world, akward dialogue and a story that doesn't make much sense for newcomers like me.
But when it comes to gameplay, it's just amazing. Once you adapt to the combat system and materia set ups, the possibilites for every fight are endless and fluidity of the combat makes it seem impossible that you are the one controlling every move.
I couldn't stop playing until I got every trophy, and boy there were some frustrating ones, after 133 hours because I wanted every single thing this game had to offer. Finishing it felt like saying good bye to a good friend but knowing that I'll see again once Intergrade comes out.