It was here I found Final Fantasy I-IX + Chrono Trigger spread across numerous PS1 collections for about $5 - $15 dollars each.
Except III which was never released for PS1.
I may also try X, X-2, and XII if they're any good.
Yes. X is awesome. X-2 has a cooler system if you can get past the girly girl overtones. XII is very different in style but is also fun.
Technically I haven't beat the last two but I played through quite a lot of them. X-2 though I always get stuck at the same point about halfway through, where there's a rotating pit. Keep getting stuck and then don't know what to do next.
If you play X, the real fun is learning how to work the Battle System and farm your spheres. Play your cards right and your characters can deal 99,999 per hit. Then you're ready to finish the Monster Arena.
It should be fun, since I've heard various good/bad things about some of the newer Final Fantasys, yet nothing about any of the pre-VI games.
If you like the chibi style at all and you enjoyed the FF1 remake, then you'll like IV and V. Very fun games. IV is near and dear to many people's hearts for being the first sequel FF released in the States.
So... Can anyone explain that time loop thing with Garland at the end of the first game and/or Chaos' master plan? Also, what "misunderstanding" led to Garland be expelled from knighthood? I know games like this used to have very little plot back in the day, but I'm curious if this plot has been expanded upon outside of the game.
No, but even though it doesn't answer your questions, be aware that FFIX has some pretty blatant plot tie-ins to FF1. As well as throwbacks to a lot of other FF games.
Another side note...when you are done...if you are ever done...make a point to play Secret of Mana and Secret of Mana 2 (otherwise known as Seiken Densetsu 2 and 3). Probably you'll need to get the ROM of them unless the first one has come out in Wiiware. Not exactly like the SNES FF games, but masterpieces of the same era.