FFIX I haven't played, Persona 3 is an incredibly dull, long-winded dungeon trek with great music and some kind of neat social sim stuff sprinkled in, and God Hand is one of the best games ever made and without a doubt my favourite in the 3D beat 'em up genre. It's 100% fast, challenging, exciting, face-punching, groin-kicking, bottom-spanking beat 'em up action, it was ahead of its time (and still would be if it was released today), and it should rightfully have been every bit as influential in its genre as something like Devil May Cry.
So yeah, God Hand.
I like the Final fantasy series better than Persona.
That being said, I've long felt IX is slightly overrated at least in the series. Don't get me wrong it's really good, it's just not the elite title in the series.
However Persona 3 is a very special game, arguably the best in its' series. Play Persona 3