After buying it on PS1, PC, and now Switch over the past 15 or so years and 37 hours throughout the past few months, I have finally beaten this old classic.
It may show its age, but I definitely appreciate everything this game goes for. The ATB system is strange, but interesting and keeps you on your toes, the characters are great, though they run out of convincing reasons for half of them to join your party, and the story was actually pretty good, for the most part. Even though it's dated, you can definitely see why it was such a groundbreaking achievement back in 1997.
For a game that has had people obsessed with its lore for over 20 years though, it does have an abnormally high amount of plot holes that are never addressed until all the subsequent content made a decade later (Advent Children, Crisis Core, etc) that either fleshes things out or retcons parts of the game completely. Sephiroth is a menacing villain, but he literally runs out of personality in the latter half of the story. Still, I couldn't help but get excited at the final boss fight music and getting Super Nova'd. The ending was a giant blueball though.
I also have to thank the quality of life changes made to the re-release. FFVII is a VERY slow game. Having 3x Speed, Full Power Mode, and Random Battle Off features were a godsend when it came to powering through sectons of the game and griding character/materia levels. Not sure I would've had the patience to get through this game and many of its side quests without them.
Considering my poor track record finishing JRPGs, I'm glad I finally can say I beat this monster of a game!