After a long break and what many would call “Development Hell,” Final Fantasy XII emerged in glory, combining excellent visual design, writing, and voice acting with truly new gameplay ideas that to this day are original and well thought of.
XII was more like an MMO in its hub-and-field structure and lack of dedicated battle screens, which initially put people off. But beneath that superficial similarity was an amazingly versatile system for controlling your team (the Gambit system, which let you essentially program the characters) and hid a great deal of compelling content.
Technical limitations and an unwise shifting of sidekicks Vaan and Penelo to the fore were really the only shortcomings of this excellent game. As Balthier repeatedly points out, he’s the main character.