Time for me to chime in...not out of any real reason, just felt like dropping in here.
I didn't get into Final Fantasy VII until a few years after it was out. My copy of the game was used, but I didn't think much of that fact at the time. I was too used to my cartridge games working solidly. Anyways, made it through the whole game, got up to the final boss battles without maxing levels, without Omnislash or any other final limit breaks, and no Knights of the Round. JENOVA Death? Not hard. Bizarro Sephiroth? Difficult. Safer Sephiroth? HOLY CRAP. Managed to beat them, then did that little pre-scripted, "there's no way you can effin lose here" fight, then sat back and waited for the ending to roll...and waited...and waited...stared at the black screen like it was a spatial anomaly intent on devouring my soul...and then spouted swears at the screen for a good solid hour. Tried again, couldn't beat Safer Sephiroth if my life depended on it. So, I did what any sane person would do. I took the game out of my PlayStation, put it in its case, and hit YouTube to watch the ending.
Then a couple years back, the game hit the PlayStation Network. I bought it, and played it on my PS3, this time taking great care to follow guides, get every weapon, and generally max out the party as best I could(except Aerith...who cares what level she gets to, she dies anyway). Still never got Knights of the Round, but got everyone else's ultimate weapons and final Limit Breaks. Then at level...I think 70? I went to give one more go against Sephiroth. I didn't think I had a chance. JENOVA? Piece of cake, took maybe a minute. Bizarro Sephiroth? Didn't stand a chance against the might of three different Bahamuts. Safer Sephiroth? Omnislash and Final Heaven pretty much took care of him.
Verdict on the original? I love it.
Now, onto the Compilation stuff. Before Crisis is a dumb phone game, so never played it. Crisis Core was pretty good. Advent Children Complete(the Blu Ray version) is a fun movie to watch. Dirge of Cerberus was a decent game. And of course, the oft rumored remake is a topic of some interest to me. Particularly after the success of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. If Square follows that formula, just updates the graphics and gives the game a fully realized world, but keeps the gameplay the same with some enhancements, then it'll be great. If they try to make it like the later Final Fantasy games, it'll be a hardcore failure.