Iíve always had a hard time formulating the question, but in this case I think Iím more interested in what you think is the best series, not necessarily your favorite series. (Though I would think they would be one and the same).
Personally, I have very little experience with the DQ series, and itís something I seriously need to address. I only played and finished the original Dragon Warrior on NES, and it was great for its time.
Iíve played many of the FF games though. I finished: IV and VI on SNES, VII through IX on PS1, X and X-2 on PS2. The SNES games were amazing displays of the hardwareís capabilities as well as having long and interesting story lines.
Feel free to share your own experience with the series.
...Final Fantasy III(US) is my favorite game after Chrono Trigger. Its freakin' mint. I measure all RPGs against it...
I feel about the same - Pokemon Platinum is my favorite game of all time now,but FF3 and CT are tied for 2nd. I try not to, but I still find myself measuring all other JRPGs by the standards those two games set.
And yeah, I know I bitch a lot about the more recent games, but it's still a matter of "play it for yourself" as far as I'm concerned. Others mileage may vary - they just haven't interested me in the slightest. Visually and story-wise, they seem to carry the same melodramatic "feel" as FFxiii, a game I quickly loathed (though I guess to be fair, I didn't play very much of FFxiii at all either).
I've only played one Dragon Quest game, I believe it was IV or V on the DS and I didn't care for it all that much. I absolutely abhor newer FF games however their old school 16 bit ones were pretty good.
As much as it pains me to give Square credit for anything, from my limited experience Final Fantasy wins this.
I'd say Final Fantasy wins mainly because the older ones were incredible. IV, VI, VII were just games that could not be missed. Granted, I love me some Dragon WARRIOR (Quest) and recently that series has beaten the shit out of the joke that is Modern Final Fantasy, but they really haven't given me something on the level of those three I mentioned before.
But the abortion-that-should-have-been XIII and the newly announced XIII-2 means I'll be switching to Dragon Quest fairly soon. No matter how good your past is, you can't rely on it forever.
Dragon Quest for me. I like FFVI like everyone else, and I've enjoyed IV (though I think it's overrated), IX, X and XIII. But I gotta say the style of the games and the emo crap really saps the enjoyment out of it. The heroes all seem to blend together, they all feel a bit samey. All brooding and with various issues... they annoy me.
I like DQ's more positive outlook. Maybe the characters aren't as fleshed out, but the DQ series is more about the events than the characters anyway. I'd say their simpler plots makes their charm, and also makes them more palatable to me.
Jeremy Parish had this awesome analysis of the differences between the two series but alas, I cannot find it.