Only issue with Shining Force is the lack of PLing possibilities. SF1 > Speedrunning FFT, easily (because there's no other way to play SF), however, I've always preferred grinding a bit from time to time (solo Thief FF1 anyone?). getting max-stats before you head to Dorter in FFT is awesome.
FFTA and FFTA2 are fun, but they aren't good games in the genre.
Also, the "simplicity" of SF (which I commented on earlier as lack of depth) is a HUGE part of my distaste.
Too many skills are worthless or busted in SF, and most of them being permanently worthless. Is that how it is in FFT? Nope. All spells have their uses, and anyone who enjoys toying with enemies will enjoy some of the more gimmicky classes. Mediator have terrible hit-rate with talkskill? change to mime and level MA and presto!-- 100% (+) hitrate. Like those oracle abilities? boost MA/FA and have a ball with enemies that can't fight back.
Also, unless I have reason (SRing or the like) I do not abuse the brave + bladegrasp or any other 0-chance-to-hit cheapness of FFT, in my own defense.
Do not get me wrong, I do very much enjoy SF, but the inability to make the game easier/harder by levelling (or refusing to do so when the game expects you to) bothers me greatly...
Ever played Dragon Warrior? Ever max-levelled to slay that nasty dragon at the end?
Not too bad a fight, just lots and lots of levelling to get there, right?
I beat him at 19 (nigh-perfect luck, over 400 attempts... and that's a LOT of walking)
THAT was a blast... but they were both fun.
When it comes down to it, I had to say FFT had the better storyline and equal or better replay value.
Also, since we're on the subject, I'm going to go ahead and rate all the SRPGs I can name offhand, and their rough order, divided by different pieces of each game.
Also, I apologize for referencing FE as a whole, but as I've not played too much of it, I hope my views on it are viewed with a grain of salt.
Balance of Classes (Storyline):
Disgaea > Soul Nomad > SF = FFT > FE > La Pucelle > Makai Kingdom > Disgaea 2 > FFTA
Balance of Classes (Endgame):
Disgaea 2 > SF > La Pucelle > FFT > FE > FFTA = Makai Kingdom > Soul Nomad > Disgaea (there is ONE CLASS and if you don't use it you're an idiot, because they're perfect)
Disgaea (comedy in an SRPG, gotta love it) > FFT (Depth) > SF (a little scarce in 1, but that's understandable, and 2 was pretty good) > Soul Nomad (a little mushy toward the end, and the "normal" ending BLOWS) > FE > FFTA > La Pucelle > Disgaea 2 > Makai Kingdom
*For NIS/Atlas/Mastiff games, it's based on the "normal" ending that you get by following the "expected" hero/antihero course of action
Typical Difficulty (hardest to easiest):
SF (this is the real reason that I tried the game, and it does NOT disappoint), SN, MK, FFT, D2, LP, FFTA, FE (never had to try a battle twice)
Modified/Intentional Difficulty (NonPL or Speedrun or, in the case of FE, a no-loss-all-character run)
FE (no loss), MK (Speed), FFT (Speed/LLG), SF (Speed (normal?)), FFTA (LLG), D1 (max-end, speed, PL), D2 (max-end, Speed), LP (speed, but not really... this run in particular may be my fault, but that's not the point),
D1, MK, FFT=SF=SN, FFTA, D2, LP
Length of Play:
D1, SN, D2, LP, FFT, FE, FFTA, SF
Also, I know I lean toward NIS games, but I've always had an affinity for them. I'll still put SF and FFT above them for numerous reasons, including # of replays of each (6 and 21 respectively) as well as comparing them to current tech based on release date.
If you see any discrepancy or any contradictions, I'll be happy to make up my mind on way or the other.
Also, I'm tired, so please ignore any grammar/spelling errors if there are any ^_^