I’m going to speak up for FFXIV, which is the best Final Fantasy this decade, and does not star a boyband.
Here’s the caveats that anyone would give you. For the first… ooo, 50 hours or so it’s a competent, pretty MMO, with some good moments but uncertain writing. There’s no grinding per se, as the main story quest is explicitly designed to give you enough XP that you don’t have to do anything else to hit max level on your chosen class for the entire thing.
Get to the Heavensward expansion (which is itself part of the free trial) and you’re rolling. From here the quality of the writing goes up a lot. The story is really good, the writers have found their form and know their characters. The music also goes from good to great- some of the raids and dungeons are worth it for the music alone. You class now has enough skills, and fights have enough varied mechanics that combat becomes engrossing and challenging.
The quality of the writing doesn’t let up. The expansion Stormblood is generally held to be the weakest of the three expansions at merely very good. Shadowbringers, though, is legitimately great, great writing, and that whole expansion pays off the plot, world building and character development in triumphant fashion. At this point, I think Soken, the lead composer, might be the best in gaming. He’s right up there for sure.
It is an MMO, and I know that’s a turn off for a lot of people. Moreover, it forces you to do dungeons and big boss fights with other people. I found these to be smooth and drama free. There’s a solid automatic party finder so you don’t have to talk to people, and players tend strongly to being helpful and patient. I generally checked a guide before going in so I had a sense of the main mechanics of a given fight, and that helped, but I screw up all the time and it’s been fine. But if you’re dead set against other folk in your game it won’t be your thing.