If you like the Dragon Quest formula more, the older games are probably where I recommend looking. You mentioned you had played 3 - which means you either played this game:Awesome, thank you. I can deal with the slow battles and since i can look forward to having a more consistent party i will power through it. Side note, what FF games would you recommend for someone who's spent a lot more time with DQ than FF?
or this game:
Which one was it? Did you like it?
The closest Final Fantasy games to the Dragon Quest formula would either be the first game (NES) or Final Fantasy V (SNES). Final Fantasy V is known for having an amazing class system that has had a huge impact on most JRPGs since. If you did indeed play 3 (NES or DS remake) then the class system is essentially an evolution of that. It's also a huge inspiration behind 11 and 14's (MMO) class systems. It's also a game where you practically start the game with four party members, and keep them throughout the game. Final Fantasy V definitely has it's own quirks, but it sounds like it might be right up your alley. The "modern" version (available on Steam and phones) has some questionable graphical choices but overall the core gameplay loop as well as the story is still intact.
Moving forward slightly Final Fantasy X I consider to be a great entry in the series that has an interesting story, voiced dialog, turn-based combat, and a fun skill / class / leveling system. The remaster on modern consoles does a pretty good job of making the game not look like a PS2 title, and it's been out for a while so it's cheap almost everywhere.
If you're looking for something more modern it gets a bit tougher, as after 10 the series turned into either MMO (11, 14) titles or AAA cutscene games (13, 15, and to a lesser extent 12). The spin-off World of Final Fantasy somewhat fits the mold of the older games, but it's got really cringey dialog and a psuedo-Pokemon monster-catching aspect that a lot of people don't care much for. Not that any of these games are bad, I love them all for their own reasons, they're just hard to recommend to someone as RPG games because they're all so wildly different. It's really going to depend on your tastes.