ANY of the Bioware games, really, from Baldur's Gate all the way up to Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Not so much building in those, though, and Mass Effect has a lot of shooting.
X3: Terran Conflict. Play as a trader and build some massive factory complexes. Maybe even complete the HUB quest. (Don't bother with the "gold box". The X games are hundreds of hours long. If you like the game, there will be plenty of time to wait for another sale before getting an earlier game in the series.) Not so much talking to people in that one, though.
The only game I know that's gotten close to Final Fantasy 7's story would be Planescape: Torment. It's a mighty old game but you can get it on GOG for cheap.
Minecraft is certainly one heck of a builder game.
MMOs are great for chatting with people but the only thing you'll build up is your character and you'll likely do it via unending battle.
Have you ever played a city building type game? Tropico 4 might be something you like.
...the Law [of Fives] is: All phenomena are directly or indirectly related to the number five, and this relationship can always be demonstrated, given enough ingenuity on the part of the demonstrator.
--- Hagbard Celine in the Illuminati series