I’m also a new comer to the sport so to add to some peer insight to Raymond’s suggestion, I bought a hard tail. Out the gate, I wasn’t sure I would like mountain biking enough and thought I should get something on the lower end. I ended up with a Diamondback Line and I have to say I’ve had a ton of fun on it. I’ve since upgraded the drive train because the stock one dropped the chain constantly. I plan to continue riding it for a while before I go get a full suspension bike, and even then I’ll keep this one around I’m sure. Turns out I love this stuff but if I had it to do again, I probably would make the same choice, but gotten a better equipped hard tail to start with. I’m going to need a new fork soon, and I’d like to add a dropper seat post, and there’s no substitute to a good drivetrain.
The main advantage I have on my hard tail over my FS buddies is in the climbing. I often find myself at the top waiting for them, which means I get a longer break. I’m in Southern California’s high desert so I get the opportunity to climb. a lot.
Good luck with your decision.