What are your top 3 SNES RPG's?


Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2013
The SNES was an RPG machine in a way no other console has really ever matched. The JRPG genre has been in a slump in recent years, but on the SNES, they were the king of the ring. Many of the games from that era literally set the standards and future cliches of the genre. Action RPG's were in top form, even though they were still in a developmental phase.

So, which three are your favorite and why did you love them so much? Ports of SNES games that didn't come to your locale until sometime later count!

For me, the list is fairly easy!

Final Fantasy VI: The operatic approach to the game was both entertaining and a great way for music composer Nobuo Uematsu to really show off what he could do. The themes were wonderful and the story fit into the theme so perfectly! The characters and steampunk back drops were equally enjoyable with decent character development thorughout the two acts.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: The best action RPG of it's time, and a few say even the best Zelda game ever! This title set the standard mythology and game progression for virtually every Zelda game to come in one way or another. It was colorful and inviting, yet also dark and mysterious. The bosses were truly epic, sometimes filling the entire top of the screen and there was a palpable feeling that Hyrule was in a state of true emergency. Scenes like the attempt to rescue the poor flute boy who got stuck in the Dark World and the loss of the maidens to Aghanim's magic remain emotionally provacative even today.

Super Mario RPG: So much has been said about this masterpiece that I probably cannot say anything you haven't already heard. When an RPG powerhouse like Square gets ahold of treasure Nintendo franchises like SUper Mario Brothers and combines the best of both genres, you get one of the best games ever released for any console. It is sprawling and challenging. It refined RPG turn based game play and even added some unique elements like the ability to do double damage to an enemy if you hit the trigger at the right time during your turn. The music is enchanting and new characters seem to fit so well with the old, it's as though Geno and Mallow were always a part of the Mario story.
I've only played a small handful of RPGs from the SNES era and only currently own ONE but here they are:
1) Chrono Trigger (own this :p)
2) Link to the Past
3) Final Fantasy III

I never played Secret of Mana but I hear great things, nor have I ever played Earthbound. Both are on my radar as games to buy. :)
Secret of Mana is an amazing game. So is it's sequel, Seiken Densetsu III. To this day, I don't think there was ever an offical port of it with an English translation to any system but it was probably even better than Secret of Mana (Seiken Densetsu II).

Earthbound is required matterial for the SNES. It's a brilliant take of design asthetic. It's gameplay is actually pretty standard, the charm is definitely found in the way the world, music and characters are presented.
Super Mario RPG was actually my first RPG I ever played, so I was brand-new to the entire concept of an RPG. It was first experience with battle system, the idea of leveling up, the sidequests, and all the playable characters. I think that for being on the SNES, Super Mario RPG had awesome graphics, and the replay value was the best. I still wish that some of the characters from that game were playable in other Mario games. I spent so much time leveling up Geno and buying all of his best weapons, it would have been nice to select him in other games. He would have stomped everyone up in the Smash Bros. series!
I think the top 3 are A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy 2 and Final Fantasy 3. I don't think they made a Dragon Warrior for the SNES, but I would have liked to have seen one (maybe they did and I never knew about it). The RPG market has been in a serious slump. I think first person shooters are now dominating the market. Some MMOs are still running strong, but most of the consoles now don't have a vast wealth of RPGs. I will always have a special place in my heart for the NES and SNES RPGs.
There was a whole trilogy of Dragon Quest/Warrior games in Japan, plus a remake of 1+2.
crunchyg said:
There was a whole trilogy of Dragon Quest/Warrior games in Japan, plus a remake of 1+2.
Did these games ever make it to the states? I never saw them on the shelves. The only Dragon Warrior game I played outside the NES versions was on the PS1.
They were Japan-only, and the PSX games were basically Super Famicom ROMs thrown on a disc, which only added loading times.
1. Mario RPG
2. Chrono Trigger
3. ALttP (if it that counts as an RPG)
Gor me it will always be Final Fantasy 3, Chrono trigger and Scret of Mana. All 3 games had amazing storylines, and Chrono Trigger had really good graphics for the time period. But Final Fantasy will always be my favorite RPG of all time. The story was incredible and just when you think you beat the game, everything changes and a whole new story unravels. It blew me away when I was a kid.
I never could get into final fantasy. It just never appealed to me. I have no idea why. I love RPGs, it is just I didn't like FF.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, is my number 1 all time favorite game...ever. So, naturally, this game is number one on my list. Easily. Without question. Even tho, technically, it's an "action-rpg" and not a "traditional-rpg". But, it is "technically" an rpg, so I'll count it. Tho, if this was a "traditional rpg" list, I wouldn't count this game on the list, to be honest.

As for 2 and 3.. hmm...

Chrono Trigger has to be one of them. Can't have a SNES RPG list without Chrono Trigger. Great game

That said, there are some other titles that have to be in the mix for Top 3 as well. Having a hard time picking one. But it would have to be one of the following..

Breath of Fire 2
Final Fantasy 3
Harvest Moon
Secret of Mana
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Among other titles not listed. My top 2 have to be Zelda and Chrono Trigger. But for the 3rd spot.. Hmm. I don't know. Close your eyes and point, really. Tho, honestly, I'd probably have to say Super Mario RPG, mainly because I played that more than the others on the remaining list.

So yeah, ...

1.) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
2.) Chrono Trigger
3.) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Tho, that list may change at any time. Depending on how I'm feeling that particular day. But for now, I'll say this, officially.
Smokey said:
I've only played a small handful of RPGs from the SNES era and only currently own ONE but here they are:
1) Chrono Trigger (own this :p)
2) Link to the Past
3) Final Fantasy III
This guy nailed it. Of all of the RPG's I played on SNES (mostly via roms since I didn't get into RPG's until I was a big older and the SNES was outdated) those 3 were my absolute favorites. The only change I'd make to the order is Link to the Past is my favorite and still remains one of my favorite games ever

Finaly Fantasy III had a good story line and was a tough, so I enjoyed it as well. Chrono Trigger is probably the best pure RPG though. Massive world, multiple endings and overall it's a tough game to beat, particularly near the end. I regret not getting the genuine experience of Chrono Trigger on SNES, but I'm glad as I got older I got to play it because it is one of the best ever
That is a tough question. I played RPGs for the first time on SNES. My top 3 RPGs are:
1) Final Fantasy III: Best story and cast for a FF. You knew all the characters in depth. And Kefka was terrible, the greatest villain ever.
2) Chrono Trigger: The graphs were amazing for its time and it was quite original. Time travelling? Yes please.
3) Mario RPG: It was an easy game, but I loved playing as Bowser.
Hmm, Final Fantasy III/VI as said before.
Final Fantasy II/IV was great too..
Secret of Mana is fantastic and one of the best action-RPG systems ever created..
Why are people talking about Zelda as if it were an RPG?
Some people consider it a RPG which I've never been able to understand that. You have never seen that before?
The Secret of Evermore was an amazing game, it was time traveling with your dog, and your dog reflected the era you were in, so in the stone ages he was a giant wolf hound, in the future he was a robot dog. I never finished it, but it was an incredibly fun game.

Chrono Trigger was another amazing one, I think everyone has covered it here so good! lol

and of course Secret of Mana was awesome too, sweeping and grand.

But like everyone else, there are so many others that deserve a fair mention, Final Fantasy 3, Earthbound, Super Mario RPG (tons of fun, I wish they would revisit this on the newer consoles and make a sequel that we would all love to play) Now I want to fire up my SNES again!
As a huge Final Fantasy fan, I must say that the FF games on the SNES are awesome.
Since they are the only RPGs I've ever played on that console (except for Chrono Trigger) let's say this is my list:

1. Chrono Trigger
2. Final Fantasy III
3. Final Fantasy IV

My top three favourite SNES RPGs list is quite similar to many of the above lists:

1) Chrono Trigger (Which I would argue is perhaps the greatest RPG, period!)

2) Final Fantasy VI (Deceptively titled Final Fantasy III in North America.
This is my second favourite Final Fantasy game, after Final Fantasy Tactics.)

3) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (I initially thought that this was a fairly silly idea when it was first announced,
but was pleasantly surprised when I finally played it! It was refreshingly different from both other RPGs and other Mario games.)