Zachariah is a gaming enthusiast who has played many RPG games on the SNES.
Here's a list of 10 RPG games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. These are my top 10 favorite RPG games which I believe to be the best. Many people will not agree with me on this list but that's to be expected. When making this list I took in many factors: playability, graphics, originality, difficulty, personal taste, and the memories I have attached to the game. When a game means something to a person, it tends to be more important. I could have easily made this a top 20 or even 25 list. There are tons of awesome SNES RPG games but I decided to go with the classic 10. If you haven't played a game on this list, I strongly suggest you do. Especially if you're an RPG fan or classic gaming fan.
10. Secret of Evermore
The Secret of Evermore holds the ten spot on my list. I've talked to a few people who think this game shouldn't even be on a top ten list. I don't understand why. I played this game for the first time when I was already a teenager. I loved it. The games about a boy and his dog who are messing around in a crazy scientist's mansion. They accidentally get transported to another world where they have to fight their way through monsters and other baddies to find their way back home. It featured an Alchemy system, allowing you to find new recipes to earn new spells. The live-action battles were cool and you could switch between dog and boy. The graphics were pretty damn sweet for that time period and the gameplay is fun. In fact, I just finished this game again last week. I played it on my tablet using a SNES emulator.
9. Breath of Fire
Coming in at number nine is Breath of Fire. This game was developed by Capcom and licensed by Squaresoft. Let me tell you, I have put many hours into this game. It's totally fun. The story starts after a civil war between Light and Dark Dragon clans. Ryu, the hero finds his home set on fire by the Dark Dragons and vows revenge. First, he must become stronger in order to defeat his powerful enemies. He does this by gaining allies and Dragon Powers. Dragon Powers are freagin' sweet and I spent much time trying to get them all. It's a turn base RPG with some alright graphics, a pretty cool soundtrack and definite re-playability.
8. Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
At number eight, brought to you by Neverland, is Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. Another awesome RPG game for the classic SNES. This RPG has some pretty cool puzzle element s that add to the fun and difficulty of the gameplay. Certain dungeons require certain objects to progress through the dungeon. Not as advanced as other RPG games but definitely one of my favorites. The soundtrack is pretty cool for a SNES and the graphics are also good. The enemy sprites in fight scenes look very decent. The storyline is good and is centered around Maxim, an excellent swordsman hell-bent on destroying superhumans known as Sinistrals. You can have multiple party members, up to four. You can control each party member but you can also get pet-like creatures that are computer-controlled. Allowing you to effectively have five in your party. There's also a dungeon with 99 randomly generated levels. That alone is making this game worth a try.
7. Final Fantasy II
Alright, number seven..... It's Final Fantasy II! Released in Japan as Final Fantasy IV. This game was developed by Squaresoft and blessed the US in the year 1991. This game opened my eyes to awesome classic RPG games. I still play this game today and I'm currently in the middle of the many hours of gameplay Final Fantasy II has to offer (once again). The story in this game is complex and just plain awesome. You're a Dark Knight, a Paladin, you can play with Mages, Ninjas, Bards and all other kinds of classes. The world is huge and even includes going to the molten core of the Earth and also the moon. This is a must for RPG and Final Fantasy fans. Please, please, please if you have never played this game. Do it.
6. Illusion of Gaia
Illusion of Gaia is a unique game with an awesome score and characters created by the God Mother of manga herself, Moto Hagio. This game introduced a unique yet simple style to the RPG genre. There are only three playable characters and the attacks are basically melee with each character using a different weapon. All characters share the same health and defense points. Bosses can not be done twice and enemies disappear after defeat unless you completely exit a dungeon or area and come back or if Will loses all his lives. The game has no equipment or currency system. The only healing items are herbs. Even with these limitations, I truly enjoyed the game. The simplicity, I believe made it unique yet challenging. Some of my friends became frustrated with these points but I enjoyed it. The story begins with the main character, Will stumbling into a Dark Space and meeting Gaia. Gaia informs Will that he has been chosen and must leave his home to save the world from an approaching comet. I don't want to describe it much more to avoid spoilers but trust me, even though it seems simple and lacking in features, trust me, it's a great game to play.
5. Secret of Mana
You had to know this game would be in the top five. Secret Of Mana. What can I say? This game was freaking sweet! Awesome graphics, great sound and lots of innovation. Another live-action RPG game as opposed to turn-based. This game brought us the Adaptive Time Battle meter making it possible for awesome real-time action. It also introduces the Ring Command battle system allowing you to pause the action while making important battle decisions. Another awesome system in the game was multiplayer. This feature allowed other players to join in when they wanted and leave if they wanted, a great feature for when your friends come over to play. This game is just pure quality. The plot is very intriguing and has a great flow to it.
4. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Developed by Square and produced by Nintendo this game was released in 1996. The first role-playing game in the Mario series. In this RPG you're after Smithy. Smithy has stolen the seven stars and Mario must get them back so people can again receive their wishes. This game had some awesome 3D graphics and some pretty darn funny dialogue. Super Mario RPG features turn-based battles when encountering an enemy. Yet, much of the game is like a platformer with jumping and the ability to avoid battles that you deem unfit for your great powers. You start off in the game with only Mario but end up gaining 5 party members, 2 of which can be chosen to join in battles with you. I loved this game. It had Mario <3 in a freaking RPG adventure! The graphics were awesome, the colors were bright and the soundtrack was good. I still play this game today via emulation.
3. Chrono Trigger
At number three is the epic Chrono Trigger! Published by Square in 1995, this game was created with three awesome designers known as "The Dream Team". Hironobu Sakaguchi, of Final Fantasy fame, Yuji Horii known for his work in Dragon Quest and Akira Toriyama an artist famous for his work in Dragon Quest and the ever so awesome Dragonball. This game is like a fanboy's wet dream. The gameplay is much like other RPG's with a world map where you travel to other areas which may have other explorable areas within. One difference is the fact that Chrono Trigger's enemies are visible so you are not randomly thrust into a battle. I loved playing this game and I still love playing this game (like most of the RPG's on this list). The battles are fun but still challenging, the story is another great one and the graphics and character designs are amazing for a SNES. Play this game now!
2. Final Fantasy III (VI)
A role-playing landmark and one of the greatest games of all time. Final Fantasy III was released as Final Fantasy VI because Final Fantasy IV and V had not been released in North America yet. It's Final Fantasy, people. Arguably the best RPG series ever created and still running strong. Featuring yet another awesome plot, beautiful graphics, excellent gameplay and a sweet ass soundtrack, it's no wonder this is my number two. When my older brother first introduced me to this game, I watched him play it for hours. To this day I have completed this game four times and I am currently playing it right now via a SNES emulator. I know what you're thinking, "Number 2 and only 4 times!?" Give me a break, I didn't get introduced to this game until later on. This game is hard, but not nearly as hard as some of the earlier Final Fantasy games, giving you a challenge while not be "too" frustrating(...sometimes...) Still a classic and still awesome as ever.
1. Zelda: A Link to the Past
At number one, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, booooooom! The one and only Zelda game for SNES. A Link to the Past follows our favorite hero, Link on a journey to defeat Ganon, save Hyrule and rescue the Sages. In this one, they killed the side-scrolling bull crap that was implemented in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. By the way, I hated the side-scrolling so very much. Going back to the roots of a top-down 3/4 perspective, Zelda: A Link to the Past blew my freaking mind. The game introduced the parallel universe idea to the masses, which is still being used today. You got heart vials, Pegasus Boots, Spin Attack, Ocarina, Master Sword and arrows as ammo instead of depleting your precious Rupees. The replay value of this game is insane. If you're not (a cheater) following a guide step by step, you're going to find something new the second time around or even the third or fourth time. The graphics are clean, the sound is great and the story is, well, it's a Zelda story. Get more power, kill the bad guy and save Hyrule. One of the greatest games ever. I can't count how many times I've played this game.
© 2013 Zachariah Kaer
Kevin Mann from Canada on August 25, 2019:
There really was some great RPG games for the SNES
cursingbow on April 07, 2019:
I'm shocked to see earthbound not on the list
Gabe1972 on July 22, 2018:
Great list. 1 and 7 are my favorites. Playing both, presently, on my Raspberry Pi B 3+ with RetroPie.
Jean-Francois Cyr on February 09, 2018:
All these butthurt people crying a river lol.
Those comments are deliciously stupid
Eric Farmer from Rockford Illinois on December 10, 2017:
Chrono Trigger is one my favorite SNES games. I had a lot of fun beating the Nintendo DS version. Earthbound is another SNES favorite of mine.
Boom on October 16, 2017:
This is, basically, the answer to all these comments. Taken straight out of the very first paragraph.
”These are my top 10 favorite RPG games which I believe to be the best. Many people will not agree with me on this list but that's to be expected. When making this list I took in many factors :playability, graphics, originality, difficulty, personal taste and the memories I have attached to the game. When a game means something to a person, it tends to be more important”
Dev on October 16, 2017:
Wait, you didn't even list Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen?
AshyLarry on July 05, 2017:
I respect your ability to have an opinion, but it doesn't shock me this list is getting roasted. Zelda doesn't even classify as an RPG, and how the first BOF makes the list and the second doesn't goes WAY over my head. There's almost some unwritten rules to this topic, like CT is hands down the most agreed upon top RPG of the system. And where is Earth Bound? Star Ocean? Tales of Phantasia? Come on man, this looks like a 5 year old put it together . . .
ES on June 23, 2017:
Zachariah Kaer (author) from Ohio on June 14, 2017:
I would disagree. I believe it to be an action-RPG.
Michael Ryan on June 06, 2017:
I don't classify Zelda as an RPG. It does have RPG elements but it is mostly an action adventure game. While I see some good names here, I think Super Mario RPG is way overrated. It is pretty, and the graphics looked liked PS1 RPGS or game cube 3D graphic way but its plays like a platformer even if its turned based. I prefer 8 bit 16 bit or even 32 bit RPGs that play in the traditional sense and you should play JRPGs games that add significantly different layers to game play like Treasure of Rudras which lets you invent different casting spells or Strategic RPG like Front Mission that lets you upgrade your mecha, Super Robot Wars 3 that introduces all japanese popular mecha against aliens or Fire Emblem Seisen Non Keifu which lets you match people to create future generations of warriors or Bahamut Lagoon which lets you evolve dragons.. You should put in your list Tales of Phantasia, the grahics and the soundtrack is out of this world and it has a a good story and Star Ocean is amazing too. breath of fire 1 is great but breath of fire 2 is better. Dragon Warrior4,5 6 are also very entertaining. You definitely should put Earthbound, the storyline is very different and weird, you have to revisit your ranking. If you put Illusion of Gaia you should put Terranigma or Soulblazer. Also Uncharted Waters New Horizons is an RPG where you upgrade your boats and trade with other countries. Also Romancing Saga 3 is excellent.
denio on March 27, 2017:
Your comparison is like night and day. It's same as if someone would compare Mario vs Street Fighter. Although many of those games are RPG games, not all RPGs are same genre. There's huge difference . between turn based RPG games and real time action RPG games. Also Fire Emblem is turn based RPG but it would be unfair to compare it with Final Fantasy because except for turns they are completely different genres. Zelda II Adventure of Link was the only Zelda RPG game. Other Zelda games are just adventure.
Matt on December 17, 2016:
Illusion og Gaia is better than LTTP. It has a story. Character development. and better boss mechanics. IT is the same gameplay, but better presented. The story is top notch with its engaging characters and awesome soundtrack!
Paul on December 09, 2016:
Really good list, I agree with most of it, especially Zelda and FF3. I would put Earthbound in the top 10 for sure, probably instead of Evermore or Gaia.
Dethklok slayer on December 06, 2016:
top 3 chrono trigger, secret of mana (multiplayer rpg!! so awesome), and FF VI. secret of evermore is awesome too! glad it made it in your top 10, i feel its highly overlooked
N on November 04, 2016:
Zelda wasn't a brilliant game, nowhere near the quality of others on the list, and is in some senses more a quasi-rpg than anything else.
anomus on October 08, 2016:
i so agree
Dotorak on September 28, 2016:
Legend of Zelda? Do you even know what is a RPG?
drahcir on June 14, 2016:
I don't think that Zelda is usually considered an RPG. I'd say the top 3 are Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. But I haven't played Earthbound yet...
Scribbling Geek from Singapore on June 05, 2016:
Link to the Past is possibly the best Zelda game. (At least to me). But most Japanese players would vote for Chrono, I suspect.
DemonAlchemist on March 08, 2015:
A Link to the Past is not an RPG. It's a great topdown adventure game, but not an RPG.
orandze from Pittsburgh on October 08, 2014:
When I clicked onto this hub, I first expected to see Chrono Trigger at #1, but after doing some thinking I feel like the top three are pretty well tied, so your list is valid :)
Samuel Franklin on August 25, 2014:
Good to see Secret of Evermore and Breath of Fire, two games I got lots of hours from in my younger days!
Zachariah Kaer (author) from Ohio on November 08, 2013:
Sorry, I like it...but not as much as these :) I'm seriously thinking of changing Chrono to #1
Casey on October 01, 2013:
Justin Watkins from lakewood Washington on September 24, 2013:
Zachariah Kaer (author) from Ohio on September 20, 2013:
Justin Watkins from lakewood Washington on September 16, 2013:
Zachariah Kaer (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2013:
thanks for ur comment
Zachariah Kaer (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2013:
this is a top ten
Zachariah Kaer (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2013:
earthbound would be a 15 or 20.....
NESS on September 13, 2013:
no EARTHBOUND??!! you don't know anything about RPGs
Anthony Arsenault from Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 12, 2013: