RPG's for the SNES?
December 27, 2008 5:36 AM   Subscribe

I loved Legend of Zelda on the SNES. I loved Secret of Mana on the SNES. What other RPG's for the SNES might I like?

I like: getting power ups, new weapons (especially magic), a nice long game/quest to go on.

I dislike: games where it isn't obvious what you need to do next & war type games that involve lots of battling and little questing.

Any ideas?
posted by Solomon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (31 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Final Fantasy 2 (IV) and 3 (VI) were pretty awesome. A bit more RPG and a little less action RPG, but incredible games.

Chrono Trigger is fantastic as well.
posted by knowles at 6:00 AM on December 27, 2008 [5 favorites]

Seiken Densetsu 3/ Secret of Mana 2 was fully translated to english by fans. I've only played it briefly but it might interest you.
posted by PowerCat at 6:05 AM on December 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

You can't get any better than Chrono Trigger. I also liked Breath of Fire...Four? Maybe? Maybe two? I can't remember.
posted by lizzicide at 6:18 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is similar to these games, and is quite good.
posted by ellF at 6:23 AM on December 27, 2008

You might want to throw some time at EarthBound, too.
posted by knowles at 6:26 AM on December 27, 2008 [3 favorites]

It's hit or miss with a lot of RPGers, but Secret of Evermore sounds right up your alley. Others might recommend Illusion of Gaia; I never really got into it.
posted by themadjuggler at 6:38 AM on December 27, 2008

Seconding Seiken Densetsu 3/Secret of Mana 2. Also, Terranigma. Maybe Secret of Evermore, but I've never played it. Tales of Phantasia (another fan-translated one) has an interesting battle system that is pretty action-y.

Also, I wonder if the OP is looking for Action-RPGs/adventures/whatever you want to call "Zelda-style" games as opposed to the menu-based battle systems common to a lot of what got called RPGs on the Super Nintendo. In that case it should be noted that the Final Fantasy games, Earthbound, Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire games have those, however great they are. If the OP doesn't care if games have that menu-based system, then I'd recommend the Final Fantasy games, Earthbound and Chrono Trigger (haven't really played the Breath of Fire games).
posted by Gnatcho at 6:45 AM on December 27, 2008

Brain Lord - A bit like Zelda but as the name suggests, quite heavy on puzzles.
Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma are part of an unofficial trilogy-of-sorts that should be right up your alley.
Actraiser is in a vaguely similar vein to the games you like, but it's more like a platform game crossed with a light city-building sim and RPG elements thrown in for good measure. Do not bother with the sequel.
Super Mario RPG is at its heart a traditional turn-based RPG but it has enough platforming and action elements to keep the reflexes happy too.
And, as suggested, Chrono Trigger is always good.
posted by Monster_Zero at 7:04 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As Gnatcho points out, the two games you've highlighted are both non-menu-based games. So I'm going to break up my list by that criteria:

  • Chrono Trigger - In my opinion, the best RPG of all time. You're doing yourself a disservice to never play this game
  • Final Fantasy 3 (Released as FF6 in Japan) - More traditional than Chrono Trigger, but a great and moving story
  • Final Fantasy 2 (Released as FF4 in Japan) - Very traditional RPG, but a great story. This is probably the first place you'll want to go if you find yourself falling in love with menu-based
  • Super Mario RPG - An often overlooked classic. It's very reminiscent of Chrono Trigger, but more Mario-ey. This is definitely a menu-based game for people who don't like menu-based games.
  • Earthbound - Sort of a meta-game. Definitely very hardcore. If you haven't played a lot of these games, you may find it simply weird and not so much funny.
  • Breath of Fire - I remember this as very bland, but lots of people seemed to love it
  • Breath of Fire II - More lovingly made than the original. Still a little boring.
  • Secret of Evermore - This game is almost a clone of Secret of Mana. I'd go pick it up immediately.
  • Soul Blazer - A rather fun game, but has a few points where you're wondering around to every place you've been before to try to figure out what to do.
  • Illusion of Gaia - This is a good game, but it does sometimes suffer from the "What next?" syndrome.
  • Lagoon - I vaguely remember playing this one a long time ago, and not having any major dislike of it. (What a ringing endorsement.)

posted by TypographicalError at 7:20 AM on December 27, 2008 [3 favorites]

My Personal Favorites for SNES, and I consider them must plays:

Final Fantasy 3
Final Fantasy 2
Chrono Trigger
Secret of Mana

If you liked the more active-action style play of Mana I highly recommend Chrono Trigger, it's probably one of the best games ever made. The storylines of the Final Fantasies cannot be beat tho, and Kefka may be the best villain ever.
posted by OuttaHere at 7:21 AM on December 27, 2008

And Lo' He said unto them "Go forth and play Legend of Zelda Parallel Worlds"
And they did. And it was good.

Search the usual spots to get a pre-patched Rom for ease of use.

Also, Earthbound FTW.
posted by Jonsnews at 7:34 AM on December 27, 2008

Nthing Chrono Trigger. Hands down it's the best RPG on SNES, and arguably ever for any console.

Also, Nthing Super Mario RPG.
posted by mrhaydel at 7:40 AM on December 27, 2008

I also endorse the recommendations of Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger and Earthbound. SMRPG is a game that I get the urge to play through annually. Chrono Trigger is pure classic. Earthbound has been tedious in places for me, but the originality gives it a pass.
posted by speeb at 8:07 AM on December 27, 2008

I came here to say Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, the FF games, and Super Mario RPG as well.
posted by Nattie at 8:18 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh hey! I Just thought of a new one that hasn't been mentioned... maybe A Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. This is def in the realm of old-school Zelda, action style. Great story line, and you get the sword upgrades, good music, atmosphere. That was probably my favorite Zelda game.
posted by OuttaHere at 8:21 AM on December 27, 2008

I was always a huge fan of Shadowrun. I am not too in to RPG's, and I don't know if this is even considered one - but in my mind it was, and I loved it.
posted by Brettus at 8:26 AM on December 27, 2008

Definitely check out Secret of Evermore. Its battles are similar to Zelda, and there are lots of magic spells. It's also funny.

And yes, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI (3) are wonderful.
posted by jalexc at 8:28 AM on December 27, 2008

Chrono Trigger is indeed one of the all-time greats.

I'm personally a big fan of EarthBound as well, but as TypographicalError says, it's more enjoyable when you can pick up on the parodic elements.
posted by danb at 8:37 AM on December 27, 2008

There's a little game, you may have heard of it, called Chrono Trigger. It's awesome.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 8:53 AM on December 27, 2008

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is similar to these games, and is quite good.

I'd actually like to refute that statement. Mystic Quest was pretty abysmal when I played it, and I was the demographic they were aiming for--an eight year old.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:01 AM on December 27, 2008

Earthbound is my personal all-time favorite.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 9:35 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

I just wanted to say that I loved Super Mario RPG too.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:09 AM on December 27, 2008

It sounds like you want action-RPGs, as opposed to traditional RPGs like people are suggesting. I would recommend, as other haves, Soul Blazer and Terranigma. I thought Illusion of Gaia was terrible, but it seems it has a fairly large following. Go figure. You can try it, though.

I'd give Secret of Evermore a chance, too. It seems a lot of people hate it because it's not Secret of Mana. If you're not one of those close minded, Japanophiles, then you might like it.
posted by Dreamcast at 11:03 AM on December 27, 2008

Don't forget that Chrono Trigger just hit the DS. They did an excellent job on the port, so if you wanted to take it on the run, you can.

seriously if you have not played this game before you need to

Oh hey! I Just thought of a new one that hasn't been mentioned... maybe A Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past.

The reason it has not been mentioned is because it was in the original question.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:41 AM on December 27, 2008

I'm currently playing Chrono Trigger (just starting the second time travel area), and am having trouble getting as into it as I did into Final Fantasy VI... although I do appreciate that the battles aren't quite so random, continuous and unavoidable. But IMHO, FF VI has better story and music than any game I've played before or since.
posted by gsteff at 12:52 PM on December 27, 2008

Tales of Fantasia has quite a lot of random battling/grinding, but it really is an excellent, excellent snes/famicom rpg. That release didn't come in English (although the port to GBA did), but if you're running through emulator, DeJap did a translation patch.

It features actiony type battles instead of turn-based and it's the first snes/famicom to have streamed voice bits.
posted by juv3nal at 1:15 PM on December 27, 2008

Oh also, ditto-ing super mario rpg. It's very good too.
posted by juv3nal at 1:16 PM on December 27, 2008

i'm a huge fan of rpg with turn bases command battle systems, but have also negotiated my way through my share of button jammers.

ditto on all the final fantasy titles (turned based) - i loved 7, 8 and i'm playing through final fantasy xii (12) again which has a different kind of battle system that takes a bit getting used to but pretty fantastic. FFx & x2 were a bit lacking as they were so very linear and repetative. ff7 is the game i think that pretty much blew open the rpg genre for a larger audience here in the USA, although i'm sure many a gamer would declare they'd be playing these kinds of games longer. graphics are by today's standards similar to blown up GBA quality, but the story is engrossing and i remember taking my fair shard of days off to play it. there's widely differing opinions on ff8, but i happened to lurve the game and in particular the additions like the continuing mini-game card game. i'd argue that anything numbered lower than ff7 is going to slightly disappoint graphic-wise but what you get there is more than made up for in rich storyline (even with the reworked games for the gameboy).

i'd also endorse finding a copy of vagrant story which was infinitely fascinating, challenging and had a pretty innovative turn based battle system of its own. i wish square had continued to develop this kindo of detailed turn based system. the graphics were stylized and pretty great too.

as for button mashers - i started the series mostly because of the final fantasy tie-in but really found myself enjoying the kingdom hearts 1 & 2. graphics and voices are great, story is fun and fun to play. i would even recommend the 1.2 gameboy edition (chain of memories). there was a lot to laugh through in these titles.

other gameboy games that i enjoyed included the two golden sun titles (golden sun & lost age). i bought these used but found them really engaging turn-based with many plus puzzles to solve.

chrono cross and chrono trigger - are games that people swear by, i found chrono trigger to be fun (ds version) but graphics were ehhh (then again, i played the ds version so it probably suffered). gameplay was good but this was not my favorite game.

the last few years i've been leveling on world of warcraft, which is fun, challenging, and has it's moments. that being said, the constant open-ended manner of the game as it's clearly designed to be often gets repetative and you must rely upon others to help your game along with instances/dungeons. it's also frustrating that i'm continually pawned no matter my level or gear by 12 year old wiz players who have a mindmeld cyborg relationship with the game causing them to be completely indestructable.

if you're looking for a different kind of flavor with a storyline of options and no-stress playing, i'd highly recommend checking out rune factory. it's definitely a bit different from what you're asking here, but i was amazed at how much i liked it. sure, farming doesn't sound like hilarious hours spent, but there's a lot of cave crawling, item creation and a nice storyline to help it along. i'd liken it to rpg-lite but am amazed at how many hours i can put into this game and not get bored.
posted by eatdonuts at 4:33 PM on December 27, 2008

>> I also endorse the recommendations of Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger and Earthbound


And Secret of Evermore

(I loved LoZ).
posted by zeek321 at 5:53 PM on December 27, 2008

You should totally check out the Zelda games that Nintendo put out for the Game boy and GBA. They were in many ways the successors to the SNES game.
posted by delmoi at 3:54 AM on December 28, 2008

This thread just reinforces that as far as consoles go the SNES was as good as it gets. No other console can touch the number of classics that have been on this system.

My recs:

FF4(2),FF6(3), Earthbound (best in my opinion), Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana 2), Soul Blazer, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Evermore
posted by zennoshinjou at 8:20 AM on December 30, 2008

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