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Thread: Classic NES/SNES RPGs

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    Default Classic NES/SNES RPGs

    I am fairly new to the genre as when I became interested in retro gaming a few years ago I started with side-scrollers, and shmups, and other games I first wanted to try. Now that I am devoted to retro gaming and have a solid collection I want to try some RPGs. Also I have suddenly become very fond of the genre, so I ask what are sme classic or very fun NES/SNES RPGs to try out? I don't care if they're expensive because in addition to my SNES and NES I have a PSP with SNES and NES emulators and I feel that RPGs are good for car rides and I can play the expensive ones on my PSP without having to shell out a great deal of money for rare ones. I also obviously want to buy some for the real hardware. Please give some suggestions for me to get started!

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    Im a Dragon Warrior whore, so im going to have to go with those =)

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    Now, I'm a bit of a layman (RPGs have never really been my 'thing') but I'm willing to bet these are the gold standard

    NES
    Dragon Warrior
    Final Fantasy
    Ultima 3: Exile

    SNES
    Final Fantasy 3
    Chrono Trigger
    Earthbound
    Breath of Fire
    Lufia & the Fortress of Doom
    Super Mario RPG
    Orge Battle


    If you're into 'Action/RPGs'...
    The Secret of Mana (SNES)
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    Chrono Trigger & Earthbound for the SNES. There's a reason Earthbound is ridiculous high. For the NES, love the first two Zeldas.

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    A lot of the great ones have been names... but heres a few that I haven't seen mentioned yet.

    NES: Crystalis (maybe the best on the NES imo), Tombs & Treasures, Faxanadu (both recommended by me, especially Faxanadu)... also games like Shadowgate, Deja Vu, Maniac Mansion, and the Uninvited if you like point and click style games

    SNES: Illusions if Gaia, Secret of Evermore, Shadowrun

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimaweapon View Post
    Chrono Trigger & Earthbound for the SNES. There's a reason Earthbound is ridiculous high. For the NES, love the first two Zeldas.
    Yes, because of Smash Bros. Earthbound is crap.

    My recommendations:

    NES:

    Final Fantasy
    Dragon Warrior
    Crystalis
    Battle of Olympus

    SNES:

    Final Fantasy IV, V, & VI
    Secret of Mana & Seiken Densetsu 3
    Secret of Evermore
    Illusion of Gaia & Terranigma
    Breath of Fire & especially BoF II

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    The original Dragon Warrior is downright archaic. Every action in that game except simply moving has to be done through the tedious menu. Want to talk, gotta open the menu. Want to open a chest? Menu. Want to open that door? Guess what... menu! Oh, stairs. Hey why am I not climbing them... Oh right... menu.

    Things aren't quite that insane on the rest of the NES DW's, fortunately, but unless you're really in it for the true retro experience, you're really better off playing the remake of the first game on GameBoy (or the SFC version with a translation patch).


    If you're not absolutely set on them being NES/SNES, the Phantasy Star series (1st game was Master System, rest were Genesis) are also very good. Yes, you can play them on the PSP too!

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    Earhbound is high due entirely to hype and predatory reselling that keeps tipping the scales higher and higher on that game.

    As far as NES/SNES RPGs worth it...
    NES: Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior 1 3 and 4 (2 is painful), and Ultima Exile
    SNES: Final Fantasy 2 and 3, Lufia II, and Breath of Fire 2, Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, and Earthbound isn't bad either just average.

    If you want to include action RPGs (action games with RPG elements)
    NES: Crystalis and Legend of Zelda
    SNES: Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore, Illusion of Gaia and Soul Blazer, Zelda a Link to the Past, and EVO Search for Eden

    I put the sequels to Lufia and Breath of Fire because the original ones just have so many annoying little problems that really feel downright annoying and rotten with 20years of age on them now they're really not that fun. The sequels took the good parts of those games, erased the bad, and crafted something really nice in both.

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    Okay so far I've figured final fantasy has to be a good franchise and Secret of evermore seems great. Someone mentioned fantasy star games for genesis which I tried on my psp and killed hours in a pretty long car ride so I thank them for that

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    Robotrek is a pretty good, underrated RPG. And I'm surprised no one mentioned another great action RPG: Actraiser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonMaster Sam View Post
    Robotrek is a pretty good, underrated RPG. And I'm surprised no one mentioned another great action RPG: Actraiser.
    Oh yea! I love Actraiser! I guess I never really considered it an rpg but now I see it is.

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    I'm a die hard Actraiser fan I just didn't recommend it as it's not an RPG. It was my first game purchase along with Gradius III back in 91 after pounding SMW for the 2 weeks after it launched or so getting 100% unlock on it. I used to play ActRaiser about once every year or two just for fun as it's a short run.

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    Default Other than Zelda

    I would go with Crystalis or Shadowgate.
    Dragon Warrior is also a great series.

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    I love how two different people called it "Ultima: Exile"

    It's Ultima: EXODUS. Get it right! [/nitpick]

    I like the first Might and Magic for the NES. Other than that, I think everyone's already named the good ones.

    ... although I had no problem with excessive menu usage in DW1...

    EDIT: Oh oh, another underrated classic: Legend of the Ghost Lion for NES. I've always heard people say good things about Inindo: Way of the Ninja for the SNES. And if you'll do translated roms, try the Ys games.
    Last edited by Edmond Dantes; 09-03-2012 at 04:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonMaster Sam View Post
    Robotrek is a pretty good, underrated RPG. And I'm surprised no one mentioned another great action RPG: Actraiser.
    There's actually quite a few hidden gems people don't know about:

    SNES
    Brainlord
    Paladin's Quest
    Soul Blazer
    Twisted Tales of Spike McFang
    Ys III
    Breath of Fire

    NES
    Destiny of the Emperor
    Willow
    Crystalis

    ....and not to mention the tons of repros translated RPGs translated from Japan.
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    For the NES I'd go mainly with Dragon Warrior III and IV. I didn't get to play too many RPGs for the NES era, but a lot of people are suggesting the Ultima ports for the NES. In a way those are nicer than the PC originals since they have better graphics but due to the interface I'd still suggest playing them on the PC if you ever try an Ultima game. And they are worth trying, especially Ultima IV, VI, and VII (I know you can get VI on the SNES and I think you can get the first part of VII on the SNES but I'm not sure about that one).

    For the Super NES, I agree with FF V and VI, Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, and Battle Ogre. I'd also suggest Dragon Quest V, but you'll have to play a translated ROM for that though I think it's worth it as I'm a huge DQ fan and think V is one of the best in the series along with VIII. I really do recommend playing Earthbound though I'll say this: what makes Earthbound a memorable game isn't it's gameplay but damn near everything else about it.

    Of course, whether or not that makes it a good game is debatable. But I will argue it is at least a wonderful experience.

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    I wouldn't say the NES is that great for true RPGs. As far as US releases go, there isn't a particularly huge selection, and most feel pretty archaic and clunky. I think the more modernized interfaces of the 16-bit era did a lot for RPGs. Now, if you're up for adventure games a la Zelda, NES is great, with stuff like Crystalis, Battle of Olympus, Faxanadu, Willow, The Goonies II, etc. etc.

    For SNES, I'd say the cream of the US crop would be Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and Lufia II. You can pass on the first Lufia as it's pretty generic and repetitive, but even if you want to give it a go, I still recommend going with Lufia II first as Lufia spoils the ending of Lufia II (Lufia II is a prequel), and it has more impact if you don't see the ending coming the second you start the game.

    If you don't mind short and breezy RPGs, try Arcana and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. There are also lots of good adventure games on SNES like Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore, Brain Lord, Illusion of Gaia, etc. Some consider these RPGs; I don't, but they're still worth recommending.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunstar Hero View Post
    Okay so far I've figured final fantasy has to be a good franchise and Secret of evermore seems great. Someone mentioned fantasy star games for genesis which I tried on my psp and killed hours in a pretty long car ride so I thank them for that
    You might want to look into the Shining Force games - they are a lot of fun if you like SRPGS. Also Seventh Saga for the SNES was very good (IMHO - most people seem to have no middle ground on this one - they either really like it or they really hate it.)
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    I'm a huge NES/SNES RPG fan, both consoles have some great RPGs and adventure games. here's my recommendations!

    NES
    The Legend of Zelda
    Zelda II: Adventure of Link
    Crystallis
    Star Tropics
    Final Fantasy 1

    SNES
    THe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    Chrono Trigger
    Final Fantasy II
    FInal Fantasy III
    Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
    Super Mario RPG
    Lufia 1
    Lufia 2
    Breath of Fire 1
    Breath of Fire 2
    E.V.O
    Secret of Mana
    Secret of Evermore
    Star Ocean (never released in america on the SNES but Star Ocean The First Departure for the PSP is a remake of it theres an english translation of the original SNES game floating around on the net)
    Tales of Phantasia (Never released in the US on the SNES i believe but it had tons of ports, I own the gba one and love it)
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    If you managed to track down and play PAL games on your SNES, you may want to check out Terranigma


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