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Top 5 SNES RPG Games

Updated on October 1, 2012

The Best SNES RPG Games

Some of the best RPGs ever were released many years ago, for the Super Nintendo system. I've compiled this list for those of you who want to try out some of the best of them. These are games with engrossing storylines and great gameplay, ones that will keep you entertained for hours. A lot of people think video games are always a waste of time, but some games really are worthwhile artistic experiences. I feel that these games fit into that category.

If you've never tried these games, you might be able to pick them up cheap at a local secondhand store or online, since they're pretty old by video game standards. (Then again, some of them now command a premium because of their collectible status.) If you're already familiar with these games, then I hope you'll get that good ol' nostalgic feeling when you read this list!

Also be sure to check out my Top 5 PC Strategy Games list!

SNES List Links!

Check out a few other people's lists of the best SNES RPGs!

My Video List of the Best SNES RPGs

The accompanying video for this page.

Seiken-Densetsu-3
Seiken-Densetsu-3

Number 5: Seiken Densetsu 3

This game was originally only available in Japanese, but an English translation was made by a gamer and released onto the Internet. This is a great game with action-oriented gameplay (as opposed to turn-based, like many of these RPGs). The story depends on which of the 6 characters you choose as your main character at the beginning of the game. No matter which character you choose though, the story revolves around saving the world by releasing the power of the eight Mana stones. I won't reveal any more of the story, in case you haven't played this one yet, but trust me, it's worth it.

Click here for gameplay video!

ff5
ff5

Number 4: Final Fantasy II

This installment in the Final Fantasy line, also known as FF5, is a classic SNES RPG. While it lacks some of the refinements of later titles in this series, it's still a great game. It was responsible for introducing many of the elements that are common in many RPGs today. This one was later re-released for the GBA, so you can pick up this title for either system.

Click here for gameplay video!

Also, check out this video list of top SNES RPGs!

ff6
ff6

Number 3: Final Fantasy III

Final Fantasy III probably has one of the best storylines in any game ever. You are first introduced to Terra, the last living human who can use magic. She is being hunted by the Empire. From these beginnings, an epic and often very moving story is spun. This game has some of the best graphics on the SNES, and some of the best music as well, featuring different themes for many characters. This game features a whopping 14 playable characters, every one of which is developed during the game.

Click here for gameplay video!

Be sure to check out my Top 5 PC Strategy Games list as well!

secret-of-mana-title-screen
secret-of-mana-title-screen

Number 2: Secret of Mana

This is another action-oriented title. The gameplay is fast-paced and very entertaining, and was one of the few that you can play multiplayer on. I loved the style and humor that were put into this game, not to mention the beautiful (for the time) graphics. Secret of Mana only has 3 playable characters, but each one has different strengths and weaknesses. And this is another game whose story is a really great adventure. It was really hard for me to choose not to put this one at the top of the list.

chrono trigger
chrono trigger

Number 1: Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is definitely my favorite SNES RPG. It has one of the sweetest characters ever in any game (Magus, of course) and features a moving storyline that includes time travel to various eras. This feature allows for various settings, from prehistoric to futuristic. Combat features combo attacks with 2 or even all 3 of your characters. Chrono Trigger is one of the most unique games I've ever played. And who doesn't love a game with a broadsword-wielding frog?

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    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 4 years ago

      SNES best console ever!

    • dennonlow lm profile image

      dennonlow lm 4 years ago

      I've played Chrono Trigger in my PC via an emulator and it was super fun!! Loved that game to bits!

    • sus1974 profile image

      sus1974 4 years ago

      Loved these games, especially Secret of Mana! I'll have to try out Seiken Densetsu 3 one of these days.

    • Arctides profile image

      Arctides 5 years ago

      I have to say, the edge I feel the Genesis lacked during the end of its lifecycle, was that it didn't have a great collection of RPGs like the SNES did.

    • GangstaHousewif1 profile image

      GangstaHousewif1 5 years ago

      Final Fantasy III hands down.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      EARHBOUND

    • biggking lm profile image

      biggking lm 5 years ago

      Seems legit

    • Starwrangler LM profile image

      Starwrangler LM 5 years ago

      Chrono Trigger was great, I got lost in that one for a while.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      That list is actually pretty difficult to call. Final Fantasy III is the only one on the list that won awards. I want to just do it like US News & World Report and do a three way tie for first between FFIII, SoM, and CT, haha.

    • dantownehall lm profile image
      Author

      dantownehall lm 5 years ago

      @ukimpro: I love Zelda too, but I don't really think it's an RPG, which is why it's not on this list. I would consider Zelda more of an adventure game.

    • joystickenvy lm profile image

      joystickenvy lm 5 years ago

      I loved my SNES RPG collection. FFIII was my favorite, but Chrono Trigger was a close second. Secret of Mana was great too and of course FFII, which was the first SNES rpg I played.

    • profile image

      prince_david 5 years ago

      Chrono Trigger is such an amazing game, probably my #1 too

    • ukimpro profile image

      ukimpro 5 years ago

      @Actiongames LM: yeah... wow, no Zelda?! I admit Chrono Trigger is awesome, but it's a tie between Zelda and Chrono for #1 on snes imo.

    • ben186422 profile image

      ben186422 6 years ago

      You forgot the mario rpg : O

    • Actiongames LM profile image

      Actiongames LM 6 years ago

      Not a bad list my friend but Zelda was my fav

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 6 years ago

      All great games, FFIII on snes is my favorite game of all time.

    • ShanRICK profile image

      ShanRICK 6 years ago

      OMG! This is awesome! This my exact favourite list in the same order!

      Chrono Trigger is definitely one of my favourite games of all time! XD

    • profile image

      bcarter 6 years ago

      I loved Chrono Trigger. I think it was a true leader in the RPG's and paved the way for many more great RPG's to come.

      Thanks for the trip down memory lane. You have been "blessed".

      B

    • profile image

      liebgott 6 years ago

      I am sooo glad to see Chrono Trigger as #1 on this list!

    • thedan1984 profile image

      thedan1984 6 years ago

      Your top list is very similar to mine. For me, it's FF3 (FF6), FF2 (FF4), Chrono Trigger, Zelda, Secret of Mana

    • thedan1984 profile image

      thedan1984 6 years ago

      Your top list is very similar to mine. For me, it's FF3 (FF6), FF2 (FF4), Chrono Trigger, Zelda, Secret of Mana

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks

    • hunksparrow profile image

      hunksparrow 6 years ago

      I love the Final Fantasy games but have never played Chrono Trigger. Thanks for the list.

    • george185 lm profile image

      george185 lm 6 years ago

      I never thought I wouldn't know one of the games but you got me with Seiken Densetsu 3. I agree that Chrono Trigger was a fantastic game, but my vote for number one goes to FF3.

    • CeleryStalker LM profile image

      CeleryStalker LM 6 years ago

      Your list is pretty much the same as mine would be ^^

    • dantownehall lm profile image
      Author

      dantownehall lm 7 years ago

      @retro-gamer: I loved Lufia and Super Mario RPG too, it was hard to whittle down the list to my top 5. Those were great years for RPG fans!

    • retro-gamer profile image

      Howard 7 years ago from Michigan

      Good list. Chrono Trigger is one of my fave's and may be my favorite. FF2,FF3, Super Mario RPG and Lufia are probably my top 5. Secret of Mana which you mentioned and Illusion of Gaia are some others that I liked for the SNES. I'm lensrolling you to my video game lenses and favoriting. Love old school gaming lenses.