The Definitive 50 SNES Games: #3 Chrono Trigger

Click here to view our list of the Definitive 50 SNES games. Links to each video and write-up are included.

Produced by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and written by Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, Chrono Trigger embodies the best aspects of the RPG genre, while simultaneously eschewing so much of what is wrong with it. This game includes so many smart evolutions in RPG design, that as a whole, it stands as a revolutionary step forward for the genre.

Crono took the fight to Lavos August 22, 1995. His game has since been released on the PS1, DS, and Wii Virtual Console. Chrono Trigger takes third place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games.

The brilliance of Chrono Trigger‘s design shines with some truly inspired gameplay choices. For one, enemy encounters are not random, foes can be seen on screen and dodged at the player’s discretion. Additionally, these battles move quickly as they take place right on the field of play, no need to load a separate battle screen.

Characters themselves can be built up through the standard means of experience points and improved equipment. They can also learn magic-like abilities called Techs. The Techs of the different characters can be combined in numerous different ways depending upon who you have in your party.

Another innovation to come from Chrono Trigger is the idea of New Game +. After completing the game, players can begin the adventure anew, but keep all of their experience and equipment, making for a much different second playthrough (or third, or fourth…).

New Game + meshes perfectly with the incredible 13 different endings of the game available. Players may challenge the final boss of the game at various points in the progression of the plot, and the ending will differ depending upon this choice. Of course, that means avid fans have about 13 excuses to replay the game.

Chrono Trigger tells the story of the young Crono from the year 1000, who together with his tech-savvy friend Lucca and princess Marle, journeys across the ages to take on the monsterous alien Lavos. They are joined by the advanced robot Robo, the noble squire Frog, cave-woman Ayla, and sorcerer Magus.

Chrono Trigger weaves a beautifully intricate tale which spans millions of years and numerous compelling settings. It combines this effort with some of the best role-playing gameplay ever constructed. Chrono Trigger has undoubtedly earned the high praise it often receives, and rightly stands to be remembered as one of the finest games ever made.

Check back next week for entry #2 on the Definitive 50 SNES games. And remember to check out our contest.