@mjpilon I played Chrono Trigger after the fact, although not quite as after the fact as playing it in 2012, and I am inclined to agree. My first exposure to the game was via the PSX version that came out with Final Fantasy IV. I’m told it’s a piece of shit and has terrible loading times, but I didn’t notice since I didn’t play the SNES version.

At any rate, I agree that there is a lot to like. The combination attacks are done very well, and I feel like the whole “avoiding a fight by seeing enemies on the map” thing is just now getting the respect that it deserves. (Super Mario RPG did this as well, so you seem to have chosen well with your forays in to JRPGs.)

Depending on what you liked about Chrono Trigger, I’m happy to offer a few recommendations. If the idea of combo attacks appealed to you, I would recommend Phantasy Star IV. It’s widely regarded as among the best 16 Bit RPGs, and it’s probably the only one that cracks the upper echelons and came out on the Genesis. I view it as the culmination of everything that was great about JRPGs of that era, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a devout worshiper of the first four Phantasy Star games. It gives you an interesting cast of characters, just like Chrono Trigger, but unlike Chrono Trigger you don’t have quite as much choice in who you use throughout the game. Though, this does change towards the end. The only downside I can point to, at least in terms of your post, is that you will probably forced to grind levels in a few places. It’s not as brutal of a grind as something like the original Phantasy Star or Phantasy Star II, but there are definitely some places where you won’t be able to afford new equipment without walking around in circles for an hour or two. It is, however, a pretty dope combination of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and I can recommend it for that alone.

If you haven’t played it yet, Final Fantasy VI offers an almost overwhelmingly large number of characters to choose from, and the second half of the game is basically “go wherever you want, find adventure, make friends and influence people.” It’s probably the most open-world of all the FF games, if that appeals to you at all. FFVI is also generally considered the highpoint of JRPGs on the SNES (though some people would probably argue Chrono Trigger.)

If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, there have been slim pickings for console RPGs this generation. Lost Odyssey is the only one I can point to and say that it’s worth playing, but it’s very much a traditional JRPG wrapped up in a pretty package. It does have very cool stories, though.

Final Fantasy XIII has an extremely gratifying battle system, but a lot of people hate it, and the battle system doesn’t open up to its full potential for a long, long time.