8. Final Fantasy VI (1994)
When Final Fantasy VII emerged on the PlayStation in 1997, it finally shattered the image held by Japanese developers that J-RPGs could not be successful in the west, particularly in the PAL region. Whilst there is much to be thankful to FF7 for, far too few gamers in Europe will have had the privilege of exploring the roots of the series and just how big of a deal it was for Nintendo to lose this series to PlayStation down the road.
Final Fantasy VI was actually released as Final Fantasy III in the United States, continuing a long-standing and confusing naming convention that was thankfully severed after the universal global release of FF7. The story takes place in a world of heavy industry, ruled by an evil Imperialistic Empire. You can control one of 14 unique playable characters in a massive world split into continents. However, cataclysmic world events alter the state of the gamescape as you progress.
Like all classic FF games, combat is menu driven and turn-based, which has not always leant itself to Western audiences, although the hardcore RPG player will be right at home here. Without spoiling too much of the game for you, Final Fantasy VI is regarded as one of the most emotionally charged in the entire history of the series, and many of its fans regard this entry as its best. It is only fair that you are saved from further details to enjoy it to the full once the SNES Classic Mini is released, but if you love classic SquareSoft RPGs, you’ll simply love this.