Chrono Trigger: Legendary SNES RPG is Still An All-Time Classic

Chrono Trigger on the Super Nintendo
Tiggered?

It feels about time to honour the legendary Chrono Trigger (1995), a much-lauded SNES RPG from Squaresoft that many industry sorts consider one of the best games ever. Some would even go as far to say this is the best RPG, if not best game, of all-time. And that’s one heck of a bold statement! Let’s see why everyone is so excited.

Chrono Trigger

Although the title didn’t feature on the SNES Classic Mini, for some insane reason, it’s nonetheless available on iOS and Steam these days.

The latter versions have drawn much criticism from some gamers who are unhappy with the graphical upgrade and formatting – whatever, we’ve had no issue at all with the Steam edition and it’s wonderful to just have access to this thing.

Back in 1995, Squaresoft was an industry behemoth that could do no wrong. It even followed up Chrono Trigger with the almighty Final Fantasy VII (1997) for the PlayStation. But whilst still affiliated with Nintendo in the late ’80s to mid-’90s, the developer arguably had its finest creative run.

An incredibly ambitious RPG, Chrono Trigger merges complex storytelling and character arcs with, for the time, a revolutionary combat system. Complementing this was a vibrant sprite graphics scheme and a proper belting soundtrack. It’s all classically immersive.

The plot sees you star as Crono, a wavy-haired dude living in 1000 AD. When his friend Marle is sucked into a time travel portal, his life then descends into a quest to recover her and save the universe.

And over 20 years later, it’s still a sensational gaming experience. But why does it stand out so much? Many gamers cite the story, which is quite enthralling and a shining example of how to deliver a winning video game narrative. So many developers screw that side up even to this day, it’s untrue.

Well, the nature of the project is the stuff of legend – Squaresoft’s assembly of a dream creative team already famous in the 16-bit era. The idea was to deliver an epic project and, yep, they delivered.

The focus on time travel as a plot device (and how it influences moments late in the game) and the real-time combat system were revolutionary. The latter ensures teamwork is essential and you can really get some intense battles going.

But the title also introduced the New Game+ option many developers still turn to. This is where you complete the game, but get the chance to launch straight back into the adventure with all of your power-ups and skills. So, you complete the title again – at greater speed as you’re now ultra-powerful – and get to see the various different endings.

It’s a game about story. The engrossing plot is what keeps players talking about it – the game is so complex and multilayered. A fascinatingly intricate title. It’s really astonishing this was a SNES game, but it goes to show the absolute creative high developers of the SNES-era were on.

And it’s no wonder so many gamers still believe the SNES to be the best games console of them all.

Want further proof? Well, we only scratched at the surface of this fantastic game. But you check out the Well Red Mage’s extensive – if not definitive – review of Chrono Trigger.

For him, it’s the greatest game of all time. For us… it’s one of the greatest games of all time. A total masterpiece, no less, and one that each new gaming generation really needs to try the Hell out.

And if you want to play it? Well, you can hunt down an old SNES copy. Or you can get it on Steam or even you iPhone.

25 comments

  1. FRICKIN YESSSSS!

    I’ve playtested this throughout my life. I’ve playtested it on people who didn’t grow up with the SNES, whether that’s because they were with Sega or they weren’t even born yet, and I have yet to find someone who hates it. GOAT.

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  2. Chrono Trigger does remind me of Citizen Kane insofar that it’s uncontroversial to declare it the greatest game ever made. Though I feel quite a few games edge it out, there’s no denying that it’s one of the greatest games of the nineties. It was arguably gaming’s first true masterpiece, and really set the bar high for the medium as a whole.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh it’s right up there, no denying it. But that SNES era was astonishing – Super Metroid (which I consider close to perfect) and Chrono Trigger in quick succession. Plus, Earthworm Jim 2, let us not forget. Groovy!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You go for it, Canadian human female. It’s deffo one for you. Despite its critical acclaim, it’s not usually the SNES game most people refer to – that’s usually A Link to the Past or whatnot.

      But, whatever, that’s an ORDER you can to get this, comrade.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d seen this post back in January and when there was a Square Enix sale on Steam I decided to pick the game up & review it — one of my all-time favorite JRPGS, no doubt. Thanks for the recommendation (and sorry for the necro-comment on this post).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agreed there. Although there’s a lot of criticism about the Steam port, for some reason. I didn’t have any issues with it!

      That’s far from a necro-comment, I’m also delighted when someone returns to one of my old posts!

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      • From what I read it had plenty of issues at launch that have since been addressed. Only thing I stumbled upon was it crashing if I pressed too many buttons too quickly on the gamepad.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I’ll get to Secret of Mana eventually, I decided early this year to go through several of the jRPGs I’ve always wanted to and have been doing so regularly since then. Some lesser-known ones, like Trails in the Sky and Ys, really surprised me.

            I don’t know Secret of Mana, but it makes sense for a turn-based game like Chrono Trigger to run well on a phone. Sounds nice having it on the go, too.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Absolutely – can’t argue with classics on the go. FFVII is out on the Switch soon, so I’m really looking forward to that.

              It’s just a shame Chrono Trigger didn’t make it to the SNES Mini. Although Secret of Mana is on there. It’s not quite as strong as Chrono, but still well worth a go.

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