Fighting Its Way Into The #19 Position…
Chrono Trigger stands as one of the most identifiable and iconic JRPG games in history. This time-traveling RPG epic was created by Squaresoft (Now SQUARE ENIX) and initially released on the SNES in 1995. Its innovative gameplay and story earned it immediate critical and fan acclaim, and to this day it earns top rankings on numerous “Greatest of All Time” lists. On our list, it’s landing at a very respectable 19 out of 100.
Time after Time
In Chrono Trigger, Squaresoft forged one of the best and most ambitious games of its era. It had the same turn-based battle system that their flagship Final Fantasy series had popularized in the late 80s and early 90s, but it kept the entire battle in the same top-down format that the player used in the rest of the game. No change of perspective was needed here; you just got pure combat. But where they scrimped on gameplay in some areas, others were amplified.
Time travel was the real key to Chrono Trigger’s success. The player was allowed to travel from past, to future, and then back again. But the time travel wasn’t as big of an innovation as the fact that all of your actions in the past reflected further down that timeline. Time travel wasn’t the only innovative approach they took, however, allowing players to have up to 13 different endings depending on your choices throughout the game. “New Game+” also brought a new twist to the game, allowing you to keep all of your character progress and gear and play through the entire game again.
This game continues to receive critical acclaim not only because of its gameplay but also its music. Chrono Trigger has some of the most iconic music in any RPG, short of Final Fantasy. The music has become so popular and universally lauded (particularly in Japan), that it has been performed numerous times by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and the soundtrack even saw a re-release 2009.
This is typically where I talk about how this game failed in some way. The only bad thing I can say about Chrono Trigger is it has every RPG cliché possible crammed into one game, which is something Square has a tendency to do. But even with such a minimal “failing,” this game stands head and shoulders over most, if not all, JRPGs. For this reason The Newbiverse gives Chrono Trigger a 5 out of 5.