5. Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI
Why it’s good for beginners: This is a good spot to jump into RPG gaming in general, but it’s a really great place to get on board the Final Fantasy series. It’s got great visuals for a SNES-era game and a story that moves along nicely without any monotonous or overly difficult moments. If you like Final Fantasy VI, continue on to Final Fantasy VII as well. It’s also an incredible game, even though the blocky polygon graphics don’t really hold up these days.
How to play it: It’s available for iPhone and Android, but like most mobile ports, it’s not a great version of the game. The best way to get it would be to download it from the PlayStation Network for the PS3 or for the Virtual Console on the Wii.
6. Super Mario
Why it’s good for beginners: Super Mario RPG tricks you by skinning a traditional role-playing game from a company like Square (who also produce the Final Fantasy series) with characters and settings from the Mario franchise.
How to play it: Other than dusting off your old SNES, the only way to get your hands on Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is on the Virtual Console on Wii.
Why it’s good for beginners: All the games of this list are here because they’re really easy to understand and to just pick up and start playing, but the Pokémon games are by far the most accessible. They’re aimed at slightly younger audiences, so don’t expect a gripping story or anything, but there’s something about collecting animals and then making them fight each other that is really addictive.
How to play it: If you’re a purist, you’ll find an old Game Boy and Pokémon Red or Blue cartridge and start there. If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, the recent remakes of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are very fun.
8. Skies of Arcadia
Skies of Arcadia
Why it’s good for beginners: The story isn’t going to be all that appealing for newcomers to the genre, since it’s the sort of run-of-the-mill adventure quest to save the world that you see in every JRPG (although it does have a steampunk flair, which is something little different, I guess.) The nice part is that it’s a stand-alone experience (as opposed to a single game in a long series) with really fun and intuitive gameplay. It’s also really great at rewarding players regularly, which will keep most players interested right up until the very end.
How to play it: This one is kind of a challenge. You could always find an old Dreamcast and an original copy of the game on eBay, but that’s a lot of work. There was a remake released for GameCube as Skies of Arcadia Legends, but even that may be a little tough to get your hands on.