On Twitter today, I posed the question – what is your favorite 16-bit RPG? I got many responses, but by far the most popular answers were Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy IV (in that order). Now, you could argue that these three games were the most popular responses because they were all flagship titles for the most popular RPG company at that time, but let’s take a look at some of the similarities that they share between them.
All three games had…
cutting-edge graphics (for the time).
easy-to-learn gameplay (standard RPG gameplay with maybe one or two special features).
variety in scenarios & locations.
I definitely think there’s a lot that modern RPG developers could learn from these timeless classics. Present your game attractively (both the visuals & the audio). Fill it with strong characters. Don’t waste the player’s time either with filler or with having to learn overly complicated systems. And finally, keep the situations and scenarios of the game interesting and varied from start to finish. Do all that and you’re well on your way to have a superb RPG.