19. The Zero Escape trilogy (Spike Chunsoft, 2009, 2011, 2016)
18. Phantasy Star IV: End of the Millennium (Sega, 1995)
* Both games came out in North America in 1995; However, Phantasy Star IV debuted in Japan in December 1993 while Chrono Trigger's Japanese release was in March of 1995. So my statement is correct!
17. Thief 2: The Metal Age (Looking Glass Studios, 2000)
16. Illusion of Gaia (Quintet, 1994)
Quintet is pretty much the definitive cult classic company from the Super Nintendo era, creating numerous titles that dared to tell stories driven by emotion and atmosphere in an era where games were still largely viewed as "fun diversions" more than anything. They got their start with the angelic-themed games Soulblazer and Actraiser, which had the player rebuilding the world after a catastrophe. Illusion of Gaia still carries on that theme, but now places a lot more emphasis on the narrative as well, with some well-developed characters and dialog turning what would otherwise be a fairly average adventure into a truly memorable experience. Of course, they didn't skimp on the game's design either, combining Zelda-styled puzzles with some surprisingly challenging boss battles, well-designed locales and clever mechanics throughout. And of course, no mention of Quintet can go without mentioning their soundtracks; absolutely incredible orchestral tracks that sound too good to be coming out of a system without CD audio. It may be largely forgotten today, but Illusion of Gaia remains one of my all-time favorites.
15. Grandia (Game Arts, 1999)
14. Simcity 2000 (Maxis, 1995)
A rare example of a Square game that I actually agree with general concensus on, because Chrono Trigger is good. Really, really good. One of the games that got me into JRPGs in general, to be honest. It broke away from earlier games in the genre in many ways, placing much more emphasis on scripted battles, controlling the battlefield with spells, and of course teamwork between allies to unleash combination attacks that could wreak havoc like no other. There was even a great story and mechanics that perfectly utilizes its time travel gimmick, as well as some stellar visuals and one of the greatest gaming soundtracks of all time. Chrono Trigger is a masterpiece in the RPG genre and a true must-play.
12. Fallout: New Vegas (Obsidian Entertainment, 2010)
11. Mega Man X2 (Capcom, 1995)