Table of Contents:
Best RPG

Dragon Warrior IV

Chances are that you've never owned a copy of Dragon Warrior IV. Released in the twilight years of the NES (1992 to be exact) with a hefty price tag, this splendid RPG was not produced in abundance. While many 8-Bit games can be had for a pittance in this modern age, copies of DWIV still command a steep price. What makes this forgotten classic so endearing? Well, of the four Dragon Warrior games on the console, it has the most advanced graphics, the most complex plot and the longest quest. A sophisticated interwoven narrative brings several characters' tales together, and a realistic day/night cycle greatly affects gameplay. DragonBall Z creator Akira Toriyama returns with new spiky-haired characters and lovable monsters, and series veteran Koichi Sugiyama provides an epic (by NES standards) musical score. Overall, it's the most advanced RPG on the system, and it raised the bar for videogame storylines in general. Dragon Warrior IV also has the distinction of being the final game in the series to reach U.S. shores. In Japan, the series (known as Dragon Quest) retained its popularity, and each successive game outsold its predecessor. Two further sequels were released on the Super Famicom (the Japanese Super Nintendo) and Dragon Quest VII recently became the best-selling Japanese PlayStation game of all-time. Luckily, it's more than likely that Enix will localize this latest chapter for the US market.

Runners up:

Final Fantasy

The first chapter in Square's flagship series took three long years to reach America, finally coming ashore in 1990. This lengthy voyage meant that both Final Fantasy II and III would remain untranslated for the NES, as Square had 16-Bit localizations to worry about. Final Fantasy still managed to impress gamers with its quality graphics, classic soundtrack, and enjoyable battle interface. What it lacks in character development it makes up for with customizability. You can breeze through the game with a party of four fighters, or if you're feeling lucky, struggle through with all mages. Fans of this game should definitely check out Final Fantasy IX on the PlayStation, as it includes a slew of references to this game, including the return of pointy hat-wearing black mages! 

Dragon Warrior III

Another classic RPG overlooked by American audiences, Dragon Warrior III is actually a prequel to the first game in the series. The story is basically standard fantasy fare, but the detailed character class system is the big draw here. You customize your party members' classes, choosing from soldiers, pilgrims, wizards and even goof-offs. This is also one of the first RPGs to include the passage of time, and certain tasks can only be completed at night. Overshadowed by its plot-heavy sequel, this game may seem minimalist when compared to modern role-playing games, but it still retains a certain simplistic charm and continues to be popular. A Super Famicom remake was immensely well-received, and a Game Boy Color version due in late 2000 will undoubtedly be a hit. 

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Speak Engrish
Besides being a pioneer in stuff like graphics and gameplay, the NES was also the first system to give us Engrish translations. Who can forget that tender moment in Final Fantasy when the game implored us "Come! Wash your face!" at a well? Or when a shopkeeper in Faxanadu chided us with "This is not enough Golds"? You didn't just win a match in Pro Wrestling--according to the game, "A winner is you!"

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