Though it was the third in a series of NES remakes, Dragon Warrior III (which was the US name for Dragon Quest until 2005) was hardly a down and dirty port. DWIII is arguably the most popular games in the series, which made Enix go the extra mile when adding stuff like new collectibles, side-quests, mini-games and not one but two extensive post-game dungeons. You’d literally have to play at least 150 hours to see everything. However, even if you stripped that all away, you’d still have a game that was the pinnacle of 8-bit RPGs.
Though the story follows the usual “destined hero must destroy ultimate evil,” it takes some really interesting turns, biggest of all being its twist ending. This second sequel, which seems completely unrelated to the previous two Dragon Warrior games, is revealed as a prequel late in the adventure. The story takes a back seat for a good reason though, as DWIII introduced the series’ stellar job system, where the hero and their teammates leveled up in their skills (like thief, fighter, mage etc) along the way, with mastery of a new job making random encounters all the more worthwhile. DWIII was a great introduction to what made the series so popular and is perhaps the best straightforward RPG on the handheld.