Why Chrono Trigger is one of the greatest games ever made

In fact, given its strong narrative, it's pretty easy to overlook the technical aspects that played a role in making Chrono Trigger so wonderful. Battles with enemies played out on the field map instead of via random encounters; the natural transition from exploration mode to a battle encounter and back again without any sort of jarring change was an exciting evolution within the genre. What's more, enemy sprites were animated during each battle, an astonishing feat that was no easy task thanks to the limited processing power of the Super Nintendo's hardware.

While these elements made Chrono Trigger's battles enjoyable to watch, they were also super engaging thanks to the game's tech system. This allowed characters to perform combo attacks, and each pair--and even some trios--had wholly unique combos that were immensely powerful. A character's potential combos could only be unlocked by participating in battle, and discovering new tech abilities became just as enjoyable as the battles themselves.

And we'd be remiss to not mention the game's incredible musical score. While Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame contributed to the game's soundtrack, Chrono Trigger was primarily scored by Yasunori Mitsuda, who, prior to the game's development, had been a sound programmer, not a composer. The game's soundtrack is widely regarded as one of the best in video game history; its battle theme is the kind of song that refuses to ever leave your brain, and its main theme perfectly parallels the epic tale of heroism, suffering, and triumph that Chrono Trigger's narrative conveys.

Thankfully, Chrono Trigger is easy to get a hold of nowadays. Though it was hard to find a copy of the game for years following its release, it has since been made available on just about every gaming platform there is, including the Nintendo DS, Nintendo Virtual Console, PlayStation Network, and some mobile devices. It's one of those few titles that every gamer should revisit every couple of years--and every time you do, you'll experience that same feeling of awe all over again. Chrono Trigger's legacy is monumental; it's not just one of the best JRPGs ever made--it's one of the greatest games ever conceived.

"Why _____ is one of the greatest games ever made" is a weekly feature that goes through GamesRadar's list of the 100 best games of all time and highlights different titles, explaining why they're on the list, what makes them so amazing, and why we love them so much.

Ryan Taljonick

Ryan was once the Executive Editor of GamesRadar, before moving into the world of games development. He worked as a Brand Manager at EA, and then at Bethesda Softworks, before moving to 2K. He briefly went back to EA and is now the Director of Global Marketing Strategy at 2K.