Best Famicom RPGs

A recent survey in Japan asked married couples to vote for the best Famicom RPGs they would like to have their children play. In order to get people from the right generation, the survey was limited to folks in their 30s and 40s, essentially the Famicom generation.

#3 Mother

According to the survey, 23.5% have been “spending more time with the family because of COVID-19.” With that said, that means people are playing more video games together as a family. The original 1989 Mother ranked #3 with 8.7% of the votes. Here are comments on what they liked about Mother:

  • “The quotes are great. It’s different from today’s RPGs, and it doesn’t take long to beat, so I’d like to have my kid sit right next to me and watch through it all.” (Male, 44-years-old)
  • Mother 2 and Mother 3 were great, but Mother 1 was complete. Even the official guidebook was high-quality.” (Male, 41-years-old)
  • “It’s like watching a whole movie. It’s my favorite RPG. I would certainly love to play it together with the kids.” (Male, 40-years-old)
#2 Momotaro Densetsu

The #2 title is the 1987 Hudson RPG Momotaro Densetsu. There’s a bit of a recency bias here with the meteoric rise of the new Momotaro Dentetsu (the board game-style series). Still, it’s something that parents and children could both enjoy with the same familiar peach boy. Here are some comments from those who went with Momotaro Densetsu:

  • “My kids are really into Momotaro Dentetsu now, so I’d like to see them play Momotaro Densetsu.” (Male, 39-years-old)
  • “Now that Momotaro Dentetsu is a hit, I hope to see a remake of Momo Densetsu.” (Male, 42-years-old)
#1 Dragon Quest III

Lastly, the #1 title is the RPG that was the beginning of everything for many — Dragon Quest IIIEnix released the massive RPG in Japan in 1988. The game was so popular at launch that some stores only sold copies of DQIII bundled with other games. Below are comments from parents that voted Dragon Quest III as their go-to titles:

  • “I’d like for them to play all Dragon Quest games, but I think III might be the easiest to start.” (Male, 38-years-old)
  • “The game is like the foundation of RPGs. It is the super masterpiece among masterpieces.” (Male, 44-years-old)
  • “It has a great system, great monster designs, and great music. Everything about it is perfect. I hope my children get to play it one day.” (Male, 40-years-old)

Here are the best Famicom RPGs from the parents’ ranking:

  • 1. Dragon Quest III (1988, Enix)—16.3%
  • 2. Momotaro Densetsu (1987, Hudson)—10.3%
  • 3. Mother (1989, Nintendo)—8.7%
  • 4. Final Fantasy III (1990, Square)—7.3%
  • 5. Dragon Quest IV (1988, Square)—7.0%
  • 6. Final Fantasy II (1988, Square)—6.0%
  • 7. Tenchi wo Kurau II (1991, Capcom)—5.0%
  • 8. Metal Max (1991, Data East)—4.3%
  • 8. Dragon Quest (1986, Enix)—4.3%
  • 10. Dragon Quest II (1987, Enix)—3.7%
  • 10. SD Gundam Gaiden: Knight Gundam Monogatari (1990, Bandai)—3.7%
  • 10. Sweet Home (1989, Capcom)—3.7%

[Source]

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