Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy VII is rightly credited with catapulting RPGs into the mainstream, but it was hardly Square’s first attempt at doing so. That honor belongs to a game called Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, which debuted on the Super Nintendo in 1992.
Mystic Quest was designed specifically for the US audience, where RPGs were much less popular; it was even called Final Fantasy USA: Mystic Quest in Japan. It was more or less derided for being a more casual take on the franchise (even though it was clearly labeled as such), doing away with random battles or even the ability to free roam across the world map.
If you go in with the right expectations — that is, nothing near the level of Final Fantasy IV, which came out the year before — you’ll find that Mystic Quest is a neat little adventure. It’s available for cheap on the Wii Virtual Console, and the music’s pretty great, too. Give it a fair shake sometime!