The SNES Classic looks great. The 16-bit era has a lot of games that have aged well. Looking at the list of games on the Classic is basically perusing all-time gaming classics. Taken altogether, it's an almost complete snapshot of the SNES's great games.

Almost. Where the heck is Chrono Trigger?!

Why should I care whether Chrono Trigger is on this thing?

Chrono Trigger is one of the greatest role-playing games ever made. When Game Informer rounded up the best RPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger clocked in at number three. It was surpassed only by Final Fantasy VI, Skyrim and Dungeons & Dragons (#0, a nice touch).

Chrono Trigger's original home was the Super Nintendo. It released on March 11, 1995, to widespread critical acclaim. From Game Informer's 1995 review:

From the opening scene to one of the fifteen different endings, Chrono Trigger is a masterpiece like no other... To put it simply, Chrono is the pinnacle for RPG's on the Super NES and must be played to be believed.

Humorously, the game which would go on to be crowned the third-best RPG of all time only received a 9.25. This is an idea I want to explore more in a later blog, but it's a good reminder that we can't know if a game will hold up in the future until, well, the future.

Still, the idea of releasing a SNES Classic without the one of the best classic RPGs ever made is nuts. It is, as Gizmodo memorably put it, "like rereleasing the Playstation without Tony Hawk. Or Tony Hawk without skateboards. Or a skateboard without wheels."

Why are you so obsessed with this game?

Thanks for asking! I read about Chrono Trigger in high school after GI reviewed the 2008 DS re-release (9/10). I downloaded the game for an SNES emulator I'd installed on my jailbroken iPod Touch. Instead of a real controller, I had to use touch-screen buttons. Not exactly ideal.

Turns out bad controls wouldn't matter. Even crammed onto a 3.5-inch iPod Touch screen, Chrono Trigger became one of my favorite games. Real game critics have explained why the music, art, gameplay and story are excellent, but what sold me was the sense of wonder. I love a game that makes me feel like a kid going on an adventure. The late-game reveal of a certain area felt downright magical.

If I bought a SNES Classic, Chrono Trigger would be the first thing I would play on it.

What's the deal, Nintendo?

No one knows why Chrono Trigger isn't on the SNES Classic. Azario Lopez at Dualshockers theorizes it's because of licensing issues. He notes that Chrono Trigger, despite its critical acclaim, hasn't been re-released on any Nintendo eShop. In fact, the CT Wikipedia page says it's only been ported to PlayStation 1, DS, iOS, Android and some phone called i-mode.

The crazy optimist in me hopes it's because Square Enix is planning to do something with the Chrono IP in the near future. The realist in me remembers that the franchise has sat unused for like 15 years except for the DS and mobile ports.

It's most likely an issue of rights or money. Nintendo might have decided Chrono Trigger is not worth the money. Which is understandable, even if it's completely wrong.

Play this game

Don't let me dissuade you from buying a SNES Classic. It's got a lot of great games. Super Metroid and A Link to the Past have held up exceptionally well.

But don't skip Chrono Trigger. It's too good to go un-remembered. Get a SNES emulator or download the decent if pricey Android/iOS ports.

Go on an adventure!