Final Fantasy, Earthbound, and Chrono Trigger, among others, are what most people remember when asked what was the game that got them into the RPG genre. Not me. I never played those games during their release. So when people ask me that question, my answer would be Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES).
I spent my hard-earned allowance on this game not knowing what to expect from this. They did a great job of introducing a newbie to how RPG games work, though the game did add a few new features to the genre. The biggest being that you can do is defend yourself against attacks. Upon playing the game with a deep and dark story, I learned about HP, leveling up, and resting your party for full health. Aside from the impressive visuals, this game is always remembered for the soundtrack (mainly Forest Maze). When I told my friend about this game he was interested to see how a Mario game is done RPG style. He was so hooked on the game after playing it that he wanted to finish the game after I did. After he beat it, he was shocked to find an ‘easter egg’ of a boss battle from Final Fantasy, to which his maxed out Level 30 party had no problem defeating.