Chrono Trigger or FF6

So my weekend plans fell through and I am now going to be spending it alone house-sitting for my sister. This year I am trying to get through some of my backlog and I thought I should finally play one of these two rpgs that I didn’t grow up with.

Which one should I start with?

1 Like

I’d personally recommend Final Fantasy 6. It’s still a very smart JRPG in the way it reinterprets how characters interacts between each other and how the player can invest into characters they like and the game would reward them. it’s also very confident on its setpieces.

I fell off Chrono Trigger over time. Most of it is because I’m annoyed at how it just frames itself as the perfect nostalgia game. While FF6 tries to go forward, Chrono Trigger wants to cement itself as the game of a generation. It’s great at what it does, but it doesn’t do much.

If you want a simple, accessible JRPG Chrono Trigger would be your choice, but if you want a more daring and rewarding experience, then FF6 trumps CT by far. For me at least.

Hard disagree for me. Chrono Trigger does so much to revolutionize the structure of JRPGs that FF6 feels ancient by comparison. Don’t get me wrong, FFVI is a masterpiece of the form, but its reliance on a linear narrative, traditional (non-job) levelling and combat system, and its recycling of FF tropes, clearly it’s the game that wishes to cement itself as the game of the generation.

Chrono Trigger on the other hand has a narrative that pushes your party into really interesting time periods, has you gather a really eclectic cast of characters, and (biggest thing) lets you end the game pretty much at any point! It is far more revolutionary than FFVI in my mind.

Chrono Trigger is like the Star Wars of video games. It’s an incredibly well-executed swashbuckling adventure story, jumping from setpiece to extravagant setpiece that unfolds the underlying plot at just the right pace. The presentation sits at the high watermark for its generation, and its world is just full of fun discoveries. It’s pure entertainment in a way I think very few RPGs have ever managed.


I would say that the leveling system is way more traditional in Chrono Trigger than in FF6, no? Sure it starts off pretty basic, but once you unlock espers the characters become super customizable, almost to the level of Job-based Final Fantasies. There’s way more control over what your final stats look like, what spells any character can use, etc. The giant cast of characters also gives you a lot of what a Job system does since each character fits a lot of the Final Fantasy archetypes

For OP, I personally prefer FF6 but I think Chrono Trigger is just as good (sigh maybe better) as a video game. It sort of boils down to where you want your freedom to be. If you want more control over your party composition and stats, FF6 is better. If you want more control over where you are going, what you are doing, etc, Chrono Trigger is your best bet.

1 Like

That’s a fair point about FFVI’s Esper system. I realize that my original comment came from my own biases regarding JRPGs. For me, the combat gameplay is a means to an end in these games, acting as adequate filler between exploration and story beats. If you’re the sort of person that comes to JRPGs for combat and developing your party, then FFVi is probably the better bet. That being said, I really like Chrono Trigger’s tech team up mechanics, so it’s not like that game is a slouch in that regard.

1 Like

I think I would recommend Chrono Trigger.

As much as I like FFVI, I haven’t felt compelled to play that game again like I have with CT. And while I do agree that FFVI’s cast is better developed than CT, I think that CT is more of an ambitious, non-traditional story. The multiple endings, side quests, and character choices all come together to paint a picture of a world that I think is really unique in that era of JRPGs. The world in CT, I should note, does not feel quite as large compared to that of FFVI but I do not think it does a disservice to the world.

I also think that CT’s battle system is more fun than FFVI. I real love the Dual and Triple tech system. Party composition matters a lot! There are fewer powerful items in the game’s world and equipment upgrades are few and far between but I think they feel more meaningful because of it. The fighting system is simpler than FFVI but I think it is more elegant. Chrono Trigger also displays enemies on the world map so there are no random battles. And, this is very important to me, you can get all the skills for your characters and level them with very little grinding.

This is more personal preference than my other points, but I do think the art in CT communicates much more than FFVI. I only remember a handful of locations from VI (which I admit might be unfair because I only played it once) but I can nearly walk through all the locations quite clearly in my mind. Same with the character designs who all have so much personality and warmth.

I definitely recommend playing them both at some point, but I think CT is the better of the two, by a slim but-not-insignificant margin.


I would go with FF6. I don’t really care for CT. The time travel nonsense that s surprisingly well executed but a lot of that game felt like it dragged. The combat gets pretty monotonous and most of the characters are not very interesting.

FF6 has probably the strongest character gallery of any JRPG. Sure there are few misses (Edgar and the optional characters) but pretty much anyone else is cool and good. Also the openness of the second half of the game is fantastic and the bad guy is great.

Definately play both. FF6 is still my favorite Final Fantasy, and Chrono Trigger is one of my favorite rpgs. Nostalgia is a factor, of course.

If you can get a copy of the DS version of Crono Trigger start there, aside from getting a super nt and an original cartridge it’s probably the best way to play it. CT is shorter and doesn’t suffer from some of the jrpg conventions like random battles and grinding, so it’s possibly the best starting point.

I didn’t like either, but at least I finished FF6. I feel like CT would be great if I had played it when I was 8.

Chrono Trigger just because there’s a definitive edition of that game that isn’t completely slaughtered by awful load times and/or sound bugs and/or ugly, ugly…ugly sprites.

So weird we haven’t gotten an improvement since the GBA FFVI.

1 Like

I love FF6. It’s probably my favorite Final Fantasy. A lot of the depth of FF6 comes from spending hours and hours exploring the depths of the systems and customization (even though almost nothing in the game actually demands that you engage with it at that level).

Chrono Trigger, on the other hand, is just a blockbuster from start to finish (other than maybe that racing minigame). And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Beautiful, great music, fun characters, great story but not mechanically overwhelming at all. You’re not going to have to read any FAQs or dig into menus or grind. Everything that’s great about it is right there for you to enjoy.

If you’re looking for something to do for a weekend, I’d say Chrono Trigger.

You’ve got a weekend? Chrono Trigger. short, sweet, beautiful, one of the greatest games ever made.

also i believe this is one of modern gaming’s longer running debates. the first time i ever entered an AOL chatroom (1997?) this debate was raging… it is re-hashed somewhere on the internet probably every couple of days.

Chrono Trigfer is still one of the best jRPGs in my opinion. But if I’m totally honest, I’m generally not a fan of the genre. I’ve tried a bunch since that one, but besides a few standouts (Super Mario RPG, Grandia 2) I kind of gave up on the genre after buying one game that just convinced me to give up on trying. That said my opinion probably means very little to any discerning jRPG fan, and I wouldn’t blame them.

I’ve tried FF6 a handful of times and I’ll admit that I’ve liked what I’ve seen a lot, but for some reason or another it never really stuck. I’d get to really difficult parts and just have to grind and I never wanted to deal with that. I never found the combat terribly compelling and just got bored.

The thing about CT was that I actually kind of enjoyed the combat system, so I went out of my way to get in to as many battles as I could. Sometimes to my detriment when I started being low on HP, magic and items. Though admittedly it sort of added to the excitement.
This sort of meant that every time I’ve played the game I’d be pretty powerful by the end.

And then there is the time travel. This is something I feel like no game has ever really surpassed since. The ability to change stuff in the past, travel to the future and immediately see how things have changed. I can only remember a handful of time travel games that have come out since, and none have ever reached the same level of detail as CT.

Another thing was that while FF6 had some real nice backgrounds, CT had some real great characters and animations. While I felt FF6 characters all looked like rectangles, CT characters had widely different looks.

As for the story, it was fun. I certainly never experienced enough of FF6 to really compare, but it was probably the better of the two I’ll admit. But then again, I rarely play games for the story, which may explain why I eventually fell out with the jRPG genre.

1 Like

The game’s director Yoshinori Kitase doesn’t understand what people liked about Final Fantasy 6, and that’s why the ports to Steam and iOS have been kinda bleh. He felt that the game’s original 2D graphics didn’t properly convey what he wanted to people who aren’t familiar with video games, which is why he changed them so drastically in the newer versions.


Should have just gotten the team that remade 3 and 4 to do it, tbh. Or even do it Octopath Traveler style. That’d be dope.

1 Like

Both at the same time, you can play one with your feet.

FFVI is a great game, but I’ve put it down without finishing it twice. Chrono Trigger brings me back every couple of years for another round! Chrono Trigger is maybe the best pacing in any JRPG ever.

btw Chrono Cross is also incredible and I find myself thinking about it’s strangeness all the time.

Hmm. Final Fantasy 6 is for me the game where the series’s identity crystallized: it’s a huge mess of ambitious setpieces, easily missable character moments and amazing music. Much of the staff went on to do Final Fantasy 7, and you could say that 6 is an embryonic, more sprawling version of that game. I’d say I prefer it though if only because the sprite graphics hold up better for me than 7’s blocky 3D models.

Chrono Trigger’s definitely more nostalgic for me, but I’d say it does an amazing job combining the strengths of Square at the time (those setpieces, Mitsuda’s soundtrack, graphical prowess) with Enix (Toriyama’s fun designs, Yuji Hori’s great storytelling sensibilities.) It’s very tightly paced, and you can finish it in about 20 hours or so! I’m probably biased, but Trigger’s the one I’d go for.

(I’d also recommend checking out Chrono Cross at some point…it’s an incredibly slow, messy game that embodies some of the worst instincts of PSX RPG design, but has great atmosphere, is unusually moody and unsettling for a game of its type and respects player choice more than most JRPGs)

1 Like