Chrono Trigger. Enough said.
The title alone ought to evoke a wave of nostalgic appreciation. Its mechanics and its story are simple and straightforward but solid and effective. Its cast is memorable and interesting, the score is one of the best of the era, and even today, few games offer as much replay value. So imagine my horror when my girlfriend, a Legend of Zelda veteran, Bioware loyalist, and my long-time player 2, dismissed the game with a resounding “meh.”
To me it begged the question: in a medium so obsessed with moving forward as fast as possible without looking back, is there a place for classics? Chrono Trigger has been recognized as a classic time and again, but has it really aged well? Is nostalgia alone keeping it, and games like it, afloat? One of the reasons that games are beginning to gain credibility as an art form is that it now has a tradition, and Chrono Trigger has fit nicely in the video game canon since it was released (and re-released). But often “classic” in this medium means dated.