44 - Secret of Mana (Super Nintendo)

Squaresoft's finest hour on the SNES, Secret of Mana is to me the perfect action RPG. Gorgeous visuals, a stunning soundtrack, a quick and intuitive menu system and best of all a fluid and dynamic combat system. It even has a multiplayer option for co-op gaming.

Secret of Mana kept me hooked for a good while back in the day. I believe it was the last game I bought new for the Super Nintendo, before moving on to the next generation. It was a beautiful swansong to a happy few years with the system. Square has since pillaged the Mana brand, and aside from the immediate sequel it's always been with disappointing results. It baffles me why they can't see what they did right with this one and go from there, but they seem determined to improve each new one into a failure.

At one point in time though everything clicked. Secret of Mana still stands aside the giants of 16-bit gaming, and rightly so.

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