Release: 1990 (JPN), 2006 (NA)
For better or worse, Final Fantasy III feels like a direct sequel to the first game. As such, it ditches FFII’s focus on narrative in order to flesh out the gameplay. Most importantly, it introduces the job system and summons.
While summoning giant monsters is cool and all, the job system created an environment of endless experimentation. If you were having trouble with a dungeon or boss, a new selection of jobs offered another avenue to victory. Considering the game’s difficulty, you needed all the help you could get.