Wow, so many awesome games here... played many of them...
I played arcade games from a young age in the 80s... I used to have such good reflexes back then, which were a staple requirement in most arcade games.... I *loved* kicking the butts of adults when I was only 5 or 6... my mother and her friends used to actually gamble with random people, saying I would beat them... and most times, I did
When the NES came out, I didn't get one right away, so most of my experience was limited to friend's houses; I got to *try* Dragon Warrior, The Legend of Zelda, and Final Fantasy, but not really to a worthy extent. I did try revisiting these titles later in the 90s through emulation, but mostly lost interest, as I had discovered newer games that took their ideas and improved upon them.
My first real RPG love would have been Crystalis on the NES. It's not fantastic I guess, but check it out if you're interested. Years later, they released a remake for Gameboy Color, that had a few changes, but mostly the same. Basically the start, the end, and some dialogue was all I noticed as being different.
My next love was Final Fantasy II on the SNES. I rented it on a whim, as there was nothing of interest. WOW, I was completely shocked. The story, although somewhat cliche, was amazing. I simply could not believe there was that much content in a game in that day. After that, and a review in a game magazine (a thing before the internet), I found Secret of Mana, made by the same developer, Squaresoft. This game made you want to get a multitap if you had friends. So awesome... so many hours of 3 player fun... and, I'll say, after that I was a loyal fan of Square for many years, until they released mass amounts of games for the PS1 simultaneously that were all different, but none epic. After that, I feel that Square's vision was somehow lost, and their games suffered for it. I've read that one or two Final Fantasy's have been good, but most not so much.
Oh, forgot to mention, in between those two, I got into The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with my cousin. Many hours played in pre-internet days; you had to figure stuff out yourself, but there was a lot more help and hints in game (especially compared to the NES original, play that without a guide/FAQ, I dare you). That game set the standard for all Zeldas to follow, including the awesomeness of Ocarina of Time. Nintendo got carried away too much with unskippable messages in some incarnations though.
Honorable mention: Final Fantasy VII for the PS1 (or PC later on). I lost hundreds, if not thousands, of my life to this game. After completing it, I got the guide, as it detailed how to get *everything*. I would even replay it like, once a year, when the storyline faded from memory. Keep in mind, back then, the public internet was fairly new, and finding guides and FAQs online was a bit of a hassle. The age old trick of searching for a FAQ, seeing a link, clicking on it to find that even though the search results hinted there was one, there actually wasn't, was already taking shape.
There are many others worth mentioning, but I talk too much as it is lol. Those are the most influential in my earlier years I think.