Super Mario RPG, subtitled Legend of the Seven Stars in its North American release, is a role-playing video game developed by Square and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released on March 9, 1996, in Japan and on May 13, 1996, in North America. Nintendo ported the game, with minor differences, to the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2008 and to the Wii U's Virtual Console service by late June 2016 to regions around the world. Nintendo re-released Super Mario RPG in September 2017 as part of the company's Super NES Classic Edition.
Super Mario RPG is the first role-playing video game in the Mario franchise. The game contains fundamental gameplay similarities and inspirations to other Square role-playing video games, such as the Final Fantasy series, with a story and action-based gameplay derived from the Super Mario series.
The story focuses on Mario and his party as they seek to eliminate the game's main antagonist, Smithy. Smithy has stolen the seven star pieces of Star Road where all the world's inhabitants' wishes become Wish Stars, and Mario must return the pieces so these wishes may again be granted. The game features five permanent playable characters. Super Mario RPG was directed by Yoshihiko Maekawa and Chihiro Fujioka and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto. Yoko Shimomura composed the game's score, which was released on a soundtrack album in Japan shortly after the game's debut.
Square did much of the development of Super Mario RPG under direct guidance from Miyamoto. The game was well-received upon release, praised particularly for its 3D-rendered graphics and humor. The game has appeared on lists of the greatest video games of all time. The game was followed by two successive Mario-themed RPG series: the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series, both of which act as spiritual sequels and use certain conventions established in the original.