It really is a dream come true. I can't get enough of it. The first RPG I ever played was Ultima 6, but I was too young to really grasp what needed to be done to actually beat the game (writting stuff down? whodathunkit!). A couple years later once I got my snes I played and beat Final Fantasy 4 (I refuse to go by american numbering, it was called 2 in this country, but it was the 4th game in the series) and from then on fell in love with RPGs.
Now there is a huge difference between the JRPG and the western RPG (something designed mostly in america), but I love both.
This is my personal top 5 rpgs of all time (written before eschalon came out, and only contains JRPGs. I also limited myself to only one game from each series, otherwise it'd probably be all DQ and FF haha.)
1) Dragon Quest 5
2) Final Fantasy 4
3) Arc the Lad 2
4) Chrono Trigger
5) Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
Links for info about the games:
Dragon Quest 5 actually made me cry during the story. I have never cried during an RPG before, and this story is really THAT moving. Seriously, its a perfect 11 out of 10 in every single way. The best JRPG of all time imho.
FF4 is held dear to me because of the high quality story and the adventure they go through. It was also, as I said earlier, the first RPG I actually beat as a kid.
Arc the Lad is an amazingly underrated series of games (the first 3 anyway, 4 kinda was bad). The first game is pretty slow, but its only 10 hours long, and the story continues through all 3. In fact its one of the first console RPGs to allow you to import save data from the previous game (through the first 3 anyway). Arc the Lad 1 was also the first game to use 3d cutscenes. At least they claim it is, and I haven't ever found proof to the contrary.
Chrono Trigger is amazing because I am always a sucker for a good time travel story. This one has an epic story that transcends time itself and you have to travel thousands of years in both directions to complete your tasks. Also the sheer number of different endings in this game is amazing for the time. Plus the game over screen is still something that sends chills up my spine to this day. Possibly the creepiest game over in any RPG.
Lunar 2 is a bright and cheerful game with some voice acting and the story is one of love and defending someone who gets wrongly accused. Its challenging (as all the games on this list are) and I literally couldn't put it down till I was done. This game also has about 10 hours of additional gameplay AFTER you beat the game, which is also quite long.