I hate RPGs. I really hate turn-based ones in particular. I don't like level grinding, I don't like the lack of variety in the gameplay, and I don't like long, drawn-out battles.
Super Mario RPG
addresses all of those complaints, becoming the first RPG I ever really liked. You level up very quickly, the fights - including boss fights - go by fast, and there's a lot of non-RPG gameplay elements. There's tons of hidden items to search for, hidden areas, a lot of platforming, a bunch of sidequests, and a lot of variety in the world design.
The game is incredibly easy, but that doesn't really matter, because as I see it, this isn't one of those games you play for the challenge. Instead, you play for the experience.
And it's the variety that drives the experience. Not just the mini-games like collecting coins on the waterfall or riding the mine cart, but also the world design. Booster's Tower plays very differently from, say, Beanstalk Valley, or the castle in Nimbus Land. Unique gimmicks keep showing up throughout the game, keeping things fresh.
Beyond that, there's tons of little bonuses and secrets. For example, one part of the game has a fan-shaped enemy. Another area, a town full of friendly monsters, has a friendly version of this fan enemy that can be turned to different speeds just like a real fan. If you change the speed of the fan, you influence the behavior of every version of the fan-shaped enemy in the other parts of the game, which in turn may allow you to reach secret items, or not. Another town has an incredibly expensive "shiny stone", which if purchased, allows you to visit and fight a secret boss from the Final Fantasy
games in another town later on.
There are also bonus tasks, like finding invisible flags placed by several friendly ghosts who talk to you in your sleep. And cool little details, like being able to see Mario's dreams if you sleep in a special bed in one particular whimsical town.
The game is just fun. The low difficultly doesn't hurt it at all, but if anything, makes it more accessible. The real star is the fast pace, diversity of locales and gameplay, and the sheer amount of content. And that can be appreciated by a very wide audience.