I was in 7th grade, heavily into JRPGs and had just began to try and follow my father's footsteps as an amateur author. A friend and I had rode our bikes to the local pawn shop to trade some games, as we did regularly. They'd trade any two games for one, regardless of title. Even two of the same one. We did this regularly for SNES, Genesis and later PS1 games.
This trip I stumbled upon Chrono Trigger, and feverishly snatched it up, not even caring what else was there. I'd read about it in Nintendo Power and Gamepro, where it was receiving universally positive praise. I also loved Squaresoft. My friend was jealous that he hadn't found it first, but I told him he could borrow it when I'd finished it anyway.
So began my journey. That bit I mentioned before about beginning to write? It came in full force after finishing Chrono Trigger. The game moved me in a way no previous game had. It's idea of time travel and how they were implemented were absolutely ingenious to me at the time and it inspired the first piece of fiction I ever completed. The summer following that school year I beat Chrono Trigger THREE times, getting different endings.
Looking back I actually think that not only has the game aged quite well, but as I'm older and more understanding of technology and it's limits for the time it impresses me even more now than it did then with what the game accomplished. Stellar story, awesome characters, fantastic music and a rich, engrossing world. It was the first game I'd ever played where your gameplay had such a large impact on the overall experience as well featuring a load of endings. It truly forever changed gaming for me, and completely opened up the act of recording the workings of my own imagination for me.
That's it, my humble story of my absolute favorite game. It's worth noting that it's a close call for me between Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy Tactics. Another game that greatly inspired me. However Chrono Trigger was not only more innovative, but came at a time in my life that just makes it feel more important. I won't win any contests for this, but I just enjoyed sharing my story and love for this amazing gem.