Anyway, Dual Orb 2 - it's the basic RPG. Literally everything about the game aside from the battle-sprites is generic. That's not a bad thing, it hits all the right notes, and it's pretty much the benchmark by which I measure every other basic RPG. SNES game, with a translation patch found here.
Breath of Fire 1 and 2 - much like the game above they're standard RPGs. That said, many of the genre's cliches started here, and it's interesting to see them where they originated. I wouldn't call either game great on its merits, but they're good, and what they did for the genre was great at the time, alas it's a genre that hasn't expanded much (generally speaking) since the SNES days.
I'll always advocate people playing Shin Megami Tensei I and II.
Earthbound is about as retro as it gets from the battle standpoint, but the game's loved for its sense of humor. Never really cared for it personally, but it's worth looking into, and I understand why people enjoy it.
Phantasy Star II and IV - the series does get praised because it was an alternative to the Nintendo games of the times, but I'll still say that both of these games can stand on their own without issue. IV's a truly good game, by any standard, II hasn't aged very well, but it sets the table for IV.