Mother 3 / EarthBound 2
Originally set to be released on the Nintendo 64, this one had the most interesting history. In the late '90s, many fans who fell in love with EarthBound were now patiently waiting to get their fix of more of that trademark weirdness. After many years in development and many teasers, the game was eventually cancelled and it seemed EarthBound was the end of the series.
In the early 2000s, many rumors started floating around that the game was still going to happen. There were waves excitement and disappointment caused by everything from other games in development being mistaken for Mother 3, fan-made screenshots, and just completely false stories. Eventually speculation did turn into truth though! A surprise announcement was made that the game would finally happen and be released for the Game Boy Advance.
From what we know, a lot of the ideas and concepts from the original version were kept while much of the look changed drastically. The final visuals were 2D in a much more similar vein of EarthBound rather than the 3D style initially shown.
While there are a lot of similarities in look and gameplay to the earlier games, it is clear that this is not just a rehash. This time the game takes places on the mysterious Nowhere Islands. While there are definitely aspects of modern-day America, this is mixed in with many more parts of fantasy and surrealism. The tone gets much darker as well. You might even just cry a little during this one and it's not just because one of your foes exhaled a blast of stinky breath!
The battle system is very similar to EarthBound complete with rolling meters. However, it also features an interesting new concept that controls the power of attacks by taking advantage of your ability to keep rhythm. Pressing the button after an attack on the beat of the battle music actually allows you to do more damage.
Another interesting change involves the progression of the game. While the previous two games follow the same group of playable characters for the entirety of the game, this one does not. Broken into chapters, each one follows a different set of playable characters from the last. This results in a much larger cast of characters involved in the progression of the story.
While it may sound to be quite different, this game has direct connections to the story of EarthBound more than can be made between EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound! It's sure to be satisfying for anyone who started there.
Unfortunately, Mother 3 was never officially localized yet. However, to this day, many fans are still working to try to make it happen. In the meantime, there is a really good translation that was put together by a group of dedicated fans not long after the Japanese release.