In a way, Final Fantasy VII was my first RPG. For me, and millions of others, it was the game that truly made me a fan of the genre.
Though critical darling Final Fantasy VI was my "real" first RPG, It was Cloud and company who got me buying every single Square game during the 32-bit era, because they were the ones to show me that a videogame could exist on a scale that I hadn't been able to conceive of until that point. After playing Final Fantasy VII, RPGs finally "clicked" with me. I know I'm not alone.