I wouldn’t call FF4’s story compelling. It was charmingly simple, but it’s not a game I’d play if I wanted something with really robust story and characterization. And if he didn’t like FF5… He probably won’t like 4.
FF6 is obvious though. Get it for SNES if you can. The PSX version is exactly the same, but has massive load times.
Secret of Evermore is the most underrated SNES RPG ever made.
Secret of Mana is really good too. It’s not related to SoE though, in spite of the name. The only thing they share is the aRPG style. In my opinion, Evermore is much better.
I’m gonna go ahead and say Wild Arms. Cid’s right that it has really dated graphics, but it’s no worse than A Link to The Past. It takes place in a wild west setting though, and I know RPG fans are usually all about swords and castles and shit, so if you don’t like wild west, don’t play it.
Suikoden I and II are great if you like games with lots of characters who aren’t very developed, and a plot that is. The gameplay will probably force you to think harder than most other rpgs too, but it isn’t Starcraft or anything. They really have a lot more charm than a written description will have you believe.
If I think of others, I’ll put them down.
Edit: Damn, killmore beat me to a lot of my suggestions
Also, playing Chrono Cross is like taking a shit, eating it, shitting it back out, eating that shit, puking it up, shitting on the puke, and re-eating the shit-puke. Don’t feel bad for not liking it.