The main problem here is that all the titles I would recommend... are way over the top with the prices. ^^' Though since you're looking into Imports, you might find a copy to a decent price. Are you able to read Japanese? And is your Saturn modded? (the Saturn is regionlocked. I had to get a J-Saturn for the J-Games).
In any case I'd recommend to check Story of Thor 2 (the first part was for the Genesis). Panzer Dragoon Saga is fantastic too, but the price... is a killer, no question here. J-Copies are cheaper and easier to find than the US ones, so again: If you're able to read Japanese, go for a J-version.
Personally I loved Rayman, though it's hard as hell.
Synphony of the Night - as already recommended - is great too, even has some extra areas in the Saturn version.
And if you're a collector and in love with beautiful editions of games: Check everything created by Working Design. Their editions are mostly rare and expensive but so worth it~. (yes, I confess, I'm a big fan of their works).
Right, I forgot this option. Though it's not 100% reliable and I had 5 ARs give up on me during a short time. Though there are a few different producers, maybe the one I used was just crap. d:
@Japanese: Awesome, that opens a lot of doors for you!
If you ever get the chance to play PD Saga, do it. It might be because it was one of the first RPGs I ever played, but I love this game to bits.
SotN: The Saturn Version only has one thing that makes it different from the PS1-Version: The Saturn is not able to show see-through items, so they had to trick a bit there. Other than that it is the same game. And like I said: Even has bonus areas you will only find on the Saturn.
I guess it's a good CV to try the genre out, has a bit of everything: Hard bosses, RPG-elements, jump and run parts... Most people seem to think it's like the first ones on the NES, without save points or anything.
You wouldn't do good with my recommendations. They all crashed quite fast. Just try a few. Though I had one... it was rubbish as AR, but it was awesome as external memory unit. Get one of those: The saturn has an internal battery which will eventueally need changing. And once you take it out, every save file will be gone.
And don't spend USD 1000.- on PD saga! XD I would say around 250.- is an ok price for a decent looking copy, I'd say. Still horrible expensive. ... Still better than Earthbound, I guess. T^T
DO NOT GET CSotN ON THE SEGA SATURN!!!!! Sorry, but despite the extras, the version on SEGA Saturn is HORRIBLE, mainly because of the loading times. It's the same reason why Chrono Trigger sucks on PS1 despite all the extras. I'd reccomend it on PS1 or PSP instead. The PSP has the Saturn's extras with the loading times of the PS1 version.
To reiterate my previous post, if there's any SS game that's also on the PS1, then don't even bother with the SS version.
Okay. As much as I'm in love with the PS1, I can understand. Well, seeing as how you don't have a single SONY console and with the information that you know Japanese, I've decided to make a new and much more complete list for you (Save it on a Notepad file or something):
Megaman X4: Good on both the PS1 and SS.
Megaman 8: Well, the Saturn version is actually better here, but I dislike this game heavily, so I forgot it exists.
Resident Evil 1: The original version is on both, but only the PS1 has the director's cut which is the superior version. The original version is still awesome though.
Castlevania Symphony of the Night: Again, not worth your time. The loading times kill it on Saturn.
Grandia: Amazing on both, can't think of many differences.
Cyberbots Fullmetal Madness: A VERY underrated fighting game. You may remember the star of the game Jin from Marvel vs. Capcom. Anyhow, I've never played the Saturn version, but I heard it's basically the same as the PS1 version anyways.
Lunar: Can't go wrong on either, even if the PS1 version is slightly better.
Lunar 2 Eternal Blue Complete: The Saturn version actually has better music, though it's an inferior version since it's missing a few dungeons, cutscenes, etc. However, it's not a big deal.
Marvel Superheroes: A decent fighting game that doesn't have many differences from the PS1 version.
Street Fighter vs. X-Men: Same as above.
Policenauts: Apparently, one of Hideo Kojima's greatest games (Which is saying a lot since he made Metal Gear Solid and Snatcher). Of course, we have no fan translation or anything so I can't judge it for myself.
Phantasy Star Collection: While not as good as the Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection version, this ought to satisfy you since Phantasy Star 2 and 4 (ESPECIALLY the latter) are so awesome.
Shining Force 3: Again, I'm not sure if there are fan translations for parts 2-3, but since you know Japanese that shouldn't be much of a problem.
Sonic Jam: Has Sonic 1-3 + Sonic and Knuckles from the Genesis.
Snatcher: Only the SEGA CD version is officially in English, but the Saturn/PS1 version is uncensored and has better music.
Shining Force 3. You can only get the first part out of 3 in English but it's still a full-length RPG. The import versions of the other 2 parts used to be quite pricey but I don't know what they're like now. The US version is cheap though. This game was an entry in a long-running Sega franchise.
Dragon Force. There's 2 of those, only the first one in English.
Um, well, that's all I can think of right now. There's a Sega franchise called Sakura Wars that's huge in Japan, but I don't have any first-hand knowledge of them (the most recent one in the series was released in the US last year though.)
I think I've heard of Shining Force, so I'll have to check the prices on Amazon. I've never heard of Dragon Force, so I'll keep an eye out for that, too. (What's with all of these "_______ Force" games?)
I have the XBLA version of NiGHTS, so that's taken care of. XD
I looked up Sakura Wars, and it seems that the fifth game was released stateside a couple years ago... It seems like something that I could really get into, despite sounding just plain weird. Thanks for the suggestions!
The 90's were a very forceful time. Actually, they're both Sega games, it turns out (wasn't sure about Dragon Force). And they both had the same titles in Japan. I guess Sega was all about force!
There's a Sakura Wars anime, too. Well, there's a few of them. I thought Sakura Wars TV was terrible, but I liked all the OVAs. Uh, it's kind of girly, though. Nearly too girly for me but just girly enough for my husband.
Oh, just as a sidenote, I thought Clockwork Knight was cute, but in retrospect the gameplay is probably really frustrating.