Jake was an inhabitant of future Seattle, a land where orks and elves walked the streets, plying their trades as gun-toting street samurai or tech-savvy deckers, trained in the elimination of deadly black ice. Jake's journey in Shadowrun is one of discovery--he must learn about his forgotten past and the deadly menace that put him in his current situation. Shadowrun was a story-driven RPG in its truest form, one that gave players a formidable quest to undertake. It featured a lot of different gameplay elements, from real-time combat to the Minesweeper-like (and highly addictive) hacking game. The secondary characters you could hire along the way were quite memorable as well.
You can compare this groundbreaking RPG to Planescape: Torment for the PC, another more-recent classic. Both featured a mysterious, amnesiac character, gifted with the ability to learn a wide variety of special abilities. While Jake had his decker abilities, marksmanship, and magic, the Nameless One" was capable of magic, weapons mastery, and thievery. Both of these pen-and-paper-derived tales delved into a world dissimilar to our own but altogether engaging in their own right--we got to know these characters, learned to speak their worlds' strange dialects, and were thoroughly engrossed as we helped them accomplish tasks in their respective bustling cities. The Super Nintendo was a capable system in the early 90's, but Shadowrun was an RPG that was truly ahead of its time.