I think Hollow Knight could use less backtracking. That's the most recent really good game IMO, I'e played that I've had minor quips about.
To me, the thing that would help Hollow Knight is if it switched to a manual save system, so that you don't have to save the consequences of death if you don't want to (the trade-off would be losing everything since your last save).
Also, an assist mode would help. At the very least, an option to restart at the last room you were in when you die would be helpful to some players.
DQ 6 has amazing music, didn't get too far into cause I was too young to figure much out. I liked the monster recruiting. I didn't think the class castle was too far in, but I also don't remember too much about it.
The DS remake of DQ6 took away monster recruiting, and it also made at least two changes that made game balance worse (strengthing one of the most useful skills and weakiening a skill whose usefulness was marginal at best is not how you improve game balance). It did, however, speed up combat and add party talk.
The point where you can change classes is pretty far in, after the first *major* boss fight (which you fight twice, at the end of 2 different dungeons, and the second fight is a 2 phase battle IIRC, which is a bit much that "early" in the game), and I suspect the part of the game leading up to that point is longer than the entirity of SaGa 1. (Then again, SaGa 1 is very short by RPG standards.)