If you’re a fan of RPGs on Nintendo Switch, you’re spoiled for choice. There’s a wealth of first and third party role players for those that like to dedicate some serious time to a single game, grinding away for loot, XP, and treasure.
To help you find your next gaming fix, we’ve put together the 25 best Nintendo Switch RPGs in no particular order.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
There’s long been a debate about whether or not The Legend of Zelda series is an RPG or action adventure. Breath of the Wild kicked that debate into overdrive after introducing a wide open world, lots of equip-able weapons and armour to find, a deep potion crafting system, and side-quests aplenty. It might not meet your personal definition of an RPG, but it would be criminal to leave it off this list as far as we’re concerned.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is right up there as one of the best RPGs of all time, and still holds up today, as it nears a decade since launch. It features a massive snowy landscape to explore, full of cities, dungeons, and castles to get lost in. There’s loot to be had, plenty of quests to complete, and you can purchase and decorate numerous houses. If you want to live an alternative life in a fantasy world, you can’t do much better than Skyrim.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was part of the Switch’s first year of excellent releases, and it was a little bit overshadowed by the likes of Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey. It’s definitely worth picking up during a quieter period though, as it’s an excellent JRPG that feels fresh and vibrant.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has somehow been ported to Nintendo Switch in an act of technical wizardry, and it’s reported to be an impressive port. It’s regarded as one of, if not the, best RPGs of all time. Every single quest you undertake, whether it’s a main or side-quest you picked up in some backwater, has a deep story that helps breathe life into the stunning world.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
Pokémon Sword and Shield is the latest entry in the long-running monster collecting franchise. If you’re a fan of RPGs – particularly JRPGs – then you’ll have a bunch of fun grinding for monsters, levelling them up, and creating a perfect team out of them.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the Switch’s best games of 2019, and it’s classic Fire Emblem. You play as a teacher at the Garreg Mach Monastery, which opens up a bunch of unique gameplay experiences. The classic Fire Emblem strategic battling is here, of course, but you can also teach classes, interact with students, planting seeds in the greenhouse, fishing, and more. There’s plenty to get lost in here.
Dark Souls Remastered
Dark Souls is a must play for fans of RPGs. This highly challenging franchise throws you into a world that is very happy to murder you over and over again. You’ll need grit and determination to make it through, as you battle desperately for souls that you can spend on stat upgrades and new equipment. It’s difficult but it’s fiendishly addictive.
Final Fantasy Series
The Switch has various entries in the Final Fantasy series at this point. There’s Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, X/X-2, XII, XV, which offer a huge chunk of JRPG adventuring for those willing to invest.
Octopath Traveler is a new JRPG entry by kings of the genre Square Enix. You’ll adventure across a world that’s a unique combination of 2D and 3D, collecting a team of heroes. It’s very much inspired by old school tropes, with grinding for XP, jobs, and more making a return.
If you’re a fan of loot, Diablo III is the choice for you. It’s an absolute loot-fest, which plays great on Switch. You’ll explore a dark fantasy world as one of various different classes, including Monk, Barbarian, Crusader, Necromancer and more as you build your own character and equip it with stuff you find along the way.
Dragon Quest XI
Dragon Quest XI sticks firmly to the tried and true JRPG formula, and it’s all the better for it. It’s both been praised for being the best Dragon Quest ever and criticised for not bothering to innovate. If you’re the sort of person who loves JRPGs for the way they are, the criticism won’t bother you at all. So go and get your grind on and play Dragon Quest XI.
Those looking for innovation should look no further than Undertale, which rips up the JRPG rulebook to bring you something entirely new. You’ll explore an underground world filled with towns, dungeons, and more as you solve puzzles, battle monsters (who you can befriend, rather than killing), and shape the plot in a variety of different ways depending on your choices.
Tales of Vesperia
Tales of Vesperia, along with Tales of Symphonia, is regarded as one of the best Tales of games of all time. This franchise has often butted heads with Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest for supremacy, and sets itself apart with its focus on characterisation and a real-time battle system. Tales of Vesperia is particularly special though, as it had a confusing launch in the west. It originally arrived as a timed-exclusive on Xbox 360, but it wasn’t complete, with entire plot threads and characters cut for the cross-platform launch that never happened in the west. Well, until now that is.
Golf Story was a lovely treat that arrived during the Switch’s first year. This indie JRPG played like Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color, with you exploring numerous different courses as you improve your golf skills. There’s plenty of humour, side-quests, and liberal uses of golf gameplay to be had here.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the latest entry in the long-running action JRPG franchise. This time around protagonist Adol gets stranded on a cursed island and has to search for survivors, set up camp, and build a ship to escape. It’s a pretty unique JRPG that’s well worth playing.
Dragon’s Dogma is a JRPG that looks and plays like a western RPG. You create your own highly customisable character and explore a massive open world, recruiting NPCs to help you fight, selecting from various different vocations, and battling huge enemies that’s reminiscent of Monster Hunter.
Darkest Dungeon features a unique psychological system that can affect your characters in numerous different ways. Each character will experience stress depending on traumas they face while on an adventure. This could be from a fear of the dark, monsters, and more. Managing your party’s stress is as important, if not more so, than their equipment and health in this unique RPG.
I am Setsuna
I am Setsuna is the result of Square Enix looking to the past for gameplay and the present for visuals. It’s a great-looking JRPG that plays like one of the early Final Fantasies.
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the latest entry in the long-running strategy series that takes place during a WW2-like war. It plays at the same time as the original Valkyria Chronicles, focusing on the adventures of Squad E as they fight for survival against the Imperial soldiers, blizzards, and more.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Fractured but Whole takes place a day after the events of the original. Once again, you play as New Kid, who has just moved to South Park and gets entangled in a battle between two superhero factions.
Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition
Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition recently arrived on Switch as part of a double-pack with its sequel. In terms of classic RPGs, it doesn’t get much better than this. It directly inspired all of the Bioware classics that followed, as well as the likes of The Witcher 3 and other critically-acclaimed RPGs.
Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale
Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale, much like Baldur’s Gate before it, were developed in the Infinity Engine. Both are classics of the genre, with Planescape: Torment in particular providing many innovations during its time.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Ni no Kuni originally launched on the PS3, and featured a combination of a Tales-like battling system and Studio Ghibli’s art-style and storytelling to provide one of the more unique JRPGs ever. You play as Oliver, a young boy who sets off an an adventure with his friend Drippy in the Other World.
Child of Light
Child of Light is a JRPG by Ubisoft that was built in the UbiArt Framework made popular by the recent Rayman Origins and Rayman Adventures reboots. You play as Aurora, who sets off on an adventure to rescue her father and kingdom across the world of Lemuria.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Pillars of Eternity is a recent attempt to bring back the gameplay of the original Baldur’s Gate with modern visuals. If you love the classics, it’s well worth checking the sequel out, which is available now on Switch.