The Nintendo Switch has been on the market for over five years, and during that time, the console has developed a tremendous library of games. Almost every video game style imaginable is represented on the system, with RPG titles in particular well-represented.
The hybrid console is home to a plethora of epic adventures that will scratch any role-playing gamer’s itch, whether it’s from long-running properties like Pokemon and Dragon Quest, or original titles like Triangle Strategy. The best RPGs on Nintendo Switch are listed below. For additional ideas, take a look at our list of the top Switch family games as well as the 15 Best RPGs on Nintendo Switch games on the system.
The 15 Best RPGs on Nintendo Switch
Bravely Default II is not your typical Square Enix epic; it’s a conventional Final Fantasy adventure under another name. The game, like other Final Fantasies, follows four misfit heroes on a mission to restore world balance by restoring the four elemental crystals. Even many of the spells and gear you acquire along the way are taken straight from past games.
Bravely Default expands on these ideas with its own, such as the Brave and Default commands, which allow characters to skip turns in order to gain points that may then be spent to execute multiple actions all at once. It’s deep and creative, and when you combine it with the versatile job system, it provides almost limitless options for customizing your party.
Secret of Mana is one of Square Enix’s most famous and successful franchises, and it has been re-released several times on multiple platforms. Secret of Mana remains one of the most loved role-playing games ever made, and Switch owners can now play it again – or for the first time – through the Collection of Mana, which appropriately includes three games. This three-game package combines Secret of Mana with its Game Boy predecessor (also known as Final Fantasy Adventure or Mystic Quest depending on where you live) and Trials of Mana, providing a great place to start if you’re new to Square Enix’s flagship series.
Dark Souls is one of From Software’s finest accomplishments, and it remains one of the studio’s most challenging and darkly attractive creations. This remastered edition includes the original game as well as the Artorias of the Abyss DLC expansion, which was originally released on other platforms. While the Nintendo Switch version may lack technical fidelity when compared to other platforms, it makes up for it with some system-exclusive features, including Amiibo functionality and remote play capability.
Dragon Quest is one of gaming’s most renowned franchises, yet its newest edition demonstrates why. Dragon Quest XI follows the story of the Luminary, a legendary hero destined to save Erdrea from the encroaching forces of darkness, and it features the series’ trademark mix of traditional gameplay and heartfelt narrative.
Although the idea may appear outdated, Dragon Quest XI’s tale is charming and moving, with a colorful cast of characters such on as the cocky thief Erik and flamboyant Sylvando. This version of the game also allows you to play through it either in 3D or in retro-style 2D, which was previously only available on the 3DS version unlocalized.
The latest installment in the renowned RPG franchise is also one of the best. You take on the role of a new professor at the Garreg Mach Monastery, where you must guide one of the Garreg Mach’s three student houses. You play both a military commander and a schoolteacher, nurturing your pupils’ development both on and off the battlefield.
It’s a fresh take on the classic Fire Emblem gameplay that further entwines you with each of your soldiers. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is compellingly replayable, with three diverging routes to follow, each having an impact on the narrative’s flow.
Capcom has spent years gradually sanding down the Monster Hunter series’ rough edges, and Monster Hunter: Rise is the most approachable entry point yet. As in prior games, your goal is to collaborate with other hunters to defeat difficult monsters using the materials you’ve gathered from them, culminating in increasingly stronger weapons and armor.
Rise offers a highly polished, addictive experience that only emphasizes the game’s gameplay loop. Rise adds refinements and new traversal options, including the Wirebug, an elastic insect that allows you to slingshot yourself around the environment. Rise is a fantastic game for longtime fans and newcomers alike because of these modifications, making it a great title for both veterans and novices.
The visuals are stunning, and the game is packed with various depictions of monsters to collect. Many contemporary Japanese role-playing games have attempted to recapture the spirit of the late ’90s golden era, but few have done so as effectively as Octopath Traveler. The game follows eight characters, each with his or her own narrative and quest that ultimately merge into one larger objective.
It’s a well-designed throwback to SNES RPGs, with enough fresh ideas to set it apart. However, its most distinct feature is its ground-breaking “HD-2D” visual style, which was inspired by but goes far beyond the 16-bit aesthetic that other games, such as Dragon Quest 3 and Live a Live remakes, will later adopt.
The Origami King is a return to form for the Paper Mario series, recapturing some of the magic from the early games. The Origami King is a lite role-playing game that ranges from hilarious to sad, and it’s told with the franchise’s distinctive wit and sharp writing. A unique panel-sliding battle system adds drama to every adversary encounter, turning each struggle into a fast-paced micro problem. Despite its oddity in terms of genre, The Origami King is undoubtedly Paper Mario’s finest entry since The Thousand-Year Door.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus is the franchise’s most substantial reinvention yet, following years of fine-tuning. Arceus overturns decades of traditions by thrusting players into a massive world where patience and quick reactions are just as important as type advantages.
Every Pokemon in the wild may be seen roaming about the field, and you have a variety of methods to capture them – whether by luring them with bait, hiding yourself in tall grass, or sending out your own monsters to battle them. Arceus is the most thrilling Pokemon game in years because of this flexibility, and it’s a must- play for all Switch owners looking for something exciting to do.
Pokemon Sword and Shield are still the greatest choice for those looking for a traditional Pokemon experience, with many games on Switch. You play as a novice trainer on a mission to become Pokemon champion, traveling about the world, developing a team of handpicked monsters, and battling strong gym leaders in Sword and Shield, which follows the series’ tried-and-true formula.
Pokemon Sword and Shield’s gameplay loop is as exciting now as it was when the game launched. With a slew of things to do after you’ve completed the main story (including two meaty DLC packs), Pokemon Sword and Shield is among the finest entries in the series.
Persona may be better known than the Megami Tensei RPG series, but Shin Megami Tensei is still Atlus’ most prominent franchise, and the newest entry is one of its finest. In Shin Megami Tensei V, you play as the “Nahobino,” a supernaturalbeing created after your average high school student avatar combines with a mysterious man known as Aogami.
You’ll be transported to a post-apocalyptic Tokyo where you must journey across the ruined city, gather other demons and fight gods with your new supernatural abilities. Shin Megami Tensei V is one of Switch’s best exclusives, and it’s dark and difficult.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions is an unpretentious, somewhat overlooked gem plucked from the Nintendo Wii U library. Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a brightly colored collaboration between Nintendo and RPG veteran Atlus that bills itself as a fusion of the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem franchises. The game follows a group of aspiring teen idols who must combat dark forces that have invaded Tokyo while using their powers to become pop stars.
In Fire Emblem Warriors, characters will change form during battle and can call upon legendary Fire Emblem heroes such as Chrom and Tiki to vanquish foes in turn-based encounters. The combat system is deep, drawing elements from both Fire Emblem and SMT, while the story is charming and told with anime earnestness.
Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the most revered turn-based tactics games of all time, and Triangle Strategy pays homage to it by carefully channeling a particular classic: Final Fantasy Tactics. Triangle Strategy is a turn-based tactical RPG in which you command a small army of combatants across a chessboard-like field.
Despite the fact that Take Command is a turn-based strategy game, it offers layers of depth as you consider position, elemental alignments, and other factors while moving your units, and it’s driven by a compelling, choice-driven narrative about political intrigue and the heavy consequences of your actions. Triangle Strategy is an engrossing RPG despite its slow start, and one of the finest Nintendo Switch games in 2022.
Xenoblade Chronicles initially debuted on the underpowered Wii, but it has since become one of Nintendo’s most ambitious and absorbing tales. The tale is fascinating enough, packed with turns and drama from an anime movie, and the MMO-like battle system provides a lot of strategic complexity. But Xenoblade’s unique selling proposition is its environment.
The plot revolves around two enormous gods who fight to the death across the backs and limbs of their titanic bodies, and each location you visit is more fantastic and breathtaking than the last. It’s an amazing experience in every way. The base game might take upwards of 100 hours to finish, and there’s a brand-new epilogue tale that sets up Xenoblade Chronicles 3 as a result.
In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the sci-fi-flavored Wii U game Xenoblade Chronicles X moved the series back to more conventional territory both visually and thematically. Like its predecessor, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a vast exploration set on (and within) continent-size beings known as titans. You’ll journey across a variety of spectacular settings as you explore these colossi, from lush meadows to barren deserts.
It is a narrative that shifts between science fiction and fantasy, as well as showcasing the pinnacle of artificial evolution. The setting is breathtaking, rivaling the best science fiction and fantasy locales, while the improved combat system adds more strategic nuance than previous entries. While the story leans even more heavily on anime conventions than its predecessors, the sense of scale and awe that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 evokes remains unrivaled on Nintendo Switch.