An RPG that’s ported to Nintendo Switch will almost always become more popular than ever. But there’s a catch: no one’s 100% sure if such game will have long-term staying power. If you’re an avid RPG fan, you may need to spend a long time searching for the best Switch RPGs.
We have the answer. Here’s a list of the best Nintendo Switch RPGs:
Xenoblade Chronicles II
RPGs are fascinating because of the nearly limitless options that they can offer to players. In a normal RPG, you can take multiple quests and build relations with several factions. You can even grind for items and powerful equipment. But sometimes, more options can be detrimental for progress. A straightforward RPG will help you maintain focus and coherence. One of the best Switch RPGs is Xenoblade Chronicles II.
In Xenoblade Chronicles II, you assume the role of Rex – a young salvager from the world of Alrest. This world has no continental landmasses but rather a ‘Cloud Sea’ inhabited by massive Titans. You start with basic missions, and then you can obtain Core Crystals to summon powerful Drivers. These Drivers make up the bulk of your party, and their classes will change depending on the Blades equipped.
Combat is the juicy meat of Xenoblade Chronicles II. Battle encounters are insidiously long if you don’t utilize the combos of your Drivers. The Drivers can provide buffs and deadly skills that will make short work of your enemies. Xenoblade’s combat system may be daunting at first, but it’s basically rewarding once your Drivers launched a full synergized attack.
Xenoblade Chronicles II is an excellent visual treat. The environment feels alive and characters have their own distinct personalities. There may be some audio glitches and voice redundancies, but they won’t break your experience.
The Game Hook
If you want a memorable game with crunchy combat moves, then you should get Xenoblade Chronicles II as soon as you can. Just remember to allot long gaming hours since you need to fully understand Xenoblade’s combat system for an optimum playthrough.
West of Loathing
Sometimes, graphics-intensive games can be tiring for the mind. This is because everything is provided by such game, and there’s little room for the mind to be creative. If you want to take a break from AAA graphics-intensive games, West of Loathing is a nice option.
The basic premise of West of Loathing is simple. It’s a Wild West RPG that combines satirical humor, open-ended gameplay, and an excellent narrative. Throughout the game, you will encounter dozens of cowboy tropes, interesting characters, and funny locations. The enemies are funny too, such as fat goblins, devilish cows, and classic stick bandits. Yet, funny is a misnomer because these enemies are deadly by their own right.
Loot is somehow special in West of Loathing because they have variable uses. Needles, for example, can be used as lockpicks and slop (pig food) can heal your character. Combat is turn-based and simple but totally fun. The items that you have are essential for combat.
The Game Hook
West of Loathing is a strange game that has unbelievable depth. Don’t be fooled by its minimalistic, stick-figure art style – its wackiness has a remarkable staying power. Sooner or later, you might even consider trying all of this game’s character classes!
Diablo III: Eternal Collection
Diablo III is one of those RPGs which polarized thousands of players worldwide. Some were amazed with the game’s total overhaul, while others were appalled due to limitations and microtransactions. Nevertheless, when Diablo III was ported to Switch, everyone got excited. The hype is on, even though Diablo III had to compete with many RPG titles.
The visual overhaul of Diablo III is remarkable, though some players think that it’s too colorful and extravagant. Still, Diablo III maintains the replayability and detail crunchiness of its predecessors. What’s missing is the gritty darkness but perhaps that’s a small price to pay.
For Switch, Diablo III offers a diverse selection of content to keep you busy. You’d probably end up deep in the night, grinding for better gear. But then again, there’s always something better than what you have, so you may need to put down the game and resume the fight tomorrow. Such is the cycle of Diablo III.
The Game Hook
Diablo III will always captivate a large percentage of RPG players due to its legendary appeal. With the portability advantage of Switch, you’d have your share of hack-and-slash and loot grinding anywhere you want. The Co-op feature is simply icing of the top of this RPG cake. The truth is clear: Diablo III Eternal Collection is a remarkable ‘pick me up’ game for Switch.
Valkyria Chronicles IV
What would happen if you try to mix the wonderful tropes of Anime, crunchiness of menu systems, and the bleakness of war? Well, you’d get Valkyria Chronicles IV! This recent Valkyria Chronicles (VC) game follows the global conflict between two organizations: the Atlantic Federation and the Eastern Imperial Alliance. The main catalyst of conflict is a precious material known as Ragnite. However, this conflict is just a primary backdrop where everything is linked. Valkyria Chronicles IV shines best through the stories of the main characters.
In VC IV, you take the role of Claude Wallace – the designated commander of Squad E. As a commander, you need to take out various imperial positions while balancing the quirks of other characters in your squad. The battlefield is the meat of the game, and this is where you’d spend a huge portion of your time. You can’t go full Rambo against your enemies because each class has several strengths and weaknesses. Scouts, for example, are well-rounded and great for flanking enemy troops. Unfortunately, they’re weak against tanks, vehicles, and heavily entrenched enemies. On each battle, you need to utilize the versatility of classes within your squad.
The Command Points (CP) system determines how successful you can be in every combat. Using one soldier will consume 1 CP. Unused CP will also carry over to the next battle, allowing you to play defensively. If you finish one mission fast, your squad will receive a grade which then determines the amount of experience received. You don’t have to level up one character but rather the whole class. In that sense, all characters playing the levelled up class will gain the same benefits. Such progression system gives way for long-term planning, so you won’t have to spend long hours grinding.
The Game Hook
Action-packed strategy games are meant to deliver long hours of satisfaction and fun. Valkyria Chronicles IV is one such game. In fact, it’s a real gem that should be added to your Switch library. It offers a remarkable tapestry of stories improved by the background of war. And if you’re a war story aficionado, you shouldn’t let Valkyria Chronicles pass!
Rune Factory IV
Simulation always works effectively with universal RPG mechanics. Through such game features, players will get to try menial tasks without the need to give up the sword. There are many things to be done per game day, and monster-filled areas will keep the gameplay more interesting. This is what makes Rune Factory IV highly special. Everything you do will create a measurable impact, and no effort is really wasted.
Rune Factory IV is considered as a ‘buffed up’ version of Harvest Moon but the similarities end there. In this game, your character avatar needs to deliver a special item to the land’s ruling dragon, Ventuswill. The delivery would’ve been smooth if not for the sudden attack of soldiers who are after the special item. From there, the plot thickens as your character gets amnesia due to the attack and plummets to the castle below. The new responsibility is heavy, but you’re not forced to follow it step by step. Rather, you’re free to explore, grow your farm, and level up your skills as often as you want.
The grind in Rune Factory IV is not stressful. A few seconds of tilling the soil, for example, can yield multiple ‘level ups.’ The same thing is applicable whenever you try hitting enemies with your sword.
The Game Hook
The success of Rune Factory in 3DS is mirrored in Rune Factory IV for Switch. You will feel satisfied with the visual overhaul, impressive writing, total freedom in pacing, and the relaxing ambiance. Basically, Rune Factory IV is a nice ‘pick-me-up’ game with a great appeal that will keep you entertained for years!
Divinity: Original Sin 2
The Divinity Series is a solid proof of how far developers can stretch out an RPG material. With Divinity: Original Sin 2, the bar is higher than ever. In this game, you begin as a Sourcerer burdened with numerous dilemmas. Decisions matter a lot, and they can affect the difficulty scale of your gameplay. For example: you can choose to rescue a frightened child in the ship or not at all. Depending on your actions, you can be rewarded, berated, or even attacked.
The beauty of Original Sin 2 is the monstrous attention to detail. Every place allows you to gather loot and break stuff. It’s as if you’re playing a tabletop RPG like Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder. In fact, the whole chunk of the game is patterned after the versatility of Dungeons and Dragons. For RPG lovers, this feature is a real blessing. This can be overwhelming at first, but you’ll get accustomed to it after a few hours.
Now, it’s time to discuss Original Sin 2’s combat system. The first combats will be difficult, especially if you’ve been playing fast RPGs for a long time. Instead of rushing every encounter, you need to plan ahead and keep tabs on everything. Party positioning, skill combos, enemy capabilities, and status effects are the main factors that you should worry about. Every enemy has the potential to slay your characters at any turn. Such high level of combat complexity is what makes Divinity Original Sin 2 rewarding.
Original Sin 2 looks polished on Switch but it’s slightly better on PS4. Still, the difference is not big and you will have an awesome time playing the game.
The Game Hook
If you have a knack for immersive, high-detail turn-based RPGs, you shouldn’t miss Divinity: Original Sin 2. Don’t worry – you won’t miss a large chunk of lore if you can’t play the other Divinity games at the moment. Simply keep in mind that this game demands a great amount of your time, so you better prepare!
Dragon Quest XI S
Japanese RPGs (JRPGs for short) will always have a special place on many gamers’ hearts. The flow of the narrative, immersive combat styles and dramatic twists generate strong appeal among players. Perhaps this is the reason why the Dragon Quest Series remains as formidable as ever. With Dragon Quest XI S for Switch, nostalgic fans will always have something to look forward to.
In the world of Dragon Quest XI, you play as a silent hero who must defeat a baddie known as the Dark One. Throughout your perilous but survivable journey, you can meet different characters and build your own adventuring squad. Somehow, the plot progression is generic but you will still feel satisfied as you discover hidden locations and other unlockables. Boss battles are not casual walks in the park though – you still need to strategize and dish out combos if you wish to survive.
While Dragon Quest XI doesn’t have extremely high-end visuals, the musical score is commendable. You’d feel the uniqueness of every location, as well as the intensity of every boss battle. Even if you’re not a long-term Dragon Quest fan, you will surely love Dragon Quest XI.
The Game Hook
Nostalgia is always a gamer’s friend. Dragon Quest XI shows a nice package that emphasizes the golden age of JRPGs. The game may be easy but it will create a loving spot in your heart and Switch library. With the additional exclusive Switch content, Dragon Quest XI is here to make you busy!
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a flexible game that you can pick up for a few minutes. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can sink a whole day playing it. As one of the most successful Kickstarter games, Battle Chasers has a neat package to offer. The lush, colorful environment and detailed character sprites will keep you looking forward to the next battle. Indeed, you’d be a battle chaser.
In Battle Chasers, you command a small group of heroes looking for their mage friend. The setting is known as the Lost Isles, and it’s filled with baddies represented by overland map icons. Aside from these baddies, there are numerous exploration areas and fishing spots, as well as dangerous dungeons. As your party gets stronger, you will have the option to avoid fighting weaker enemies. You won’t get any XP from doing so – just precious loot. That’s better instead of getting virtually nothing!
Combat in Battle Chasers is interesting, though you need to be wary of additional details like combos, debuffs, and other environmental hazards. You can even craft powerful items to make your runs easier. Simply replay some dungeons if ever you need awesome loot and crafting ingredients.
You might experience some slowdowns as you venture to new locales. This is acceptable and not game-breaking at all. But one nagging factor is the lack of touchscreen integration which can affect the game’s immersion level.
The Game Hook
Grinding, immersive overland detail, explosive combats – these are the kingly factors of Battle Chasers: Nightwar. It’s as if the game is built specifically for Switch, so you should definitely try this one out.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Topping the best Switch RPGs is none other than Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Some people think that BOTW is just one big hype train, while the majority can attest to the game’s remarkable features.
Set in the open world of Hyrule, you control the main protagonist, Link, and embark on a quest to destroy an old foe named Calamity Ganon. In order to do so, you need to awaken the famed Divine Beasts and retrieve the Master Sword. Only then can you defeat Calamity Ganon and restore peace to Hyrule.
Breath of the Wild retained the formula of old Zelda games. The game is non-linear, and you can simply explore the world without focusing too much on the plot. Another great feature of BOTW is the consistency of its physics engine. You can utilize physics to your advantage by relying on different tools. The paraglider, for example, lets you travel quickly after jumping from a high elevation. You will travel through slow descent, much like a realistic glider.
There are many things you can do in the game, but you’re limited by a stamina system. To replenish your health and stamina, you can consume a wide array of items. If you have the luxury of time, you should try BOTW’s quests and challenges. Accomplishing these quests will yield some interesting rewards.
BOTW’s graphics and audio are superb – you will feel the intensity of every combat and situation. A mishap will feel dangerously real while a successful trick will put a smile in your face.
The Game Hook
Breath of the Wild is a solid masterpiece. It’s not perfect, but it clearly emphasizes the pinnacle of a long-term RPG. This is a game that you’d definitely play for a long time.
Nintendo Switch is one of the most phenomenal consoles of the modern age. Therefore, it’s fitting for such console to have a diverse array of the best Switch RPGs ever made. If you’re looking forward to create an interesting Switch library, the games mentioned on this list will get you started!
A Quick Recap for You: The 9 Best RPGs on Switch
1. Xenoblade Chronicles II – Simple story, deep & complex combat
2. West of Loathing – Wild West RPG with a satirical approach
3. Diablo III Eternal Collection – Just like Diablo III…but on Switch!
4. Valkyria Chronicles IV – War and Anime combined
5. Rune Factory IV – Harvest Moon with swords & a grind-lover’s choice
6. Divinity Original Sin II – Almost as detailed as Dungeons & Dragons
7. Dragon Quest XI S – A classic JRPG for everyone
8. Battle Chasers: Nightwar – Pick-me-up JRPG with beautiful visuals
9. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild – Link tries to save Hyrule again!