If you're like us then you absolutely love playing games on the Nintendo Switch. We have been playing the Switch since its release and because of that we are always on the lookout for great new games to play. To help others find games that they may not have played yet, we've put together this list of the Best RPG Games on the Switch. We have a collection of Western RPGs as well as more traditional Japanese RPGs (JRPGs), and we even have a couple games that you may not immediately think of as 'role playing' but we'll do our best to explain our choices.
Take a look and let us know if you think we missed something.
Switch RPG Games Coming Later this Year
Before we dive into our list of the Top 5 Best Switch RPGs currently available we thought we would highlight a couple Switch games that will probably earn a spot on this list in the coming months. If you don't have these games on your radar, or your pre-order list, pick them up now so you can be there on release day.
Just mentioning the name Dark Souls can stir up emotions. For those who have played it and been driven away by its sharp difficulty curve and lack of hand-holding just thinking about it can boil over their temper. But for those who have unlocked its secrets, mentioning Dark Souls will bring back thoughts of victories achieved and challenges overcome like almost no other game in history.
In Dark Souls you can build your character however you'd like, as a strength based heavy weapon master, a lithe archer, or a magic slinging wizard. Exploring this wide open and interconnected world will make your head spin, and leave you holding your breath as you try to reach the next bonfire and create a checkpoint with your health running low. Secret items, secret pathways, and even secret worlds await the adventures who explore every nook and cranny or who can decipher the clues strew around the ruined landscape. It may not be for everyone but, if it sounds like something you'd like, Dark Souls will probably sink its claws in you and not let go.
The upcoming Dark Souls Remastered for Switch looks to be an incredible version of this classic action RPG. With enhanced graphics and a stable frame rate in both docked and portable modes you might find it hard to pull yourself away from this one. While it was originally slated to release in May it looks like the developers are now shooting for a late summer release, so we shouldn't have to wait too long before we get to die again and again.
Octopath Traveler is a highly anticipated Switch RPG that is scheduled to release in July 2018. Described as a '2D-HD' game it has a very distinct visual style that blends together high quality pixel art with interesting scaling and 3D effects. The game itself centers around eight distinct characters, each with their own job, skills, and personality. By switching between these characters you will be able to approach the quests in the game in different ways, which should give the game massive replayability.
Combat in Octopath Traveler is based on the classic Final Fantasy - 'Active Time Battle System' but with some interesting additions from the recent Bravely Default games. These new abilities allow you to 'Break' an enemy's defense by using the correct weapon or magic against them. Once an enemy's defense is broken you can stun them to deal extra damage until they can recover. You also have the option of saving up attacks throughout turns and then spending them all at once to add power to skill attacks or score numerous hits on an enemy at precisely the right moment.
Needless to say, pretty much every Switch RPG fan is looking forward to Octopath, so if you haven't pre-ordered it yet now is the time. Octopath Traveler is set to release on July 13th and there is a demo available on the Nintendo eShop if you'd like to try it out before that.
Alright now that we have the challengers listed, it's time for the main event. Here is our list of the Top 5 Switch RPGs available in 2018!
I know that some people get apprehensive when a game is described as retro, but that shouldn’t worry you here. While the style and feel of the game is a deliberate 90s throwback to games like Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, the developers of Lost Sphear have also learned a lot from the last 20 years of evolution in game development.
The story of Lost Sphear centers around the player restoring 'lost' sections of the game world through the recovery of memories. This is not only an interesting mechanic to expand the game world but it is also accompanied by a cool visual effect that fades in parts of the world as your progress. Once you recover an area that was previously missing you can then enter it and interact with NPCs, raid dungeons, or explore new towns.
The visual style of Lost Sphear is also very striking. It combines the classic pixel art RPGs from the SNES era, such as Final Fantasy IV and VI, with the low-poly 3D style of Final Fantasy VII and Chrono Cross. This style is also enhanced with full HD resolutions and all the latest graphical effects, and it looks great running on the Switch in both TV and handheld mode.
Another area where Lost Sphear compares with classics like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy is through the use of a similar ‘Active Time Battle’ system. This system is augmented with the ability to unlock special attacks and to gain better control over the battlefield based on your player's positioning. As you progress through the game, you also unlock combo moves that allow you to incorporate multiple character's abilities simultaneously for joint attacks that deliver big damage and awesome visuals.
One of the ways that Lost Sphear evolves from its classic roots is by banishing the random enemy encounter that could often feel punishing in older games. There is also no combat on the over-world map so you can freely make it from one region of the world to another without being constantly stopped.
Lost Sphear is a great game that expertly captures the feeling of the RPGs of my youth. If you have fond memories of the SNES era then you should let this game recover your memories and give it a try.
Okay, hang with me for a second. I know that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle probably isn't what you immediately think of when you hear the term RPG, but I'm going to try and convince you otherwise. M+R (as Mario + Rabbids will now be known) has a party of characters, who progress through multiple worlds and battle foes in highly tactical and strategic battles. It also has player progression through leveling up and a skill tree for selecting different attacks and abilities. Those all sound like RPG elements to me!
Besides this game is such a great mashup of styles, game types, and universes that it deserves to be enjoyed by as many players as possible.
In case you aren't familiar with the game, M+R is a tactical 'RPG' where you build a party of characters from both the Mario and Rabbids universes in an attempt to save the Mushroom Kingdom. You'll progress through multiple worlds that are all beautifully rendered and presented. In fact, the visuals on this game are outstanding. It's almost as if Pixar got ahold of the Mario assets and started working on an awesome new movie but then the Rabbids showed up and everything got tossed out the window.
While the exploration and zany story in M+R are all great it is the combat encounters that really stand out. While at first the tactical combat may seem like a poor-man's XCOM you will quickly be introduced to a deep tactical game that will keep you on your toes. Between multiple weapons, character specific abilities, and varied enemies there is almost always something new to take in to account in each battle.
On top of everything else you can also utilize the position of your party to great advantage. Your characters can take cover behind obstacles, some of which are destructible, and they can then be used as a vault point for other characters so they can reach previously inaccessible locations. This lends gravity to every move of each turn in a way that really satisfies.
I could go on and on heaping praise on Mario + Rabbids but if you haven't taken this wild trip yet then you really just need to give it a try for yourself.
If I didn't convince you that Mario + Rabbids belongs on a list of RPGs, and you like your RPGs a little more on the 'traditional' side, then this next entry is for you. It doesn't get more hardcore JRPG than Xenoblade Chronicles 2! This epic game can easily clock in at over 100 hours of game time in a sprawling open world that will see you soaring through the skies and exploring the backs of massive titans.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes the classic JRPG story and combat styles, and places them in a huge open-world environment that is constantly pulling you to explore and encounter new characters, enemies, and quests. One unique aspect of this series are the Blades, which are living weapons that make up your arsenal as well as drive the story forward. Blades come in different types, some that absorb damage, others that focus on dealing damage, and some that heal. There are also rare blades that can open up new skills, quests, and locations in the game world.
Battles in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 feel different from many other RPGs of this type. Instead of being a strictly turn-based affair there are multiple elements of timing to your attacks and abilities that almost inject a combat rhythm to each battle. In addition to this you will need to adjust your tactics depending on each enemy you face as well as consider the positioning of your characters and their blades. While it can be a lot to grasp at times it creates a very deep and rewarding battle system.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 also has a well told and engrossing story, littered with lengthy cutscenes, that will take you on a roller-coaster of twists, turns, and emotions. If you're a fan of the drama found in traditional Japanese RPGs then you're in the right place. In addition to all of the incredible gameplay that comes in the main game there will soon be a large expansion for the game that will open up the world even further. You can check out this recent E3 trailer for more details on the expansion.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a fantastic example of taking the traditional elements of a classic JRPG and infusing it with the great advances that have been made in open-world game design over the last several years. If you're looking to really get lost in a grand story and fantastic battles then don't miss this one.
I assume that if you are interested in a list of RPGs then you have probably played Skyrim, if not feel free to just skip down to the purchase button and get ready for the ride of your life. Skyrim is one of the greatest, and most well known, RPGs in gaming and it earns every one of the accolades it has received. From its grand open world, both above and below ground, to its hundreds of characters there is perhaps no better game to allow you to actually Role Play than Skyrim.
Very few, if any, games offer you the freedom that Skyrim provides. The ability to make your own choices, and have those choices impact you and the world is very engrossing. The world of Skyrim is also one of the best to ever be rendered for the screen. And with its focus on allowing you to visit every location you can see there are thousands of incredible vistas for you to discover during your adventures.
So what makes the Switch version of Skyrim different from all the others? First, and most obviously, you can play it on the go! Not only does the Switch make Skyrim portable but it also allows you to pick up and play the game in a way that has never really been possible before. The Switch version also includes all the DLC that was ever released, making an already huge game even more massive. In addition to that you get Switch specific motion controls and special gear drops by tapping your Amiibo during game play. If you have a Link Amiibo you even get a chance to acquire Link's outfit from Breath of the Wild, the Hylian Shield, and the Master Sword!
Whether you missed out on playing Skyrim at its original release or you want to take another stroll through Tamriel to experience all these great new features; the Switch version is definitely the way to play.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is, in my opinion, the best game ever made. So not only would it appear at the top of my list of the Best Switch RPGs but it would also sit at the top of my list of Best Switch Games, period. Breath of the Wild is a revelation, it has an open and enchanting world that can be explored in any order you wish. In every direction adventure awaits, and if you can see it you can not only go there and explore it, but you can probably climb it as well.
Not only does Breath of the Wild embrace and enhance the existing open-world style of game but it also upends the existing Zelda formulas that had become so entrenched over the last 20+ years. These changes enable such enormous freedom for the player that Hyrule finally feels like the living and breathing world it has always been only in our imaginations.
Combat in Breath of the Wild is fast and fluid, and thanks to the breakable weapons you are constantly juggling your options to determine how to handle each situation. Exploration is constantly rewarded with new shrines to challenge, new enemies to battle, or ancient Hyrulian secrets to unearth.
In addition to the fantastic main-line story there are dozens of side quests to complete and now several DLC expansions that extend the story and add new treasures to discover. In short, this is a game you could play for years to come.
In the off-chance that you don't already have a copy of Breath of the Wild you should definitely pick it up, it's one game that needs to be in every gamer's library.
There you have it, our list of the Best Switch RPGs Available in 2018. If you think we missed something, or you want to refute our rankings, let us know on Twitter @f5games. Until next time, happy questing!