Great Switch RPGs (So Far)

It is hard to believe that we’re already over two years into the life cycle of the Nintendo Switch. For me, it seems like only yesterday that Breath of the Wild re-ignited that spark of passion for console gaming under my own roof. Since March 2017, the Switch has easily cataloged a couple hundred RPGs, so today I’d like to hand-pick my personal favorites – so far, and in no particular order – from the entire library.

While not a definitive list by any means, I’ve crafted it in a way as to (hopefully) provide a wide assortment of RPGs, comprised of numerous subgenres, price points, ports, and console exclusives. Don’t let this list stop at my own picks though, I’d love for you to share your own picks in the comments below! Now, on to the list!


Alvastia Chronicles

Read our review here.

Starting out this list is everyone’s favorite RPG publisher, KEMCO, with one of their more recent Switch releases, Alvastia Chronicles. Before you dismiss this as another KEMCO “fanboy” soapbox moment, remember that I’ve rated more of their games as BAD or OK rather than GOOD or GREAT. When they do things right however, it is hard to deny their value within the budget JRPG market.

Alvastia Chronicles is easily one of the best RPGs they’ve released on Switch thus far, right up there with 2018’s Dragon Sinker. The old-school pixel heavy approach, I feel, is their strongest suit instead of the RPG Maker-esque design found in most of their other titles. Although premium currencies and microtransactions are a thing, you can safely ignore them in Alvastia entirely, at least when it comes to a normal difficulty playthrough. If you’re looking for a retro-inspired, bite-sized JRPG at a budget, you can’t do much better than this one.

Diablo III: Eternal Collection

Read our review here.

I’ve been battling against the hordes of hell ever since the early 2000s with Diablo II, and although the base game of Diablo III came alongside a myriad of issues, things did turn around quite a bit after a barrage of content updates. But having it on the go, man, that would be awesome, right? That’s exactly why I was hyped about its release last year, and turns out it was well worth the investment. For now – at least until Path of Exile or something comes along – you can’t go wrong selecting D3 as your ARPG lootgrinding game of choice.

Stardew Valley

In my mind, the rightful heir to the life/farm/crafting simulation throne was somewhat of a contested one. Honestly, I prefer the general gameplay loop of My Time At Portia over that of Stardew Valley, but when you consider price point differences and overall polish between the two, Stardew Valley wins hands down. While some might classify it as a “casual” or “easygoing” game – and that isn’t necessarily false – it can become quite complex once you invest yourself into its many mechanics. This one is a no brainer, as you can easily spend 100s of hours living out your life how you see fit within the Stardew Valley.

Disgaea 5 Complete

Read our review here.

There are an abundance of tactical/strategy RPGs on the Switch right now, but none quite as insane as the Disgaea series. With many of its components built specifically for those that enjoy hours upon hours of grinding, the gameplay longevity capable in Disgaea 5 is immense, to say the least. The anime aesthetic is laid on thick, and that might be a turnoff to some, but pushing past that can open you up to one of the most impressive tactical/strategy games out there.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Read our review here.

Ys VIII, for a good while, was my favorite Switch RPG. Having played very little of the franchise prior to this Switch outing, the mysterious island and culture surrounding Adol and his companions was one that has stuck with me to this day. Unfortunately, I feel like this one came and went without too much fanfare, which is why I strongly encourage fans of action RPGs to give it a shot, increasing our chances of seeing more Ys Switch titles in the future as a result.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Truthfully speaking, I’m not much of a Zelda fan. Sure, I played my fair share of A Link To The Past and Ocarina Time back in the day, but being an RPG-exclusive player at heart means that most entries aren’t really my thing. But I do have to give credit where it is due – I jumped on BoTW day one and it single handedly converted me from a PC-exclusive gamer to, now, a console-exclusive one. That said, I would not necessarily classify it as an RPG through and through, but enough of the systems are there for me to not really care either way.

Golf Story

Sport RPGs are not necessarily the most popular, or most common type of game out there, but when done right they can leave a lasting impression. Golf Story is one of earliest console-exclusive RPGs, arriving on Switch back in September of 2017. Although I feel that this game has a fairly substantial following, I wouldn’t be surprised if many overlooked it simply because it is a sports game at heart. If you happen to be one of those people, do yourself a favor and pick up this game as it might surprise you with how fun it actually is, and how well it infuses traditional RPG mechanics into its golf mechanics.

Moonlighter

Read our review here.

This shopkeeper rogue-lite is really a must-have for any RPG fan, even if you aren’t a fan of the subgenre. It is one of the most approachable rogue-lites out there due to the heavy emphasis put upon the shop management system rather than brutally punishing you for missteps around every turn. Bad things can – and will – happen however, making it equally satisfying for those hardcore rogue-lite/like fans out there, too.

Octopath Traveler

Read our review here.

In the middle of last year, Octopath Traveler took the world by storm with its impressive “HD-2D” visuals, excellent combat system, and (mostly) interesting characters. While many were underwhelmed by the absence of significant ties between the characters, the SaGa-like approach did not bother me whatsoever. Outside of that, Octopath Traveler has a lot to offer with its modern take on visuals and mechanics that RPG fans have adored for years, and with the mobile prequel and eventual Switch sequel somewhere out on the horizon, we are certain to be getting more of these types of games in the future.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

The first epic-length JRPG to land on the Nintendo Switch – all the way back in November 2017 – is still one of the best RPGs to release on the platform thus far. Both XC2 and its standalone expansion, Torna – The Golden Country, have the potential to offer hundreds upon hundreds of hours of enjoyment. I can’t imagine that this is the last we’ll see from the Xenoblade series on Switch, and since I haven’t played any of the previous entries yet, even an announcement of a port of an older title in the franchise would make myself, and surely others, very excited indeed.


That’s it for the list! What do you think about my picks for best Switch RPGs so far? What would you change?

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Timothy Taylor
Staff

Great list. Slightly disappointed not to see Let’s Go Pikachu though.

DjAtkins
Member
DjAtkins

Well I feel good only 3 I think that I don’t own… but not sure if I would enjoy Ys or Disgaea so we will see. Looking into Alvastia Chronicles now and Moonlighter is on my wishlist