Over the last two weeks of December, we are announcing the winners of the Second Annual SwitchRPG Awards. We’ll be announcing new winners every weekday, leading up to a final announcement on January 1st for RPG of the Year!
For our second day of awards, we’re stepping into the world of tactical RPGs, a genre where we find not only gripping stories, but intense mental challenges as players are pushed to their limits to finding the best strategy for victory. Tactical RPGs can provide some of the longest campaigns and highest replay value on our list, as players often come back again and again to try out new techniques, party compositions, and strategies. Our list of nominees in this category includes both sequels that have risen above their predecessors in appeal, as well as throwbacks to some of the most popular games in the genre. While only one can win, all offer fans meaty adventures that will push their brain to its limit.
And the Winner Is…
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Nintendo’s latest in its long running tactical RPG series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses took the franchise to new heights this year. Leaning heavily into some of its most beloved features, Three Houses ratcheted up relationship building, allowing the player to persuade, woo, and cajole characters into joining their party during the first hours of the game. Those early game choices would not only affect who came along for the ride, but also the game’s central storyline. With three branching paths to choose from – and a myriad of characters and strategies to deploy – Three Houses offers strategy enthusiasts hundreds of hours of high quality, tactical gameplay to enjoy. As such, it rose above the other nominees to be our staff choice for Best Tactical RPG this year.
Community Pick: Fire Emblem: Three Houses
For the second award in a row, our staff and community picks found themselves in alignment. To say Fire Emblem took the Nintendo and RPG community by storm this year would be an understatement. Outside of Pokemon Sword and Shield, it was undoubtedly Nintendo’s biggest release in 2019. Fans of the game came out in force in support, and while it didn’t achieve quite the same heights as Dragon Quest XI did in the Best Turn-Based RPG poll, Three Houses still crossed the finish line with 59 percent of the votes. Meanwhile, Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Fell Seal: The Arbiter’s Mark lagged behind with 20 and 16 percent of the votes, respectively.
Are you one of the Fire Emblem superfans who felt it deserved the win for Best Tactical RPG? Or maybe one of our other nominees (or a game not mentioned) strikes your fancy? Let us know in the comments below. And stay tuned tomorrow as we move away from turn-based and tactical style games into the exciting world of Action RPGs!