In some ways, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect console for role playing. If you’re in the middle of an intense boss battle and need to get on the metro, you can just grab your Switch and get out! You cannot do this with another home console. But what are the best Nintendo Switch RPG titles to play?
Below, we’ve compiled eight of the best Nintendo Switch RPGs you can buy right now. Now before you start browsing the list, there are a few things to keep in mind. The term “role playing” has become watered down over the decades to the point that your definition of an RPG might be very different from that of someone else. For example, is The legend of Zelda: the breath of nature an RPG? Most would say no, but some would disagree. What about Diablo 3 or even Animal Crossing: New Horizons? There are RPG elements in both, but it would be difficult to classify them as “pure” RPGs.
With all of that in mind, we’ve tried to keep the list of top Nintendo Switch RPG titles below true to the games that the majority of players would agree with the definition of RPG. There may be games here that you don’t think you qualify for, and some other games that we think should be listed. We also tried to avoid filling the list with ported titles, i.e. games launched on other consoles years ago and repackaged for the Switch.
In general, if you’re looking for a Switch game with the feel of an RPG, this list should give you what you need.
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Best Nintendo Switch RPG titles:
Editor’s note: This list of the best Nintendo Switch RPG titles will be updated regularly when new games are launched.
1. History of golf
If you get into the game Golf history because you are hoping for a realistic golf game with realistic graphics and physics, you are going to be incredibly disappointed. While the game obviously has a lot to do with golf, it is more like a SquareSoft Super Nintendo era title than a PGA Tour game. Either way, it’s a wonderful Nintendo Switch RPG!
In Golf Story, you are a former golfer who fell in love with the game thanks to his father. For reasons that we are not going to discuss, you haven’t played golf in 20 years, but you work hard to rekindle your interest in the sport. With this basic premise as a launching pad, you embark on a fun and sometimes hilarious journey.
The turn-based combat elements of “traditional” RPGs are turned upside down in Golf Story by making golf swings and other golf-related moves. You’ve probably never played Golf Story, but RPG fans will love it.
2. The longest five minutes
Imagine for a second that you are the main protagonist of a classic RPG game. In the midst of the biggest boss battle of your life, you injure yourself, then you have amnesia, which makes you forget everything about your past adventures and what you even do there in the first place. This is the basic premise of The longest five minutes, which is easily one of the best Nintendo Switch RPGs you can play today.
In the game, you try to find your memories of fighting against the different servants of the almighty Demon King. The trick is that you remember it while you are in the big boss battle, so the lives of your teammates depend on what you remember and how quickly you remember!
The longest five minutes is definitely worth a look, especially if you’re in the old school of RPGs!
3. Lost Sphear
The best – and worst – thing you can say about JRPG Lost sphear is that it’s too much like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. Obviously, these games are two of the best video games of all time by just about any measure, so comparing them is a positive. However, Lost Sphear could venture a little too far in tribute for its own good. Overall, however, it’s a stellar Nintendo Switch RPG worth checking out.
Lost Sphear focuses on the main protagonist named Kanata. One day, Kanata and her friends see their city engulfed by a strange white mist, making everything they know disappear. Kanata finally learns that he has the ability to restore his city and others like it through the power of memories. Kanata and her friends then embarked on an adventure to rid the world of the strange mist – and find out what is causing it.
Magic, monsters, Active Time Battle and an epic soundtrack make Lost Sphear possibly the purest RPG on this list. Do not miss it!
4. Octopath Traveler
No matter how you feel Traveler octopathe, it would be difficult to deny the absolute beauty of the game. The graphics and design are both simple and fascinating, which gives it a unique feeling that no other game has yet matched.
Given that Octopath Traveler is one of the best-selling games for the console, it’s easy to see why it’s on this list of the best Nintendo Switch RPG titles. If, for whatever reason, you don’t already know, this is a fantastic game where you control eight different characters, each with their own skills, personality and backstory. The stories don’t really intersect with each other, but you can mix and match the characters together for battles as you make your way around the world.
This one is truly a gem not to be missed. Oh, and also the soundtrack is out of this world.
5. Pokémon sword and shield
Although there has been a ton of hype for Pokemon sword and Shield when they were announced, players finally felt they weren’t up to par with previous Pokemon games. It wasn’t that they were bad, but they just weren’t great. However, when you see them less as standard Pokémon titles and more like an RPG with Pokémon involved, you may come out with a different perspective.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first games in the long franchise that let you explore a large area of the open world with free camera movement. In other words, this game feels like one of the biggest in the series, even if the list of available Pokémon is less refined and lacks a lot of great players.
The point is, Pokémon Sword and Shield is worth a visit, whether you’re a big fan or just looking for a good Nintendo Switch RPG to try. As long as you are not a Pokédex purist, you will have a good time.
6. South Park: the fractured but everything
If someone had told us in 2010 that two of the best RPGs of the next decade would be centered in the world of South Park, we would probably have made them laugh out of the room. Yet here we put a game called South Park: The Fractured But Whole on our list of the best Nintendo Switch RPG titles available.
South Park: TFBW takes place the day after the previous game in the series, The staff of Truth. As with this game, you control New Kid as he plays his part through South Park with the usual cast of characters you know and love. Since the game was created in the same 2.5D layout as the show itself, you really feel like you’re “playing” an episode of South Park.
The Fractured But Whole and the Stick of Truth are both available on the Switch, but the Switch has more jokes and is therefore superior. However, they are both worth it!
7. Trials Of Mana
In 2019, one day, old school players had been waiting for decades: Nintendo released an English port of Seiken Densetsu 3, the sequel to the classic Super Nintendo Secret of Mana. The original game was launched in Japan in 1995 but has never seen a launch in English, forcing fans outside of Japan to play pirated versions. Finally, however, an official port called Trials of Mana was launched on Nintendo Switch in the Mana Collection compilation.
Then Nintendo and Square Enix went further and announced that there would be a full remake of Trials of Mana, with 3D graphics, an orchestral soundtrack and modernized controls. This game is finally here and the boy is a wonder to behold.
If you’re a fan of Trials of Mana or even just Secret of Mana, you’ll absolutely love what Square Enix did with this remake. He stays true to the roots of the game while updating things just enough to make it fresh. And, if you’ve never played a Mana series game before, now is a perfect (and more modern) way to get started. It is, quite simply, one of the best Nintendo Switch RPGs you can get.
8. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
The original Xenoblade Chronicles landed on the Nintendo Wii in 2010 exclusively in Japan. It eventually reached other parts of the world and became a surprise success (and is now becoming a port to the Switch in May 2020). In its original embodiment, it was a role-playing game with action-adventure elements and proved popular with the RPG crowd. For the Wii U, however, the follow-up title Xenoblade Chronicles X has abandoned many elements of the story and made it an open world game, with minimal intrigue and a focus on exploration.
With Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the developers returned to the gameplay and story elements of the original Wii title, and we are grateful. We can safely count it as one of the best Nintendo Switch RPG titles available, and it can only be played on the Switch!
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an absolutely huge game (seriously, it will take you hours and hours). However, once you’re done with the main game, there is an expansion called Torna – The Golden Country that adds even more hours. If you really like to immerse yourself in RPGs, this is the one for you.
So much for our list of the best Nintendo Switch RPG titles. Don’t forget to bookmark this page to see future updates we will bring to this list!