Switch JRPG games are some of the best the system has to offer. From exploring the vast environments of Xenoblade Chronicles to collecting pocket monsters in Pokémon Sword & Shield, here are the best Switch JRPG games to try.
10) Shin Megami Tensei V
The difficulty of Shin Megami Tensei V can be a turnoff for some, but for those who really get into it, Atlus’ effort is one of the best Switch JRPG games on the system. Nominated for best RPG at The Game Awards 2021, SMTV brings a deep and dark world to the table as you stumble across a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Each of the creatures is haunting and requires you to bring a different strategy to the table. The game’s battle system and storyline are well-made and make Shin Megami Tensei V worth your time on the Switch.
9) Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
I do not like Dragon Quest XI, plain and simple, but my opinion is in a sharp minority. Fans have praised it for the phenomenal world you can explore, the relatable characters, and the tried-and-true turn-based RPG system.
However, the one person at your party that keeps me away from the game is Sylvando, an irritating gay stereotype who keeps saying “darling” at the end of sentences. Plus, the story wasn’t as engaging as Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King; the writing is actually corny in many places in XI.
Fans of the game swear by it, however, and you can try a 10-hour demo to see if it’s for you. It certainly wasn’t for me but it has a 91 MetaCritic score, so despite my opinion, it is one of the best Switch JRPG games out there.
8) Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
Most JRPGs have you going on an epic quest and defeating a world-ending enemy. However, the Atelier series takes a different route and has your main goal of being the best alchemist you can become. Ryza is one of the best as it has an improved battle system, likable characters, and a pretty art style that looks ripped out of an illustrated manga.
It doesn’t have as high of a budget as Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, but you’ll still love the environments you can explore in-game with their bright visuals. It also has an emphasis on crafting items and weapons, so if that’s more your speed, you’ll be at home. Overall, the chill vibe of the game is a breath of fresh air in the genre, and you should give it a go. It’s one of the best Switch JRPG titles because of how unique it is in the crowded genre.
7) Octopath Traveler
Calling back to the classic JRPGs that Square Enix is known for, Octopath Traveler is a turn-based affair mixed with the impressive HD-2D graphical style. The sprites and the lighting effects truly make for a glorious world that feels old but new in its own unique way.
Throughout your journey, you’ll get to know eight different characters each with their own task to follow. Their narratives are well-told, and the format of the storyline has been praised across the board. It’s one of the best Switch RPG games out there.
6) Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon Legends: Arceus was a surprise to fans when it was released in January 2022. It seems like the first step to a truly open Pokémon game with its own environments to explore, each with their own monsters to find within their appropriate biome.
You can find Pokémon hiding in the grass and take side missions to find specific resources or a certain species to take a picture of. It felt like a true ecosystem we can explore. Hopefully, Pokémon Scarlet & Violet continue to impress fans of the series. The story also felt epic, and some of the battles were actually quite hard in the post-game.
5) Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
When it was announced the once acclaimed JRPG studio Level-5 joined forces with Studio Ghibli to make Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, it was a joy to many. And despite the game’s high expectations, the game still succeeded. It has a heartwarming story about a boy trying to save his mother in a world that only Studio Ghibli could create. In addition, the Pokémon-like catching and combat with familiars is an absolute treat. Give this a go if you haven’t already as it’s one of the best Switch JRPG games.
4) Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
Despite being more than two decades old (take that fact in…), Final Fantasy X still remains one of the best JRPGs ever made. It has a creative and emotional story that you’ll be invested in from start to finish. Also, it’s arguably the peak of the combat system in the series as you can switch out party members, interact with and attack objects in the game, and face off tough bosses in a cinematic flair. The music by Nobuo Uematsu is unmatched as it whisks you through this acclaimed adventure with such splendor.
3) Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Once Fire Emblem: Three Houses holds on to you, you won’t put it down until you reach the end of the story. For example, I played around 50 or so hours of the game in one week alone. The strategy RPG gameplay is spot on as you team up party members to form bonds and succeed at taking out a foe. In addition, you really have to think about your next action.
The story is also engrossing as you truly get invested in the well-rounded characters and want to see them succeed. Fire Emblem: Three Houses also has one of the best twists in JRPG history, but we won’t spoil it here. The Warriors spinoff is also excellent and will suck much of your time as well. Regardless, Three Houses is one of the best Switch JRPG games you can play right now.
2) Dark Souls Remastered
One of the most infamous hard games is also one of the best Switch JRPG experiences on the system. Dark Souls Remastered doesn’t blissfully guide you through the game like most JRPGs, holding your hand. No, Dark Souls Remastered lays out the controls, and that’s pretty much it.
That freedom to discover, however, is one of the game’s best qualities as it forces you to take on dragons and all sorts of mighty bosses along the way. The combat is lumbering but strategic as you try to guess each enemy’s moves, even the grunts on the field. You’ll be mad at many points of Dark Souls Remastered, but those moments when you finally figure out how to proceed are worth it.
1) Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the Best Switch JRPG
There was a moment when Xenoblade Chronicles seemed unlikely to make it to the United States. However, through the willpower of Nintendo’s fanbase and Operation Rainfall, we were able to finally convince the Japanese company to release the game.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the best Switch JRPG because it tells a grand, emotional storyline that will keep you hooked. In addition, the combat system is spectacular as your positioning around the battle formulates your success. Strategy is key, and you’ll “have to be “really feelin’ it” to proceed through bosses and other encounters.
What heightens the story and the action is the incredible soundtrack. “You Will Know Our Names,” “Mechanical Rhythm,” and “Engage The Enemy” are all epic songs that will keep you emotionally empowered during each battle.
Despite our praise for the first Xenoblade Chronicles game, you should know Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was close to toppling it for the top spot.
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An experienced freelance writer, Chris has a vast knowledge of the gaming medium. With a Bachelor of Communications degree, he hopes to elevate his writing further. His favorite games are Kingdom Hearts, Beyond Good & Evil, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.