It takes far more than bulky worlds swimming with breathtaking landscapes to craft the perfect RPG. It takes mounds of discipline, ambition and determination, and enough lore to write an entire anthology. Plus, it takes a strong devotion that not every developer can hold for the duration of the journey. It takes blood, sweat and tears — and that’s only the beginning.
Now, imagine taking these crucial elements and then having to scale them down to fit on a handheld console. Doesn’t seem like a relatively simple task, does it? Well, for some, those long and gruelling hours managed to pay off post-launch. With millions of copies being shipped worldwide, these select few have not only managed to succeed in building a pocket-sized planet — but accomplish what many others simply cannot.
In the three year lifespan, the Nintendo Switch has homed a fairly small library of RPG titles. Admittedly, some very good RPG’s, but no way near as many as the other thriving genres that accommodate a more sizeable player base. Even still, we’ve narrowed down the five best-selling RPG games to date, and we’re more than ready to explore the lore of these fan favourites.
5. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Clashing Nintendo’s Super Mario and Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids together crafts the turn-based RPG, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Unlike many of the platformers that Nintendo favours for its portfolio, Kingdom Battle takes a swing at the role-playing elements and combat styles that have proved to be widely popular amongst the community. And, seeing as Nintendo know how to keep up with the trends, it was only a matter of time before this little icon became just another fantastic RPG.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle takes place over four unique worlds all bursting with color and crisp landscapes. With a wealthy number of battles, chapters, puzzles and collectables per planet, the RPG newcomer drizzles joy and packs a whole banquet of action over its twenty-hour campaign. Also, storywise, it’s a neat little quest that doesn’t ever become monotonous. There’s feral Rabbids, and there’s a home to reclaim. Mushroom Kingdom is in need of having order restored, and who else but Mario and friends can achieve such goals? It’s big, and it’s beautiful. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle snags the fifth place entry for best-selling RPG games on the Switch.
4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Coming in with the sixteenth major entry to the Fire Emblem world is the best-selling Three Houses chapter. With a brand new journey consisting of three rival factions at war with one another, the player takes the reigns of the middle-man (or woman) with the ultimate choice over which territory they will side with. Of course, Three Houses was developed in order to be played through a few times rather than just the once. In fact, due to its fine mixture of combat and role-playing features, Three Kingdoms brings a lot more to the table than what we see at face value.
Fire Emblem has always packed more content in than what we originally see on the tin. From spending days planting seeds to fishing down at the nearest dock; Three Houses grants the player downtime so the whole campaign isn’t flustered with repetitive carnage. However, there is just the right dosage of each genre; making this powerful entry a perfectly balanced experience for seasoned fans of the franchise.
3. Ring Fit Adventure
As odd as this may seem, Ring Fit Adventure is, in fact, the third highest-selling RPG title on the Nintendo Switch. And I know what you’re saying, okay? Your wondering how on earth this Wii Fit clone is anywhere near as complex as a fully-fledged RPG. Well, in all honesty — it isn’t that complex at all. But it is, however, an RPG in its own special ways. Although featuring some of the very core mechanics to any successful role-playing franchise, Ring Fit Adventure is still noted to be a worthy entry to this list.
Taking on the role of an overly-enthusiastic fitness guru, players are faced with countless obstacles and boss battles that require fitness to defeat. Yes, that’s right — fitness. There’s even a certain amount of XP players can obtain depending on the exercise during each level. It’s because of this, that during the Coronavirus pandemic and the closure of most gyms, fitness fanatics soon looked to purchase the Switch gem for a daily dose of exercise. And, for that exact reason alone, the game was rehashed at more than triple the initial price tag. Now that’s marketing.
2. Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee
Who could resist an enhanced version of everybody’s favourite Pokémon classic, eh? In fact, Pokémon Yellow was one of the many reasons why the Game Boy Color became such a sensational platform way back in the nineties. It was a total gamechanger for its day, and, is still very much considered to be the greatest of the entire timeline. With the original generation of collectable Pokémon bringing back some serious nostalgia vibes, these fresh-faced remasters dice up childhood gold and dash in just a dollop of next-gen goodness.
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee manages to not only bring back the original story from the Yellow cartridge — but also shape it in a way that makes it feel like a whole new game. With a sharper edge to the simplistic plotline and an entire facelift to the breathtaking world, this exciting new chapter flawlessly mixes the old with the new. And, you know — it does it gracefully.
1. Pokemon Sword and Shield
Coming in as the best selling RPG on the Nintendo Switch is, of course, Pokémon Sword and Shield. Again, with its absolutely enormous following and player base, Nintendo found no troubles in building a community when launching the sparkly-new Switch title. With over eighteen million sales worldwide, this entry to the Pokémon timeline managed to surpass all expectations and bag the bronze for the third highest-selling game in the franchise history.
Following on from a similar Pokémon pattern, Sword and Shield takes place in a new region where players must defeat gym leaders and battle for the title of strongest trainer. Again, not exactly reinventing the wheel when it comes to gripping narrative, but then, with Pokémon — you don’t really have to. Although the concept follows an identical structure, there is far more to every world with every entry to the series. There is always a key ingredient that keeps players craving for more. Whatever it may be — Pokémon definitely has and continues to bring it.