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5 Best RPGs on Nintendo Switch (2024)

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Best RPGs on Switch

RPGs are one of the most popular gaming genres, thanks to their deep-rooted narrative and hands-on gameplay. However, the genre wasn't that big on prior Nintendo systems, which were more known for their arcade or party games. Fast-forward to the release of the Nintendo Switch, and RPGs finally found a home for themselves in Nintendo. In fact, some of the genre's greatest titles are now a part of the Switch's roster. So, Let's take a look at the best RPGs on the Nintendo Switch as of April 2023.

5. Octopath Traveller II

OCTOPATH TRAVELER II - Demo Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Octopath Traveler II, developed by Square Enix and Acquire, is a medieval 16-bit style RPG with a non-linear story and a turn-based battle system. Choose one of eight main characters, each with its own backstory and unique set of skills and abilities. After choosing your desired character, you explore their “area” of the map, completing quests to learn more about them. As you go through the game, you unlock the other seven characters, and their stories intertwine. As a result, Octopath Traveller II consists of deep and fulfilling character arcs; one of the main reasons why it's regarded as one of the best RPGs on Switch.

Its visual style, which combines 16-bit with realistic shadows and lighting to create an immersive world, is one of the game's most enticing qualities.  At the same time, so is the game's turn-based combat. Similar to those of JRPGs, it allows you to strike, defend, or retreat. In addition, you can use a variety of goods to either improve your health or damage. While turn-based combat can feel tedious and uninteresting, Octopath Traveler II keeps you it refreshing with smooth animations and dangerous foes.

4. Pokémon: Legends Arceus

Encounter Noble Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus!

Pokémon has been one of the most popular gaming brands and RPGs for what seems like an eternity. Pokémon: Legends Arceus abandoned the traditional turn-based RPG format in favor of a 3-D open world in which combat and the environment interact in real-time. The combat system adds the ability to chain attacks and abilities together, resulting in new and exciting gameplay. The customization you have for each Pokémon and their attacks allows you a lot of freedom, and the process of mixing and matching is rather amusing because it doesn't always work out properly.

You play as a surveyor in the “medieval” age of Pokémon, tasked with discovering every Pokémon in the Hisui region in order to create the first Pokedex, which is essentially a dictionary for Pokémon. Along the way, you'll meet many unique characters who will provide tasks to help you navigate the largest Pokémon world in the franchise. With such a legendary franchise, that took a step in another direction that paid off, it's hard not to consider Pokémon: Legends Arceus one of the best RPGs on Switch.

3. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

DISCO ELYSIUM - The Final Cut - Switch Edition (Launching October 12th!)

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a very unique RPG, with dialogue-based gameplay and no traditional combat. You take on the role of a disgruntled detective tasked with determining how a body wound up in a tree. From there on out, each decision you make has a significant impact on how the rest of the game unfolds. Dialogue is used to make decisions, and you can choose from three archetypes: Physical, Thinker, and Sensitive, or create your own. Each has special skills and abilities that are tailored to your desired playstyle. 

Disco Elysium creates a terrific and thrilling true crime atmosphere, filled with compelling characters. As previously stated, there is no traditional battle system in this game. Rather each interaction is determined by a pair of dice that determines the success of each choice you make. And we're telling you not to judge it too quickly, as it doe's a great job of taking the place of and providing a refreshing take, on traditional gaming combat. Altogether, Disco Elysium is a must-play and one of the best RPGs on Switch because of its intricate story and unique, player-driven approach to the genre.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch

The Xenoblade Chronicles is a fan-favorite series, owing to its outrageous action-packed combat and wild plot, which takes you in so many different directions. And Xenoblade Chronicles 3 dives into a brand-new story, but with some familiar faces and concepts from prior games. So, you don't have to play its predecessor to know what's going on.

Set in the fantasy-filled land of Aionios, where the nations of Keves and Agnus are at war, you play as Noah, a Keves soldier dispatched to examine an airship alongside childhood friends Lanz and Eunie. Along the way, you will discover a gorgeous open world full of excitement and action.

Forwarning, the combat in this game is ridiculous and exaggerated, to say the least. However, it consists of epic cutscenes, and the combat is nothing short of engaging. As a result, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is pretty outlandish, but it's one of the best RPGs on the Nintendo Switch if you're looking for something you probably haven't experienced in the genre.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Official Game Trailer - Nintendo E3 2016

It's widely undisputed that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the RPG on the Nintendo Switch. And with the release of its sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom set for May 12th, it's the perfect time to experience the first title. The massive open-world sandbox of Hyrule is filled with a melodious atmosphere that truly feels like your own magical playground. The quest structure is non-linear, allowing you to pause the story and explore however you want, and more so, at your own pace.

While Hyrule is impressive, it retains the nostalgia and feel of a classic Zelda title. The customization is incredible as you play as the timeless hero Link, developing his skills and unlocking abilities with over 127 weapons to pick from. The combat is smooth, and each encounter is a good challenge that requires you to think strategically. When looking at the best RPGs on Switch this game easily takes the cake, and it won't be long before its sequel takes its place. 

So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other RPGs on Nintendo Switch you think are best? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.