The 10 best RPG games on Nintendo Switch in 2021

The Nintendo Switch continues to prove itself as an ideal platform for all kinds of genres, but there’s something to be said for those games that let us explore the world as a fully formed character. You know the sort, those sprawling experiences where you’re given the ability to grow and level up, evolving alongside the story as it progresses to better leave behind your own footprint. This practice is unabashedly best demonstrated in RPGs – and it is in this particular area where the Nintendo Switch has continued to excel.

Xenoblade Chronicles, Pokemon, Dragon Quest... all these beloved franchises and more make it worth ranking the 10 best RPG games on Nintendo Switch, perfectly primed for anyone looking to get fully invested in a character (be they pre-set or entirely custom). From classic-style creature collect-a-thons to fantasy adventures that will most certainly tug on your hearts strings, these are the Nintendo Switch RPGs to become invested in. Let’s take a look…

10. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 screenshot

With the definitive edition of the original game set to arrive next month, why not refamiliarize yourself with the cloud-laden world of Alrest in Xenoblade Chronicles 2? This was actually one of the few open-world RPGs to release on Nintendo Switch at launch, tasking you to lead a small team of heroes reach the mysterious World Tree, summoning blades and defeating any foe that stands in your way. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is not just deep in its mechanics or vibrant in its visuals, but incredibly sizeable – hence why it’s one of the 10 best RPG games on Nintendo Switch.


9. Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword camera

It took a little longer than expected, but in 2019 the Nintendo Switch finally received its first true Pokémon game in the English-infused Sword and Shield set in the new Galar region. It works similar to previous entries in that you must battle your way to the top of the Pokémon league, only this time you can do so while Dynamaxing your party, completing online co-op raids and just generally exploring a new area known as the Wild Area. Elements like this help deepen Sword and Shield beyond that of a standard single-player campaign, easily making it one of the best RPG games on Nintendo Switch.


8. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

The Nintendo Switch isn’t left wanting when it comes to classic-style RPGs, but few available on the platform replicate the feeling of a tabletop board game as much as Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Developed by Obsidian, the folks behind Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds, Deadfire is an in-depth RPG that’s story is entirely dictated by your decisions. You’ll captain a crew and recruit companions pursuing a god over land and sea, investing in a wildly deep storyline set against the backdrop of a vibrant fantasy world. Isometric RPGs don’t get better than this!


7. Dragon Quest XI S

If you’re looking for a sprawling JRPG in the most classic sense, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age ought to do it. This is the latest and greatest Dragon Quest game which eventually came to Nintendo Switch in its most polished version, featuring traditional turn-based battles, a new top-down view and an entirely remastered soundtrack. It’s one of the 10 best RPG games on Nintendo Switch simply because it celebrates the RPGs of yesteryear, shooshing it up for modern players with a fanciful art style and lengthy story.


6. Bravely Default II

Traditional-style JRPGs have to do a lot to stand out from the crowd these days. Luckily, Square Enix does this easily thanks to the unique risk/reward system found in the Bravely Default series. This marks the first time the franchise has released on a full HD console in the Nintendo Switch, presenting both newcomers and returning players with an all-new cast of heroes.  Master the “Brave Point” system, assign your party with different useful jobs and explore five ancients kingdom, all in the hope of saving a world in crisis. Bravely Default II features charming turn-based action and a thoughtful throwback story.


5. Valkyria Chronicles 4

What first started out as a PSP exclusive series eventually made its way to Nintendo Switch, with Valkyria Chronicles 4 being the first fresh instalment to debut here. Rather than set you off within a vast open world, however, it’s battles play out entirely in turn-based fashion, having you build up your own party of soldiers in the midst of a WWI-style conflict where you must flank, charge and gun down strategically placed enemies. Couple this with an utterly beautiful hand-drawn art style and you have one of the best RPG games on Nintendo Switch – hands down!


4. South Park: The Fractured But Whole

South Park Fractured But Whole

Following up 2014’s South Park: The Stick of Truth was by no means an easy feat, but Ubisoft arguably achieved it three years later with South Park: The Fractured But Whole. The Nintendo Switch version is obviously the best, not least because The Fractured But Whole looks just as good as any other platform – it still looks like an episode of the TV show – but you can take it anywhere with you. You’ll again play as the new kid trying to make friends, only this time you take on the guise of a superhero rather than a fantasy character. Is this best one of the RPG games on Nintendo Switch? Oh yes, and you’re guaranteed lots of crude chuckles along the way.


3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem is a series that really broke into the mainstream since the days of the 3DS, leaving fans frothing at the mouth for a potential Nintendo Switch entry. Fire Emblem: Three Houses upped the stakes in every way, giving players the ability to play as three distinct factions and engage in deep character relationships that take place outside of the traditional turn-based battles. Getting invested in characters in this way makes losing them on the battlefield even more heart-breaking. As such, it easily makes our list of the 10 best RPG games on Nintendo Switch.


2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition

It’s hard to imagine any Fantasy fan who likes games that hasn’t yet played The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. However, if you’re one of the few people who don’t fall into this category, the Complete Edition which came to Nintendo Switch last year is well worth checking out – so much so that it ranks number 2 on this list. This sprawling epic sees you hunt down evil monsters, take on item hunts and explore to your heart’s content. The Nintendo Switch version also includes both sizeable DLC expansions, meaning that the fantasy fun never need come to an end.


1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Did you seriously expect any other game to top our list of the 10 best RPG games on Nintendo Switch? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not only a masterclass in subtle storytelling, but also one of the best games in which to lose yourself within a world completely unknown to you. This version of Hyrule has been decimated by Ganon, and only my waking u the four Divine Beasts can you bring restore the land. Entirely replayable, utterly charming, it is the very best RPG experience Nintendo Switch has to offer.

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