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The 7 Absolute Best Nintendo Switch RPGs of All Time

Hey there! Looking for some great RPGs to play on your Nintendo Switch? You came to the right place.

In this article, I‘ll share the absolute best RPGs available on the Switch. I‘ve dug into reviews, ratings, user feedback, and spent many hours playing these games to provide my recommendations.

Whether you‘re a fan of sprawling open worlds, anime-inspired JRPGs, tactical combat, indie adventures, or expansive post-game content, the Switch has you covered. Let‘s jump in!

What Makes a Great RPG?

First, what exactly makes a great RPG? Based on player surveys and analysis of highly rated games, the best RPGs include:

  • Immersive worlds – Vast lands, lore, and environments that draw you in
  • Customization – Tailor your playstyle through abilities, gear, classes
  • Strategic combat – Satisfyingly complex battle systems
  • Epic stories – Engaging, well-written narratives with interesting characters
  • Player agency – Freedom in how you choose to play and impact the world

Using those quality benchmarks, these are the top RPGs available on Nintendo Switch right now.

#7. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition

Release Date: May 29, 2020
Developer: Monolith Soft
Metacritic Score: 88

Xenoblade Chronicles made huge waves as one of the best JRPGs ever when it first launched in 2010. This Switch definitive edition takes the already phenomenal game and enhances it to perfection.

You‘ll explore the massive living world of the titans Bionis and Mechonis, undertaking story quests and side adventures in zones ranging from lush jungles to scorching deserts. The scope of exploration feels limitless.

The real-time combat has you chaining basic attacks with abilities and managing your character positioning. Customizing Arts, armor, and skill trees allows tons of experimentation in battle strategy.

Over 100 hours long with five major zones and a sprawling interconnected narrative, Xenoblade Chronicles keeps you invested with great characters and storytelling. It‘s easily one of the most memorable and magical JRPG worlds.

#6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem Three Houses

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Developer: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo
Metacritic Score: 89

Fire Emblem: Three Houses weaves tactical turn-based combat together with relationship building and visual novel elements for addictive gameplay.

As a professor at the Officer‘s Academy, you instruct students, build bonds, train their skills, and lead their troops. The bonds between characters provide backstory and improve battle performance.

A major decision halfway through causes the story to branch dramatically. There are four distinct narrative paths to explore across multiple playthroughs.

With permaneat death on the battlefield, limited resources, and varied objectives, Fire Emblem: Three Houses delivers strategic challenges and high replay value. It‘s arguably the best modern Fire Emblem.

#5. Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition

Divinity Original Sin 2

Release Date: September 4, 2018
Developer: Larian Studios
Metacritic Score: 94

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is considered one of the greatest RPGs of the modern era. This ambitious title blew fans away with its commitment to player freedom, branching quest designs, and turn-based combat depth.

The Definitive Edition bundles a mountain of DLC along with smooth performance handheld or docked. The game world is sprawling and stuffed with secrets – every zone hides side quests, puzzles, and interactions to uncover.

With up to 4-player online and local co-op, playing with friends makes journeying across Rivellon even more delightful. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a masterclass in creative open-ended RPG gameplay.

#4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition

The Witcher 3

Release Date: October 15, 2019
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Metacritic Score: 92

It seemed impossible to imagine a game as massive as The Witcher 3 running smoothly on the Switch, yet the port is a technical marvel. All expansions are bundled in this Complete Edition featuring over 150 hours of content.

As Geralt of Rivia, you‘ll explore the war-torn open world and take on beast hunting contracts. The responsive real-time combat challenges you to carefully time dodges, sword attacks, spells, and use potions/oils to exploit enemy weaknesses.

Where The Witcher 3 thrives most is its morally ambiguous quests and player choice-driven narrative. Every decision is nuanced – romance options, major plot branches, dialogue all change the story in major ways across two huge expansions.

If you want to experience one of the most finely crafted open-world RPGs available fully portable, The Witcher 3 is arguably the prime choice on Switch.

#5. Skyrim

Skyrim

Release Date: November 17, 2017
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Metacritic Score: 84

It seemed impossible to imagine an enormous open-world RPG like Skyrim on the Switch. Yet with some technical magic, Bethesda made it happen. This version includes all DLC expansions too.

The vast realm of Skyrim gives you ultimate freedom. Become a mage, thief, warrior, assassin, hunter, vampire, werewolf – there are no limits on your roleplaying dreams. Choose between the main questline, faction questlines, side adventures, and exploration at your own pace.

With such flexible progression and customization, each playthrough of Skyrim offers a wholly unique experience. Discovering new quests and areas, even after hundreds of hours, highlights how special Skyrim‘s open world really is.

#6. Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler

Release Date: July 13, 2018
Developer: Square Enix, Acquire
Metacritic Score: 84

Octopath Traveler enchanted fans with its gorgeous "HD-2D" graphics – blending SNES-style sprites with polygonal environments and magical effects. It‘s a perfect love letter to classic JRPGs.

You‘ll assemble a party of eight unique adventurers, each with their own special path actions for exploration and interacting with NPCs. The turn-based battles have weaknesses to exploit and boost states to tactically master.

Each character has a multi-chapter personal questline taking you across the medieval fantasy world of Orsterra. You‘re free to travel and complete their stories in any order you choose.

With charming writing, great music, fun subclass customization, and throwback visuals, Octopath Traveler is a must-play for fans of old-school JRPGs.

#7. Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise

Release Date: March 26, 2022
Developer: Capcom
Metacritic Score: 88

Monster Hunter Rise brings the satisfying monster hunting gameplay to Nintendo Switch with 14 unique weapon types, crafting depth, and cooperative multiplayer.

You‘ll learn monsters‘ attack patterns and weaknesses to take down larger and larger beasts. Mastering each weapon style, from longswords to hunting horns, feels great. And growing stronger to craft better gear offers tons of progression.

Post-launch updates added new monsters, quests, characters, and story content. You can easily log hundreds of hours mastering hunts or helping friends take down the toughest creatures. Monster Hunter Rise is the best version of Monster Hunter for on the go.

#1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda Breath of the Wild

Release Date: March 3, 2017
Developer: Nintendo
Metacritic Score: 97

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild didn‘t just redefine Zelda, it redefined open world game design. The freedom given to the player is unmatched.

After a 100 year slumber, Link awakens to Hyrule in ruin. Ganon lurks waiting, but you can attempt to defeat him immediately or spend over 100 hours exploring the kingdom.

Cook food, experiment with rune powers, climb anything, glide across fields – Breath of the Wild‘s emergent gameplay creates unscripted magic. Tackle shrines for loot, find Korok seeds to improve inventory space, discover long lost locations, the adventure is endless.

The durability system and elemental chemistry engine encourage creativity. Breath of the Wild‘s gameplay freedom coupled with its mythic setting create an experience that ignites your imagination. It establishes the new gold standard for open world RPGs.

RPGs Continue Driving Switch Hardware Sales

The popularity of the Switch as an RPG machine can be seen in hardware sales trends:

Switch Sales Jump (Q3 2020) +167% YoY
Top Sellers Animal Crossing, Breath of the Wild, Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Major RPG releases like Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition and Clubhouse Games drove a huge jump in Switch sales – over 7 million units in Q3 2020. This demonstrates RPG fans increasingly look to Switch as their platform of choice.

The Future Looks Bright for Switch RPGs

With the Switch entering its 6th year on the market, the excellent RPG library shows no signs of slowing down.

Some exciting upcoming RPG releases include:

  • Pokemon Legends: Arceus
  • Triangle Strategy
  • Sea of Stars
  • Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

Nintendo has done an amazing job cultivating third party support and courting Japanese developers to bring stellar RPGs to Switch. The future looks bright for virtual adventurers everywhere!

Let me know which Switch RPGs you‘ve enjoyed the most! I‘m always looking for great new quests to embark on.