10 Best JRPGs On The Nintendo Switch

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Highlights

  • The Nintendo Switch is a versatile console with the ability to be played handheld or on the big screen. You have control over how you experience the console’s library of games.
  • JRPGs on the Switch offer endless engagement and some standout titles make a statement for the platform.
  • Iconic franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario are not the only playable masterpieces on the Nintendo Switch. There are other JRPGs that are worth sinking your precious hours into.

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most versatile consoles on the market. It has the ability to be played hand-held or on the big screen. How you experience the Switch’s massive library is wonderfully all up to you. With its notable catalog of games like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario series, there’s always an opportunity to dive into the Nintendo classics. However, iconic franchises aren’t the only playable masterpieces on the console.

JRPGs are endlessly engaging games, and this is especially the case for the ones on the Switch. While some are simply ported to the console, there are others that make a statement for the platform. Without further ado, here are the best JRPGs on the Switch to sink your precious hours into.

Updated by Cristian Macias on December 7, 2023: This article has been updated to include a video version (featured above.)


10 The World Ends With You: Final Remix

Metacritic: 77

What Players Will Love…

  • Unique gameplay that easily reels you in.
  • A memorable soundtrack and characters that immerse you in the story.

The original The World Ends With You is rather addictive. The story and gameplay make it so entertaining that it’s almost impossible not to spend nearly a hundred hours in the game. This can also be said of the remake, incorporating and emphasizing what made the DS version so remarkable.

Although the Final Remix does have its faults when looking at its touch-screen controls, which does make the game a bit hard to play at times, it’s a one-of-a-kind nonetheless. Not to mention that it’s widely available, giving you the chance to easily go on a rollercoaster of an intriguing story and a magical soundtrack to accompany it. At the end of the day, it’s the spark of emotion that this game calls on that truly makes it one of the best JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch.

9 Rune Factory 3 Special

Metacritic: 75

The bachelorettes from Rune Factory 3 Special

Rune Factory 3 Special

$36 $40 Save $4

What Players Will Love…

  • Fighting monsters while growing your farm and relationships with others.
  • Experiencing one of the most memorable entries in the Rune Factory series.

In a world where you must find the balance between humans and monsters, it’s up to you to sew that divide back together in this fantasy farming simulator. Rune Factory 3 Special is a remastered version of Rune Factory 3 for the Nintendo Switch. Admittedly, it isn’t too much different from the original, but its return was worthwhile nonetheless.

Featuring thrilling combat and gorgeous updated graphics, this game will be a worthwhile journey for any Nintendo Switch player. The world of Rune Factory 3 is vibrant, with characters that are distinct and compelling. This hybrid of RPG fantasy and farming sim might seem like an odd combination on the surface, but its execution makes it far from being so.

8 Pokémon Sword And Shield

Metacritic: 80

Pikachu from Pokemon Sword and Shield

What Players Will Love…

  • Competitive and unique Pokemon to group up with and battle against.
  • The beginning of the ninth generation of the franchise.

No matter which of the two is your favorite, there’s no argument that these are two of the best Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch. Originating on the console, Pokemon Sword and Shield is the first installment of Pokemon’s ninth generation. Besides revolving around its unique range of Pokemon to catch, the PvP is one of its strongest feats.

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The Pokemon in Sword and Shield are highly competitive. The battles between others become even more thrilling because of this, leading you to climb up the leaderboards and earn rewards that make these heart-pumping battles utterly worth it. With all that said, while improvements in the series have been made over the years, it is a highly appreciated duo in the Pokemon series. In other words, it brings its vibrant world to life.

7 Tales Of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

Metacritic: 81

Cast of characters from Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

$29 $40 Save $11

Released
August 26, 2008

Developer
BANDAI NAMCO Studios, QLOC

What Players Will Love…

  • A classic JRPG with fascinating mechanics for its foundation.
  • Memorable and well-developed cast of characters.

The Tales franchise is a beloved and iconic JRPG series. Tales of Vesperia is no different. It’s considered one of the series’ greatest, as it encouraged many new fans to play the series. But, ever since the remastered version made its way into the spotlight on the Nintendo Switch, the game is perceived even better than before.

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition brings a new sense of creativity to the original, adding a variety of fresh elements like characters and areas. Playing the definitive edition is an incredible way for you to experience the series—especially if you’re a newcomer. It has that classic JRPG-feel while still including a modern atmosphere that keeps players hooked.

6 Octopath Traveler

Metacritic: 83

Gameplay from Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler

Released
July 13, 2018

Developer(s)
Square Enix

What Players Will Love…

  • Beautiful, nostalgic art direction.
  • A variety of characters incorporated into a thrilling whirlwind of a story.

Released on the Nintendo Switch, Octopath Traveler is a considerably lengthy yet immersive tale. Following the path of eight travelers on their individual adventures through the mystical land of Orsterra, each of them eventually becomes intertwined with one another to conquer an overwhelming evil.

Octopath Traveler has vast gameplay that leads you in all different kinds of directions. From the start, you’ll have the opportunity to choose one of the travelers as they begin their journey in a different part of the world. Through this, there’s a myriad of details to the story that lead to you spending countless hours experiencing the game’s beautiful 2D HD world first-hand.

5 Shin Megami Tensei 5

Metacritic: 84

Protagonist from Shin Megami Tensei 5

Shin Megami Tensei 5

Released
November 12, 2021

What Players Will Love…

  • Enticing turn-based battles that keep you on your toes.
  • Impressive graphics and mechanics.

The growing nature of ruthless demons wonderfully corrupts the environment around you in Shin Megami Tensei 5. Designed as a hybrid between the third and fourth installments, this JRPG takes place between modern-day Tokyo and the Netherworld. In between these two vastly different worlds, the list of what you can discover feels endless. And, while that might feel overwhelming at first, it’s a long road worth taking.

Shin Megami Tensei 5 is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. This came from the producer’s, Kazuyuki Yami, desire for the Switch’s innovative capability to be a portable system with HD graphics. It goes without saying that it was an amazing decision to do so, as the accessibility combined with its quirky story has made it an utter fan-favorite within the entire Shin Megami Tensei series.

4 Tactics Ogre: Reborn

Metacritic: 84

Gameplay from Tactics Ogre: Reborn

Tactics Ogre: Reborn

$33 $50 Save $17

Released
November 11, 2022

What Players Will Love…

  • Old-school JRPG tactical gameplay.
  • A fresh new look of characters and battles to an already iconic JRPG.

Staying true to its roots, Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a remastered version of the original JRPG masterpiece, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. Even though it’s hard to beat the source material, this remake knocked its improvements out of the park. Not only is the game better-looking, but the tweaks to the mechanics lead it to be more addictive than before.

It’s clear from less than five minutes of gameplay that the developers took the time to make thoughtful improvements to adapt to the Nintendo Switch platform. The latest strategic battles and character customization only scratch the surface of what makes it better compared to the original. When it comes down to it, the well-balanced challenges make it a winner as it is one of the greatest JRPGs on the Switch.

3 Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Metacritic: 89

Gameplay from Xenoblade Chronicles 3

What Players Will Love…

  • An emotionally complex journey that goes the distance.
  • The combination of mechanics from previous games that still welcome new fans.

Showcasing as a true step-up from previous games, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a mystifying JRPG adventure. Combining complex battles with a mysterious story, this game conquers its previous faults from its predecessors and turns it into one of the greatest JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch. To put it simply, it’s a must-play and a journey you won’t regret embarking on.

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Exploration is one of the greatest aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. The open world is so vast it’s hard to tell where it could possibly end. Because of this, everything slowly builds up to be the epic adventure of a lifetime the further you discover the beautiful world of Aionios. Luckily, you won’t have to conquer this journey alone, as the game holds your hand through the difficult combat.

2 Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Metacritic: 89

Edelgard pointing off-screen (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

$54 $60 Save $6

Released
July 26, 2019

Developer
Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo Games, Koei, Koei Tecmo

What Players Will Love…

  • Endless amount of content to explore.
  • Addictive gameplay with an intriguing story to accompany it.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a masterful example of mixing philosophy with old-school JRPG mechanics to create an overarching tale that sticks with you long after you reach the ending. Considered one of the best JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch, this game catapults you into an intense story.

Putting you in the shoes of a new academic professor, you’re guided into a world led by powerful nobles. Along the way, your sense of what’s wrong and right is tested. You wonder if you chose the best path and if the consequences were worth it. While Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a tactical JRPG at heart, the interactive relationships and decision-making make it stand out among the rest of JRPGs on the Switch.

1 Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes Of An Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

Metacritic: 91

Hero holding a sword (Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition)

Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of the Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

$35 $40 Save $5

What Players Will Love…

  • Experiencing a vast improvement from the original.
  • A mixture of traditional JRPG mechanics and a relaxing environment.

If there could only be one reason why Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is the best JRPG to play on the Nintendo Switch, it would simply be because it is a unique addition to a legendary series. Embarking you on the journey of a lifetime, the eleventh installment in the Dragon Quest series offers a massive level of classic JRPG content.

Dragon Quest 11 S sets the stage for what future JRPGs should strive to be. It’s a fairytale-esque story with a relaxing environment that excites us in ways we’d never expect. Overall, the world-building and character development are just a few reasons why Dragon Quest 11 S is a must-play for JRPG Nintendo Switch players everywhere.

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