Best RPGs On Nintendo Switch: Top 5 Virtual Adventures, According To Experts

The Nintendo Switch was released in 2017 and changed the landscape of video gaming in the United States. The mass appeal of the Switch was apparent from launch with demand exceeding the limited supply. Since that time, the role-playing game (RPG) genre has increased its mainstream appeal and reach like never before due to the popularity of the Switch in American households. Our list of the top five best RPGs on Nintendo Switch aims to help readers discover hundreds of hours of adventure with some of the best titles the genre has to offer.

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Portable RPG titles are a great pastime for long-haul travel or mass transit commutes. The intricately detailed plots and addictive gameplay offer hours of entertainment. That’s why our list of the best RPGs on Nintendo Switch offer some of the most immersive and exciting video game experiences for gamers looking for something new. Let us know your favorite RPGs in the comments below!

Person playing on a Nintendo Switch
Person playing on a Nintendo Switch (Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash)

The List: Best Role-Playing Games on Nintendo Switch, Per Fans

1. “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” (2023)

The most recent release on this list has you take control of the hero Link on his quest to aid Princess Zelda. The game a global phenomenon that sold over 10 million copies in the first three days of its release. ‘“The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom’ is one of the best RPGs of all time let alone on Switch. Expanding with three ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ maps and a wide selection of new abilities, the game is a sight to behold… ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ puts the players at the forefront and allows you to have fun in your own way. Building upon what made ‘Breath of the Wild’ so good, ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ is one of the best games of all time,” raves The Loadout.

“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” (2023)
“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” (2023)

“Most videogame makers would struggle to follow up ‘Breath of the Wild,’ but Nintendo has managed the impossible by improving on that already incredible foundation. ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ gives you more tools, more freedom, more to do, and does it all with incredible grace. This time, you don’t just have Hyrule to explore; there’s also a heap of islands in the sky and a massive expanse underground, all just waiting for you to find them. This is a gaming milestone that others will be emulating for years to come,” gushes Pocket-Lint.

“There’s a reason our ‘Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’ review is a 10/10. This massive RPG takes everything from the first game and polishes it while adding plenty of new touches to keep things fresh. Link is a bit of a builder now, creating vehicles with the ultrahand ability and weapons with the fuse ability on his mission to save the princess,” praises Pocket Tactics.

2. “The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild” (2017)

The predecessor to the previous entry on our list is a massive hit game on its own. “This time around, players are placed in a large open-world environment and can challenge a number of dungeons, otherwise known as Shrines, in any order. Within ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,’ players will once again take on the role of Link after he awakens from a deep slumber that lasted a hundred years… The title has become one of the most beloved installments in the entire franchise and is loved for its massive open world and countless quests and adventures,” offers Game Ranx.

“Starting with incredible artwork that will captivate both younger audiences and veteran players. You’ll be awestruck when you start Zelda for the first time. Although a bit pixelated, characters are perfectly distinguishable and easy to memorize. Its vast world will have you stop adventuring sometimes just to look at the wonderful landscape. Music is not falling behind by one bit… and it will always complement the area or the action,” details Pocket Gamer.

“While the vast majority of ‘The Legend of Zelda’ games aren’t RPGs, ‘Breath of the Wild’ has enough mechanics to qualify as such. ‘Breath of the Wild’ sees Link try to rescue Princess Zelda while stopping Calamity Ganon from annihilating Hyrule. The game launched in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim, effectively raising the bar for open-world game design. Its gameplay loop is non-linear, encouraging players to tackle Hyrule’s challenges as they see fit,” adds CBR.

3. “Xenoblade Chronicles 3” (2022)

This fantastic Japanese Role-Playing Game offers addictive gameplay and an engrossing story. ‘“Xenoblade Chronicles 3’ is the latest installment in the beloved JRPG series. It takes fans to the land of Aionios to follow Noah and Mio — members of rival factions that get swept up in a storyline that overshadows their differences… Real-time action and a complex narrative are the stars of the show, although stunning graphics and enough side quests to keep you occupied for 100+ hours make this one of the best RPGs on Switch,” details Digital Trends.

‘“Xenoblade Chronicles 3’ is a genuine masterpiece and the highlight of Monolith Soft’s superb series thus far. There’s an emotionally-charged and surprisingly edgy epic to get stuck into here, a sprawling and hugely engaging narrative populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, and it’s all backed up by some of the very best combat we’ve had the pleasure of getting to grips with in the genre,” states Nintendo Life.

“Monolith Soft has done an excellent job of shaping ‘Xenoblade Chronicles’ as a JRPG staple for Nintendo alongside ‘Fire Emblem.’ Last year’s ‘Xenoblade Chronicles 3’ was released to strong critical reception, expanding the series’ strengths with an ambitious new story. This trilogy-closer earned high marks for being an excellent blend of grandiose storytelling with the series’ high-octane action,” writes CBR.

4. “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” (2019)

This title offers a richly detailed war story of classmates that end up in opposing factions in a conflict between three nations. “Building upon the franchise’s tactical foundation, Three Houses casts you in the role of a new professor at the Garreg Mach Monastery, where you must take one of the titular three student houses under your wing. You play the part of both military commander and schoolteacher, nurturing your pupils’ growth both on and off the battlefield. It’s an inspired spin on the classic ‘Fire Emblem’ gameplay, further strengthening the connection you feel with each of your units. And with three diverging paths to choose from, each affecting the direction of the story, ‘Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ is compellingly replayable,” according to CNET.

“Fire Emblem: Three Houses” (2019)
“Fire Emblem: Three Houses” (2019)

“Another Nintendo Switch RPG synonymous with strategic combat and dramatic storytelling is ‘Fire Emblem.’ Just like previous entries on this list, the most recent iteration, Three Houses, also uses turn-based combat, but gives you more freedom in how to approach the narrative that is essentially broken up into two chunky halves. After choosing your gender and house, players are subjected to a simply outstanding amount of content to be basked in over multiple playthroughs to allow this detailed world to be fully realized,” according to Dexerto.

“Three Houses maintains its strategic combat with rock-paper-scissors-like class matchups and grid-based maps while adding social-simulator elements. And by giving players the choice of House alignment, there is deep replay value and several ways to see out this investing high-fantasy tale,” states CBR.

5. “Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition” (2017)

The “Dragon Quest” series is about a hero called “The Luminary” that is caught in a cycle of ever-continuing rebirth so that he can save the world with his trusted companions. ‘“Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition’ is an achievement that Square should be proud of; this is one of the best games they’ve put out in years. A heartwarming, well-paced narrative supported by a cast of fantastic characters, a dense and interesting overworld packed with dozens of hours of content, and one of the finest soundtracks we’ve heard in a JRPG combine to make this an unforgettable modern classic,” says Nintendo Life.

“Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition” (2017)
“Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition” (2017)

Each entry in the series is considered to be one of the Luminary’s lives, and as such the series tends to retread similar ground with each entry. “Square Enix is unsurprisingly best known for ‘Final Fantasy,’ but the ‘Dragon Quest’ franchise is another historic JRPG series. The latest mainline entry, ‘Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age’ follows the Luminary as he embarks on a quest to save the world from an invading evil. The game is rewarding for both longtime fans and newcomers, as its gameplay mechanics are classic yet approachable,” writes CBR.

“Dragon Quest XI” has taken the DQ formula and presented it in a highly refined game that shines from start to finish. ‘“In Dragon Quest XI,’ players must guide the Luminary to their destiny across various lands and quell the threat of opposing forces, as well as negotiate the usual hustle and bustle of towns and cities. It’s an eye-catching journey that feels very welcoming to veterans of the games, as well as novices looking to dip their toes in for the first time,” opines Dexerto.

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