Role-playing games (RPGs) have been around for a very long time — long before personal computers or video games were developed. There are plenty of reasons as to why RPGs are so popular to this day, but it’s pretty unanimous in the gaming community that RPGs are exciting and, in a way, addicting due to two main factors: the plot and the characters.
RPGs have complex and well-developed plots with unforgettable characters that leave players wanting to know more about them. At the same time, there’s something addicting about leveling your characters up and developing new abilities and skills.
RPGs are also popular because they can be played with friends or alone. Additionally, RPGs can also be played on electronic devices such as PCs and video games, which has helped spread their popularity among younger audiences.
Released in 2017, Nintendo Switch is a highly popular console that is compatible with some of the most popular RPGs of all-time, as well as newer RPGs that have already found their place. In this article, we’re going to review the 15 of the best RPGs on Nintendo Switch in 2020.
Even though this iconic game was released over 20 years ago, Final Fantasy VII is still one of the most memorable RPGs of all time. It also happens to be one of the fan favorites in the franchise. Although it was originally exclusive for Playstation, Final Fantasy VII was released on Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Final Fantasy VII follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary working for AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist company, in his journey to defeat infamous villain Sephirot. He isn’t just any ordinary villain, though, as his attempt to become a demigod is putting the whole world in danger. In the game, Cloud and his allies face lots of plot twists and epic battles while meeting some of the most memorable characters in Final Fantasy’s history.
Final Fantasy VII has over 40 in-game hours. If you haven’t played it yet, prepare to be captivated by its emotional and exciting narrative and story.
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The Elder Scrolls franchise is certainly one of the most popular RPGs franchises of our times. With iconic games such as Morrowind and Oblivion, Bethesda released yet another big hit in 2011 with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game is still extremely popular almost 10 years later, with a strong following and mod community.
Skyrim is centered around the player, who is known as the Dragonborn, and their journey to defeat Alduin, a dragon who is believed to be the destroyer of the world. Along this journey, the player also takes part in a civil war that is happening in Skyrim between the Imperial Guards and the Stormcloak Rebels.
Each choice the player makes in this game leads them on a different path, which allows the player to face different quests that determine the game’s ending.
Skyrim is so enthralling not only for its beautiful open-world universe, but also due to its rich and complex story. You’ll be forced to make decisions on topics like morals in wartime, as you decide between siding with the Imperials or the Stormcloaks. Or how far you’re willing to go to make ends meet.
Skyrim is suited for most mature audiences that are interested in playing a game with complex characters and a well-developed plot. It takes approximately 30 hours to complete the main quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
However, it can take up to 500 hours to complete every single quest in the game. If you’re looking for something to keep you occupied, Skyrim has got you covered.
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Diablo is a game that has left a permanent mark in the universe of RPGs. The first game of this successful franchise was released in 1997 and led to two acclaimed sequels, Diablo II and Diablo III. The fourth installment of the Diablo franchise — Diablo IV — was announced in November 2019.
Diablo III takes place two decades after the events of Diablo II, in the fictional town of New Tristram. The protagonist — your character — arrives in town to investigate a star that fell upon the crumbles of the Tristram Cathedral and is making the dead come alive. From this moment on, your protagonist will face many adversaries that range from zombie skeletons to insanely strong goatmen!
This game was so successful that it sold over 10 million copies in its year of release, which earned Diablo III the title of best-selling PC game of 2012. In late 2017 it was released for Nintendo Switch as well, featuring exclusive content. Diablo III is rated for Mature audiences and it will certainly surprise you with its well-developed plot and addicting gameplay.
It takes approximately 30 hours to complete the main quests (divided in 5 acts), but it can take over 200 hours to complete everything that comes in the game’s Eternal Collection edition.
Originally released in 2011, Dark Souls is one of the most acclaimed RPGs of all time. It’s considered by many gamers as one of the best video games of all time thanks to its story, combat, and difficulty.
Dark Souls’ plot revolves around a world that is stuck in an endless loop of light and dark. The protagonist is an undead creature that was freed by a warrior and was told to find the Bell of Awakening in order to learn the fate of the undead. However, the journey to finding the Bell is not the easiest and you’ll meet some memorable characters on the way!
The Dark Souls franchise is known for being one of the toughest games in the market right now; it can definitely be unforgiving, even to seasoned gamers. If you’re the type of player who loves being challenged and loves a good plot, this game is perfect for you! It takes between 25 to 50 hours to complete Dark Souls: Remastered.
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The Witcher 3 was released in 2015 and is still highly popular among the RPG gaming community. The game is even quite well known amongst non-gamers thanks to the recent drama series that came out on Netflix.
The Witcher 3 follows Geralt of Rivia, a quiet but fierce monster slayer whose memories have just returned to him after suffering from amnesia. Now, Geralt is on the lookout for his former lover, Yennefer of Vengerberg, and also for Ciri, his “adopted” daughter whose magnificent powers are being targeted by evil forces.
On his way to finding Yennefer and Ciri, Geralt will face powerful and scary beasts, all the while he meets new people and sees familiar faces everywhere he goes. The universe in Witcher 3 is highly developed, which will provide you with breathtaking sights that almost look real. On top of that, there are so many quests available that it can take up to 200 hours to beat this iconic game!
Witcher 3 is suited for Mature audiences who are looking for a thrilling game with complex characters and well-developed plots.
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One of the more recently released games in our list of best Nintendo Switch RPGs is Divinity: Original Sin II. This game is highly acclaimed by specialized critics and also by the gamer comunity in general.
Divinity: Original Sin II follows your character, a protagonist that is referred to as the Godwoken, a Sourcerer — a person that can manipulate a form of energy that is known as the Source — who is being hunted by the Divine Order, who have decided that all Sourcerers are criminals. Your character manages to escape death with the help of the Gods and now your mission is to become the next Divine — the person who will save the world and defeat the Void.
This game is highly popular for its combat, for the charisma of its characters and plot, and also for its well-developed quests. If you love turn-based strategy games, DO2 should be right up your alley. There are tons of skills, items, attributes, and characters to discover. Depending on which character you play, you’ll be exposed to various parts of the Divinity lore and unlock various endings.
Because of its complexity, it can take at least 60 hours to complete Divinity II, though some players have said that it took them over 100 hours to beat the main quests.
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Each game that has made it into our list so far wasn’t originally released for Nintendo Switch. That is not the case with the fabulous Octopath Traveler, one of the first RPGs developed specifically for the platform.
Octopath Traveler tells the story of eight different characters that are roaming the land of Orsterra. Each character has their own arc, with their own mission, but their paths cross once they realize that their common goal is to defeat the evil god Galdera, who has been resurrected and has taken corporal form by possessing his daughter, Lyblac.
Octopath Traveler is popular due to the complexity of its plot. Once you start playing this incredible RPG, you’ll realize that all eight characters are connected to one another somehow, and it’ll blow your mind! The characters and their plots are well-developed and the characters highly charismatic, all of which will quickly suck you in to the game.
Octopath Traveler can take up to 60-70 hours to be completed. If you’re into complex characters and an enthralling story, this game is ideal for you!
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Every gamer knows about Zelda. Breath of the Wild was released in 2017, approximately 30 years after the first Zelda game, and it was the launch game for the Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild follows everyone’s favorite protagonnist Link, after he awakes from a 100-year sleep to defeat one of the most famous villains in video games history: Calamity Ganon. Link then travels across the kingdom of Hyrule, visiting places of his past as well as recovering the memories he has lost.
Breath of the Wild was positively received by the general public, receiving critical acclaim by the top video game-related websites and earning several accolades. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not only recommended for the original fans of this iconic saga, but also for players who are interested in playing an open-world RPG that is rich in plot, graphics, and characters.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch is available on Amazon.
- Discover Hyrule as never before: by making your own path, choices, and consequences
- Ingenuity is the key to survival: find multiple solutions to tons of dynamic puzzles
It’s not possible to talk about a Nintendo console and not mention Pokémon. Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! — as well as Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee!, which was released on the same date — is a remake of the 1998 RPG Pokémon Yellow.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! Takes place in the very same setting as that of the game Pokémon Yellow, in the region of Kanto, and as the name of the game suggests, Pikachu is your starter Pokémon. After an initial battle, the player is allowed to roam across Kanto, all the while encountering rivals to battle and finding new Pokémon.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! is a really fun, nostalgic game that will please not only long-time fans, but also younger fans who enjoy the anime. In fact, it’s possible to find characters from the anime during your gameplay, such as the infamous Team Rocket. On top of that, it’s possible to connect your game to Pokémon GO, which allows you to catch two new Pokémon.
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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an open-world RPG that was released specifically for Nintendo Switch. It tells the story of Rex, a Driver who has been resurrected by Pyra, a Blade, once he promises to take her to the mystical land of Elysium. On the way to the paradise land, Pyra and Rex will encounter many iconic characters, all the while being chased by the antagonists.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is pretty popular among the RPG gaming community who play on Nintendo Switch, mostly thanks to its captivating characters and enthralling story. There are plenty of quests that make the gameplay quite addicting and rewarding, as you get to explore this universe and watch as the characters develop and mature right in front of your eyes.
It takes at least 60 hours to complete the main quests, but it can take over 200 hours to complete the whole game!
- Search for the ultimate paradise, Elysium, with your companion Pyra.
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Dragon Quest is one of the most popular RPG series, its installments having sold a total of over 80 million copies worldwide. The plot revolves around a hero who needs to save the world from a powerful enemy and is joined by a party of friends to help in the journey. In Dragon Quest XI, your character is known as the Luminary, whose fate is to destroy the evil and save Erdrea.
Dragon Quest games are popular because they follow the classic RPG format in terms of combat, length of the game, and complexity of the plot and characters. With Dragon Quest XI it’s no different: if you’re into classic RPGs, you’ll certainly love this one!
Dragon Quest XI is a pretty lengthy game, taking anywhere between 60 to over 100 hours to complete the main quests!
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In Ni No Kuni, the player controls a boy named Oliver, who finds out that he is from another world after his mother’s death — a world that is being threatened by the evil wizard Shadar. Oliver finds out that every person in his world has a soulmate, and that his mother’s soulmate, Alicia, has been captured by Shadar. Oliver then sets out to find Alicia in this other world and maybe get his mother back.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an anime RPG that has charismatic and cute characters, as well as a beautiful art design. However, its world is not that complex and the gameplay can be pretty slow sometimes, which may be unappealing to some gamers. It takes at least 40 hours to beat this game.
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Tales of Vesperia is one of the most popular RPGs of all time! Originally released in 2008/2009, a remastered definitive edition was released in 2019 for a few platforms, including Nintendo Switch.
In Tales of Vesperia, a young former soldier called Yuri meets Estelle, a noblewoman who needs help to find someone. Yuri then goes on a journey to help Estelle but also to find the thief of something very valuable and important.
On their way to reaching their objectives, Yuri and Estelle are joined by other friends and they’ll encounter many memorable characters with enthralling stories to tell. Gamers reported that it takes 60+ hours to complete this game.
If you’re interested in refined combat, charismatic protagonists, and beautiful soundtrack, then Tales of Vesperia is the game for you!
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Yet another RPG that was developed specifically for the Nintendo Switch is Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Unlike other games in our list, Fire Emblem is not an action RPG, but a tactical one!
In this game, the universe is divided into three different nations that were once rivals but are now at peace. The player’s character, Byleth, is a former mercenary who will now work as a tutor at the Garreg Mach Monastery. You are given the option of choosing which class (house) you will teach and you’ll meet the characters that belong to the class you chose. In fact, everything that happens in the game depends on your choices.
If you’re into turn-based RPGs, then Fire Emblem: Three Houses is perfect for you! If you’re looking forward to playing a lengthy game with charismatic characters, then this game is also the perfect option for you! According to sources, it can take up to 80 hours to complete the game with each house.
- A turn based, tactical RPG that puts new twists on strategic battling
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The Ys series is quite well-known in the RPG gaming community, having been on the video game market for over 30 years now. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana starts with the main protagonist, Adol, wakes up on a deserted island after his ship sinks and starts exploring the place in search of other survivors.
At the same time that Adol is trying to find other survivors and make his way out of this island, he also starts dreaming about a blue-haired woman, Dana. Now, Adol has to fight against the Primordials — the beasts that inhabit this deserted island — and also help Dana recover her memories and accomplish her mission.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is an addicting game that will hook you within the first couple of hours of gameplay. This series is popular for its smooth combat, interesting characters, enthralling plot, and amazing soundtrack! If you like any of that, then you should definitely check this game out! It takes anywhere between 50 – 70 hours to complete this game.
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