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The best ARPGs in 2024

In our best ARPGs list we take a look at some all-time greats, with entries being based on their characters, world, combat, and story.

ARPGs: Geralt of Rivia stood in front of a screenshot in which he's sat on Roach looking a lighthouse

I love ARPGs. There are many fantastic ones out there, but I’m here to talk about the best of the best. The genre has a wide variety of great entries on both Nintendo Switch and mobile, with many role-playing games today falling under this banner. It’s an absolute treat, as you know you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime with fierce combat. Still, the ones on this list have their own charms that push them ahead of the competition, be it the story, aforementioned combat, characters, or the world in which the game takes place.

Of course, some of the best RPGs don’t actually fall under the ARPG banner. Instead, they belong in other guides, such as our best JRPGs list. Speaking of which, you should really check that out if you enjoy Persona games and Final Fantasy games. Or, if you’re just after the A from ARPG, read our best action games article; here, you can find Tomb Raider games, Resident Evil games, and more.

Here are the best ARPGs on Switch and mobile:

ARPGs: Genshin Impact key art showing Gaming, Ganyun, and Xianyun in Liyue

Genshin Impact – mobile

The king of mobile ARPGs, Genshin Impact is one of the most popular games on the planet right now and has been since its release in September 2020. Considering how much content Hoyoverse continues to release and how much momentum the game has, we don’t anticipate this changing anytime soon. So, what makes Hoyoverse’s game one of the best ARPGs out there today?

Well, it really embraces the action in ARPG, offering fluid combat full of possibilities thanks to its diverse cast of characters, which you can pick and choose between for your party – assuming you manage to pull them from the Genshin Impact banners, anyway. You see, each character has an affinity with one of seven elements, and they specialize in a single weapon type, giving each of them a unique style in combat. Truly, Genshin Impact spoils you when it comes to comrades, so make sure you mix and match to find the right party for you.

Beyond the combat and characters, the world of Teyvat is stunning, as is each nation you find within – check out our Genshin Impact Sumeru review, and you’ll see what we mean. As for your incentive to explore this world (beyond its general beauty), you’re on a quest to find your twin due to your separation after arriving in Teyvat.

Should you decide to try this great ARPG, we highly recommend that you grab all of the primogems and fine enchantment ore that you can from our Genshin Impact codes, and maybe see where the characters rank in our Genshin Impact tier list.

ARPGs: The Witcher 3 key art showing Geralt riding Roach in front of an overcast sky

The Witcher 3 – Switch

Hands down, The Witcher 3 is one of the best RPGs ever. Period. So it’s unsurprising that it finds itself on this list. Plus, I have a rather unhealthy obsession with The Witcher 3’s Geralt (and The Witcher 3’s Triss), though that’s a discussion for another time.

It’s fair to say that some of the most iconic videogame faces come from the lineup of The Witcher 3 characters, with many holding a candle for the main cast, as they each have a pivotal role to play in the story and world. You don’t even need to play the previous games to make sense of The Witcher 3, though it does admittedly help to explain certain dynamics. The long and short of the story is that Geralt is looking for The Witcher 3’s Ciri, who is on the run from the Wild Hunt.

Naturally, Geralt gets the help of his friends, though, as with any good RPG, certain relationships have the potential to be a bit messy, courtesy of The Witcher 3’s Yennefer and Triss. As for combat, you get two swords, one steel and one silver – you use the former to kill your fellow man and the latter to slay hideous beasts. Mind you, they can be one and the same at times, for humanity can have a monstrous nature.

You can make use of the swords, witcher signs, and potions while in combat, as well as throwables in the form of bombs and grenades. As you gain XP, you unlock skill points that you can use to adjust how you approach combat, be it purely through your strength or the use of potions and signs.

There’s one heck of an adventure ahead of you if you choose to walk the path, so maybe consult our The Witcher 3 viper armor and The Witcher 3 best armor guides to ensure you have adequate equipment for what’s ahead. Maybe consult our The Witcher 3 endings guide to ensure the story ends as you want it to.

ARPGs: Diablo Immortal character known as a demon hunter, staring ahead while holding two crossbows

Diablo Immortal – mobile

No, there isn’t a Diablo 4 Switch port, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Diablo game on mobile (or Switch, thanks to Diablo III). Diablo Immortal first hit the scene in June 2022, and as our Diablo Immortal review explains, the game has a lot of promise and there’s a lot to love for ARPG fans. However, its approach to microtransactions is questionable at best, being quite overbearing – still, you might choose to part with your cash, and that’s fine.

When it comes to combat, there are six Diablo Immortal classes, each of which has access to 12 unlockable skills, ensuring that the game caters to everyone’s playstyle. You can create multiple characters, so make sure you experiment and see which class suits you the most. Mind you, you can also alter your character’s class at any given time, but we like to have multiple characters to experience everything with a single class. I’m a fan of the Barbarian and Necromancer classes; one is a melee brute, while the other uses the most dastardly spells.

As with other Diablo games, there’s a primary storyline for you to follow. It takes place five years after the events of Diablo II in Sanctuary, but it’s still before Diablo III, making it a great in-between game for fans of the series. In a nutshell, you need to travel the world in search of shards of the Worldstone, which you then need to destroy to prevent the apocalypse. The world is at stake. No pressure.

While you can complete the game solo, you can also team up with your friends thanks to the MMO nature of Diablo Immortal. You can even test your might against other players in PvP combat. Essentially, Diablo Immortal has something for everyone.

ARPGs: Dark Souls key art showing a knight in armor with their hand over a bonfire

Dark Souls – Switch

Admittedly, the Soulslike genre immediately comes to mind when you think about Dark Souls, especially as the game is responsible for its creation (even if Demon Souls came out two years before it). Still, FromSoftware’s genre-defining masterpiece is also an ARPG, so you’d better believe we’re ready to lavish some praise on it in this list.

There’s a multitude of reasons as to why Dark Souls is so beloved, but let me say this clearly – it’s not for everybody. If you don’t want much of a challenge on your adventure, you shouldn’t play Dark Souls, as this game, along with its sequels and the Soulslike genre as a whole, is known for its brutal difficulty. It’s like a badge of honor to say you’ve defeated Dark Souls’ Gwyn, so bear that in mind before you dive in.

You can approach combat in numerous ways, however, and considering how overpowered magic can be, that is one way to make the game easier. Besides casting spells, you can engage in melee combat through strength and dexterity builds or make full use of miracles and pyromancies. There’s a lot to unpack in the combat of this game, and it might take some trial and error before you find what works for you. Just remember that some builds are more effective against the Dark Souls bosses than others.

Beyond the combat, Dark Souls boasts a beautiful, albeit dark and dilapidated, world in the form of Lordan, full of intricate lore and enigmatic people. There’s a lot to piece together here, so it’s a wise choice to check out our Dark Souls Gwyndolin, Dark Souls Gwynevere, Dark Souls Artorias, and Dark Souls Solaire guides as they can help you piece together the overarching story.

ARPGs: a screenshot from Dragon's Dogma showing off an archer shooting at a huge eagle-like creature in a field

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – Switch

When talking about Switch RPGs, many tend to overlook Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen. Well, today, I’m here to change that. Dragon’s Dogma is a terrific RPG series from Capcom, and that alone should tell you about its quality. We love Capcom at Pocket Tactics, and this isn’t the only time the company appears on this list (you’ll have to keep reading to find out what the other Capcom game is).

Initially, Dragon’s Dogma landed on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, with Dark Arisen being the enhanced version released for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in 2019. You create a character known as the Arisen, which means you have a destiny, and that’s to stop the apocalypse. Yeah, normally, when a dragon rips out your heart, you’d think that means death, but no, it means you have the fate of your world on your shoulders as you go on a grand adventure to kill that dragon. I don’t get it either.

Like many ARPGs, Dragon’s Dogma features a class system that alters your approach to combat, with the fighter, mage, mystic knight, ranger, magic archer, sorcerer, ranger, and assassin on offer. Regardless of your playstyle, at least one of these options is sure to entice you. Then, you also have the pawns on your team. Pawns are party members. You get to create one and then recruit the other two in-game (or use the pawns other players create through the online mechanics).

The world of Dragon’s Dogma is huge, with many locations, environments, and cities to explore. It’s easy to distract yourself in the vast countryside, even if there are many things out there that want to kill you. But, considering you’re likely an ARPG connoisseur, I think you’ll be okay. Take it all in, and enjoy one of the greatest RPGs of all time.

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Anima ARPG – mobile

A game with ARPG in the title is a bit of a giveaway, huh? But just because a game dares to so boldly display what genre it belongs to doesn’t automatically make it good. Luckily for Redeev, Anima is one of the best ARPGs you can play on iOS and Android, even four years after its initial release in 2019. We’d go so far as to say that it’s a fine alternative to Diablo Immortal if you don’t want to give Blizzard’s game a try.

What we mean by that is you get to explore dungeons, hack ‘n slash your way through enemies such as demons, and partake in boss fights. Of course, you also get some pretty sweet loot for your efforts, and we all know how important equipment is in a game like this. There are more than 40 levels to fight through and ten different difficulties, so there’s plenty to enjoy here.

In terms of character creation, you have a lot of the freedom to craft the warrior you want, with a system that allows you to chop and change various classes to suit your personal play style. As someone who appreciates swinging a big sword yet being oddly agile, I respect this.

ARPGs: A Monster Hunter Rise screenshot showing a hunter stood next to two wolf-like creatures with the largest beast howling in front of a huge tree trunk

Monster Hunter Rise – Switch

I have it on good authority (our lovely guides editor, Tilly) that Monster Hunter Rise is a high point for the series on Nintendo Switch, and it certainly deserves recognition as one of the best ARPGs on the platform. While our Monster Hunter Rise review does a fine job of explaining why, allow us to dive into the game a little bit here.

As it’s the sixth main installment in the franchise, you likely already know what to expect if you’re a longtime fan of the series. In essence, you take on the role of a hunter, which means you need to pick up the Monster Hunter Rise weapon of your choice and slay some Monster Hunter Rise monsters. Of course, there’s a little bit more to it than that, especially as the game not only continues with the mechanics introduced by MHW but builds on them, too, introducing a new animal companion known as Palamute, which you can use to traverse the map. Longtime fans of the series likely know why this is such a blessing.

Naturally, you can expect one heck of a challenge if you decide to embark on this adventure, as Monster Hunter games aren’t known for their quick battles. Rather, they offer a test of endurance with fights that can take half an hour or more. You certainly get your money’s worth, that’s for sure.

Beyond the base game, there’s a rather impressive expansion that compliments the main game nicely (just consult our Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak review if you don’t believe us). It introduces even more weapons and monsters, so make sure you check out our Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak weapons and Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak monsters guides to get to grips with them.

Monster Hunter Rise has sold more than 13 million copies, while Sunbreak boasts six million copies. Rise is the second best-selling game in the franchise, so trust us when we say it’s an ARPG fan’s dream.

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Torchlight: Infinite – mobile

The fourth entry in the series, Torchlight: Infinite is a fine ARPG that doubles as a dungeon crawler game, meaning it does fall into a similar ballpark to that of Diablo: Immortal, giving you a second alternative to Blizzard’s title.

In our Torchlight: Infinite preview, we claim it to be a “fun little gem” that features a wide range of maps full of various types of enemies, which gives you plenty of content to enjoy. The game very much adopts a hack ‘n slash approach to its combat, as do most dungeon crawlers, which does give a sense of satisfaction as you rip through the hordes.

As with any RPG, there are multiple classes for you to choose from, except, unlike Diablo Immortal, you can’t change them on the fly and must see your decision through unless you create a new character. Each class has its own skill tree, and has an affinity for various weapons and equipment, so it’s worth bearing that in mind. It’s no good having a huge sword if you rely on speed and agility.

If you need some extra guidance with your Torchlight: Infinite build, make sure you check out our article.

ARPGs: A Nier Automata screenshot in which 2B is stood in front of a machine in the middle of the forest

Nier Automata – Switch

One look at our Nier Automata Switch review and you can see why many regard this as one of the best ARPGs out there, getting even more fans after Square Enix released it on Nintendo Switch in 2022. Still, we love it so much that we’re ready to give you the rundown here and now.

First and foremost, there’s an immense level of replay value here, as you need to complete the game three times to experience what’s really going on in this world. Yes, you read that right, so you’d best get used to the Nier Automata characters, especially Nier Automata’s 2B, who you take control of initially.

However, unlike some games in which you play as just one character across multiple playthroughs, you take control of Nier Automata’s 9S for the second go-round and Nier Automata’s A2 for the third. If I’m being honest, it might take more than three playthroughs to fully wrap your head around the story. There are a lot of twists and turns here. Oh, and did I mention that there are 26 Nier Automata endings? Good luck with that. I only have three under my belt.

Beyond the replayability and the story, Nier Automata boasts fun combat with a hack ‘n slash approach that’s sure to satisfy those of you who love swordplay. You need to string together combos through the use of light and heavy attacks while remaining light on your feet to ensure you can dodge incoming assaults, which can even grant you immunity and offer the opportunity to land a powerful countermove.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

It’s impossible to make a list like this and not include Bethesda’s Skyrim. While I’m not a huge fan of the fifth Elder Scrolls game, I can’t deny its significance to the ARPG genre, and it has millions of fans worldwide, so it obviously does something right for the masses. Even after all these years, people still herald it as one of the best RPGs of all time.

Originally released in 2011, coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2017, Skyrim takes place 200 hundred years after the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (my personal favorite from the series). You are the Dragonborn, and you have the weight of the world on your shoulders as you go on a quest to defeat Alsuin the World-Eater. Sounds like a swell guy.

Luckily for you, there are all manner of ways in which you can handle yourself in combat, Skyrim truly does ask you what approach you want to take and lets you run away with it. For me, I like to dual-wield blades in a show of skill, though I have the utmost respect for people who insist on using a bow for the entirety of their playthrough. There are all manner of weapons to use, stats and attributes to increase, and powerful magic to learn, should that be your approach.

The world is huge, making it a dream for those of you who treasure exploration. Naturally, a land as expansive as that of Skyrim features many side missions and quests beyond the main story, giving you ample opportunity to meet and form relationships with enigmatic characters.

And that, my friends, is our list of the best ARPGs on Switch and mobile. There are many other games out there that have a case to be on this list, so check back again down the line, who knows what other entries may be here. If you’re ready to retire from a life of adventure, check out our games like Stardew Valley guide. It’s time to retire to an idyllic little farm.