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The best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch in 2024

Looking for the best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch? You’re in the right place, as we’ve got a comprehensive list of the best turn-based treats you can feast on.

Custom image for best JRPGs guide with Vivi from Final Fantasy IX on a purple background

If there’s a tricky task for any gaming writer, it’s picking out a list of the best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch. The smash hit console is teeming with titles that take you on an epic exploration full of turn-based battles and charismatic characters. Still, we’ve pulled together our expertise at Pocket Tactics to offer this guide featuring some of our favorites you might not have tried before. So what are you waiting for? Let’s mosey.

For more genre busters, check out our picks for the best dating games, best monster games, best open-world games, best anime games, and best art games on Nintendo Switch. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more sporting, see our picks for the best golf games, football games, basketball games, and baseball games for Switch and mobile.

With that out of the way, let’s set off on an adventure with our list of the best JRPGs on Switch.

Screenshot of the early game characters looking at a threat from Draogn Quest XI for best JRPGs on Switch list

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Switch fans had a while to wait for this one, but it certainly was worth it. With all the perks of a Dragon Quest game fittingly dialled to 11, Echoes of an Elusive Age has it all, engaging characters, challenging battles, a combat system that allows some creative freedom, and a world filled with vivid colour and life.

It’s also something of an epic, with over fifty hours of content to throw yourself into, providing you can deal with the battle theme never changing for much of that time. Ps, stay for the post-game, it’s absolutely worth it.

Screenshot of the king looking over his denizens in Ni No Kuni 2 for best JRPGs on Switch list

Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom

In terms of sheer beauty, Ni No Kuni 2 is in a league of its own among other JRPGs, with the colourful Ghibli-inspired world shining from corner to corner. Better still, the combat system isn’t bad either, with reinvented mechanics from the first game allowing you a little more control in battle with a few added nuances.

Revenant Kingdom isn’t just a JRPG, though, it’s also something of a town-builder, with you left with the task of finding a new kingdom for the usurped boy who would be king.

Vivi standing in a town in Final Fantasy IX for best JRPGs on Switch list

Final Fantasy IX

It’s an oldie, but by gosh is it a goodie. Thanks to Square porting a good portion of its Final Fantasy library to Switch, there are plenty of options to choose from here, but for me, it has to be the ninth game in the series with its famous return to fantasy from the realms of science fiction.

Despite charming characters like Vivi, Quen, and plenty more, Final Fantasy IX is one of the more existential experiences from the long-running series, with plenty of emotional depth in the ambitious narrative.

Screenshot of the phantom thieves from Persona 5 Royal gathered for best JRPGs on Switch list

Persona 5 Royal

Heralded as possibly one of the best JRPGs of all time, let alone just on the Switch, Persona 5 is a masterclass in narrative, battle systems, character design, and well, just about everything it does. So, it should be of little surprise that our Persona 5 Royal review scored the game as a 9/10, praising the visuals, story writing, and smart additions to the battle mechanics. Despite both Persona 3 and 4 now being on Nintendo Switch, it’s worth jumping right into the fifth series entry to experience the ultimate Persona experience.

When you do jump into the Persona universe, be sure to check out some of our guides. We’ve got bits on Persona 5 characters, Persona 5 Ann, Persona 5 Futaba, Persona 5 Joker, and the Persona 5 anime, for if you need something to watch while playing handheld.

Screenshot of a battle against a big snake in Octopath Traveler for best JRPGs on Switch list

Octopath Traveler

The ensemble casts of JRPGS and their intertwining stories are often much like a Hollywood epic, with the core narrative bumping you from character to character at random points. Nowhere is this more true than with Octopath Traveler, with eight characters combining to tell one overarching story that we think is as close to a perfect Game of Thrones title as we will ever get.

This title is also a perfect example of how glorious a 2D-HD title can look, with every pixel popping off the screen. Better still, there’s now a sequel, with an even grander fantasy narrative and more engaging characters. If you like epic storytelling and classic RPG battles, look no further.

Screenshot of the characters running away from a big golden lizard in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 for best JRPGs on Switch list

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

The Switch era has been a good time for the Xenoblade Chronicles series, with the games truly coming into their own with a larger audience thanks to the success of the console. If you hadn’t heard of Xenoblade seven years ago, you probably have now.

Still, the highlight surely has to be Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the massive third installment in the series brimming with massive mech battles, staggering storytelling across a titan-of-a-game world, and plenty more action-packed battles. If you want to know more, check out our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review.

The main character running away form a giant slime with teeth in Shin Megami Tensei V for best JRPGs on Switch list

Shin Megami Tensei V

For years, there were concerns that the Shin Megami Tensei series was dead and buried, and then the fifth title in the series arrived seemingly out of nowhere, blowing away fans of the franchise in the process. Shin Megami Tensei V splits your time between Tokyo and the Netherworld, with a whole host of new and returning demons ready to team up and fight alongside you.

The fresh gimmick in the fifth game is that you can fuse demons, with some powerful and potent possibilities among the roster of hideous ghouls. To see if you’re up to the task, check out our Shin Megami Tensei V review.

Screenshot of the main character alongside a blue and orange dinosaur-type monster for best JRPGs on Switch list

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

Replacing the action with a Pokémon-like turn-based RPG mechanic, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a charming reprieve from the regular churn of 40-minute-long battles against enormous foes. We love regular Monster Hunter, but it can get a bit overwhelming.

Sure, the monsters in Wings of Ruin are still pretty big, but with a refined battle system that allows for some creative thinking, battles don’t last nearly as long, and there’s still a massive beautiful world to explore as you hunt for more beasties. If that sounds like fun, check out our Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin review.

Screenshot of the trainer meeting a Bidoof in Pokemon Legends Arceus for best JRPGs on Switch list

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon Legends: Arceus offers something different to the main Pokémon series norm, and is a real breath of fresh air for the series, with a wide world of classic and reimagined monsters waiting to be caught in one of your old-school Pokéballs. It’s also one of the best-looking Pokémon games, with a visual aesthetic we’re hoping returns in future Legends games.

There might not be as many battles as the main series, but the few you do take part in are plenty challenging, and it’s just never been as much fun to go around catching and training Pokémon. Check out our Pokémon Legends: Arceus review, if you’re still not convinced.

Screenshot of a boss battle against a demon in Live-A-Live for best JRPGs on Switch list

Live A Live

A remake of one of Square’s cult classic RPGS, the Live-A-Live remake is a turn-based trip through time worth checking out for any fans of the genre. We often describe games as ‘classics’, but this one is truly worthy of its cult status.

With separate narratives that take place from the dawn of man into the distant future, there’s plenty of variety in both level and character design to keep things fresh, while the consistent combat keeps you engaged through every era. If you want to know more, check out our Live A Live review.

Screenshot of Ryza doing a dance in Atelier Ryza 2 for best JRPGs on Switch list

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

The alchemic world of Atelier has never been better than in Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy. Following up three years after the events of the first game, Ryza finds herself at odds with the beasts of the Underworld in a battle with cataclysmic stakes.

The sequel vastly upgrades creation and battle mechanics from its predecessor, with enough content for us to score it a 9/10 in our Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy review. We’re already looking forward to more Atelier Ryza in the future.

Screenshot of a battle in Unicorn Overlord for best JRPGs guide

Unicorn Overlord

We’re sort of pushing the boundaries on what we can call a JRPG here, but it’s from a Japanese developer and has RPG mechanics, so stick with us. Unicorn Overlord is an incredibly engaging game with combines old-school visuals with modern-day graphics to offer the sort of experience we dreamed of during the heady days of the Nintendo Game Boy Advance era.

If you’re a fan of the Fire Emblem series, you’re almost guaranteed to love the strategic combat on offer here, and the character design is just as impressive as that series, too. Trust us, it’s worth checking out.

There you have it, our long list of the best JRPGs on Switch. If you’re looking for more engaging games to whittle away your spare time, check out our guides to the best sandbox games and best roguelike games. Or, if you prefer making moolah on your mobile, grab some free Monopoly Go dice.