It’s hard to pick out a list of the best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch. The console is practically brimming with turn-based adventures through fantasy, science fiction, and magical worlds. Still, we think we’re up to the task, so we’ve picked out a list of what we think are the finest selection of JRPGs on the system, with plenty of scope for different types of players and audiences.
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 get into our list of the best JRPGs on Switch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ensemble casts of JRPGS and their intertwining stories are often much like a Hollywood comedy, 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.
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. Still, the highlight surely has to be Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the massive third instalment 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.
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.
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. Sure, the monsters 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.
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. Sure, there are not 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
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. 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.
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.
There you have it, our picks for the best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch. If you’ve had your fill of JRPGs and want to try something a little more Western, try our picks for the best Switch RPGs, or if you want to even more Western, see our list of the best cowboy games.