The best RPGs (role-playing games) on Switch

Role-playing games are one of the genres that I particularly like. Some of my fondest gaming memories were when I first saw the vast apocalyptic world of Washington in Fallout 3, cried over the ending of Final Fantasy X (I was a sensitive teenager, let me quiet) or as I walked through the door of the Pokémon League for the first time.

But for all the respect RPGs enjoy, they’ve had lows as dramatic as their highs. Do you remember the Nintendo 64 and its THREE RPGs in North America, 2 of which sucked. Lucky there was Paper Mario.

Luckily, the Switch doesn’t have this problem; it has a huge selection of role-playing games, whether you’re a fan of classic turn-based JRPGs or more contemporary Western RPGs.

In fact, there are so many that it’s hard to find your way around.

We have therefore prepared a short guide to essential role-playing games, in no particular order.

And no, Zelda does not count as an RPG.

DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age

I said I didn’t put the titles in any particular order, but I lied; I started with my favorite.

Indeed, this installment of the legendary Square Enix franchise is perhaps one of my favorite RPGs, not just on the Switch, but across all platforms.

You embody, as usual, a mute protagonist who learns at the turn of adulthood that he is a chosen one destined for great things. So he goes on an adventure, during which he meets a host of endearing characters, including Erik, the thief and Sylvando, an exuberant artist.

Dragon Quest 11 is one of the most classic games, but it wears that retro gameplay like a badge of honor. In fact, DQ11 is so proud of its nostalgic roots that you have the option of playing the entire game in 2D with a top-down camera, in a style reminiscent of NES episodes.

Around the time of release, I remember reading a review that compared Dragon Quest 11 to a fairy tale you’re told before bedtime, and that’s the best comparison ever. Take your Switch to bed, play for an hour before bed, and fall asleep dreaming of fantasy worlds.

Buy Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age


There was a time when every child of my generation dreamed of receiving their admission letter to Hogwarts.

Sadly, over the years, JK Rowling took Twitter by storm to make it clear to everyone that the doors of the School of Witchcraft weren’t really open to everyone.

Fortunately, we have Ikenfell. In this little indie RPG, we embody Maritte, a young woman devoid of magical powers who decides anyway to go to the Ikenfell school of witchcraft to find her sister, Safina, who no longer gives news.

But when she walks through the gates of Ikenfell, several surprises await Maritte; the school is abandoned, a threatening aura hovers over the school grounds… and Maritte suddenly has powers.

Throughout her journey, Maritte meets a host of Safina’s colleagues, who help her unravel the mysteries of Ikenfell… and her sister Safina. The relationships between the characters are complex and nuanced, and the story makes room for multiple protagonists of diverse gender, orientation, and ethnicity who are always treated with respect.

Paper Mario fans are likely to like this title which takes up mini-games based on the timing in its combat system. The system, however, has an additional depth since we must move our characters on a grid, and their positioning will influence the arsenal that will be at our disposal.

An exceptional role-playing game full of love, carried by a breathtaking soundtrack.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Another legendary series whose origins can be traced back to the good old NES.

If you only know Fire Emblem from the host of characters found in Super Smash Bros, let me introduce you to the series in due form.

Fire Emblem is a series of turn-based tactical role-playing games. You lead an army on a grid, and you must face the enemies taking care to think about the strengths and weaknesses of each.

However, you have to be careful; in classic mode, units lost in battle die permanently.

To help you, you can develop links between your units between fights. These Support Links will give them advantages in the battlefield, while also allowing you to get to know the characters in your army better.

You play in this episode Byleth, a mercenary who finds himself teaching at the Academy of Garreg Mach by a combination of circumstances. Along with the usual fights, you’ll also need to make sure your students reach their full potential.

A recurring joke on the web is that Fire Emblem is like a game of chess where pawns can kiss each other, and that’s not completely wrong. But that’s why we love the series.

And the Switch episode is probably the most complete. The lifespan is insane (you will easily pass the 100 hour mark if you want to see everything), and the difficulty is well calibrated; first-time fans will have a good challenge to get their teeth into, while neophytes benefit from options that make this episode of the saga more accessible.

Buy Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan

Developed by the Montrealers of Manavoid Entertainment, Rainbow Billy is a game at the crossroads of several influences; its game system is reminiscent of both Pokémon and Paper Mario, while its aesthetic reminds us a bit of Cuphead.

In this game, we embody Billy who goes on an adventure to bring back to his world the color that was stolen by the villain Leviathan. Rainbow Billy is a non-violent game; Instead of battling monsters, you’ll have to find the right words to help them deal with their psychological issues, whether it’s anxiety, lack of self-confidence, narcissism, or violent tendencies.

Over the conversations, represented by mini-games reminiscent of the Paper Mario of yesteryear, you will expand your circle of friends, who will then be available to help new creatures in turn.

A cute and comforting game that shows us the power of empathy.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

It’s hard to believe that CD Projekt Red is the same company that launched the very buggy and unstable Cyberpunk 2077, but managed to bring the massive Witcher 3 to Switch.

If you do not know this legendary game, it is a role-playing game where you play as Geralt of Rivia (Geralt de Riv in French), a witcher or sorcerer who wanders in a medieval world, protecting a suspicious population against the monsters that threaten her.

Geralt is on the hunt for Yennefer, a short-haired witch with whom he has a complex relationship, and then possibly Ciri, a young woman with mysterious powers whom Geralt considers his own daughter.

As its name suggests, The Witcher 3 is a sequel. But most players, myself included, started with this third opus, and it remains very accessible to newcomers who have not touched the first two episodes.

The Witcher 3, originally released in 2015 on PS4 and Xbox One, is a pure and simple masterpiece. The world is huge and overly dense with content, and the quality of the writing is nearly unmatched in the gaming world. Still to this day, I believe the Red Baron quest is simply the best quest in a video game, period.

It is therefore impressive to see this titanic game rolling on Nintendo’s small portable console. Granted, the resolution is a bit muddled, but it’s still the full experience of The Witcher 3 that you get on Switch.

And what an unforgettable experience.

Buy The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Shin Megami Tensei V

Announced at the same time as the Switch at the very beginning of 2017, this fifth installment in Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei franchise has been long overdue.

But the wait has been worth it for fans of the franchise.

If you’re unfamiliar with this cult series that spawned the Persona franchise, among others, Shin Megami Tensei is a more grown-up, religious, and oddly lustful version of Pokémon.

You play as a student who finds himself immersed in a parallel Tokyo that has become a vast desert taken over by demonic forces. Merging with a mysterious spirit, you become the Nahobino, an entity capable of holding strength against the armies of hell.

Shin Megami Tensei V is a game that we recommend to regulars of Japanese role-playing games, since the level of difficulty is very high.

But if you’re willing to persevere, you’ll find a unique role-playing game with an atmosphere you just can’t find anywhere else.

Buy Shin Megami Tensei V

Triangle Strategy

I’m going to make a terrible confession to you; I didn’t really like Octopath Traveler, developer Tomoya Asano’s previous game. Everyone hailed (with good reason) the title’s visual style, which was reminiscent of the graphics of role-playing games from the golden age of the SNES, but with a stunning HD varnish.

But beyond the stunning visuals and the nostalgic aspect, I found Octopath Traveler very thin on a story level.

Triangle Strategy has responded to all of these criticisms.

We find all the visual flair of Octopath Traveler, but this time in a game that pays homage to tactical games, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Fire Emblem. But in Triangle Strategy, the story shines as much as the visuals.

We play the young lord Serenoa who finds himself at the head of a small kingdom on the continent of Norzelia. But as he takes power, war breaks out and the young man finds himself at a crossroads. And it’s up to us to pave the way for it. Are we going to favor reason, security, or are we going to defend our ideals, even if it means condemning an innocent population?

Triangle Strategy is a surprisingly mature game, with an engaging combat system that adds enormous depth beneath the glittering veneer of its visual presentation.

Buy Triangle Strategy

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The best RPGs (role-playing games) on Switch

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