The best Switch RPG games January 2023

If you’re looking for something long to play while on the road, or sitting on your sofa, here are the best Switch RPG games to sink some time into.

Best Switch RPG Games: Zack and Sephiroth fighting in Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion

When making a list of the best Switch RPG games, there are a few candidates that come to mind. From the iconic Pokémon series to some indie games you may have never heard of or scrolled past in the eShop, there is no shortage of great RPG games to play on the system, whether at home or travelling.

While there are plenty of incredible titles on our list – some of which have made our best games guide – most are exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. That means you can truly get the best out of your console and experience the games as intended by the developer.

These are the best Switch RPG games:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3
  • Pokémon Scarlet & Violet
  • Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion
  • Persona 5: Royal
  • Undertale
  • NieR: Automata – The End of YoRHa Edition
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age
  • Dark Souls Remastered
  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Best Switch RPG games: Noah from Xenoblade Chronicles 3

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 may be the latest instalment in the series, but you can jump in here without any prior knowledge. The story takes place in a world called Aionios, where two warring factions are in constant war, with soldiers only having ten year lifespans. The story follows Noah and Mio, who are from warring factions, and their two friends as they investigate the mystery behind the war.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 offers an exciting battle system, where attacks are automatic but you must each character’s skills tactically at your own command. While the story and the gameplay might be the focus, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a technical showcase, and possibly a swan song for the series on Nintendo Switch.

You can check out our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review for our full thoughts.

Best Switch RPG games: Gym leader from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

2. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

The latest Pokémon games are likely the buggiest so far, but if you simply love playing a good Pokémon game, then Scarlet and Violet are likely for you. They are the first in the series to offer an entire open world experience, as well having up to four players in co-op. The gimmick this time around is Terastal Pokémon, a special system that turns Pokémon into crystal-like variants of themselves that boost elemental attacks.

There’s nothing that scratches the Pokémon itch like the mainline games, and while Scarlet and Violet may offer that core Pokémon experience we’ve come to love, it changes enough to be an exciting new entry in the long-running franchise.

Best Switch RPG games: Disco Elysium gameplay

3. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

Disco Elysium is likely one of the best games you’ve never heard of. Players take the role of a detective who is suffering from amnesia, tasked with solving a murder mystery in a fictional seaside city. There’s no combat here, instead, every problem or event is solved via dialogue options or skill checks.

It offers a well-written and intricate narrative that is as deep as it is incredible, and most people who play the game get the experience stuck in their head. There’s nothing quite like it out there, and that makes it worth adding to your collection.

Best Switch RPG games: Cutscene of Zack and Cloud in Crisis Core Reunion

4. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion

Final Fantasy is one of the biggest RPG franchises in the world, so it’s no surprise that one of the games can be found on this list. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is a remake of a PSP game of the same name (minus the Reunion part). It is a prequel story to the new Final Fantasy VII Remake game, but follows mostly the same story beats, with an updated combat system mixing the old and new.

Zack’s story, which finishes just before the start of Final Fantasy VII, is as exciting as it has ever been, and while it looks like the rest of the Remake project won’t be arriving on the Nintendo Switch, it’s always great to have a Final Fantasy game to play on the go.

Best Switch RPG games: Key art from Persona 5 Royal

5. Persona 5 Royal

Despite having the daunting fact that Persona 5 Royal is the sixth game in the franchise, don’t worry, you can play this one without any prior experience.

You play as a highschool student codenamed Joker, where you’ll need to meet and form relationships with other characters. There’s turn-based combat here, which is incredibly stylish and extremely fun.

It can take up to a hundred hours for your first run, offering a great story with lots of depth, and arguably one of the best soundtracks in gaming.

Best Switch RPG games: Undertale gameplay

6. Undertale

Undertale is one of the biggest and most interesting indie games in the world, so it is definitely one to add to your collection. You play as a child, who falls into a large area under the surface of the Earth called the Underground. It’s hard to explain the combat of the game, but you’ll need to control a small heart and avoid enemy attacks.

The main draw of the game is the story, which offers branching narratives and different endings depending on your choices..

We won’t spoil anything for you, but we recommend picking this up if you want something different.

Best Switch RPG games: Boss fight in Nier Automata

7. NieR: Automata – The End of YoRHa Edition

NieR: Automata is one of the most beloved RPGs in recent years, and the Switch port of the game is faithful to the original and works extremely well. A more action-based role-playing game compared to the rest of the list, with hack-and-slash elements, NieR: Automata follows the story of some androids, mainly 2B.

The story has lots of threads, which we won’t go into due to the sheer amount of endings in the game. But if you’re looking for a deep story, with some exciting gameplay and an incredible atmosphere, NieR: Automata is likely for you.

Best Switch RPG games: Hunters fighting a Violet Mizutsune in Monster Hunter Rise

8. Monster Hunter Rise

Larger-than-life battles, intriguing combat that is easy to learn yet hard to master, and some incredible gameplay in general, Monster Hunter Rise is the latest exciting addition to the long-running series. Whether this would be your first game or not, Monster Hunter Rise is a high-point in the series, with upgraded traversal mixed in with some of the most exciting combat the Monster Hunter franchise has to offer.

It can be a daunting challenge for newcomers to get into the gameplay loop of Rise, but you’ll find yourself sinking hundreds of hours into this game. Even more if you purchase the Sunbreak expansion.

You can read our Monster Hunter Rise review here.

Best Switch RPG games: Geralt chasing a Griffin in The Witcher 3

9. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

It’s hard to miss the impact that The Witcher series has had on the gaming industry, especially the latest game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Thrusting the developers, CD Projekt Red into stardom, as well as making the game a household name, The Witcher 3 is arguably one of the best RPG games of all time. You take the role of Geralt, a monster hunter known as a Witcher, who has to investigate the disappearance of his adopted daughter following the appearance of the Wild Hunt.

The Witcher 3 is a mastercraft in world-building, lore, and narrative, while having some excellent and engaging combat. It’s hard not to see why it has been praised even years after its release. And the Nintendo Switch port is a surprisingly faithful port of the game.

Best Switch RPG games: Diablo 3 gameplay

10. Diablo 3: Eternal Collection

One for those who love lots of loot and exciting gameplay, Diablo 3 is an action role-playing game that features fast-paced combat, with lots of fantasy elements that will give any hardcore classic fans of the RPG genre the itch to play more. But that shouldn’t negate any newcomers to the genre or the series itself, as Diablo 3 is a great game that allows you to go as deep in its systems as you want (and believe us, you will want to).

The Eternal Collection bundles up all of the previously released expansions, as well as the fact that it features Amiibo support and some Switch-exclusive stuff too.

Best Switch RPG games: Cutscene of a character holding a sword in Dragon Quest XI S

11. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Another long-running series making its way onto our list, Dragon Quest XI S for short is an enhanced version of the original game. It features invigorating turn-based combat, with no random encounters, allowing you to choose which battles to take part in when you’re in the overworld. Currently the latest in the series, Dragon Quest XI S follows a protagonist who survives a monster invasion of the kingdom of Dundrasil as a child.

Dragon Quest XI S is a standalone game, meaning you don’t have to play any previous entries. And as Dragon Quest XII has been announced, now is the perfect time to try it.

Best Switch RPG games: Boss fight in Dark Souls Remastered

12. Dark Souls Remastered

The Dark Souls series is known for its brutal combat and challenging gameplay, but for those who have yet to jump into one of these games, Dark Souls Remastered is the perfect entry point. The remastered version features improved visuals and performance, bringing a game that changed action RPGs for the foreseeable future to the latest platforms.

It’s ridiculously hard until you learn enemy and boss patterns and spend time practising the combat, but once you get into the swing of things, Dark Souls Remastered is a challenge worth dying for. And you will die plenty of times.

Best Switch RPG games: Protagonist standing by a lake in Pokemon Legends Arceus

13. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

The Pokémon series of games has been running since 1996, with very little change to the core gameplay. And while Pokémon Legends: Arceus isn’t the massive change that fans had been waiting for, it was a big enough shift to warrant interest.

Legends sends us back in time to the Hisui region, with small open world-like areas that feature tons of Pokémon we’ve come to know and love. However, this time, you don’t need to battle them to catch ‘em. The world is brimming with Pokémon, and seeing how they interact with their environments is any Pokémon fan’s dream. It is a great entry point for newcomers, but truthfully, it’s a special game for old fans.

Those are the best Nintendo Switch RPG games to start playing right now. However, the best games aren’t just limited to the latest Nintendo platform – you can check out our list of the best Xbox RPG games and the best PS5 RPG games right here.