The Best Switch JRPGs (According To Metacritic)

The Best Switch JRPGs (According To Metacritic) ...

The JRPG is a time-tested genre that dates back to console days. Some of the most well-known games today are JRPGs, like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Megami Tensei. These are games with large parties of characters, incredible narratives, and meticulous (typically turn-based) gameplay.

It's difficult to find time to watch a JRPG on the big screen these days due to the fact that the Switch is home to some of the greatest Japanese role-playing games of all time. Metacritic can assist with helping you select the best JRPGs for Nintendo Switch.

Updated July 30, 2022 by Mark Sammut: The Switch has a large amount of RPGs from both Western and Japanese developers. Despite its lack of power, plenty of studios have succeeded in delivering massive campaigns with tens of thousands of hours of content. Persona 5 Royal and Pokemon Scarlet & Violet are both expected to be released by the end of the year, making this one of the best Switch JRPGs of all time.

29 Pokemon Sword & Shield 80

Release Date November 15, 2019
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Pokemon Sword

Game Freak's hugely successful franchise moved to a home console for a proper mainline debut, something that has been a long time coming. The Generation 8 games are full 3D adventures that incorporate a couple of new concepts, including the addition of Wild Areas that can be used to trap roaming Pokemon. Otherwise, the campaign is not significantly different from the handheld RPGs, although it is somewhat more organized.

Sword & Shield aren't generally regarded as the best entries in the series, but they marked the start of a new era for Pokemon. Some concepts present in these games were expanded upon in Arceus, and that is likely to be the case in the upcoming Scarlet & Violet.

Revenant Kingdom - Prince's Edition 80, 28 Ni No Kuni 2

Release Date September 17, 2021
Subgenre Action
Nintendo Store Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom - Prince's Edition

The sequel to Ni no Kuni is quite different from its predecessor, offering a different fighting structure and a more mature tone. Following a successful coup, Roland finds himself in a strange world where he meets new friends.

Ni no Kuni 2 is one of the finest Nintendo Switch JRPG games, featuring stunning environments and well-crafted character designs. Although a bit too easy, the hack and slash combat is quick and enjoyable, and the narrative is solid for the most part.

80th Edition of 27 Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers

Release Date April 7, 2022
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition

The Radical Dreamers Edition is unlikely to alter the opinion of someone who did not like Chrono Cross in its original form. Those who want to play a PS1-era JRPG can do much worse than this ambitious, although uneven package.

The game's large roster of playable characters is a major selling point, so much so that they cannot all be unlocked in the same playthrough. This feature also allows multiple runs through the campaign, as the story travels to some rather bizarre places.

26 The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel 4 81

Release Date April 9, 2021
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4

For nearly two decades, Nihon Falcom's Trails franchise has been a reliable source for turn-based JRPG goodness. Although some might argue the series peaked with the Trains in the Sky trilogy, the Trails of Cold Steel subseries remains outstanding, producing four long chapters in an epic war series.

Trails of Cold Steel 4 should only be purchased if one has experienced the previous games or, at least, knows their tales. A direct follow up to its predecessor, the 2021 entry builds on the foundations of the three 50-hour campaigns that preceded it.

Wings Of Ruin 81 is a monster hunter story.

Release Date July 9, 2021
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin

With Monster Hunter Rise and a sequel to the Stories spin-off series, Nintendo Switch owners got a double dose of Capcom goodness. Wings of Ruin is a monster collection game with a turn-based combat mechanic that mucks things up.

The gameplay is enjoyable, but Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin's main appeal is the ability to create new Monsties, which are relatively light on plot compared to other JRPGs, but Wings of Ruin is significantly more plot-driven than typical Monster Hunter games.

24 Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist Of The Mysterious Dream 81

Release Date February 24, 2022
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream

The latest installment in Gust's alchemy-driven series is among the most accessible to those who are familiar with traditional JRPGs. Atelier Sophie 2 maintains the franchise's focus on creating items through alchemy, a system that remains as enjoyable and deep as in previous entries.

This sequel accelerates the pace of most of the other titles in the franchise, and the narrative is generally good throughout. Even the turn-based combat system has been improved both in terms of presentation and mechanics.

23 Final Fantasy 7 81

Release Date March 26, 2019 (Switch)
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7, an all-time classic JRPG, needs no introduction other than the fact that it is now available on the Nintendo Switch in all of its glory. In many ways, FF7 shows its age in many areas, especially in its turn-based combat. However, the battle system may appear overly simplistic for those unfamiliar with modern JRPGs.

FF7 is still a must-play game with a fantastic narrative, unforgettable characters, and a fantastic setting that Square Enix loves to revisit.

22 Rune Factory 4 Special 81

Release Date February 25, 2020
Subgenre Adventure
Nintendo Store Rune Factory 4 Special

JRPGs are often thought of as turning-based gameplay and a massive world-saving plot. While those types of games make up a significant portion of the subgenre, they still come in many forms and sizes. Rune Factory 4 Special is a farming simulator that includes dungeon crawling, love and romance as well as a plot that is present but does not distract players.

Rune Factory has a history of balancing out its genres and ideas to create a satisfying overall package. The Rune Factory 4 Special is a relaxing adventure that allows players to join a charming kingdom while occasionally swatting monsters on the head with a sword.

21 Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore 81

Release Date January 17, 2020
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore

Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem were ported to Nintendo Switch in 2020, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is still a difficult game to pin down. This Wii U crossover is more likely to appeal to those who want a lighthearted Shin Megami Tensei experience.

The turn-based combat isn't too different from the Persona games, although the Fire Emblem influence does add a few twists to the formula. When Atlus' time comes to an end, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore will probably not be Atlus' best JRPG on the Switch, but it is worth grabbing for enthusiasts of the developer's work.

20 Persona 5 Strikers 81

Release Date February 22, 2021
Subgenre Action
Nintendo Store Persona 5 Strikers

Persona 5 Strikers is an Omega Force and P-Studio spin-off from the PS4's fantastic Persona 5, and it is a vastly different experience from its predecessor.

Persona 5 Strikers is a turn-based action JRPG that reunites the Phantom Thieves of Hearts so they may go on a cross-country adventure to defeat hundreds of Monarchs at the same time. Turn-based actions are still possible in the middle of battle, so Strikers isn't a complete departure from Persona 5.

19 NEO: The World Ends With You 82

Release Date July 27, 2021
Subgenre Action
Nintendo Store NEO: The World Ends With You

Square Enix has finally released the sequel to The World Ends With You from 2007: NEO. The Reapers' Game is a cutthroat competition to see who will be revived after a week of activities.

NEO's gameplay and aesthetic are departures from the first game, as the sequel is fully 3D and incorporates a more traditional action-oriented combat system. Battles are enjoyable, while the narrative and music are engaging.

18 Ys 8: Lacrimosa Of DANA 82

Release Date June 26, 2018
Subgenre Action
Nintendo Store Ys 8: Lacrimosa Of DANA

The eighth installment in the Ys series has been released to relative critical acclaim. The game was a port of a PS4 version, and the developers did a great job of keeping it running smoothly, although it sacrificed graphical fidelity to do so.

This is an excellent action JRPG for those who want a fluid and interactive experience. The player may choose between two characters freely during combat, rather than being stuck with one for the duration of the fight.

17 Ys Origin 82

Release Date October 1, 2020
Subgenre Action
Nintendo Store Ys Origin

This game has also risen to be one of the best Nintendo Switch JRPGs. Originally released on PC, this game is a prequel to the rest of the series. New players may also benefit from starting here, although they'll need to remember that this game has matured over the years.

Fans consider Ys Origin to be another outstanding addition to the series, maintaining what makes it so successful. Falcom as a developer tends to stick to their roots, and in this case, they've created a series that felt natural as time passed.

16 Sega Ages: Phantasy Star 82

Release Date December 13, 2018
Subgenre Adventure
Nintendo Store Sega Ages: Phantasy Star

Sega needed a franchise to compete with Enix's Dragon Quest or SquareSoft's Final Fantasy at the peak of console wars. Although the series took inspiration from both, the end result was Phantasy Star. This series has become a part of gaming culture with Phantasy Star Online 2.

Starting with the Sega Ages re-release is a great option for those who want to recreate the original. It does include a few quality-of-life enhancements to make the experience feel more modern, but it maintains its old-school charm visually and in its soundtrack. This unique combination of sci-fi and medieval fantasy holds up admirably, especially compared to other classic JRPGs from the same time.

15 Tales Of Vesperia: Definitive Edition 83

Release Date January 11, 2019
Subgenre Action
Nintendo Store Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is a sequel to the Tales of Vesperia series. Fans consider the story to be the best of the Tales series, and it is totally reflected in the game.

This release includes new quests, dungeons, and a new playable character that was never released on the PS3 release. (Especially Yuri), it's worth the purchase for anyone who owns the original.

14 Octopath Traveler 83

Release Date July 13, 2018
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler, from the development studio behind Bravely Default, draws its inspiration from Square's classic games. This time, Octopath draws its inspiration from the SaGa series of games. These games include a number of playable protagonists in an interconnected world that isn't entirely linear, and Octopath is similar in that regard.

The visuals are stunning and the music is fantastic throughout the board, and the story is even somewhat coherent! The only thing that will determine the outcome will be the gameplay. Battles can take years to complete, so try out the demo.

13 Pokemon Legends: Arceus 83

Release Date January 28, 2022
Subgenre Open-World, Turn-Based
Nintendo Store Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends: Arceus reimagines a huge open world set decades before the main games.

Trainers are left to their own discretion about how they approach this task; some may prefer to engage in turn-based conflicts while others may prefer to hide behind a Pokemon in a Poke Ball to start a new era for the franchise.

12 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 83

Release Date December 1, 2017
Subgenre Open-World, Action
Nintendo Store Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a massive, self-indulgent game. Like the previous Xenoblade titles, XC2 is packed with sidequests and monsters to hunt. The various continents have lots of places to explore and secrets to uncover, both for quest completion and for fun.

The fact that XC2 is different from previous titles is the sheer amount of characters. All of the Rare Blades have their own personalities and quests to complete. This is a problem with the genre in general, as players used to gacha-style games will be enthused by some of the artwork.

11 Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch 84

Release Date September 20, 2019
Subgenre Action
Nintendo Store Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni No Kuni is an absolute conflictor for JRPG fans. The Ghibli-inspired world, narrative, and style are all wonderful and vivid. It's a game that feels adventurous and huge, even if the world isn't that big. The narrative is somewhat simple, yet nonetheless very moving and worth seeing through till the end.

The actual gameplay is a drawback. It feels like a watered-down Final Fantasy 12 game with a creature-collection component slapped on top haphazardly. The AI for party members is awful, and combat itself can be a slog. Despite that, when it comes together, it's enjoyable to play.

10 The Legend Of Heroes: Cold Steel Trails 3 84

Release Date June 30, 2020
Subgenre Turn-Based
Nintendo Store The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3

The Legend of Heroes series has remained stable and largely improved with each new entry, even though it isn't the second most cumbersome name on this list.

The game is the third in the current series, and it delivers everything fans desired. The sidequests are engaging, the combat is refined after years of iteration, and the narrative is a love letter to everything the genre has to offer. While the port of the game has its drawbacks, the ability to play it on the go is worth the price of the performance.