There's no question that Japanese role-playing games usually take a bit longer to play considering the length of their campaigns and the breadth of content, but hey, we're not complaining. Over the past few years, the Nintendo Switch has proved to be one of the best ways to play for long stints due to its portability and versatility. Whether you're looking for something strategic, something with social simulation mechanics thrown in, or a title that is going to challenge not only your gaming skills but your resolve and tenacity, the best JRPGs on the Switch offer something for every type of gamer.
While the 'J' in JRPG stands for Japanese, this list isn't simply focusing on RPGs made in Japan. Instead, it features classic Japanese role-playing games that exude a certain gameplay style, namely games that place a heavy emphasis on deep, thought-provoking plots and comprehensive character development. From Switch exclusives like Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Pokémon Sword and Shield to epic JRPGs like Trails of Cold Steel III and Dragon Quest XI, there are tons of options to help you get your RPG fix at home or on the go, with plenty of great games coming to the Switch in the not-too-distant future. Of course, the Switch is also home to a growing library of older RPG classics, including all the PS1-era Final Fantasy games.
Check out all the top Switch JRPGs and vote up all the games you loved playing the most, that way other gamers can see which titles to check out next.
- 133 VOTES
For those looking to dive into a whimsical fantasy world, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a great option. Highly acclaimed on release and then going on to win several awards, the game is lauded for its story, art, and gameplay alike. Controlling a young boy searching for his missing mother, players travel through a vast world on foot, by boat, or on a dragon (which is definitely the best option if you ask us).
While the combat mechanics are more traditional for an RPG, Wrath of the White Witch also includes "familiars," creatures that the player can capture and tame, and then employ in battle.Buy at Amazon
- 248 VOTESPhoto: Square Enix
Another iconic entry in an already iconic franchise, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age not only returns to what makes the games so beloved but also iterates on their formula. New features include an open world, a more streamlined combat system including a "gambit" system that lets the player control various NPCs, a controllable camera, more customization with abilities and equipment, and a new side quest.
While the Final Fantasy games have always been traditional RPGs, the twelfth main installment is even more so by allowing players a whole new level of control over various aspects of their gameplay. That said, Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, and X are also available on the Switch and are often considered among the best in the series.Buy at Amazon
One of the few modern RPGs that still rely on traditional turn-based battles, Echoes of an Elusive Age harks back to the glory days of SNES and PS1-era JRPGs when it comes to combat. As the latest most recent entry of the long-running Dragon Quest series, XI is often listed as one of the best JRPG titles ever made. In fact, it's already sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide.
Certain gameplay elements can sometimes be exhausting, but if nothing else, Dragon Age XI proved that players also value engaging worlds and characters and that those elements can be just as important to some as the gameplay. Smash Bros. Players may also recognize the game's titular character as he was introduced as DLC character in 2019.Buy at Amazon
- 429 VOTES
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive EditionPhoto: BANDAI NAMCO
The tenth main entry in the Tales franchise, Tales of Vesperia is set in a unique fantasy world run by a power source called blastia, which is used in all aspects of people's lives, including to build protective barriers around their cities. A more unique feature is that the game's cutscenes are all in anime style, and combined with the cel-shaded inspired art of the rest of the game, this title has a truly unique visual style.
Tales of Vesperia also brings back the series' iconic Linear Motion Battle System, which feels most similar to a fighting game.
Developer: Namco Tales Studio
Genres (Video game): Role-playingBuy at Amazon