11 best Switch RPGS to play in 2023: Zelda, Pokemon, Fire Emblem

Zelda, dragon quest, and Pokemon Legends ArceusNintendo, The Pokemon Company, Square Enix

There are a lot of fantastic games on the Nintendo Switch that players can enjoy whether they’re on the go or relaxing at home. From turn-based to puzzlers, here are 11 of the best RPGs to play on the Nintendo Switch in 2023 and beyond.

The RPG genre is one of the most diverse in gaming, being able to cater to almost any player thanks to the diversity in gameplay. The majority of RPGs contain hundreds of hours of content, and thanks to its portability and ever-expanding library of exclusive titles, the Nintendo Switch is a great console for the genre.

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The combination of captivating RPGs and having the ability to experience the game anywhere whether you’re traveling or just playing at home due to the console hybrid capabilities, makes the Switch a great option for many gamers.

There are loads of excellent must-play Switch RPGs on the market now, and to help narrow down your choices, we’ve put together a curated list of the very best ones you should be playing in 2023 and beyond.

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Persona 5 Royal

An image of Joker from Persona 5 Royal, one of the best RPGs on Switch.Atlus
Persona 5 Royal has finally made its way onto Nintendo Switch.

Persona fans patiently waited for the series to make its way to the Nintendo Switch for years, and Persona 5 Royal is finally available on the console – with more entries from the franchise in 2023.

Widely regarded as one of the best JRPGs of all time, Royal is the definitive edition of Persona 5 that features a captivating story full of lovable characters. The gameplay loop is a combination of turn-based combat in unique dungeons, and building relationships with your party members and important NPCs alike – all while managing your time in the series’ staple calendar-based system.

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It’s one of the most stylish games out there and is an absolute must-play for JRPG fans.

Bravely Default II

squad of bravely default 2 characters stood together, one of the best RPGs on Switch.Square Enix
Bravely Default II is one of the most popular JRPGs in recent years.

Bravely Default II doesn’t break from the norm too much as it has a group of characters engaging in turn-based battles in a bid to retrieve four magic crystals, but it’s everything you’d expect from a Square Enix JRPG.

Square Enix is known for being one of the greatest visionaries when it comes to the RPG genre, in particular, spellbinding JRPGs featuring multiple characters usually embarking on an urgent life-or-death adventure, and Bravely Default II is well worth your time.

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Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age

dragon quest XI characters looking into distanceSquare Enix
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a fantastic entry in the Dragon Quest franchise.

In Dragon Quest XI, players must guide the Luminary to their destiny across various lands and quell the threat of opposing forces, as well as negotiate the usual hustle and bustle of towns and cities. It’s an eye-catching journey that feels very welcoming to veterans of the games, as well as novices looking to dip their toes in for the first time.

Sticking with the JRPG theme, another major franchise that Square Enix has also masterminded is the Dragon Quest series which has now been going for a monumental 35+ years.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Three Houses is an engaging RPG with three story routes to experience.

Another Nintendo Switch RPG synonymous with strategic combat and dramatic storytelling is Fire Emblem. Just like previous entries on this list, the most recent iteration, Three Houses, also uses turn-based combat, but gives you more freedom in how to approach the narrative that is essentially broken up into two chunky halves.

After choosing your gender and house, players are subjected to a simply outstanding amount of content to be basked in over multiple playthroughs to allow this detailed world to be fully realized.

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Golf Story

character lining up a shot in golf story, one of the best games on Switch.Sidebar Games
Golf Story is one of the most unique RPGs available on Switch.

From kingdoms and killing in JRPGs to the majestic overview of some bizarre golf courses, we now turn our attention to Golf Story — a game effervescing with bagfuls of charisma and plenty of charm under the surface.

From the outset, this looks to be just another golf game, but what lies beneath is a heartwarming story of an aspiring golfer. Their crazy adventure will see you playing golf on mountains, in deserts, and even on haunted lands. It never lets up and is one of the Nintendo Switch’s hidden gems – with an even grander follow-up now available in Sports Story.

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Monster Hunter Rise

group of players attacking a monster in monster hunter rise, one of the best RPGs on Switch.Capcom
Monster Hunter Rise features the most fluid combat in the franchise yet.

Whereas Monster Hunter Rise is certainly not a hidden gem, it’s a bonafide system-seller that has simply furthered the series’ already sky-high reputation.

Rise expands upon everything that Capcom has successfully accomplished by adding ridable companions and streamlining aspects of the game. Its success led to the release of the equally well-received Sunbreak DLC and it continues to be lapped up by eager fans each and every day.

Pokemon Legends Arceus

player approaching a bidoof in pokemon legends arceusThe Pokemon Company
Legends Arceus took the Pokemon franchise in a fresh direction.

Game Freak took a massive plunge when they made the Pokemon Legends Arceus spin-off, but the Nintendo Switch-exclusive RPG was a huge success as Pokemon fans around the globe embraced its different direction and its core focus on catching Pokemon.

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With impressive fights against nobles, tons of side missions, and a huge range of Pokemon to catch, Arceus offered a glimpse into what large-scale Pokemon games could look like – enter Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

Stardew Valley

player fishing in stardew valleyConcernedApe
Stardew Valley is a charming farming simulator.

Following in the footsteps of Harvest Moon, and Minecraft to an extent, Stardew Valley is a wonderful treasure trove of exploration and creation in an ever-changing world.

Its imitation of day-to-day activities is a relatable endeavor that tackles survival and customization and has limitless gameplay hours.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3

characters in xenoblade 3 attacking enemymonolith soft
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 features an exciting 6-party combat system.

Continuing on from the success of the first two games, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 does what all the greatest sequels do – expands upon what worked previously and goes bigger and better!

This is what makes it an essential Switch RPG as despite the Switch’s lack of power in comparison to the other current-gen consoles, it looks incredible and effortlessly brings the sizable game world to life in exquisite fashion.

Polished production all over the shop ensures that it’s not only one of the Switch’s best games of 2023 but also a contender for top dog in the RPG department.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

link looking at large enemy in zelda breath of the wildNintendo
Breath of the Wild is a must play Zelda experience.

If you’re unsure about this game’s eligibility for this category – you roleplay a character, upgrade your gear, complete missions, and it has an in-depth, emotional story. That’s an RPG in our eyes.

In many ways, Breath of the Wild is the quintessential Zelda game as it rolls all of the franchise’s best traits into one sumptuous package: Puzzle-filled dungeons, spectacular boss encounters, intricate game mechanics, and a vibrant world to explore.

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It could quite possibly be the best RPG on Nintendo Switch, that is, until The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom tries to take its crown.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild HuntCD Projekt RED
The Witcher 3 is a fine example of a jaw-dropping RPG.

Filled with impressive battles, romance, and some tricky choices, The Witcher 3 is a staple for fantastic RPGs and continues to impress, especially through its free next-gen update.

Ultimately, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a thrilling example of how a great RPG can perform on a portable console. The game never fails to immerse you into the huge world around the deadly Geralt of Rivia and contains a perfect amount of story, combat, and challenges.

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If you enjoyed this roundup, we have loads more exciting lists for you to check out:

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