10 Best Turn-Based RPGs On The Nintendo Switch

Role-playing games are among the most popular genres out there, so it’s understandable that people are always looking for the best RPGs a system has to offer. This is especially true when it comes to turn-based RPGs. Many gamers love the tactical gameplay and strategy involved in these types of combat systems.

RELATED: SNES: 5 Best Action RPGs (& 5 Best Turn-Based)

The Nintendo Switch has a massive collection of games that cater to plenty of gamers, so it is no surprise that there are some solid RPGs in the mix. From triple-A Nintendo titles to indie hits, there are plenty of fantastic turn-based RPGs that take players on a journey, whether they’re playing at home or on the go.

10 South Park: The Stick Of Truth

Cartman and many kids in South Park: The Stick of Truth

Hit TV show South Park jumped into making multi-platform games again with a turn-based RPG. This game is nonsensical in nature, yet solid in overall gameplay.

In South Park: The Stick of Truth, players create their own original character who has just moved to the town and is sucked into playing a role-playing fantasy game with fellow kids. Things quickly get of hand as supernatural occurrences start taking place. The turn-based gameplay revolves around the player and a partner using melee, ranged, and magic attacks to take down enemies.

9 Paper Mario: The Origami King

Mario and Professor Toad in a temple in Paper Mario: The Origami King

Paper Mario is among Nintendo’s more famous RPGs. The latest entry in the series saw another shift in how the overall gameplay works. In Paper Mario: The Origami King, Mario must save the princess after she and many others were turned into origami by King Olly. By Mario’s side is Olivia, Olly’s sister who also wields his origami powers.

The game returns to its turn-based roots, but battles revolve around slide puzzles. These focus on lining enemies up perfectly in order to successfully attack them, providing fans with a new challenge

8 Pokemon Sword & Shield

Gigantamax battle in Pokemon Sword & Shield

One of the most popular franchises in the world, Pokemon took a few years to get a mainline game out on the Nintendo Switch. Eventually, fans were graced with Pokemon Sword & Shield, the first game featuring the eighth generation of Pokemon.

RELATED: The 15 Best Shiny Pokemon In Sword and Shield, Ranked

The games take place in the Galar region, which was highly influenced by the United Kingdom. Along with 81 new Pokemon, the games introduced the new concepts of Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing. There are also plenty of multiplayer opportunities in the game, such as co-op raid battles.

7 Octopath Traveler

A battle in Octopath Traveler

Square Enix is known for solid RPGs, and there are a few of their games on this list. The first, Octopath Traveler, started out as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The player steps into the roles of eight different characters as they set off on their own individual journeys, only for all of their stories to collide.

Each character has their own set of Path Actions that will allow them to make decisions as they go through their journey. The battle system is a typical turn-based system that allows players to use different attacks, weapons, and items on each turn.

6 Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout

Ryza in Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is the 21st main entry in the Atelier series, which has been around since 1997. The story revolves around Ryza and her friends Lent and Tao. Together, they learn about alchemy and combat from alchemist Empel Vollmer and his bodyguard Lila Decyrus.

The turn-based combat system uses real-time elements as the battle moves as the player gives commands. Creating items using alchemy becomes a core component of the game, and can help players in overcoming battles and other situations.

5 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

A cutscene of many characters in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

The Legend of Heroes franchise has been around since 1989, with the most recent games releasing under the sub-series of Trails. The first to come to the Nintendo Switch, at least in North America, was The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III.

The game revolves around military professor Rean Schwarzer, his students, and other characters from the previous two games. Together, they look back at the events that have happened and look to solve some of the mysteries that still exist. The turn-based battle system features handy ways to buff the party without spending a turn.

4 West Of Loathing

Characters playing a tabletop game in West of Loathing

For a hilariously nonsensical RPG that isn’t as raunchy as South Park, West of Loathing is a title worth checking out. Set in the wild west, the story follows the player as they leave their family farm and set off on a journey to Frisco.

RELATED: 10 Best Video Games To Play If You Love Westerns & Cowboys

The stick-figure aesthetic is a clear giveaway that the game doesn’t take itself seriously. This becomes doubly true when players need to start paying for things using meat. The turn-based combat is nothing entirely special; players have a set of attacks they can use against enemies like cows, bandits, and goblins. However, the humor makes the game wonderfully unique.

3 Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling

The three heroes of Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling fighting a Scorpion

Paper Mario has moved in away from the gameplay of its first two entries, which disappointed many fans. This is why Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling was made. It revives the old school Paper Mario games both with its gameplay and art style.

The plot revolves around three characters: Vi the bee, Kabbu the beetle, and Leif the moth. These three friends travel the world of Bugaria in search of treasure and “eternal life”. Players can manage their party’s health points, teamwork points (for special attacks), and medal points (for perks).

2 Dragon Quest XI

The Luminary and their crew in Dragon Quest XI

Before Hero appeared in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, they made their debut as the Luminary in Dragon Quest XI. The first mainline game of the series to appear on the Nintendo Switch, this Dragon Quest title doesn’t do much in terms of innovating the usual format in the series. However, it’s still among the greatest JRPGs ever made.

Players explore the world and fight monsters by finding them in the overworld. During the battles, players can move the camera freely around to get a preferred angle as to what’s going on.

1 Undertale

The main character in Snowdin in Undertale

Undertale has been tabbed as one of the greatest turn-based RPGs of all time, which is impressive considering the game was the work of one individual. The game revolves around a kid who falls into the world of monsters, who are locked away by a barrier that separates them from humans.

Along the way, players can choose whether they take a pacifist route through the story or decide to kill all monsters. The pacifist route leads to some creative endings to turn-based encounters, and making friends with plenty of fun characters along the journey.

NEXT: Undertale: 8 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting The True Pacifist Route


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