Given that we’ve only had SNES and GBA versions before, this new Switch port of Doom is the best version ever released on a Nintendo system by a country mile. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though: its smattering of small technical issues (some of which have been addressed in a subsequent patch) does dampen the entertainment somewhat. That aside, if you’re looking to slay hordes of Hellspawn on the move, there’s no better way.
Some will argue Dragon’s Dogma was hardly a perfect game when it was first released, and the passage of time will have done little to pacify those naysayers. The world of Gransys may lack the epic, intricate lore of Lordran, Drangleic and Lothric, but it more than makes up for this shortcoming in sheer scope; exploring the landscape is addictive in itself, and there’s always some new nook or cranny to investigate, even when you’re many, many hours in. Add in some of the most enjoyable real-time combat ever seen in an RPG and it becomes easier to appreciate just why this game has become so beloved over the past few years, even though Capcom has done little to spruce it up. Dragon’s Dogma nonetheless remains a fantastically gripping role-playing experience that manages to straddle the divide between exhilarating real-time action and stat-based adventuring.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an experience unlike any other on the Switch, expertly blending standard RPG tropes with a heartwarming story, innovative art style, and an immersive soundtrack composed by some of the best in the business. In more ways than one, this is a ‘dream project’ that’s very existence is a gift to fans of the genre the world over. That said, it also notably falls short of being an undisputed masterpiece, as pacing issues and shoddy AI drag down an otherwise pitch perfect experience. Those issues aside, this still proves to be lightyears ahead of many other RPGs. If you consider yourself a fan of the genre – or even if you’re just looking to get your feet wet – you owe it to yourself to give Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch a shot.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is a great example of what developers should aspire to do with remastering old games; this is the best-designed and most enjoyable version of this RPG classic currently on the market, and it can all be played on the go, too. Though the story comes off as being rather disappointing and the visuals are a little dated, the Gambit-focused combat system still proves to be one of the best we’ve seen in an RPG to date, making it dangerously easy for hours to slip by as you work on min-maxing characters to the best of their abilities. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age may not prove to be the best Final Fantasy ever made, but it’s still a pretty darned great game in its own right and certainly worth your time.
Final Fantasy VII is the sort of game that speaks for itself, a touchstone of game design that played a large role in setting the standard of RPGs for years to come. It goes without saying that you should give Final Fantasy VII a shot if you consider yourself to be a fan of RPGs, as this is an experience unlike any other in many ways. With that being said, it’s also the sort of thing that has since been surpassed in almost every manner by games that took the concepts it introduced and expanded upon them in plenty of new and more interesting ways. Final Fantasy VII is a relic of its time, but that doesn’t mean it’s to be respected any less; if you can look past the obviously antiquated elements, this is a well-paced, engaging RPG that’s still fun to play today.
Final Fantasy has been an institution in the JRPG genre for decades now, and Final Fantasy IX acts as a good reminder of why. Memorable characters, a wacky (and somewhat meandering) story, deep character customisation, and plenty of incredible environments certainly help make a case for why Final Fantasy IX deserves a spot on your Switch’s SD card, even if some elements of this game’s design have aged like milk. If you’re a fan of RPGs and somehow haven’t played this yet, it’s certainly worth a download for the privilege to play this classic on the go. On the other hand, if you’re just getting into RPGs, Final Fantasy IX may be a little too obtuse and archaic to recommend when compared to more modern releases. The bottom line is that, warts and all, Final Fantasy IX remains a great RPG to this day.
With over 100 cars and more than 25 different racing venues set over five distinct disciplines (as well as bonus DLC ones like destruction derby and drag racing), GRID Autosport is that rarest of beasts: a jack of all trades that doesn't sacrifice quality as a result. The addition of all previously released paid console DLC – right down to the cynical XP boost – is extremely welcome, but the complete removal of all local and online multiplayer features means this a strictly solo affair, and that might be a turn-off for many. Still, that doesn't change the fact that this is one of the best racing games on Switch.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout lifts the series to new heights with a reinvigorated, newcomer-friendly alchemy system and an excellent combat overhaul. The new graphics engine looks glorious and runs beautifully on Nintendo’s console, the story is thoughtfully paced and heartfelt and the traditionally slow early hours do a fantastic job of detailing Ryza’s journey from complete beginner to master alchemist. Gust has done a brilliant job of taking this long-running franchise and making it appeal to the mainstream more than ever here and, if you’ve ever been tempted to give the world of Atelier a try, this is a perfect jumping-on point.
The original Ace Attorney is – dare we say it – almost 20 years old, which is remarkable when you consider just how well it holds up 2019. Sure, it’s been ported plenty of times and the jump to Nintendo DS certainly helped shake off the retro cobwebs, but as a piece of interactive history, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is as utterly addictive and truly rewarding as it was back at the turn of the millennium. Whether you’re brand new to the world of virtual defence law or a veteran attorney, Phoenix Wright’s first adventures are still a fine set of cases to undertake.
Cuphead was an absolute masterpiece when it originally launched on Xbox One and nothing has been sacrificed in its move to the Switch. A run-and-gun boss battler dressed up like a 1930s Fleischer or Disney animated short, it’s the same visually jaw-dropping, aurally delightful, knuckle-whiteningly difficult game it was on Microsoft’s console and the Switch’s library is all the better for its presence. Its focus on intense boss battles won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into we can’t recommend it enough. Just look at it!