Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place at the exact same time as the events of the original game, focusing on the Federation's Squad E. You'll control Commander Claude Wallace as he and his childhood friends strive to win their freedom against a frightening war.
It's is an intriguing blend of turn-based strategy RPG, and third person shooter, with a watercolor-inspired visual design unlike anything else we've seen. This entry introduces bigger maps, a new unit, and new defensive and offensive options. The engaging, character-driven plot, third-person action, deep customisation options, and high replayability make this one an easy recommendation, although pacing issues and cumbersome menu management may make it a little more intimidating to newcomers to the genre.
Honourable mention: Valkyria Chronicles 4 proves as a great jumping off point you haven't played a game in the series before, but the original Valkyria Chronicles is now available on Switch if you'd like to start at the very beginning.
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West of Loathing is not your average RPG; in fact we’d go so far as to say you’ve probably never played anything quite like it in your life. Its combat won’t blow you away but don’t be lulled into believing that’s what this game is about, as really the whole thing is an adventure in exploration and interaction with a bit of fighting sprinkled in. It can occasionally be a little bit difficult to decipher, but the satisfaction felt upon working out a problem totally makes up for it. The humour is as wonderfully dry as the desert you’re traversing and the writing is some of the best you can find on the Switch. Unless you’ve not got a humorous bone in your body, this is one RPG you can’t risk skipping.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG is a dazzling explosion of stylistic presentation and compelling strangeness. This might go down as “EarthBound for a new generation,” and while some gamers may not see anything special going on here, YIIK will likely really resonate with others. If a Weird Stuff RPG appeals to you, strap in and prepare for a wild ride. Surreal themes aside, if you’re simply looking for an RPG experience on the Switch with far-out visuals, YIIK should satisfy your turn-based desires.
Golf Story is a Switch exclusive RPG that borrows liberally from Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color. It's absolutely bonkers and you should be prepared to put your golf skills to use in a variety of contexts, including feeding hungry alligators and knocking things off high surfaces, plus winning the occasional round of pitch 'n' putt.
With a hilarious script and a wide variety of activities, it remains fresh throughout and will have you coming back for many hours in the Story mode alone; the multiplayer offers decent replayability, too. We would highly recommend Golf Story to anyone looking for something a little different. There’s a whole lot to love here, and if you’re a fan of RPGs or golf games, this is a must buy.
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.
Octopath Traveler was developed by the Square Enix studio behind Bravely Default, and boy does it live up to those high expectations. From its dazzling art style to its mechanics, it's the kind of game that keeps an eye on the past while walking bravely into the future. All elements link together perfectly to make for a harmonious and immersive experience that you’ll find difficult to put down. We’d recommend Octopath Traveler to both fans and newcomers of RPGs; it does a fantastic job of straddling that line of accessibility and depth, satisfying both camps with its dizzying amount of content. Classic-inspired gameplay, an orchestrated soundtrack, and a unique approach to storytelling make this a game that you won’t want to miss. This is an absolute must buy.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy takes everything good about Gust's 2019 Atelier adventure featuring Ryza and further refines it, getting off to a refreshingly quick start after the glacially-paced opening hours of its immediate predecessor. Ultimately, Ryza 2 delivers the best entry in the long-running franchise to date. This may still be a relatively small-scale, old-fashioned JRPG experience, but it's one that's full of heart, great characters, slick combat and some excellent new ruin-based dungeons. Anyone looking for a relaxed and enchanting JRPG to sink their time into should definitely check this one out.
Honourable Mention: Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland — another great entry in Gust’s long-running series and a refined product that reflects several of the best traits its predecessors, albeit with some ho-hum storytelling.
Final Fantasy X was a watershed moment for the storied franchise, rightfully gaining widespread acclaim while also ushering the series into the new generation, and while Final Fantasy X-2 hasn’t quite reached the same level of influence, it stands as a fantastic adventure in its own right with a level of quality that surpasses most of the competition in the Switch library. Having both of these incredible games in one package, with all the international content thrown in, and with prettied up graphics and audio makes picking up this release a no-brainer. Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster successfully does justice to these two RPG classics as it brings them to a new age of players; we can’t recommend it highly enough.
During the sixty to seventy hours it takes to make your way through the main story and DLC on offer in Pillars Of Eternity (much more should you choose, quite rightly, to meander), you’ll meet a cast of unforgettable travelling companions, fight your way through labyrinthine dungeons, explore deserted Dwarven fortresses, become Lord of your very own stronghold and undertake quests as varied as they are beautifully-written and acted. Obsidian has created a heartfelt tribute to the classic 'Infinity Engine' RPGs of old; one that takes the best of those games, delicately updates them and – in the process – becomes something of a classic itself. For RPG fans, this is a must-buy.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition is an achievement that Square should be proud of; this is one of the best games they’ve put out in years. A heartwarming, well-paced narrative supported by a cast of fantastic characters, a dense and interesting overworld packed with dozens of hours of content, and one of the finest soundtracks we’ve heard in a JRPG combine to make this an unforgettable modern classic. Whether you’re a newcomer to the JRPG genre or a returning vet, do yourself a favour and buy Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age as soon as you’re able. This is the epitome of a gift that keeps on giving, and it more than deserves a spot in your Switch library.
From its opening moments upon a prison ship bound for Fort Joy to non-stop adventures that take you across the high seas to the Reaper’s Coast, Nameless Isle and beyond, Divinity: Original Sin 2 simply dazzles. In its seemingly endless parade of well-written characters, hilarious narration, deep and rewarding physics-based combat and the myriad ways in which it allows to you to engage and toy and with its systems, this is a truly epic RPG that revels in choice more than any other that’s come before it. It takes the old-school isometric style of Baldur’s Gate, layers it with an unparalleled level of attention to detail and fuses it with a thoroughly modern take on meaningful player decisions, resulting in one of the greatest role-playing games available on any platform; and it’s all here, present and correct on a portable console.
Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Editions aren't magical ground-up reworkings or spectacular remasters; these are games that are showing their age in many ways and there’s no doubt that some of the more recent tributes to the glory days of the Infinity Engine – games such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 or Pillars of Eternity – are, in many ways, more readily accessible and appealing to modern audiences. However, these are still classics of the genre that are absolutely worth persisting with. Once you get to grips with some of their more antiquated ways you’ll be handsomely rewarded with some of the deepest combat, best writing, voice-acting and characters you’re likely to find in the genre.
A special mention should also go to Planescape: Torment & Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition, another strong showing from Beamdog that sees a real odd couple of classics in the best shape they've maybe ever been, coupled with a control system designed for consoles that makes them as effortless to play on the move as they are sat at a keyboard and mouse. Icewind Dale is probably as good as old-school combat ever got and is still an absolute gem for fans of epic dungeon-crawling who don't mind the brutal difficulty involved in getting the hang of its action. Planescape: Torment, on the other hand, is a narrative masterclass which still feels fresh as a daisy and is as bizarre, funny and endlessly replayable as it's ever been. Together, these two make for a pretty essential addition to your Switch's RPG library if you can't get enough of Infinity Engine classics on Switch.