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, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch 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.
Pokémon Sword and Shield succeed in bringing some new ideas to the table, although there are areas where it could be pushed further. What’s done right is done right, but there are also elements that feel like they've come from a decade-old design document. There are moments contained within that are the best the series has ever been, but this joy is ocasionally spoiled by contrasting moments that left us disappointed. It's an experience full of highs and lows, from the unadulterated wonder and joy of seeing a brand-new Pokémon in a stadium full of cheering crowds, to the monotonous and dragged-out dialogue we just wanted to skip. The wonders of exploring the Wild Area feel like the true evolution of the series.
On the whole, Pokémon Sword and Shield are a very solid start to the HD generation of Pokémon games, although there's some room for improvement with the next outing, too.
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Nearly two years on from its initial release, The Alliance Alive HD Remastered proves to be a perfectly competent port of an already fantastic handheld game. A well-written story, a smartly interwoven and complex system of gameplay mechanics, and a distinctive visual style makes this a no-brainer for anybody looking for a consistently high-quality RPG experience on their Switch. It may feel a little simple, given its origins on the 3DS, but don’t make the mistake of passing up on The Alliance Alive HD Remastered, it’s well worth your time.
There’s something here for everyone in Rune Factory 4 Special, but its greatest strength is how it ties together everything into one thoroughly enjoyable package. Varied gameplay, strong writing, and an emphasis on progressing at your own pace make this one of the best farm sim games available on the Switch to date. We’d give this one a high recommendation to anyone looking for an engaging yet undemanding game for their Switch. the new features do little to justify the cost of entry for those who have already played it on the 3DS, but on Switch Rune Factory 4 Special proves itself to be a modern classic that melds farming and combat into a beautiful RPG experience.
What you've got here are two of the finest examples of the genre, accompanied by a third likeable entry which is also well worth a look. When you consider how many titles Konami is packing into its Anniversary Collection packages – and that their retail price is almost half what Square Enix is demanding for the three games included here – it's impossible to not question the value of Collection of Mana. However, there's no denying the fact that Secret of Mana is one of the finest console RPGs of all time, and even though it's readily available elsewhere, playing it on Switch is like wrapping yourself up in a warm and familiar blanket; it's just right somehow. We could argue that Secret of Mana is merely the appetiser for the real star of this collection: Trials of Mana. It's nothing short of a masterpiece and finally getting the chance to play it officially in English is a landmark moment for SNES and RPG fans alike.
A 3D remake of the Super Famicom title included in the collection above, Trials of Mana proves itself to be a successful revival of a lost classic, smartly infusing new design and content where necessary while still maintaining the spirit of the original. Multi-threaded storylines, an enjoyable combat system and flexible character progression combine to make this one a fantastic experience from start to finish, even if occasional performance problems hinder the experience somewhat. We’d give Trials of Mana a high recommendation to RPG fans and newcomers alike; there’s plenty here to love for both camps, and we hope that this release could act as a blueprint for future entries in the Mana series.
Trails of Cold Steel III is another excellent addition to a franchise that gains so much of what makes it absorbing from the huge amount of background detail and world-building that's been achieved in earlier entries in the series. Newcomers should be aware that taking the time out to play Trails of Cold Steel I and II is advised to get the absolute maximum amount of enjoyment out of this one but, even if you're jumping in fresh, there's still plenty to love here once you find your feet. With a massive cast of well-written characters and tons of excellent combat and exploration spread across its epic running time, this is a top-notch addition to the Switch's library of JRPGs.
Moero Crystal H is a saucy dungeon crawler that parents should note is most definitely not one for the kids! It is, however, an outstanding dungeon crawler that combines the light-hearted, sexy, character-centric comedy of harem anime with deep combat and progression mechanics, plus a healthy dose of dating sim for good measure.
Unlike other games in the genre, it respects the player’s time with quality-of-life features such as adjustable speed controls for both combat and exploration as well as a helpful autopilot mode – though it would have been nice to also see an option to save and recall party lineups and load-outs. It’s beautifully presented, too, with delightful animated Live2D characters, gorgeous (if infrequent) event images and incredibly catchy music. Most importantly, though, it plays well – and provides enough content in both its main story and endgame to keep even the most avid RPG fan busy for hundreds of hours.
As if it was ever in doubt, Square Enix has demonstrated once again that it understands exactly what ingredients are necessary to make a great RPG. The interesting, risk-based combat is supported by a diverse class system and a well-told story, which all combine to make for an experience that can be tough to put down. That said, one can’t help but feel a consistent sense of ‘been there, done that’ with Bravely Default II; Square certainly could’ve pushed the envelope just a little more with this entry. That aside, you really can’t go wrong with Bravely Default II. This is a well-crafted and expertly-made RPG that is easily worth your time and money; we’d highly recommend that fans and newcomers alike look into picking this up.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is an absolute triumph. The narrative and dialogue, which is already wonderfully compelling on its own, has been given a massive boost thanks to the excellent voice acting introduced for the Final Cut. The gameplay features a host of branching paths for you to explore, and while the slow, methodical approach may turn a few people off, this is nevertheless one of the most well-told stories in any medium from the last few years. The performance issues at the time of our review slightly took the shine off things — and we hope they're ironed out soon via updates — but even with them present, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut stands as one of the best RPGs available on Switch.
Simply put, there’s almost nothing one can reasonably complain about with Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. It's an already-excellent JRPG that has been improved in nearly every conceivable way, short of a complete reimagining. On top of the fantastic story, enjoyable combat, and incredible world design, Monolith Soft has included an entirely new epilogue story arc while improving upon and polishing up nearly everything in the base game, from progression systems to visuals to UI design. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is easily one of the greatest RPGs available on the Switch to date, and will no doubt stand the test of time. It goes without saying that if you were ever a fan of the original or of RPGs in general you absolutely must get this game for your collection as soon as you reasonably can. Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a fan, we would still strongly encourage you to think about adding this one to your collection, as this is the standard against which most RPGs should be judged.
Not a bad ol' collection, is it? Think there's something missing? As always, share your thoughts in the comments.
This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Visual Novels, Fighting Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Run and Gun Games, Sports Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-builders, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, and the Best Switch Collections And Compilations.
If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, as well as Every Nintendo Switch Online NES Game and Every Nintendo Switch Online SNES Game.