There’s little in Lost Sphear that you haven’t seen before in JRPGs, but that doesn’t mean it’s a title to be dismissed out of hand. If you can look past the clichés, it presents an engaging world, deep battle system, and plenty of replayability which will likely delight many an RPG fan. Tokyo RPG Factory has proven with this release that it’s capable of learning from past mistakes, and though Lost Sphear still might not be the game to surpass Chrono Trigger, it proves itself to be worthy of that legacy. We’d recommend Lost Sphear to anybody who loves a focused, traditional RPG.
Honourable mention: Lost Sphear's prececessor, I Am Setsuna, is also available on Switch. While it's a less polished adventure, it still serves as an excellent modern day taste of classic Final Fantasy-style JRPGs.
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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.
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.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection is a lovely port of a classic RPG loot-a-thon that keeps its feet firmly in the past. The execution is wonderful, but its gameplay is not something that will appeal to everyone due to the high level of repetition. Its visuals are clear and functional if not especially interesting, but performance is top notch to make up for it. If you’re looking for a loot-driven grind-a-thon with more explosions of viscera than you can comfortably discuss with your mother, this is the game for you.
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 Lulua: The Scion of Arland proves to be a great entry in Gust’s long-running series, and much like the many concoctions made by Lulua, this is a refined final product that reflects several of the best traits of the predecessors that came before. If you can get past the ho-hum storytelling and learn to master the intimidating crafting system, you’ll find that it has plenty to offer in its surprisingly involved combat system, gorgeous locales, and rewarding gameplay loops. We'd give this game a strong recommendation to both longtime fans of the series and to those looking to see what it’s all about; Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland is one of the best entries in the franchise and a wonderful RPG that’s certainly worth your time.
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.
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 appetizer 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. Sure, there's the temptation to wait for the upcoming 3D remake – also confirmed for Switch – but if you're serious about this genre then it shouldn't take our recommendation to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash. 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 the many hours of top-notch entertainment on offer, this collection is a steal.