Since launching in 2017, we’ve seen some outstanding games launch on Nintendo Switch, becoming home to many fine RPGs in the process. We’ve previously explored the best Nintendo Switch RPGs and best action-RPGs, but 2020 alone has already been filled with great examples, and all catering to the different sub-genres.
JRPG fan? Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, and Trials of Mana all released these last two months. Feeling up for some strategy? XCOM 2 Collection was ported to Switch in May. Roguelikes? Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX has you covered. Western RPGs more your thing? You may have seen that The Outer Worlds finally dropped on Switch last month.
Even with these, Nintendo’s popular hybrid machine still has more RPGs left before the year ends. On the first-party front, Nintendo just launched their latest RPG with Paper Mario: The Origami King, marking the sixth entry for this sub-series, and as far as we’re currently aware 2020’s second half will see a line-up dominated by third party developers.
Big names are coming through, and so from turn-based affairs to more social experiences, there’s a whole lot to look forward to. With that in mind, here’s 10 upcoming RPGs we’re particularly excited for.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition (Switch eShop)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was a surprise multiplayer hit on Gamecube; it marked Final Fantasy’s return to Nintendo platforms for the first time since Final Fantasy VI, bringing in dungeon crawling and action-RPG elements. Allowing teams of four players, each player needed their own Game Boy Advance and whilst enjoyable, that last factor made it somewhat impractical.
It spawned several follow-ups across the Wii and DS, but Square-Enix are now bringing us a Remastered Edition on the 27th of August, hoping to recreate this co-op experience through online multiplayer. To make life easier, cross-play support has also been confirmed with the PS4 edition, making it more accessible than ever before.
Baldo: The Guardian Owls (Switch eShop)
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard about Baldo. Developed by Naps Team, it was first revealed during Nintendo’s Indie World Showcase back in March. Inspired by Studio Ghibli films and The Legend Of Zelda, this Italian title brings us an action-adventure RPG reminiscent of Ni No Kuni. Taking us to the land of Rodia, an ancient prophecy begins to unfold after a heartless creature was sealed away by the Owls; there’s a high focus on puzzle solving across this interactive open world and it’ll launch on Switch this summer as a timed console exclusive.
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Bakugan: Champions Of Vestroia (Switch)
Nintendo took us by surprise last week when they teased a surprise WayForward reveal during their Paper Mario Treehouse Presentation. Speculation ran wild despite Nintendo’s efforts but few people expected we’d receive Bakugan: Champions Of Vestroia. Based off the anime TV series, Champions of Vestroia brings us an original storyline, seeing players team up with their alien Bakugan in battle. Confirmed to feature co-operative play and online fights, there's a potentially fun multiplayer experience here when it launches this November.
Sky: Children of the Light (Switch eShop)
Having previously brought us 2012’s critically acclaimed Journey, Thatgamecompany have taken a different direction with Sky: Children of the Light. Designed as a social experience that pushes meeting new people, this adventure game with RPG elements sees you exploring a magical kingdom. Each stage is based on a stage of life, letting you fly across it via a cape as you collect the scattered “Winged Lights”, and whilst it can be played alone it's recommended to be played with friends. Having previously released across iOS and Android, a Switch version is now due for a Summer release.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (Switch eShop)
Taking gameplay inspiration from Dungeons and Dragons, Pillars of Eternity has been a success for Obsidian Entertainment, acting as a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate. Switch fans received the Complete Edition last year and to little surprise, Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire is next. Taking us back to Eora five years later, we find the god of light and rebirth, Eothas, has returned in a violent awakening.
You’ll play as a “Watcher”, someone who can look into the souls of others whilst reading their memories, helping to influencing events around you. It launched on PS4 and Xbox One back in January but like many Switch ports was sadly delayed, although considering these came with performance issues, this may be a blessing in disguise. It's still scheduled for Switch this year but for now, all we can do is wait.
Cris Tales (Switch)
Cris Tales has become one of 2020’s more anticipated indie releases since developers Dreams Uncorporated revealed it. Bringing us a visually stunning game, this classically inspired RPG sees you guiding Crisbell and her allies to save their world, and stopping the Time Empress from rewriting history. Featuring turn-based battles and puzzle solving, Crisbell can witness the past, present and future all at once, altering her foes’ individual timelines. Due for release in November, we cannot wait to see how this unfolds.
Megadimension Neptunia VII (Switch eShop)
Neptunia made its Switch debut last year with spinoff title Super Neptunia RPG and in two weeks’ time, the main series will be joining it. Initially released back in 2016, the confusingly-titled Megadimension Neptunia VII is actually Neptunia’s fourth main entry, taking us back to the world of Gamindustri where characters act as representatives of video game companies.
Turning the console wars into an anime RPG, it received positive reviews and if successful on Switch, previous entries could also make the jump. If you're a collector of physical editions too, you’ll also be pleased to hear that Limited Run Games are handling its Switch release, as confirmed by their recent broadcast.
Prinny 1•2: Exploded and Reloaded (Switch)
Disgaea is no stranger to Nintendo Switch, seeing Disgaea 5 Complete arrive two months after it launched. Since then, Nippon Ichi have also brought over complete editions for Disgaea 1 and most recently Disgaea 4, but with this latest compilation the series' mascot race Prinnies are back in the spotlight.
Previously seeing two comedy spin-offs released on PSP back in 2008 and 2010, Prinny 1-2: Exploded and Reloaded brings both 2D platformers in a singular package, featuring upscaled visuals and all prior DLC, but also comes with a high difficulty. Due for launch on the 13th of October, it'll help fill the gap whilst fans continue waiting for news on the rumoured Disgaea 6.
Bravely Default II (Switch)
Back on the Nintendo 3DS Bravely Default was a pleasant surprise for fans in 2013, warranting a sequel three years later, and for a time its future was unclear, especially when Square-Enix moved onto Octopath Traveler. Seeing a return to traditional JRPG gameplay and turn-based combat, Bravely Default II was confirmed last December and is currently scheduled to launch in 2020.
Set within the same universe but taking us to a new location, this adventure sees us following the story of heroes Seth, Gloria, Elvis, and Adelle. It marks a fresh start for Bravely Default and if you want to try it early, the demo is still currently available via the eShop.
Ys Origin (Switch)
Ys is one of the oldest RPGs franchises still alive, starting way back in 1987. We’ve previously seen the excellent Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana on Switch in 2018, but whilst Nihom Falcom prepares Ys IX: Monstrum Nox alongside The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV for a 2021 launch, distant prequel Ys Origin has also been confirmed for Nintendo's console.
Set 700 years before Ys I, this action-RPG is more of a dungeon crawler than other entries, set entirely within Darm Tower. You'll play as either Yunica Tova or Hugo Fact, and much like MegaDimension Neptunia VII, it'll be available as a physical release via Limited Run Games for the next two months, but right now all we’ve got is a vague 2020 release date.
A good set of RPGs to round out 2020. Any games you’re particularly looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
I’m surprisingly looking forward to BALDO. It has a sweet and relaxing yet enjoyable tone to it, and that’s what I mainly look for in games.
I was thinking about Pillars of Eternity II the other day. Weird how we haven’t really heard anything about the Switch version. Well, I still haven’t played the first game yet, so I suppose I’m in no hurry.
Is prinny a rpg?
Bravely Default 2 and Ys Origin are what I'm looking forward to most. It's curious how we haven't really had an update for the former in a while, but I'm sure it'll be great. I may get Crystal Chronicles, despite the lack of couch co-op. I have some friends who've still expressed interest in online play, but we'll see. In light of our worldly circumstances, it's probably best to avoid couch gaming for the time being, anyway.
BD2 is the only one I have any remote interest towards and even that's a bit iffy because it's yet another series they decided to ruin with on screen encounters. That and the demo just left a lot to be desired in general.
I couldn't get into Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition the fighting mechanics never clicked with me.
Fairy Tail. Sure it's an anime game. But it's a Koei Tecmo published RPG. The physical print run will probably be low in Murica, like the print run for Atelier Ryza was. Murica never got additional print runs of Atelier Ryza like Europe did.
Cris Tales is the one I’m genuinely excited about - it looks really interesting.
I’ll definitely keep an eye on Bravely Default II, but I must admit I haven’t even tried the demo yet. As for the rest, maybe Ys Origin - but I’d rather wait for Ys IX or finally pull the trigger on Ys VIII. Pillars of Eternity II is by all accounts decent, but I’ve still got Divinity OSII in my backlog. Baldo is at least quite pretty, but the rest? Hmmm... jury’s out.
Edit: Actually, at least four or five Interesting titles is pretty good. Should skew positive. Just ignore Neptunia...
RPGs are well and good but it doesn't beat a Direct/First Party announcements 😔 Please don't let Origami King be the only notable 2020 release.
Hey, it's not that bad. I didn't know Baldo was finally coming (although I'm not sure it's a RPG). I'm really really curious about this game, I hope it's great!
Also, Bravely Default 2 and Ys Origin are games I know I'll get eventually. I still need to put my hands on Ni No Kuni, Trials of Mana and Paper Mario before that, so no rush XD
Ys Origins for me.
@CurryPowderKeg79 Have you tried Ys VIII? If you don't like the combat system in Xenoblade, you have to check that out, I think you'll enjoy it, it's faster and more direct. And it's a fantastic game as well! Surprisingly good.
Not sure any of it will top Xenoblade for me.
I’m not convinced you weren’t paid to include Bakugan on this list.
I'm gonna be way too busy finishing DQ 11 to start any of these
RPG Maker MV in September as well.
Some of these feel very questionable to be in the RPG category
BALDO is coming for our scalps.
PoE is still apparently broken (only game I've gotten a refund from Nintendo for) so PoE2 will undoubtedly crash and burn. It's incredible that they were still able to port the sequel after destroying the first game.
NL: "JRPG fan? Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, and Trials of Mana all released these last two months. Feeling up for some strategy? XCOM 2 Collection was ported to Switch in May. Roguelikes? Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX has you covered. Western RPGs more your thing? You may have seen that The Outer Worlds finally dropped on Switch last month"
Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Langrisser and Rune Factory 4: "We love you guys, too"
But indeed, this has been a great RPG year even by Switch standards. The highlighted lineup will surely serve to boost it further, although I'm not sure what Prinny dilogy does among its ranks - unless I've missed the reports of NIS enhancing the new version that much. I mean, it would be great if true.
I feel like the releases so far this year top any of these, though will be interested to see how BD2 and Ys work out. Will be hard to beat Xenoblade and TMS though. Can’t wait for SMTV.
I’m really excited for RPG Maker MV. People released some very entertaining stuff on the 3DS one, and I already have a lot of ideas for MV
Ys Origin, Bravely Default 2, Baldo and FF CC for me. It would be great if we could get any info on SMT 5 or even P5S localization.
"Nintendo just launched their latest RPG with Paper Mario: The Origami King"
my god, who writes these articles? The Origami King is a platformer / adventure, not an RPG
Very nice to have article with a line-up list; only other one I am watching is King of Seas.
My poor wallet....
Bravely Default 2. That is about it.
Cris Tales ill play when it eventually hits PC Game Pass. Service has become an Indie Netflix.
I wouldn’t exactly call Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles an RPG by any stretch. The only RPG elements I really remember from that game was being able to get better weapons/armor. I never finished it because the final boss fight(s) were absolute bullsh—. Not a bad game, but not exactly one to write home about either.
@CurryPowderKeg79 I remember spending 20 hours or so with that game before the mechanics finally clicked. Once they did, oh man. One of the best RPGs I've ever played.
I too am waiting for Baldo. Looks so fresh!
Prinny is not an RPG. Stop misinforming your readers!!
Switch has long-since reached saturation point for RPGs. They take up so much time too - not sure how anyone can get through more than two or three a year.
Really looking forward to Baldo, and am cautiously optimistic about Cris Tales.
Otherwise, I'm set.
Might grab Crystal chronicles and BD2. Well see if money and time permits 🤑
@CurryPowderKeg79 agreed — Xenoblade definitive edition was the letdown of the year for me. Torna superior in every way.
@RPGamer Fairy Tail I'll concede on that here. RPG Maker I didn't believe would count in the same way, hence my exclusion tbh
@accc They're journalists; they would never misinform readers. Besides, doesn't "RPG" mean "Really a Platforming Game" whenever it suits a writer?
All of these games are either ports or mediocre at best. Where is the new Shin Megami Tensei?
I wanted Crystal Chronicles until they decided to remove multiplayer, they won’t be getting my money now
Crystal Chronicles and Ys are on my watchlist, but both are more Action RPGs than true RPGs
Actually, pretty much ALL of those games interest me to varying extents! 😲
Bravely Default 2, Baldo, Sky:Children of Light & Ys particularly so.
I'll need revws though. No insta-buys there bar maybe BD2
Not sure all the games on the list qualify as RPGs though (?)
Im most excited for BD2
As a big RPG fan I wasn't aware of anything noteworthy releasing the second half of this year.
I opened this article out of curiousity and wasn't proven wrong.
Besides, putting Prinny (a Platforming game) on this list just shows how much research the writer did.
Ys Origins also barely qualifies as an RPG (Action-Adventure), but it's the only game on this list that I'm getting 100% since I skipped the game on other platforms hoping for a Switch release!
I'll be frank, i'm not super excited for any of these except the Prinny collection which i don't think is an RPG (its just related to an RPG series).
MAYBE pick up Bravely Default 2. but i got so many other more interesting choices coming down.
Not to mention backlog of games that haven't been played yet.
but in so far as RPG's go, i'm more interested in Cyberpunk 2077 and WatchDogs Legion (if you count it as an RPG) then i am in any of these games.
Just here to say that I'm now enjoying CrossCode, Indivisible, and Trails of Cold Steel III.
I still await for Touhou Genso Wanderer: Lotus Labyrinth and Brave Dungeon 2 to get any form release date...
Only interested in bravely default 2 at the moment. I find games with weird titles off putting I’m not familiar with any of these apart from bravely default so I’d have to do some research as to what they are about 🤷🏻♂️
That’s a very poor list. Have a decent RPG backlog I am working through though so still plenty to play.
What about Gods & Monsters? That's the one I'm most looking forward to. Also Genshin Impact.
A bit weak for the rpg side this year.
I'm excited for Bravely Default II but slightly cautious about how much I'll like it. The demo showed they've modified the battle system slightly and actually ruined it to be perfectly honest. The one side of the game they didn't need to touch as it was perfected already. So I'm holding my breath on that one hoping they took our feedback into account.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is not an rpg. Even Nintendo itself says so: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Paper-Mario-The-Origami-King-1782440.html#gameDetails
Genre: adventure, action.
i just want a RPG with Joker (not from Gotham) in it...
@dimi - Well, you have Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal, Persona Q2...
Neptunia and Bravely Default for sure both look really interesting to me. All but certainly gonna get them unless my finances don't allow it.
@EmmatheBest is Persona 5 royal on Switch? i don't have PS4
I suppose we have to wait until N7 day to get news on the Mass Effect trilogy remastered release..
Only Persona 5 Scramble is on the Switch, but it's Japanese language only at the moment.
@jobvd It is not. I played one of them excepting some sweet disgaea goodness. It made me sad. Fortunately my psp pile of shame was just embarrassing and I avoided boredom.
@sandman89 I too was interested in Braverly Default 2, but then I played the demo
@iulis84 I purchased Pillars based on NL’s 9/10 review, but then quickly ran into the bugs and 90-second load times per zone change
@scoobdoo is it rubbish? I haven’t tried it yet
@TheWingedAvenger looking forward to gods & monsters, genshin impact is probably just gonna be a gacha cash grab tho
@scoobdoo loved torna too, don't understand how xenoblade chronicles can be a letdown though, this game is absolutely beautiful.
Prinny is not an RPG. Take 2 seconds to think with your actual brain before you do these articles. Seriously there's a lot of people here who blindly follow your opinions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7xuru15-jg
Genshin may turn out to be a cash grab as you fear, but it's a Zelda clone, and usually when competent developers decide to make a clone of a great game, they end up making a great game. Just look at Sega's Golden Axe Warrior, an excellent clone of the original Zelda.
@TheWingedAvenger That may be true, ultimately we will see how it plays out i guess. I just heard some stuff about really bad Gacha and personally i just dislike the free to play system where you can buy in game stuff later on. I am willing to pay a one time price even if it is steep or maybe even a monthly subscription but this will always feel shady. On a sidenote: I have never heard of Golden Axe Warrior so thanks for bringing that up to notice!
I looked into the gacha aspect of Genshin Impact that you talked about, and it seems your suspicions were quite founded:
The brief promo clip I had seen gave me the impression that it was a straight-up Zelda clone. But actually the only aspect the two games have in common is a beautiful open world. Genshin Impact doesn't look like an RPG at all! Thanks for putting my expectations in check.
@TheWingedAvenger you are very welcome! I was getting that information mostly from the reddit thread of genshin impact
I've already bought the LRG Ys Origins, although I'm expecting a long wait before I actually get it. I'm still waiting for my Panzer Dragoon Remake I bought from them back in March, but that's LRG for you. I 'm planning on getting the LRG physical version of the Grandia HD Collection when it's ready for sale this month too and Ys XI next year for sure.
Beside that, I might get BD 2, but I wasn't that keen on the first two games. If only the battle system was as good as Octopath Travellers then I probably would get it.
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