Top 13 Best Turn Based RPGs For Nintendo Switch

Best TURN BASED RPGs On Nintendo Switch
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If you’re anything like me you often get the craving for a good old-school turn-based RPG. Unfortunately, there are so many titles to choose from and often the best RPGs go overlooked. In this post, you’ll see our list of the Best Turn-Based RPGs for Nintendo Switch.

1. Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler is a turn-based RPG for Nintendo Switch from Square-Enix. This game features a unique story where you can play as 8 different playable characters. Each character has their own backstory and relatively separate journies, but depending on the characters in your party they will interact with various side chats. These chats introduce relationships between characters and can reveal additional backstories for the characters.

Similar to older turn-based Final Fantasy RPGs Octopath Traveler features characters that have job classes. Each character has a unique base job class as they start the game and then as you explore throughout the game you will acquire additional job classes.

The job class system is one of the reasons why Octopath Traveler is one of the best turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch. It is super addicting to build out all of the various job classes and to master them. Each job class has a variety of abilities and you are able to equip two job classes for each character. One main job class and a sub-job class.

Because of this ability to equip multiple job classes and mix and matching of abilities the strategies you can use in battle are almost limitless. Octopath Traveler also features some unique battle mechanics that make encounters fun and challenging.

2. Dragon Quest XI

If you are looking for a traditional turn-based RPG for Nintendo Switch with a modern flair I’d recommend checking out Dragon Quest XI. Now I have been a fan of the Dragon Quest series since the original Dragon Warrior on NES. Obviously, the series has come a long way since then, but Dragon Quest XI still brings back some great monsters and content from the original.

Right away you’ll hear the iconic music from the series and a similar art style from previous games. However this time, they have really improved the textures along with the anime-style graphics. Swords look like metal, wood-like wood, and leather armor looks like leather.

In this game, you take on the role of the Luminary the lone hero who is destined to take on the Lord of Shadows the evil plaguing the land. On your way you’ll meet a memorable cast of characters and the storyline is one of the best in the Dragon Quest series.

Each character has their own grid of abilities and powerups they can learn and you’ll use your ability points to unlock abilities in any way you choose. This can really add to the replay value of the game and allows you to customize your characters to your own playstyle.

There are so many side quests, mini-games, items, abilities, secrets, and more to this game. There is also the option to play the game in Draconian mode, where you can add extra challenges to the game.

Plus if you have the version for Nintendo Switch it comes with the ability to play the entire game in 16-bit graphics. Dragon Quest XI is definitely one of the best turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch and is worth picking up!

3. Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7 - one of the best turn-based rpgs for nintendo switch

Final Fantasy 7 has consistently been one of the best turn-based RPGs of all time, so when they ported it to Nintendo Switch, it definitely made the list. This game follows the story of Cloud Strife and fellow heroes’ battle against the evil Shinra corporation and the evil Sephiroth.

This classic turn-based RPG has your typical level-up mechanics of getting enough experience and then your characters level up and get stronger. However, this game also introduced the materia system which was one of the best mechanics in turn-based RPGs up to this point.

How this system worked is each spell or ability had a materia associated with it. Instead of characters being of a specific job class like previous Final Fantasy games you could mix and match your spells and abilities among any of the characters.

As materia gained more ability points it would level up further and get stronger. This was very addicting and fun to build out materia combinations and to create your own set of ultimate warriors.

This game also had some of the best mini-games of the series including Chocobo breeding and racing. You can catch wild Chocobos around the world and feed them greens to boost their abilities. From there you can race them to win money and prizes to improve your characters. Finally, you can breed your best racers and unlock secret breeds of Chocobos that allow you to run over rivers, mountains, and even oceans to find secret treasures around the world.

The Nintendo Switch version also features quality-of-life improvements like playing at faster speeds, auto-healing, full limit breaks, and the ability to turn random encounters off and on. If you haven’t played Final Fantasy 7 yet, pick it up as one of the best turn-based RPGs on Nintendo Switch.

4. Knights of Pen and Paper

Knights of Pen and Paper was a turn-based RPG on Nintendo Switch that I missed out on for a while. I wasn’t impressed by the artwork and the title didn’t jump out at me, but once I got a chance to play it that all changed. Knights of Pen and Paper for me has quickly become one of the best turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch I’d recommend playing.

For starters, the storyline is pretty entertaining. You play as a group of friends playing a Dungeons and Dragons like tabletop RPG but also play through the story taking place in the Pen and Paper world as well. As you play you’ll continually break through the 4th wall and have conversations with the dungeon master and poke fun at what is happening in the game world.

You not only pick your character class like an early Final Fantasy game, but you also choose their players such as a nerd, Wookie, jock, teacher, and more. Each has its own unique abilities and skills they bring to the table. You can mix and match any combination of characters you want and you can recruit more as you play.

The game is pretty traditional in the sense of you take turns attacking and use spells, but when you level up you can choose which of your abilities to improve. This gives you a lot of flexibility to build your team how you choose.

Not only can you level up and improve in-game, but you can also build up your real-world game room as well. Buying snacks, decorations, sidekicks, and more. These additions can improve your in-game play as well.

This Switch RPG also has a great story and pokes fun at a lot of gamer and nerdy IPs that you’ll definitely appreciate.

5. Battle Chasers Nightwar

Battle Chasers Nightwar was another turn-based RPG for Nintendo Switch I was initially skeptical of. I thought the name seemed so generic and only decided to pick it up after routinely seeing it on sale. Surprisingly it actually ended up making this list as one of the best turn-based RPGs on Switch right now.

Once you get past the corny name, you’ll find that the gameplay, artwork, and story are all excellent. The art style is like a comic book and that’s actually because the game is based on a comic series.

The battles are more of a turn-based RPG, but it’s not something where you can just spam the attack command and win. You’ll need to use a lot of strategy behind the moves you choose if you hope to make it far. You also have an overdrive bar that accumulates as you take turns and you can use it to unleash abilities without expending MP, which adds to the strategy.

Another cool feature is the dungeons are somewhat randomized each time you go through them. On top of that, you can choose a difficulty level prior to going into each dungeon. The harder level you choose the better rewards you’ll find as you go through the dungeons. This allows you to have more of a challenge and then to be rewarded with better loot.

Your characters also have multiple paths for abilities they can learn and you can mix and match these as well. This gives you the ability to really optimize how your characters play and can feed into your ultimate battle strategy. If you like grindy addicting RPGs check out Battle Chasers Nightwar.

6. Bravely Default 2

Another one of the best turn-based RPGs on Nintendo Switch is Bravely Default 2. Bravely Default 2 came out recently and it was after recording the Top 5 Best RPGs on Nintendo Switch video and it deserves to be mentioned. It has quickly become one of my favorite turn-based RPGs on Nintendo Switch for a lot of reasons.

In this RPG, you take on the role of Seth and fellow heroes Gloria, Elvis, and Adelle. They are tasked with a journey to save and restore the crystals of Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth before the world is destroyed.

In this game, you will unlock various asterisks that grant your heroes powers of various job classes. These classes are like you would find in classic Final Fantasy games. Classes such as thief, black mage, white mage, red mage, and more. As you progress you can learn new abilities and skills for each class and then you can mix them all together to form your ultimate team.

Bravely Default 2 also features a unique battle system where you can utilize either a brave or default action. These allow you to build up brave points and unleash powerful skills by taking multiple turns in a row. You can also default to boost your defenses and also save brave points. This can help you to plan out your unique strategy for each battle.

It also features a way to increase the battle speed dramatically so enemy encounters typically last less than a minute. This turn-based RPG for Nintendo Switch can get a bit grindy. However, with the increased battle speed it’s not a problem. Pick up this RPG if you haven’t!

7. Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars is another one of the best turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch. It really feels like a mash-up of many of the best SNES RPGs like Chrono Trigger, and Super Mario RPG.

In Sea of Stars, you play as two Solstice Warriors as they go on a quest to rid the world of an ancient evil and monsters created by the Fleshmancer. You’ll experience a colorful and fun world as you explore.

The gameplay features some light puzzle elements as you explore the land similar to other classic RPG titles like Golden Sun. The combat really feels like a more advanced version of the combat from Chrono Trigger.

You’ll control your heroes and they each have weapon types like swords and hammers, but also magic solstice types. When you hit enemies with standard attacks you can regain magic points and also generate orbs your heroes can absorb on future attacks making them more powerful and potentially adding solstice damage.

Enemies have a breaking point in some cases and you’ll need to deal certain damage types to break them. Combat also features timed attacks and defense where if you time a button press right you can enhance your attack or reduce damage. Plus you can learn combo abilities between characters.

Level-up mechanics also include a choice of extra stat boosts you can choose from such as extra HP, MP, attack, and more. The story is a lot of fun combat is challenging, and character progression is addicting! Sea of Stars Is one of the best turn-based RPGs on Nintendo Switch you need to play!

8. Octopath Traveler 2

Octopath Traveler 2 takes everything great about the original and improves upon it making it one of the best games of 2023. You start with a similar choice to the original by picking one of 8 characters to start with. There will be characters like a warrior prince fighting for peace, a merchant trying to rid the world of poverty, and much more.

Again the story and voice acting are some of the best features. The game also features an open-world feel as you can start with any character and have total freedom to recruit other characters to your team in any order.

There are a variety of job classes to choose from such as scholars, clerics, merchants, and more. Plus, you get to have a secondary job class as well as some advanced job classes you can discover along the way.

Each one of these job classes has a set of active abilities and passive abilities you can learn over time with job points you acquire from defeating enemies. You can also mix and match these classes and abilities for each character to create your ultimate team of heroes.

The game has a very robust main storyline for each character and plenty of side quests to keep you busy with many secrets to discover. If you enjoy turn-based RPGs Octopath Traveler 2 is one of the best RPGs on Nintendo Switch. Not only that it also made our list of the games of the year for 2023!

9. Super Mario RPG Remake

This is another one of the best turn-based RPGs on Nintendo Switch that remasters one of the best RPGs of all time. Super Mario RPG was revolutionary for its time in both graphics and gameplay.

You’ll play as classic Mario heroes and some new faces as you try and restore the Star Rode and save the Mushroom Kingdom. The combat of the game introduces one of my favorite mechanics in turn-based RPGs, that of timed attacks.

This increases the intensity of the battles and adds a new layer of strategy to using your attacks and spells. Another fun element that the Super Mario RPG remake adds to the combat is the ability to swap your characters in and out of battle.

The remake also adds a new feature of combo attacks. You can combine your character abilities to unleash ultimate attacks.

The graphics have also been updated in this new version. There are also plenty of secrets to uncover throughout the game and even some extra hidden bosses for an extra challenge.

They have made the game a bit easier compared to the original SNES RPG, but this remake still ranks as one of the best turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch!

10. Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection

The Final Fantasy I-VI Pixel Remaster Collection is one of the best collections of turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch. If you are new to turn-based RPGs or simply want to re-live many of the best classic RPGs ever created, this is a must-own game.

You’ll get access to six of the early Final Fantasy titles all translated and with suped-up pixel graphics. The game also features enhanced audio as well as many updated UI features and quality-of-life improvements.

When you pick up the physical version you also can get all of the games in one cart! Enjoy these classic titles that introduce many of the now-famous characters and monsters from the Final Fantasy universe.

See where the series began and set the foundation for many of the best turn-based RPGs for years to come. Many of these classic Final Fantasy RPGs still hold up in terms of gameplay and amazing storylines.

Plus, getting to play these classic RPGs on the go, make this collection one of the best turn-based RPGs on Nintendo Switch.

11. Voice of Cards The Isle Dragon Roars

Voice of Cards The Isle Dragon Roars is a very unique RPG for Nintendo Switch. This game is a combination of genres that is like a tabletop RPG, meets visual novel, meets turn-based RPG.

You’ll play as a ragtag bunch of heroes that start their quest on a journey to defeat an evil dragon terrorizing the land in hopes of earning a great treasure. While you start with less than honorable intentions your party grows and each character has their own reasons for wanting to defeat the evil dragon.

The world is very fun to explore as it is entirely made up of cards. Each movement you make will flip over a new card and the map is slowly revealed.

Combat is turn-based, and throughout combat, you will acquire gems that you can use to unleash special abilities from your characters. On top of that, it introduces some luck elements like a tabletop RPG as some moves require a dice roll. These abilities will only activate when the roll is successful.

This RPG also keeps your health levels low for both you and your enemies so you’ll need to be very strategic in combat if you hope to survive. While I was a bit skeptical when I first saw this game, it ended up being one of my favorites. Because of its fun gameplay and unique concept, Voice of Cards The Isle Dragon Roars is one of the best Switch turn-based RPGs!

12. Cosmic Star Heroine

Cosmic Star Heroine is a retro-inspired turn-based RPG for Switch. The game feels Similar to classic SNES RPGs like Chrono Trigger. The plot of the game centers around your hero who is a former government agent. She tries to stop the former leader of her organization which has now become corrupt and is threatening the destruction of the world.

Cosmic Star Heroine features a unique combat system where your characters will only have a limited number of uses of their abilities in each battle. This means that you’ll have to act strategically in combat to maximize your damage. As you use your attacks they become locked in battle until you rest adding another layer of strategy.

You also have a power meter that grows over time which can power up your attacks, but enemies also have the same feature. Positioning your characters in combat is also important as some attacks do area damage.

Another interesting mechanic is that when your characters “die” you have one final chance to either heal them or to unleash a powerful final attack. This creates a fun press-your-luck element to combat.

If you like retro-inspired turn-based RPGs and are a fan of games like Chrono Trigger I’d recommend picking this up as it’s one of the best Nintendo Switch RPGs under $20!

13. Star Renegades

Star Renegades is a unique roguelike turn-based RPG on Nintendo Switch. You’ll play as a bunch of ragtag heroes that are trying to defend their universe against an evil multi-dimensional threat the Imperium. 

The concept fits well with this RPG’s roguelike aspect of the game. Each time your team dies a remaining robot probe is sent to another dimension in the multiverse to assemble your team again to once again fight the imperium.

There are several members you can recruit along the way and each one has their own unique play style. This also ties into the game’s combat as that is a standout aspect as well. 

Beyond the basic turn-based combat there is an action bar at the top of the screen that displays when each character and enemy will take their turn. You can string together attacks that push enemies back along the timeline and you can even cause them to break and miss a turn. 

The strategy of combat can get quite complex and is very addicting. Through progressive play-throughs, you can unlock new characters and enhance your team’s abilities to progress further. 

You’ll also be able to camp with your team as you explore new worlds allowing you to develop deeper relationships with your crew. This can help you to be more effective with certain members of your team as they fight together. 

Star Renegades was one of the first roguelike turn-based RPGs I played on the Switch. And to me, it still stands out as one of the best turn-based RPGs on Nintendo Switch.

Conclusion – Best Turn-Based RPGs on Nintendo Switch

There are so many great RPGs for Nintendo Switch it’s hard to narrow them down to only a few. Plus, there are still more coming out so the list of the best turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch seems to always be growing.

Some of the RPGs are more traditional while others add new game mechanics making them even more addicting. If you like RPGs the Nintendo Switch is a must-have system as there are great first-party RPGs and indie RPGs. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite turn-based RPGs for Nintendo Switch are! Plus if you liked this post you’ll probably also enjoy our post on the Best Tactical RPGs on Nintendo Switch!

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