The Five Best JRPGs On The Nintendo Switch

Some of the best games on the genre to tide you over before the release of SMT V.
Here are the five best JRPGs on the Switch.
Here are the five best JRPGs on the Switch. Bandai Namco

If there's anything to be proven with Nintendo's latest Direct Mini a few days ago, it's that there is considerable interest in the Switch solely for its plethora of JRPGs. The hype generated by the announcement of an HD remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei V is palpable, but in truth fans of the series still have to wait for a year or more before the games release. In the spirit of JRPGs, and to help tide over some of that hype, here are some of the best games in the genre for the Switch. While these aren't exactly in the same vein thematically with Shin Megami Tensei as a whole, avid JRPG fans can find something they like from these offerings for Nintendo's hybrid console.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

The Nintendo Switch is undeniably the best platform for JRPGs, and what better way to start our list with a classic in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition? Originally released in 2011 for the Nintendo Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles then received a port for the Nintendo 3DS, but finally found its home on the Nintendo Switch when it was launched on May 29. Employing a real-time action based combat system and a fairly standard plot, Xenoblade Chronicles is mostly inspired by its classic RPG predecessors. That said, it dramatically switched the genre on its head through its innovative approach to open-world exploration and next level world-building. Critics have lauded it as one of the game’s strongest points along with its relatively newcomer-friendly gameplay format.

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Without a doubt, Xenoblade Chronicles is an essential title, both for veterans of the JRPG genre and for newbies who are just looking to get into it. The Definitive Edition for the Nintendo Switch, with its improved graphics and gameplay, is definitely the best way to experience Bionis for the first time, or all over again.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

The first of two Square Enix titles, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is considered the strongest entry in the Dragon Quest series and that is no easy feat considering the sheer number of games and the acclaim that the JRPG franchise has accrued since its inception in 1986 with the first Dragon Quest. Players are put in the role of the Luminary, a hunted hero tasked with protecting the land of Erdrea from destruction. Contrary to the previous entry in this list, Dragon Quest sticks to its guns and continues with the tried and tested formula of traditional turn-based combat. Despite this relatively safe gamble by not pushing forward with innovations, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is still a masterclass on how one should make a classic JRPG, this time with improved graphics and aesthetics.

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Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is currently available for the Nintendo Switch, while its base version is available for the PC and PlayStation 4.

The World Ends with You: Final Remix

This next Square Enix title is probably most known for its unique art style and perhaps the fact that it contains the steepest learning curve out of all the titles in this list. The World Ends with You: Final Remix also perhaps has the most innovative plot out of all of them (in my opinion, of course). Players control Neku Sakuraba, a teenage boy who wakes up in the Underground where spirits reside. He must now compete in the Reapers’ Game: a competition where those who are dead are given the chance to get their life back or possibly ascend to a higher form of being. Throughout his journey, Neku will encounter colorful characters, go through grueling challenges, and perhaps discover the mystery of how he wound up in the Underground in the first place. The World Ends with You follows Neku’s journey for three weeks whilst being paired with a colorful cast of characters that can either hurt or help his cause in the end.

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The World Ends with You: Final Remix received positive reviews for its unique aesthetic, engaging plotline, and creative reimagining of the Shibuya district. It is now available for the Nintendo Switch as well as iOS and Android devices.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Another Nintendo Switch exclusive enters the list with Fire Emblem: Three Houses, published by Koei Tecmo. The sixteenth entry in the Fire Emblem series, Three Houses is a tactical role-playing game set in Fódlan: a continent on the brink of conflict and warfare. Players are able to choose and learn from three houses that will impact the game’s narrative. Each of the houses have their own unique settings, storylines, and bonuses. The game’s first part takes place in its revolutionary school system where gameplay is mostly confined to completing daily activities that will prepare players for the game’s second half. This second half is filled with combat, exploration, and will see the game’s plot unfold further and further. Ever since its release a little under a year ago, Fire Emblem: Three Houses has garnered critical acclaim for its school system and battalion mechanics, inventive storyline, engaging characters, and its replay value.

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For those who are looking for something modern and recent, gameplay and graphics wise, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is your best bet out of all the games on this list.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Capping off this list is a multi-generational classic, starting from its roots in the PlayStation 3 up until its remastered versions for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch puts players in the shoes of Oliver as he embarks on an adventure in a world inhabited both by potential friends and deadly foes. True to its JRPG roots, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has a linear storyline complemented by tons of side quests. What makes it special is its vast and explorable world, even without progressing through the story. Oliver can explore his hometown of Motorville, along with other towns, villages, dungeons, fields, and so much more. During these travels players need to fight back against enemies by using magical abilities and familiars – creatures that can be tamed - in turn-based combat.

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Since its initial release in 2011, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has received critical acclaim from reviewers, citing its story, graphic design, and its simple yet nuanced gameplay as its strongest points. Almost a decade has passed and it is undeniable that the game still holds up to this day, and is definitely a must-buy for Switch owners.

So, what do you think? Which of these amazing JRPGs for the Nintendo Switch will you be picking up? Let us know and stay tuned for more recommendations from us for the best deals on the best things in gaming, from peripherals and hardware, to toys and various accessories.

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