February 6, 2023

Die Nite

Are people who control the game

We’ve been doing lists of our favorite Switch games in each genre for a while...

We’ve been doing lists of our favorite Switch games in each genre for a while now, and a couple of things have occurred to me. First, we’re getting low on genres that aren’t wildly specific. Second, the lists we did at the start of all of this are now years-old and could certainly use some addendums to reflect the explosive growth of the Nintendo Switch library since then. Thus, a sequel to our very popular 10 Best JRPGs for Nintendo Switch special. This does not overwrite the previous list, but rather appends to it. In no particular order, here are ten more amazing JRPGs for Nintendo Switch.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 ($59.99)

What better place to start with this list than the latest in Nintendo and Monolith’s incredible Xenoblade Chronicles series? Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is every bit as mechanically dense and massive as the second game, if not more so, but thematically and stylistically it feels like a return to the feel of the first game. It serves as a fine cap to the three numbered games in the series, with an epic story, a cool world to explore, and tons of side-missions to engage in. A fantastic game to get lost in.

Persona 5 Royal ($59.99)

Virtually since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, a lot of people have been asking for Persona 5 to be on the platform. Those requests increased in intensity after Joker was announced as a character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and it all got pretty ridiculous after Persona 5 Strikers was released. But here we are, everyone: Persona 5 Royal is on Switch with a great port, and its unique and stylish atmosphere is perfectly intact. Join the Phantom Thieves and prepare to steal some hearts. The first one they’ll steal is… yours. Sorry.

Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream ($59.99)

I always like to have an Atelier game in my rotation, because they are both highly compelling mechanically and very relaxing thematically. Atelier Sophie 2 is no exception, picking up from where the first Atelier Sophie left off for a fascinating side story set in what seems to be an alternate world. You’ll meet new characters, learn new things about old ones, and have a good time crafting and adventuring.

Live A Live ($49.99)

Western gamers had to wait a really long time to get an official release of this one, but it was certainly worth the wait. Rendered in stunning HD-2D, Live A Live isn’t just a simple reissue of the original game but a full remake. One that respects the original to a great degree, but isn’t afraid to spruce things up a little. Even if it had been untouched and simply localized for Western audiences, it would still probably be on this list. A bit JRPG, a bit adventure, and a story you definitely won’t forget.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus ($59.99)

For as much as we can point out faults in Pokemon games all day long, the fact of the matter is that they scratch a particular itch that few other games do. Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduced a lot of exciting new mechanics to the Pokemon gameplay structure, making for one of the freshest games the series has seen in a very long time. Some of that is carrying over to the sequel, but there’s a certain flavor to the setting in Pokemon Legends that will ensure it stays relevant for a while.

Shin Megami Tensei V ($59.99)

I know Persona originally spun out of Megami Tensei, but I feel like they’re sufficiently divorced now to consider them separate series. That means Shin Megami Tensei V can go on this list, and that’s a good thing. One of the recent trends in JRPGs is to introduce a massive ground-level open world to explore, and it fits Shin Megami Tensei like a glove. This installment feels like it draws on all the best parts of the previous games in the series for a powerful melange that will suck you in with its distinct atmosphere and excellent mechanics.

Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition ($19.99)

Ah, Chrono Cross. When it first released, it was hailed by many as a 10/10 work of art. Then a lot of people turned on it, and it got a reputation as a terrible, heavily-flawed sequel. The truth is somewhere in the middle, but for my money it’s closer to that 10/10 than it generally gets credit for in recent years. Let go of its status as a sequel to Chrono Trigger, though it is a very good one in a certain sense. Appreciate it for the brilliantly constructed RPG that it is, one with a plot as impressive as the bulk of its playable characters are shallow. If Final Fantasy VII is perfectly indicative of Square’s output in the early PlayStation years, Chrono Cross is a superb example of its output in the console’s twilight years. Oh, and you get the previously Japan-exclusive Radical Dreamers narrative adventure on top of it.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero ($39.99)

The Trails series can be a bit hard to break into, especially if you’ve only got Nintendo consoles at your disposal. While the Trails of Cold Steel games are very good, the fact that the third game was the first to hit the Switch makes it feel like you’re walking into a party that is half-over. Trails from Zero isn’t technically the starting point for this narratively dense series, but it is a starting point. The best one Switch owners have, really. It’s also a very enjoyable RPG with a classic feel and an outstanding, richly developed setting.

Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi ($59.99)

When I do these lists, I usually like to include one game that makes most people wonder what I’m talking about. This time, it’s Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi. Friends, I love first-person dungeon crawl RPGs. As a kid I subsisted on Wizardry and Might & Magic. During the DS and 3DS years, I rolled from Etrian Odyssey to Etrian Odyssey. You don’t even want to see my PlayStation Vita library. I’m picky about what I recommend in this category however, and with that in mind I want you to understand that I do not suggest Undernauts lightly. It’s crafted by the experienced folks at Experience, and its horror themes and novel gameplay mechanics ensure it isn’t just another face in the crowd.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin ($59.99)

From gritty horror to brightly-colored adventures. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a sequel I frankly never expected to happen given the span of time that had passed after the release of the first one. Stories takes the well-loved Monster Hunter setting and trimmings and puts a whole new spin on it, and this installment is a lot less toyetic about how it goes about things. It’s also one of the more approachable JRPGs on this list, while being deep enough that JRPG fans should be able to get what they need from it. Capcom puts this one on deep discount fairly often, making it even more of a steal.

That’s the list, friends. Add even a few of these games to your collection and you’ll be busy for weeks on end. More importantly, you’ll be having a blast the whole time. Do you have any other JRPGs that you love that have somehow escaped both of our lists? Post them in the comments below and let everyone know what else they should be looking for in that wild frontier that is the eShop. Thanks for reading!