June 14, 2021

Die Nite

Are people who control the game

It’s time once again for another SwitchArcade Special Edition. This time, we’re looking at the...

It’s time once again for another SwitchArcade Special Edition. This time, we’re looking at the best of the West when it comes to RPGs. This is a fairly broad category, and before you ask: Diablo III was on our list of the best action-RPGs, so we gave its spot on this list to another game in order to share the love. Also note that this list is in no particular order, and simply represents our favorites. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. Now, let’s get to it.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt ($39.99)

Easily one of the most popular Western RPGs in recent history, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt offers a great story, memorable characters, an interesting world to explore, and combat. It also has a couple of very strong expansions you can and should buy to get the most out of the game. This Switch version isn’t the prettiest way to play the game by any means, but the port is rather impressive given the hardware and being able to take Geralt’s adventures on the go has considerable appeal all its own.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim ($59.99)

Skyrim is coming up on its tenth birthday, and it has graced so many platforms in that time that it has become a bit of a joke. Whether you’ve played it before or are new to the game, the Switch version is a fine way to enjoy what it has to offer. With a huge world filled with so much to do that most players venture off the main quest and never return, Skyrim will keep you busy for a very long time indeed. Just watch out for errant arrows. They’ve ended more than one career.

Divinity: Original Sin II – Definitive Edition ($49.99)

If you’re looking for the modern heir to the classic isometric RPGs of the 1990s, look no further. Divinity: Original Sin II is a top-notch game in virtually every regard. Excellent, deep combat. Fantastic characters and dialogue. An interesting plot that will keep you engaged all the way through. Cool environments to explore. Genuine role-playing moments. And unlike certain other modern takes on those classic computer RPGs, Divinity: Original Sin II works really well on the Switch. What are you waiting for? Go forth, and become divine.

South Park: The Stick of Truth ($29.99)

And we now enter the comedy portion of this article. South Park: The Stick of Truth perfectly captures the madcap humor of South Park, and it looks absolutely pitch-perfect. Behind the license is a game created by the masters at Obsidian Entertainment. A relatively bug-free game, no less. This is actually a fairly solid RPG even setting aside the South Park trimmings, albeit one whose strengths lay outside of the combat. There’s quite a bit of offensive humor in here, but I’m sure no one buys a South Park game expecting otherwise. It really is remarkable how well it matches the show while still being a competent and satisfying role-playing adventure.

West of Loathing ($11.99)

If your sense of humor leans more towards the absurd, you’re in the right place to enjoy West of Loathing. It also helps if you like puns. A lot. Tame the Wild West in ways you would never expect, playing as one of a variety of odd job classes. Each situation you run into has a lot of ways to resolve it, and there are tons of side-quests to complete. This isn’t the longest RPG on this list, but its light nature and relatively short run time makes it an excellent palate cleanser between bigger, grimmer quests.

Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions ($49.99)

It never hurts to brush up on the classics of the genre. Bioware went from unknown to the darling of the genre almost overnight when Baldur’s Gate released on computers back in 1998. It’s easy to see why. It’s a strong adaptation of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition rules applied to one of its most popular settings, filled with rich characters, vast environments, and plenty of opportunities to roleplay. But as good as Baldur’s Gate is, its sequel is even better. A more interesting main plot, some impressive character work, and a lot of gameplay improvements made it a highwater mark for the genre and its developer for a very long time. These Switch versions are based on the Enhanced Editions, and while the controls can be a little cumbersome the games are still very much playable.

Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions ($49.99)

Bioware wasn’t the only developer that made great Dungeons & Dragons games at the turn of the millennium. Using the same Infinity Engine that powered the Baldur’s Gate games, Black Isle Studios turned out two very different, very high-quality efforts. Icewind Dale is a grognard’s dream, putting the Second Edition‘s combat rules to the absolute test in an atmospheric dungeon crawl. Planescape: Torment focuses more on story and role-playing, and the result is one of the finest video game stories ever written. Both games are worth playing for very different reasons, offering a nice variety of experiences in one bundle.

Operencia: The Stolen Sun ($29.99)

Operencia: The Stolen Sun is a first-person dungeon crawl based on Hungarian folklore. Developed by pinball wizards Zen Studios, it’s about as different a swing from silverball as you could imagine. Operencia features strategic turn-based combat, satisfying character building, challenging map designs, great puzzles, and a genuinely fascinating world and story to explore. It’s a real treasure, and one that I fear many Switch players have overlooked. It’s at once comfortably familiar and excitingly different from other RPGs on the platform, and well-worth your time and attention.

Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut ($29.99)

For reasons that are beyond my understanding, there are no Fallout games on the Nintendo Switch yet. But Fallout had a predecessor, and the modern sequel to that predecessor is on the Nintendo Switch. If you want something a bit different from the fantasy fare, this post-apocalyptic RPG will be right up your alley. While this isn’t the smoothest Switch port in this list, it’s not like the original version is a bastion of stability either. The unique setting, strong writing, and tactical combat make it worth putting up with the occasional crash. Just make sure you’re saving often.

Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning ($39.99)

Kingdoms of Amalur is a very smooth game to play. It controls well, and since it was designed for console play it never feels cumbersome. Indeed, it’s that relatively frictionless playability that is perhaps the greatest strength of this game. The world is interesting to explore, the characters have good dialogue to offer, and you get all the enjoyable loot-and-upgrade loops you want to see in a game like this. It’s caught in a weird zone between more linear looter games and the expansive open worlds of today’s RPGs, but somehow it all works.

For this list, I opted not to dip too much into the Diablo-style loot-em-ups, but the Switch has plenty of great games of that sort as well. The games featured here have a bit more of an epic quality to them. At the end of it all, however, this is just our opinion. Do you have any favorite Western RPGs that aren’t on this list? Feel free to comment below and let us know your picks.

Interested in more lists? Check out our other recommendations!

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  • The 10 Best Action-RPGs on Nintendo Switch
  • The 10 Best Rhythm Games on Nintendo Switch
  • The 10 Best Visual Novel Games on Nintendo Switch
  • The 10 Best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch
  • The 10 Best 3D Platformers on Nintendo Switch
  • The 10 Best Metroidvanias on Nintendo Switch