The JRPG genre, which dates back to the early era of gaming consoles, has stood the test of time. Among the enduring franchises in this category are Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Megami Tensei, which continue to enjoy popularity. These games feature expansive character parties, captivating narratives, and refined gameplay, often based on turn-based mechanics.

Nonetheless, due to the contemporary hectic schedules, finding leisure time for indulging in a traditional JRPG on a large screen can be challenging. Thankfully, the Nintendo Switch hosts a collection of exceptional Japanese role-playing games. For those seeking the finest JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch, consulting Metacritic can be a valuable aid when making the next game selection.

Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age

Introduction isn't necessary for Final Fantasy 12. The tale of Sky Pirate Balthier and Princess Ashe is one that is likely to remain memorable for numerous fans. The game does have its shortcomings, mainly centered around the somewhat unimpressive main character Vaan. However, apart from that aspect, it stands as a timeless masterpiece.

A Battle In Final Fantasy 12
Final Fantasy 12

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The Zodiac Age brings about significant alterations to the game. Although the original's License Board had its flaws, the new job system introduced in the re-release effectively addresses those issues and offers a wide array of options for character development. While it still requires a certain amount of grinding and maintains a slightly sluggish pace, the enchanting world of Ivalice offers a truly delightful expanse to explore.

Octopath Traveler 2

Octopath Traveler 2 from Square Enix and Acquire chooses to build upon the solid foundation of its predecessor, opting for a familiar experience while making certain adjustments to address the critiques aimed at the original game. Similarly to its forerunner, the game revolves around eight protagonists embarking on individual storylines, resulting in the presentation of eight distinct mini-narratives rather than a single extensive journey.

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Octopath Traveler

In contrast to the 2018 release, Octopath Traveler 2 introduces interactions between the characters. Although their impact on each other's stories remains limited, they now appear more akin to a conventional adventuring party rather than mere strangers who coincidentally fight alongside one another.

Shin Megami Tensei 5

After a span of approximately five years, Shin Megami Tensei 5 was eventually released in 2021, and Atlus' Japanese role-playing game proved to be well worth the lengthy anticipation. True to the norm in these games, players find themselves navigating through Tokyo and the Netherworld, engaging in battles against a variety of demons while occasionally attempting to negotiate with them.

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Shin Megami Tensei 5

Similarly to the franchise's tradition, Shin Megami Tensei 5 isn't an easy game by any means, although it does show a slightly more accommodating stance towards newcomers to the genre compared to some previous installments in the series. On the visual front, SMT 5 stands out as one of the more visually appealing JRPGs available on the Switch, particularly in terms of character and demon designs. It also excels across nearly all other aspects.

Persona 5 Royal

The highly acclaimed JRPG originally for the PS4 is now accessible on most contemporary platforms, and unsurprisingly, Persona 5 Royal undeniably stands out as one of the premier games across all these systems. The Phantom Thieves have achieved an iconic status at this juncture, and their extensive narrative is replete with heartrending moments, intrigue, and instances of resounding triumph.

Persona 5 The Royal 2
Persona 5 Royal

P5R's gameplay structure revolves around two key components: social simulation and delving into dungeons with turn-based combat. The latter is reasonably straightforward, particularly in terms of the combat system. Nevertheless, it gains an elevated status due to its stylish presentation and an enticing creature-collecting mechanism that encourages a continual rotation of Personas, as opposed to adhering rigidly to a fixed party.

The dungeons are thoughtfully crafted and captivating, yet one could argue that the social simulation aspect of P5R takes the spotlight. Players step into the shoes of Joker, experiencing both the most thrilling and mundane moments of the character's life. They engage in interactions with peers, dine at eateries, attend school, and perhaps even embark on a date or two.

Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of An Elusive Age

Dragon Quest, previously recognized as "Dragon Warrior" in the Western regions, requires no formal introduction. Being the original JRPG franchise, the entire realm of gaming owes a substantial debt to the Dragon Quest series. Beyond its historical significance, DQ11 stands as one of the most exceptional RPGs of the preceding decade.

Dragon Quest 11 S Echoes Of An Elusive Age Definit
Dragon Quest 11

Every element that defines the excellence of JRPGs is encompassed within DQ11. The game boasts a lively ensemble of characters, each grappling with their individual challenges. The narrative takes unforeseen twists and turns that defy player anticipations. This time around, the music even transcends MIDI quality, which is a welcome improvement. Alongside all these attributes, the gameplay attains a level of perfection achievable in turn-based RPGs. Given the abundant demo accessible on the Switch, it's a worthwhile endeavor for any RPG aficionado or gaming enthusiast in general.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 presents itself as an immense and indulgent gaming experience. As observed in the prior Xenoblade entries, XC2 is replete with side missions and creatures to track down. The diverse continents offer an abundance of locations to explore and enigmas to unveil, catering to both quest fulfillment and entertainment. Although the gameplay diverges to a degree from the previous titles, it remains enjoyable.


What truly distinguishes XC2 from its predecessors is the sheer profusion of characters present within the game. Beyond the primary cast, all the Rare Blades possess distinctive personalities and their own sets of quests to accomplish. The character design might not resonate with everyone (a common challenge in the genre), and even those accustomed to gacha-style games could find themselves taken aback by certain designs. Despite this, the game delivers an exhilarating gaming experience and is an unadulterated source of enjoyment.

Persona 4 Golden

Once again, a new installment in the Persona series brings forth another JRPG gem. Persona 4 Golden has gracefully matured, both in its visual presentation and its narrative depth. The game's dynamic array of colors bestows its visuals with an ageless allure, especially in settings outside The TV World, the central dungeon of the storyline. In terms of the narrative, this JRPG follows the series' characteristic gradual buildup, but its endearing characters sustain engagement until the plot gradually gains traction.

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