The Definitive Tactics RPGs List for Every Switch Gamer
Tactical RPGs – TRPGs for short – add an extra layer of depth to the standard RPG combat formula. While you’ll still be leveling up a team of heroes and using their abilities to defeat your foes in a tactical RPG, you’ll also have to contend with positioning on the map! By taking advantage of the battle’s layout, you can isolate enemies, hold choke points, or even use the terrain to take cover from attacks.
TRPGs are great for players who want a game they can consistently pick up and put down – a twenty-minute battle on the train to work, for example. This makes them perfect for portable consoles like the Nintendo Switch, where they’re particularly popular. If you’re planning to use your switch to command troops and win glory on the field, these games will make great additions to your library!
Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition
Up until very recently, Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin 2 was the gold standard in immersive, isometric RPGs. As we all know, Larian outdid themselves this summer with Baldur’s Gate 3. With that kind of track record, both of the developer’s masterpieces are must-play games!
Divinity: Original Sin 2 offers tons of depth and replay value as you build a story that’s truly yours on your quest to become a god. It even offers co-op, so you can play with friends!
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Three Houses may not be the newest Fire Emblem game, but it’s certainly the best of the current generation. Taking place at a military academy, this beloved entry in the series has just as much focus on downtime between battles and growing relationships between characters as it does on Fire Emblem’s signature combat.
Choosing which House you’ll command gives new character paths and party builds, so this title also offers more replay value than the typical Fire Emblem game.
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk
If you’re looking for a game with lots of character options and tactical choices, but aren’t in the mood for something especially serious, The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk could be just what you need. It’s got all the dungeon-delving adventure you’d expect from a fantasy RPG, with whimsy and silliness to spare.
Your party will consist of some unlikely heroes, and battles can get fairly chaotic. That’s all in a day’s work in Naheulbeuk, after all!
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope
While it may not offer the most complex tactical challenges on this list, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope is still a treat to play. With all the vibrancy and character you’d expect from a Mario title, with the unhinged zaniness of the Rabbids, it creates a memorable adventure and a worthy sequel to Kingdom Battle.
Famous elements of the Mushroom Kingdom, like pipes and blocks, allow for unique movement options on the map, and each character’s set of skills makes you select a specialized team to get the job done.
Valkyria Chronicles 4
The Valkyria Chronicles series is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch, and the fourth entry is a contender for the best game in the franchise. Like its predecessors, it blends turn-based and real-time combat; activating a unit puts you in control of them as you run across a dangerous battlefield, seeking cover and firing positions.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place at the same time as the original game, following a squad on a desperate mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. You don’t need to have played any of the previous games to enjoy this epic tale.
If you’re looking for some of the best TRPGs on the Nintendo Switch, why not try one of the best TRPGs ever, on any console? XCOM 2 puts you in command of an elite group of soldiers battling an alien occupation of Earth.
XCOM is famous for its compelling, unforgiving tactical combat. You’ll probably have to make some sacrifices to save the world, because once a soldier falls in battle, they’re gone for good!
Fell Seal: Arbiters Mark
Of the many games that take inspiration from Final Fantasy Tactics’ formula, Fell Seal does the best job of capturing the classic gameplay style while still carving out its own niche. All the familiar elements are there, presented with a hand-drawn look that makes Arbiter’s Mark stand out.
This game has a particularly robust class system, allowing for lots of character and party customization. Finding your perfect build is all the more reason to try another playthrough!
The Banner Saga Trilogy
The Banner Saga is legendary among fans of indie games, and the entire series is available on the Switch. This hand-drawn epic spans three full campaigns as you lead a band of Vikings to seek a new life at the end of the world.
From caravan management to personal relationships to grid-based combat, all the elements of a great TRPG are present in The Banner Saga. What sets it apart is the game’s flawless execution – this is a trilogy for everyone’s library.
Into The Breach
Some tactical RPGs can make combat feel like a puzzle to be solved, and few games do that better than Into The Breach. Subset Games takes larger-than-life, city-crushing battles between mecha and kaiju and condenses them onto a single screen.
Commanding a squad of three mechs, you’ll have to defeat the giant bugs burrowing up from underground before they can cause too much destruction. Redirecting enemy attacks, taking hits for civilians, and clever use of the terrain are all important parts of your strategy; this is a game that will really flex your brain!
Mercenaries Blaze: Dawn Of The Twin Dragons
The Mercenaries series has garnered a dedicated following, and the fifth entry in the franchise is the best yet. With enhanced graphics and twin storylines, it offers new tactical challenges alongside the deep skill system that players have come to expect.
Developer Rideon takes care to ensure that even small changes – like being able to move before or after an attack – have an impact on the overall gameplay and enjoyability of their games. Whether you’re new to Mercenaries or have played all the other games, Dawn of the Twin Dragons is a great pick for hardcore strategy gamers.
Many of the games on this list are fairly linear, but Battle Brothers gives players a randomly-generated world to play in, then turns them loose. With no set goal other than survival, you’ll lead a ragtag band of mercenaries in a violent, perilous fantasy world.
Battle Brothers is a hard game by design, but the satisfaction that you’ll get from pulling through in a tough fight or leaving your mark on the game world is like nothing you’ll find in other games.
Lots of games take inspiration from Final Fantasy Tactics, possibly the most influential TRPG of all time. Leave it to Square Enix to modernize the formula and bring it into the twenty-first century with Triangle Strategy!
Triangle Strategy has the grid-based combat and visual style that fans will immediately recognize but introduces a choice-and-consequence mechanic that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before and can take the story in unexpected new directions.
Rather than simply branching the story based on your decisions, your actions will influence the opinions of your party members, who will vote on an outcome at the end of each chapter.
If you can’t get enough of Fire Emblem‘s high-risk, high-reward gameplay, Be sure to check out Dark Deity. At first glance, you might think it’s a lost Fire Emblem classic from the GBA era, but Dark Deity makes its own mark.
With unique characters, characters, and classes, this is much more than a clone. With Dark Deity 2 coming next year, you’ll want to be sure that you’re fully caught up!
The Last Spell
TRPG players are no strangers to being outnumbered; most battles in most games pit a small band of heroes against enemies that outnumber them by two or three to one. In The Last Spell, you’ll be up against true hordes as you defend your city against the forces of the apocalypse.
This game challenges players to build and command defenses capable of blasting dozens or even hundreds of enemies off the screen, and it still might not be enough to win the day. If you’re up for a desperate last stand set to a killer soundtrack, The Last Spell is the game for you.
Mutant Year Zero
Players looking for a strange world to explore and thrilling tactical battles to fight need look no further than Mutant Year Zero. Humans are extinct and anthropomorphic mutants are now left to explore the ruins they left behind.
Exploration and stealth can give you an edge in combat, or you can just rush in guns blazing. Either way, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a world quite like that of Mutant Year Zero, and it’s a thrill to discover.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn
Of course, it’s hard to mention Final Fantasy Tactics without also mentioning Tactics Ogre. Released around the same time with similar gameplay, Tactics Ogre offers even more turn-based combat and life-or-death situations as your party struggles to survive a growing conflict.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn recreates the original with more options than ever before, ensuring that even longtime fans will have something new to try. Of course, if you’ve never played the classic version, this is a perfect way to experience Tactics Ogre for the first time!
Disgaea offers one of the deepest tactical experiences of any RPG, and requires players to expect the unexpected at all times. From its boundary-breaking combat to its lovably bizarre portrayal of the Netherworld, it’s easy to see why the series is one of the biggest cult classics there is.
Disgaea 5 Complete includes all the game’s DLC, including classic characters and bonus scenarios that weren’t part of the main game. It’s the best way to experience one of the franchise’s standout titles.
Front Mission 1st and 2 Remake
Front Mission is a long-running franchise that details generations of ground-based mecha warfare. The first two games haven’t been readily available outside of Japan until now, but dedicated fans have been enjoying the series for decades.
With the release of these two remakes on the Switch, it’s easier than ever to join the battle and see the story unfold.
Othercide presents a nightmarish world in black-and-white, where you’ll create and command fearsome warriors called Daughters to save the world from disturbing otherworldly creatures. Success in Othercide requires sacrifice – Daughters can’t heal, not even between battles, unless you’re willing to give up another one of your troops to do so.
While Othercide‘s campaign is fairly short, it can take a few tries to master its combat. Once you do, though, there are some impressive combos to be pulled off!
Ikenfell’s retro-inspired take on the magical school genre is about as endearing as it gets. You’ll lead your group of magical misfits to explore their academy and uncover secrets, while learning about themselves and each other along the way.
Choosing your team and mastering the timing of each spell will inform a large part of your strategy, and there are secrets everywhere to help enhance your party. If you like shows like The Owl House or Steven Universe, you’re sure to fall in love with Ikenfell.
Indivisible is a hand-drawn blend of platforming and RPG combat, with tons of style and excellent storytelling. While it doesn’t quite fit the bill as a TRPG, chances are that if you like the games on this list, you’ll enjoy Indivisible as well.
Disgaea 7 has only just released, so it’s unclear yet whether it will unseat Disgaea 5 as THE game to play in the series. It’s certainly off to a great start, though, and its feudal Japan-inspired world is a fun departure from the series’ classic setting.
Tactical RPGs are practically tailor-made for the Switch. Loading up a quicksave, you can usually tell by a glance at the battlefield what the situation is and start forming a strategy. Being able to pick the game up and put it down again without fear of losing critical information or progress is a major advantage. It’s no wonder that games like these have done so well on Nintendo’s portable console.
Have you played all of the games on this list? If not, be sure to give one a try and let us know which one is your favorite!
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