Role-playing games (RPGs) are great. If you don’t agree with that sentiment, it’s impressive you even clicked on this article and I give you kudos. In any case, Nintendo Switch has become a bastion of terrific RPGs, yet some critically acclaimed RPGs of past and even present are still missing — for no good reason. Here is a sampling of just eight-ish RPGs that should really be on Switch but are currently missing.
8. Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the most famous strategy RPGs ever, yet it is only available on mobile devices and PlayStation platforms — and not even current PlayStation platforms. The lack of availability of such a famous and influential game, even on PC, is just strange. A wild leak suggested that a remaster of Final Fantasy Tactics may finally be in the works for modern platforms, so hopefully that pans out. Otherwise, you’ll have to get cozy with a phone or a PSP to play Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions.
7. Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Maybe Nintendo Switch can’t handle the full suite of upgrades that the Mass Effect trilogy received on other platforms recently with Legendary Edition. To that, we say: Fine, nerf the thing and release it on Switch anyway. People don’t buy Nintendo Switch because it’s a beast machine; it’s not. They buy it, in part, for the extraordinary convenience of portable play, and it would rule to play Mass Effect anywhere, at any time.
BioWare itself hasn’t shut the door on the possibility, and the fact that Aspyr recently ported BioWare’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is at least a better-than-nothing good-will gesture. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think some version of Mass Effect Legendary Edition will land on Switch eventually.
6. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Xenoblade Chronicles X is arguably the best Wii U game that is still missing a Nintendo Switch port, and it is definitely among Switch’s most unique RPGs. Granted, its story is a borderline-nonexistent afterthought, but the sense of exploration is amazing thanks to colossal environments and the wildly overpowered giant robots that you use to explore those environments. Its absence is badly felt on Switch.
In fairness though, this a rare case where an RPG’s absence on Switch makes some sense. Xenoblade Chronicles X makes heavy use of the Wii U GamePad, which would pose challenges to translate to Switch, and it would also just cost a lot of resources to port a game so huge to Switch. So, we hope this RPG makes it to Switch someday, but we can certainly forgive Monolith Soft if it doesn’t happen. (The developers are busy with something new right now anyway.)
5. Super Mario RPG
It is the first Super Mario role-playing game, and if you’re the right kind of crotchety and completely resistant to change, it is still the best Super Mario role-playing game. Mallow and Geno are memorable characters, the situations Mario gets himself into are creative, and the pseudo-3D art style holds up better than it has any right to. Yet this beloved and well-received SNES classic is missing from the Switch RPGs lineup, despite appearances on Virtual Console and Super NES Classic.
Square and Nintendo created Super Mario RPG together, so it’s not as simple a matter as dropping Nintendo-owned Paper Mario on Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. But at the same time, it’s not a title like Secret of Mana or The Final Fantasy Legend that Square is ever going to repackage in a collection. So Square and Nintendo might as well hash out the details to get Super Mario RPG on Nintendo Switch Online, sooner rather than later.
4. Persona 5
Between Persona 5 and its upgrade Royal, the Atlus RPG has sold more than 4.6 million units. It’s the game that finally brought the school life sim / dungeon-crawling franchise mainstream, resulting in more spin-offs like Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight and Persona 5 Strikers, the latter of which came to Switch. However, Persona 5 itself is missing from the RPGs available on Switch, and it’s hard to argue that hardware power is the reason since the original Persona 5 also launched for PlayStation 3.
It could still come to Switch — leaks claim that Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden are both coming, after all. Personally, I think it will happen. But the fact that it hasn’t happened already is a little odd, just like it’s a little odd how long it took for Persona 4 Golden to come to PC (especially in the wake of its explosive sales there).
3. EarthBound (and EarthBound Beginnings / Mother 1 and Mother 3)
Three games in one is cheating, but I’m right so it doesn’t matter. The Mother series is a Nintendo IP, and the fact that not even SNES cult classic EarthBound is available to stream on Nintendo Switch Online — not even in Japan — is mind-boggling. Of all the RPGs that could be missing on Switch, there is zero excuse for Mother to be among them.
Rumors persist that maybe Mother 3 was never localized for the West due to some content being difficult to localize (the gender-challenging Magypsies) or, more dubiously, legal concerns over soundtrack sampling. (There’s a song that sounds a bit like the Batman theme song.) Yet even if those claims are completely true, that has nothing to do with EarthBound and its predecessor being unavailable on Switch. Basically, unless there is some sort of behind-the-scenes situation with series creator Shigesato Itoi that we don’t know about, the absence of these games is completely incomprehensible.
2. Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster — all of ‘em (I, II, III, IV, V, and VI)
Okay, six video games in one is definitely cheating, but surely you’ll forgive it. The first six Final Fantasy games were all born on Nintendo hardware, and most of them are utterly iconic and extraordinarily influential games. (FFVI, at the very least, is a masterpiece.) The fact that the Pixel Remaster series is currently only available on PC and mobile is, to say the least, silly. Either Square Enix genuinely did not have the resources on hand to bring the games to more platforms simultaneously, or it is purposely withholding a console release in the hopes that fans will double-dip and buy it twice or maybe even three times when that release finally happens.
Either way, it’s difficult to fathom a scenario where the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series doesn’t come to Nintendo Switch and other consoles eventually. It would simply be leaving too much obvious money on the table. Plus, Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster is apparently using HD-2D for the opera scene, and it would be outright criminal to withhold that from Switch.
1. Chrono Trigger
Let me say this for the thousandth time: Chrono Trigger is the greatest game of all time, its soundtrack is the greatest game soundtrack ever, and your arguments otherwise are invalid to the point of laughable. It is the only universal truth in life. Accept it. But what is harder to accept is that Chrono Trigger is still missing from the lineup of RPGs available on Nintendo Switch.
The game has been available on PC and mobile for years now, and while the UI is still an ugly mess even on PC, it is nonetheless Chrono Trigger running on modern devices. It was once easily (now not as much) accessible through PlayStation Store too. And it already has a pretty great, enhanced DS version. What I’m saying is that Square Enix has been eager to put Chrono Trigger on lots of platforms in the past, so it’s a little frustrating that it doesn’t want to “complete the look” and put the game on Switch. However, that could change with time, perhaps in conjunction with the reports of a Chrono Cross remaster.
There are still plenty more RPGs we wish were on Nintendo Switch where this came from — Mario & Luigi, Lunar, Lufia, Tactics Ogre, Golden Sun, Xenosaga, Dragon Age, Live A Live, more Grandia and Breath of Fire, the Soul Blazer trilogy if we include action RPGs, etc. The list goes on. But we tried to focus on some of the most egregious absences for this list. Let us know which RPGs are missing from Switch that really grind your gears!