[Top 15] Best Nintendo RPGs That Are Excellent

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 rumors have been going around for a while, let's hope for an announcement soon

15. Miitopia

Perhaps one of the most Nintendo-developed underrated games ever, Miitopia follows an extremely charming story in which you (through your own Mii creation and several other designs) are the main character. Following some interesting fantasy elements along with very funny dialogue, the game itself is very fortunate that it was given a second chance once it got ported to the Nintendo Switch family of systems after a not-so-warm reception on the Nintendo 3DS.

14. Pokémon Red & Blue

Not a single soul in the entire world can deny how massive Pokémon’s impact on the overall pop culture was way back in the late ’90s and continues to be in the present day. Not only both versions of this game introduce the world what Gamefreak had prepared over the course of several years, but it also changed the whole entertainment industry as it led other developers and companies to mimic the idea of a creature-collecting game RPG throughout the next few decades being incredibly fun and entertaining.

13. Shin Megami Tensei V

First introduced in the Nintendo Switch’s official 2017 presentation, it took Atlus a few years to finish the development of the highly anticipated sequel in the Shin Megami Tensei series of videogames; an epic entry in which you have to make your way out of a dying world. While it isn’t a Nintendo-developed game, it seems like it will remain as a Nintendo console exclusive until it gets remade in the next couple of decades (we’re seeing you, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Remaster).

12. Mother 3 (Unreleased in the west)

I won’t go deeply into the story details of this game as it remains unfortunately unreleased in the west as of December 2021 and I don’t wanna give away the many surprises this experience brings to the table when we talk about the Mother franchise. Becoming a meme itself, Mother 3’s localization has been highly demanded by both fans of the franchise and RPG enthusiasts ever since it was released for the Gameboy Advance in 2006; let’s hope we get to officially experience this game in its full pop-culture musical glory by being added in the hypothetical Gameboy Advance Nintendo Switch Online service that lives in my head.

11. Super Paper Mario

This addition might be quite a bit controversial because it’s considered by Paper Mario fans as not an RPG game, but ever since it’s a story-driven game and it’s part of a franchise that was originally conceived as an RPG series, I’ll include it in this list. Super Paper Mario is probably one of my favorite games of all time; not only it has incredibly funny and relatable dialogue, or a hugely amazing soundtrack, or one of the best stories ever in a Nintendo-developed game, it also includes very innovative and fun gameplay that might not be for everyone, but once you get used to it, you have a blast. Let’s hope for a world in which Super Paper Mario gets the recognition that it deserves; a Nintendo Switch remake wouldn’t be bad at all.

10. Octopath Traveler

9. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

One of the Mario & Luigi’s saga main characteristics is its very high dose of humor, and the Dream Team entry wasn’t the exception at all. Released during the Luigi Year, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team focuses on Luigi as the main guy in the story as we get the chance to get into his mind discovering some of his deepest feelings and perception of the world including the one for his own brother. One of my personal favorites of this list, if I’m being honest; I’d highly recommend listening to the soundtrack as it has a very epic feeling to it. Luigi deserved it.

8. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

This was it; not only the first-ever Super Mario RPG game but also one developed by Square a few years before it emerged with Enix in 2003. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars proved to the industry that the already world’s favorite plumber was capable of transitioning into a completely different game genre while keeping the charm of its characters. Unfortunately, it was the only entry to ever exist under the Super Mario RPG brand, but we got two incredible franchises out of it: Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi, which would give us some of the best Nintendo games out there.

7. Bravely Default

One can get easily confused as there have been three different Bravely Default games released on Nintendo systems ever since the first entry on Nintendo 3DS and the latest one being Bravely Default 2 on the Nintendo Switch. But if I’m being honest enough, this was a hell of an experience to have on the 3DS when it first premiered; having a Square Enix 3DS exclusive game was something quite unexpected but it delivered the best it could. With some great graphics and a better story, Bravely Default remains one the best games to ever be released during Nintendo’s dark years; it will hopefully get either a remake or remaster in the forthcoming years.

6. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

The first entry of the Xenoblade Chronicles series was released during the Wii’s latest years making it a little bit of an ignored game; fortunately, Nintendo trusted enough in the game itself that it got two different releases on both the New Nintendo 3DS (as a hardware exclusive) and late in 2020 for the Nintendo Switch. Not only that, but it also got an exclusive game for the WiiU, Xenoblade Chronicles X and a sequel on Nintendo Switch released in 2017, one of the best RPGs both storywise and graphically for the then-newly born system. Rumors for a third game in the series have been wandering around all over 2021, let’s hope for it to be real.

5. Pokémon Black & White

While being insanely popular, I would consider Pokémon to be a niche series since you either are into it or not. But personally, one of the best entries in the franchise, in my opinion, is Pokémon Black & White. Black & White was released during the late-life of the Nintendo DS, but that didn’t stop it from being a total success both commercially and by the fans. It was made once the capabilities of the Nintendo DS were fully understood by Gamefreak, and while it didn’t present to us the most novel version of Pokémon, it was a completely fun experience with some of the best soundtracks out there at the time. Ever since the Pearl and Diamond remakes were released recently, we 5th gen fans can’t wait enough for the release of the Black and White remakes. Oshawott supremacy over here if you ask me.

4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem has been an important Nintendo series since it was introduced to the world in the early ’90s; ever since until recent years, it had been quite a cult franchise among gamers until Fire Emblem: Three Houses knocked the door. Fire Emblem gained a little bit of fame during the Nintendo 3DS era, but it wasn’t until the Nintendo Switch entry that it became a huge seller for the Fire Emblem name. Fortunately, it wasn’t only the Switch’s popularity that drove millions of eyes into the series, it was an amazing gameplay along with a great story and soundtrack, making it, by far, one of the best RPGs to play on any Nintendo system ever released.

3. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

I’ve told this story before and I won’t ever get tired of writing about it; but it was 10 years ago when I got a Nintendo DS Lite from one of my favorite aunts and it was a few months later when I got a copy of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story in my hands. Up until that point I had only experienced Mario Party and Mario Kart, not bad for an extremely amateur gamer, but it was until I started and finished Bowser’s Inside Story that I finally realized not just how good, funny, and entertaining a videogame could be, but also how much I enjoyed every second of gameplay I went through in that summer 2011. I’d pay anything to live once again my first playthrough and feel the joy that I feel when reading those funny dialogues, watch those funny sprites and animations, and experience one more time for the first time the epicness of that final battle’s music theme. If you’ve got either an original Nintendo DS or a Nintendo 3DS, I would highly recommend you play either the OG or the 2019 remake. I had the time of my life playing my first RPG.

2. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Some Paper Mario fans are well-known for being quite… Protective of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door; is it unjustified? Of course, it isn't. The Thousand-Year Door is constantly recognized not just by fans of the series but by gamers in general as the best game in any Mario RPG filled with action, creativity, an amazing soundtrack, a unique connected map, and some of the most distinctive characters of the Super Mario universe. There has been quite a passion throughout the last few years to bring back not just the RPG concept that this particular game brought to the table, but also the game itself with the game trending a couple of times a year with lots of fans asking for a remake. I won't fully give my opinion on this game since it could get quite controversial, but no one can deny how good a story and gameplay-wise this Super Mario entry is.

1. Earthbound (Mother 2)

There are not a lot of people in this world with the same passion that Shigesato Itoi had when he, along with his team in which Satoru Iwata played a big role, was making the three games from the Mother trilogy. Although the three are some of the biggest gems in the RPG video game industry, Mother 2, known in the west as Earthbound, certainly has had the biggest impact of them all. Mother 2 brought us the story of 4 kids who went on an adventure throughout the world to fight against the biggest evil known as Giygas. Thanks to my oversimplification, the plot may not sound as interesting as I want it to seem, but trust me, the mix of characters along with the ost, the maps, the enemies, the friendship… There aren't enough words that would make justice to Earthbound as straight going to play it. While it's available to buy in the virtual consoles of the New Nintendo 3DS and the WiiU (for those who still got theirs), I think it'll be just a matter of time until it gets added to the Nintendo Switch Online SNES catalog. You better hurry up Nintendo!

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Communications student in the past, seeker of adventures nowadays; videogames lover ever since I touched my first console. Science fiction enthusiastic, both as a writer and spectator.
Gamer Since: 2011
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (HD Remaster)
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, LISA,

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