The Nintendo Switch is an absolute treasure trove of great RPGs. From major franchise releases like Dragon Quest XI S, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Shin Megami Tensei V to fresh new faces like Octopath Traveler, Atelier Ryza, and Harvestella, if you have cash to burn you’ve got plenty of adventures to embark on. But what if your wallet is feeling a little light? Worry not! The RPG edition of our 10 Under $10 series is here with some great Nintendo Switch RPGs you can pick up at a regular price of no higher than ten US bucks. Here we go!
Cthulhu Saves Christmas ($9.99)
Zeboyd Games knows how to make a good RPG, and the developer actually has a pair of good RPGs under a tenspot. This Way Madness Lies is a terrific game as well, but I’ve picked Cthulhu Saves Christmas for this list both because it fits the season I’m writing this in and because it’s a sequel to one of the earlier indie console RPGs I fell in love with. Zeboyd is a developer that really puts a lot of thought into its RPGs, and no rule is too sacred for its games to break if it makes sense. In this game’s case, that manifests in a very peppy battle system and a brisk yet pleasing pace.
Demon’s Rise – Lords of Chaos ($7.99)
Strictly speaking this is a tactical RPG, but its credentials check out. With plenty of options for building your party and developing their abilities, you’ll have a lot to consider before you even head out onto the first map. Once you get there, you’ll find a lot of strategic elements to consider as you take on enemies and pick up loot. This developer has a handful of similar games on the eShop that are also quite affordable, so if you like what you get here you can easily find more of it.
SEGA AGES Phantasy Star ($7.99)
For a game that came out in the 1980s, Phantasy Star really holds up impressively. This gives you what is arguably the best game on the SEGA Master System in what is inarguably its best incarnation yet. M2 has added a bunch of quality of life features like auto-mapping, quick reference guides for items and magic, and more. You can also use the Japanese FM soundtrack with the English version of the game for the first time ever. If you haven’t played this game before, you’ll probably be quite surprised at just how well-made it is. A fantastic classic at a great price.
Saturday Morning RPG ($9.99)
People tend to be love-or-hate on this game, but I’ve played through it several times and I always have a fun time with it. The game is ridiculously steeped in 1980s to early 1990s nostalgia, and I think it doesn’t work as well if that isn’t your era. If you are, however, this is an amusing, zippy RPG with a goofy sense of humor and an enjoyable turn-based battle system. All of the attacks use action commands, similar to the Mario RPGs. Oh, and it has a whole Christmas episode included. How can you go wrong with that?
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf ($9.99)
Based on the popular series of gamebooks, Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf original released on mobile in an episodic format. It was a bit of a rocky ride, but in the end I found myself really enjoying this atmospheric, clever title. It doesn’t adhere strictly to the gamebook format, but it draws enough from it that this feels unlike just about any other RPG you might have played. If you’re a fan of Lone Wolf, it’s an easy recommendation. You don’t need to be a fan to appreciate this dark adventure.
This indie RPG first released on PCs in 2001, and two decades later we finally got the game officially in English. The visuals are a bit… quaint in the modern era, to say the least, but if you’re willing to put up with some rough edges you’ll find a fairly orthodox RPG with a solid battle system and a truly memorable story. I feel like pretty much everyone slept on this one, but trust me when I say it’s worth your time and seven bucks.
There are more than a few monster-catching games inspired by Pokemon on the Nintendo eShop, and I’d actually recommend a handful of them. But most of them are north of ten dollars, so the one I’ll talk about here is Nexomon. It features a world-spanning quest to defeat an evil force, with more than three hundred creatures to capture and add to your team. It’s equally great for those looking to get a lot of RPG bang for their buck and Pokemon fans who miss the old 2D era of the franchise.
A Dark Room ($6.99)
Look, you’re going to have to take my word on this one. I know in the beginning it doesn’t feel like an RPG at all. Let the game cook, as the kids say these days. This game is more enjoyable the less you know about it, so I’m going to zip my lip here and tell you it’s an experience more than worth having.
Ravensword: Shadowlands ($6.99)
In the beautiful days when mobile gaming hadn’t yet been significantly tainted by the lure of free-to-play, a person could count on at least one publisher to deliver a relatively premium experience at a reasonable price. Crescent Moon Games was particularly good at making satisfying RPGs that pushed the hardware of the period and gave mobile players something original to sink their teeth into. Removed from that context, Ravensword: Shadowlands is perhaps a bit less exciting, but it’s still a solid homage to computer RPGs at an extremely competitive price.
Dragon Quest ($4.99)
Let’s round things out with the grand-daddy of all Japanese RPGs as we know them. You can get the first two Dragon Quest games for prices under ten dollars, but I’ll recommend the first one because it’s where you ought to start. It’s also a curiously enjoyable RPG to replay despite it being mostly grinding. There’s just something soothing about it in this game. Five bucks will punch your ticket into this entertaining gaming museum.
And those are my picks. Do you have any other RPGs below ten dollars that you would recommend? Please go ahead and share them in the comments if so. That way we can all find some new games to play, and that’s what this is all about in the end, isn’t it? Thanks for reading!