Baldur’s Gate 3 has taken the video game industry by storm over the last week, even though it’s only available on PC. While it will launch for PlayStation 5 on September 6 and is likely to get an Xbox launch eventually, there’s one platform that it doesn’t look like Baldur’s Gate 3 will come to: the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s hybrid system is a great home to many more traditional RPGs, but even compared to Xbox, the choices for solid CRPGs like Baldur’s Gate 3 are slim on Nintendo Switch.
Still, they aren’t nonexistent, so if you don’t own any other platform that will eventually be able to play Baldur’s Gate 3, you do have some options. In particular, the following six games (and one that’s coming out soon) are clearly inspired by tabletop and classic CRPGs, and players looking for a Nintendo Switch experience similar to Baldur’s Gate 3 should them try out.
While Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t on Nintendo Switch, its predecessors are. There are actually six remastered Dungeons & Dragons CRPGs on Switch, but I obviously had to shout out the original two Baldur’s Gate games. These titles, which were originally developed by BioWare and remastered by Beamdog, set the standards that most Western-developed RPGs have followed in the decades since. The first Baldur’s Gate proved that video games could have deeper stories with more complex characters than were typically seen and have gameplay that was more open-ended and reactive to players in its design.
Its sequel, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn is considered to be even better by some as it builds upon the very solid foundation that its predecessor established. While somewhat dated compared to some slicker modern RPGs, both of these games still hold up and are worth playing if you want to see the birthplace of many foundational RPG ideas. Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions can be bought for $50 on Nintendo Switch, and it includes both game and all of their DLC (plus some new content), along with the visually improved remaster treatment you’d expect. Instead of playing Baldur’s Gate 3, you can appreciate these classics on Nintendo Switch.
Larian Studios’ last game, Divinity: Original Sin 2, is available on Nintendo Switch. It feels similar to Baldur’s Gate 3 in a lot of ways, namely in how reactive the world within the game is to the player’s actions, its deep character customization system, and enjoyable multiplayer support. It takes place in Larian’s original fantasy world of Rivellon, where players must deal with creatures invading from The Void. While Divinity: Original Sin II is an excellent game on its own, it feels like Larian’s proof of concept for Baldur’s Gate 3 in a lot of ways as well.
As such, it’s one of the best CRPG choices for Switch players that don’t have access to Baldur’s Gate 3. Currently retailing for $50, the Definitive Edition available on Switch contains all DLC released for the game as well, making it a very comprehensive purchase. It even features cross-saves, so if you ever pick up Divinity: Original Sin 2 on another gaming platform, you can easily carry your progress over to that version of the game.
Pillars of Eternity is a solid RPG that’s available on Game Pass, but you can get it on Nintendo Switch too. This CRPG from Obsidian Entertainment serves as a midpoint of sorts between the original two Baldur’s Gate games and Baldur’s Gate 3, as Pillars of Eternity’s successful Kickstarter campaign and critical acclaim at release helped repopularize the genre. It’s still a very enjoyable CRPG in its own right, featuring a compelling fantasy narrative about figuring out why people are now being born without souls, the source of this world’s magic.
Larian Studios and Obsidian Entertainment are two of the studios we owe the most for keeping the CRPG genre alive, so it’s not a bad choice to play games from either developer. While the first Pillars of Eternity is on Nintendo Switch, its sequel Deadfire isn’t because its port was canceled. Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition usually costs $50 on Switch, but it’s discounted to just $12.50 until August 24. Be aware that it’s a 29 GB download, though, so you’ll probably need to expand your Switch’s memory before buying this game.
If you’re looking for a game that matches the strong writing and narrative of Baldur’s Gate 3, then you’ll adore Disco Elysium. It’s an isometric RPG that follows a hard-boiled detective who wakes up with such a bad hangover they can’t remember who they are. Over the course of the game, players slowly unravel a mystery surrounding a murder in the city of Revachol.
Disco Elysium doesn’t feature any combat, but it doesn’t need to. This is one of the most engaging and well-written games in recent memory and it finds ways to craft just tons of tension and stress through pure dialogue and skill checks. It’s already inspiring other indies too, so it’s a must-play for RPG fans. Disco Elysium – The Final Cut — which includes full voicework for all characters, new quests, and more — is available now on Switch for $40.
Pathfinder is a popular tabletop alternative to Dungeons & Dragons, and it has some video games of its own. The latest is Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, which is based on the tabletop Pathfinder campaign of the same name, and you can play it on Nintendo Switch. The biggest downside to playing Pathfinder: Wrather of the Righteous on Nintendo Switch is that it is a “Cloud Version” of the game.
That means the game is not running natively on your Nintendo Switch console and that you need a consistent and stable connection to fully enjoy the game. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous – Cloud Version costs $40 on the Switch eShop, although there is a free trial for the game if you want to test your connection out before buying the game.
I’m listing this one last because it’s not out quite yet. Gloomhaven launches for Nintendo Switch on September 18. It’s yet another tabletop game getting a digital version on Nintendo Switch. Gloomhaven is a difficult turn-based tactics game where players control a band of mercenaries exploring the titular land. It’s a highly customizable RPG experience with multiplayer that does a fantastic job at adapting that classic feeling one gets while playing a tabletop game with friends into a video game experience.
When it hits consoles, Gloomhaven will feature crossplay too, so you shouldn’t have much trouble organizing games with friends. While you will have to wait a bit longer before you can play Gloomhaven on Switch, it’s still coming to Nintendo’s system, unlike Baldur’s Gate 3. Gloomhaven launches for Switch on September 18 and is available to preorder at a slightly discounted $36 price tag.