Back in the SP 2010 days I was told a best practice was to keep workflow size under 500Kb. Performance/reliability would begin to suffer beyond 500Kb. Does that hold true in SP 2016 and Nintex WF 2016 (both on-prem)?
I've seen many example of workflows on this site that clearly exceed 500Kb.
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is correct. In the most technical of terms, there is no "restriction" on workflow size but I can tell you from experience that if you go over .5Mb you will have problems. This is not a Nintex limitation but a SharePoint limitation. The errors will be intermittent and occur on random actions throughout the workflow making it frustratingly difficult to troubleshoot unless you know you are dealing with a size issue.
For additional information on Nintex, SharePoint and Workflow limitations, check out this link: https://community.nintex.com/docs/DOC-1513
Yes, as far as I know, Microsoft has not made any changes to deal with this limitation so you will need to either split your larger workflows or work on simplifying your processes.
By the way, if you question is answered, please mark Roger's as correct as I only elaborated on his remarks.