The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular consoles Nintendo has ever produced, with a wide variety of games to choose from and plenty of unique features. We’ve already gotten to play new entries across the Zelda, Super Mario, and Pokémon series on Nintendo Switch, but there are still plenty of great games on the way for the hybrid console. This includes exclusive games developed internally by Nintendo as well as third-party titles and ports also available on other platforms.
Thanks to a recent Nintendo Direct, we now know of a slew of games coming to the system in 2021 and beyond. And on top of that, there’s still a lot more time for more announcements to be made, so we may get even more games throughout the year. However you slice it, it’s an exciting time to be a Nintendo fan.
With that in mind, there are still lots of games to look forward to on the platform. These are the best upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2021 and beyond.
Monster Hunter Rise — March 26, 2021
Ever since the release of Monster Hunter: World, fans have been starving for a dedicated entry for Nintendo Switch. That’s where Monster Hunter Rise comes in, a new game built from the ground up with Switch in mind. It will feature similar aesthetics as Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate, but with many of the quality of life improvements introduced in World, like the ability to move from area to area seamlessly, with no load screens.
Rise will include all of the beloved weapons from past entries, but will also add new features like the Wyvern Riding mechanic and new locales. It’s shaping up to be a robust entry in the series that mixes the classic formula with modern improvements.
New Pokémon Snap — April 30, 2021
It’s crazy to think that it’s been over 20 years since the release of the original Pokémon Snap. Some argue we should have gotten a sequel by now, though we think getting a follow-up at all is better late than never.
In New Pokémon Snap, players will explore unknown islands while filling out the Photodex by snapping pictures of wild Pokémon. This game continues to be a mystery to us, and the release date is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, we eagerly anticipate its debut because what little we have seen via screenshot teasers reveals astounding graphics that relate to an epic adventure.
Maneater — May 25, 2021
After being available on other platforms, Tripwire’s Maneater will launch on Nintendo Switch on May 25, 2021. It’s a game that allows you to play as a shark, and its developer has coined the term SharkPG (a pun on RPG) to describe it. While Maneater is about exploring the ocean depths as well as the shorelines, you’ll also be leveling up your skills to be even deadlier.
But aside from that, this game also features a surprisingly deep story — one that we didn’t expect to be as nuanced as it was. There isn’t really another game out there like this, so even if it didn’t get the best reviews, it gets points for being unique. On console it had some performance issues when it launched, but those have been mostly ironed out, so we’re hoping the Switch version is on par with its contemporaries.
Cris Tales — Spring 2021
Cris Tales is inspired by classic 2D JRPGs, but with an added twist. On screen at all times are three different time periods: Past, present, and future. Players can traverse to each timeline to impact one another — making for some of the smartest puzzles and combat we’ve seen in a while. It also features incredibly gorgeous art that is hard not to love. We got to preview this game at E3 2019 behind closed doors and it’s shaping up to be one of the Nintendo Switch’s sleeper hits.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
The Ninja Gaiden series has been dormant for quite some time now, but it seems Koei Tecmo is testing the waters by releasing Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection. This compilation will include Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge as well as all the previously released DLC.
These games are notoriously difficult, throwing tough enemies at you along with wildly difficult bosses. As with many collections like this one, it’s possible we’ll see some sort of Ninja Gaiden follow-up if it sells well enough. The Master Collection will also launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on the same day, but we’re most excited for the Switch version since it’ll be playable on the go.
Mario Golf: Super Rush — June 25, 2021
Mario Golf is back! Serving as the first home console entry in the series since 2003, Mario Golf: Super Rush will give us a large-scale experience with lots of beloved characters to play as. During its announcement, we got to see some of its large-scale courses, details about its Story Mode, and even a look at the motion controls — allowing you to swing your Joy-Con controller just like you would a real golf club. It’ll feature solo, local multiplayer, and online functionality, so this is not one to skip out on when it launches this year.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin — July 9, 2021
In addition to a mainline Monster Hunter game, we’re also getting Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. This will serve as a follow-up to the first Stories game, which launched for Nintendo 3DS in 2016. Unlike the main series, Stories is much more laid back, featuring turn-based RPG mechanics rather than real-time combat. It almost plays like a Pokémon game, wherein you befriend various monsters, hatch them and develop a relationship with the creatures.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 will take place in a new world, but will feature the same mechanics from the first game. Interestingly, it will also have some sort of compatibility with Monster Hunter Rise, though it’s unclear how that will unfold.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD — July 16, 2021
The Nintendo community was expecting to see this game again at some point, and while there was some disappointment about not getting other Zelda rereleases, it’s nice that Skyward Sword is getting another chance. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword first came to the Wii in 2011 and required the use of motion controls — a feature that was highly controversial when it was released. Now, with the HD rerelease on Switch, players will be able to use a more traditional control scheme to enjoy the game — along with the motion controls from the original.
No More Heroes III — August 27, 2021
No More Heroes III has been in the cooker for quite some time now, but it finally has a summer 2021 release date. In this sequel, players take on the role of Travis Touchdown once again, tasked with fending off an alien invasion. You should expect that beloved hack ‘n’ slash gameplay to make its return, along with some insane gameplay segments, just like the other games in the series. As you might expect, No More Heroes III will focus on stylized action, but will focus on its narrative, too.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl — Late 2021
As announced during a recent presentation celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary, the Pokémon Company announced Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which will function as remakes of the original Diamond and Pearl games. These games first launched for the Nintendo DS in 2006, and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have been completely rebuilt from the ground up for Switch.
You’ll notice it has a chibi art style similar to that of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019), along with updated features that make it more playable in a modern setting. Interestingly, these remakes aren’t actually being developed by Game Freak but rather by ILCA, the team that brought us Pokémon Home. However, fans can rest easy knowing Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are being directed by Junichi Masuda, who worked on the DS originals. These remakes are slated to launch in late 2021.
Axiom Verge 2 — 2021
The sequel to one of the most celebrated Metroidvania games of all time, little is known about Axiom Verge 2 at the moment, and that mystery is oddly appropriate considering the game’s focus on exploration and discovery. Once again developed by Thomas Happ, the sequel — or possibly prequel — features a completely new story and powers, making it a good choice for those who have played the original as well as those who haven’t. You’ll be able to make use of hacking and drones during your adventure, and you’ll find a remarkable amount of variety in the terrain. We plan on going in as blind as possible.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus — Early 2022
While ILCA is working on the Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes, Game Freak is cooking up something special with Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This will be an open-world action RPG, a first for the series, and it will take place before the events of Diamond and Pearl in the Sinnoh region. Fans have been asking for an open-world Pokémon action RPG for what feels like decades now, and Game Freak seems to be delivering on that wish.
It will still follow a similar structure to the turn-based games but will have real-time combat. You’ll be able to explore the open world and freely catch Pokémon that roam throughout it. At this time, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this game, but it’s shaping up to be something really different for the series. It’s currently scheduled to release in early 2022.
Project Triangle Strategy — 2022
Project Triangle Strategy (title in progress) is a brand-new tactics game created by Square Enix. This game serves as a follow-up of sorts to Octopath Traveler. Eccentric and crazy names aside, the Square Enix community and its fans seem ecstatic about this game, as it’s the first tactics game the company has developed in a long time. Once you’re inside, you’ll quickly notice the beautiful art style you know and love. Rather than turn-based combat, you’ll witness a grid-based tactics battle system, including riveting storytelling. The best part is that you can get the free demo on the eShop today if you want. The bad news is we all have to wait until 2022 to play the real deal. We’re crying too.
Splatoon 3 — 2022
Although the release isn’t expected for quite some time, Nintendo gave us a sneak peek at Splatoon 3, set to launch at some point during 2022. During the last Nintendo Direct, we got the chance to see a new locale referred to as Splatlands, a desert populated by Inklings. Even though there wasn’t much unveiled with the Splatoon 3 preview, we know that it will still have 4v4 Turf War online battles and new equipment to unlock. All that aside, we have a bunch of unanswered questions. We’re burning to know the new features and whether the game will present a powerful single-player mode.
Sports Story — TBA
Golf Story was far more than a golf game on Nintendo Switch — it was a full-scale role-playing game filled with charming characters, all wrapped up in a golf shell that could still be enjoyed by those who don’t care about sports in the slightest. Developer Sidebar Games is taking this concept even further in Sports Story, which blends sports with role-playing mechanics again and adds plenty of new sports. These include tennis and you’ll study at a tennis academy, just like in the Game Boy Color classic Mario Tennis. You will even get the chance to compete in a “Decasportathon” to show just how up to the challenge you truly are. Although this game was slated for mid-2020, a Nintendo Direct indicated that it had been delayed.
Bayonetta 3 — TBA
Bayonetta 2 likely only released because Nintendo stepped in and agreed to publish the game as a Wii U exclusive, and PlatinumGames’ Bayonetta 3 will also release as a Nintendo exclusive. The game is coming to Switch … eventually, but PlatinumGames and Nintendo have offered little information over the last few years regarding its release date, story, or content. We do know the titular hero will return, as we saw in a teaser trailer, and we can expect plenty of high-octane action and goofy fan service along the way. Given how incredible the first two games are, we’re willing to let PlatinumGames take as long as it needs.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel — TBA
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been heralded as the best game of the generation and possibly the best video game of all time. It comes as no surprise that Nintendo wanted to create a direct sequel to it, though just what form that will take remains unclear. A teaser trailer released at E3 2019 suggests that Zelda could be playable along with Link, and the world seems to be suffering from another calamity despite the destruction of Ganon. We don’t expect the game to release for a few years, but we are very excited to get our hands on it when it finally does.
Hollow Knight: Silksong — TBA
One of 2017’s absolute best games is getting a sequel in Hollow Knight: Silksong, and it’s headed to Nintendo Switch sometime in the future. It will take the stunning visuals, Metroidvania gameplay, and atmosphere of the original Hollow Knight and put you in the shoes (do these creatures wear shoes?) of Hornet, a princess who is tasked with protecting Hallownest. Silksong was announced last year, and we haven’t gotten much of an update on its development, but hopefully, we won’t have to wait much longer. If it’s half as good as the original, we’re all in for a treat.
Metroid Prime 4 — TBA
Since we’re on the topic of games we know nothing about, word about Metroid Prime 4 released several years ago at an E3 Nintendo Direct presentation, but we haven’t heard anything from Nintendo since. Supposedly, the game was still in the developing process at Bandai Namco. Still, the game was not advancing as quickly as Nintendo expected, and it was thus scrapped and restarted with Metroid Prime trilogy creator Retro Studios taking the wheel. We don’t know if the game will launch in the next few years, but we do know one thing: Metroid fans are great at waiting. Otherwise, they may get stuck with another game like Other M, and no one wants that.