Even with fans still buzzing from the reveal of the next Nintendo console, the Switch, it’s time to start talking about what truly matters. Again and again the industry has proven that gamers care about games, and every piece of hardware lives and dies on the strengths of its software.
After dismal third-party support on the Wii U and only a handful of fan favorites gracing the console, all eyes are on what the Nintendo Switch can bring to the table. Even with only a three-minute trailer and a single press release to go off however, the future is already looking bright.
Confirmed Games (as of Switch’s reveal)
The Legend of Zelda- Breath of the Wild
Easily the single most anticipated game of the bunch, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will likely be the first game any fan picks up. Nintendo devoted nearly its entire E3 presence this past summer to the next Zelda, showing off the game’s open world, free-form exploration, new RPG mechanics, and even Link’s new-found ability to jump. The game leads off the Switch reveal trailer for very good reason. With a stunningly beautiful, pastel art-style, and open-ended gameplay, Breath of the Wild is fresh and exciting, all without loosing that inherent Zelda charm.
Skyrim- Special Edition
In what might have been the most exciting part of the reveal trailer, we see a gamer playing Skyrim as a mobile game. At first glance this might not seem important. After all, Skyrim is an old game. And by the time the Switch launches, even the Skyrim remaster will have already been out for months on other consoles. But the fact that the Nintendo’s latest has the power to run a massive, gorgeous, open-world game, and makes it portable, is more than enough to be enthusiastic about.
Strangely enough though, this does come with a caveat. While Bethesda has confirmed a partnership with Nintendo, they have also not actually confirmed that Skyrim is coming to the console. In a statement to the press, the publisher says, “While we are not confirming any specific titles at this time… We look forward to revealing specific games and details in the future.” If Skyrim is coming to the Switch, Bethesda’s hesitance seems rather strange. While on the other hand, if it’s not in development, it’s hard to imagine Nintendo would have ever shown it in the first place.
Mario Kart Switch
Next up, the trailer reveals what looks to be a new Mario Kart game. Though it’s possible the title is a port of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8, the two items displayed for each player suggests it’s at least a new version of the game, if not a new title all together. Most impressively, the trailer showcases splitsceen mobile play. While the size of the screen will likely inhibit such features, unless you’re willing to get nice and close with your gaming partner, the mere promise is more than enough for now.
Take-Two Interactive, parent company of 2K Sports, 2K Games, and Rockstar, has made no secret of their support for Nintendo as a company. Earlier this year, CEO Strauss Zelnick explained how he and his team are “enthusiastic” about Nintendo, despite the Wii U’s troubles, saying, “We’re believers.”
And simply put, there is no better way to show that faith than to bring NBA 2K17 to the Switch, as seen in the reveal trailer. Similar to the case with Bethesda and Skyrim, however, 2K Sports has yet to actually confirm the game is in development for the console. “While we are not confirming any specific titles at this time, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Nintendo and support of Nintendo Switch,” the developer echoed in a statement of their own. If the game does end up releasing, 2K17 will have already been out for quite a while when the Switch roles around. But easy-to-set-up, local, head-to-head multiplayer on a mobile device for AAA sports games has the potential to offer something completely new to gamers, providing a shockingly strong reason to consider the new console.
New 3D Mario
But of course, what would a Nintendo console be without a proper Mario game? 3D Mario returns, but, as one of our editors points out, it doesn’t look to be the same four-player chaos as we found in Super Mario 3D World. The camera is back behind everyone’s favorite plumber in what looks to be a game just as bright and colorful as fans would hope. Though, don’t fear, when the player in the trailer goes over to her neighbor’s, there is the insinuation that the game can still support multiplayer, even if it’s not specifically shown. Meanwhile, though it’s hard to tell just from the limited footage, it also appears the game is much more open than previous titles.
A surprise hit from the Wii U, it’s little wonder that Splatoon is making the jump to the Switch. Like Mario Kart, it could be a port, but subtle differences suggest otherwise. In this case, the inklings are sporting hairstyles not found in the original game. On top of that, it’s hard to miss the massive emphasis on eSports that Nintendo is putting forward. With the lessons learned from the first Splatoon, there is every chance that the follow could make quite the game, and be well worth its spot as the last of the six games shown off in the Switch reveal.
Just Dance 2017
Beyond the six games above, we have a few more than have already been confirmed for the new console, even if they didn’t make the marketing reveal. Set to release later this month, Just Dance 2017 falls in the same realm as the other AAA games discussed so far, in the fact that it will release before the console. It’s actually coming to every single current-gen and lest-gen platform, but it will be interesting to discover how the title functions as a mobile game. Does this mean the Switch controller pieces will have motion control capabilities? We’ll just have to wait to find out.
Project Sonic 2017
Announced back over the summer, Project Sonic 2017 is the placeholder name given to the new 3D Sonic game in the works from the folks at Sega. Though we still know relatively little about the game, we know it will come to PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch. From the team behind Sonic Color and Sonic Generations, Sega promises the new title will be a “brand new experience.” The trailer reveals the story will likely revolve around older and newer versions of Sonic teaming up.
Dragon Quest X and XI
We’ve known for quite a while now that Square Enix will be backing the Switch. Two titles in particular, Dragon Quest X and XI will be making their way to the console. An MMO, Dragon Quest X originally launched back in 2012 on the Wii, but has since been ported to PC, Wii U, and even mobile platforms Android and 3DS. Alongside the Switch version, there is also a PS4 version in the works. When it comes to Dragon Quest XI however, the game once more returns to its single-player roots. Not due out until sometime in 2017, it is one of the few third-party titles on this list that won’t appear on other platforms first.
RISE- Race the Future
And finally, there are two lesser-known games that have already stated their intention to release on the Switch. First is RISE: Race the Future, what looks to be a stylish racer from developer VD-Dev. Previously the team worked on the third-person shooter Ironfall Invasion for 3DS. We still know very little about the game, beyond that it is due out in the end of this year.
Before the reveal of the Switch, Riverside was primarily responsible for the rumors that the console might encompass VR. Coming to both the Switch and the Oculus Rift, Riverside is a first-person puzzle exploration game in which the world itself looks, and can actually be, hand drawn. Changing the texture of the world lets you affect certain aspects of it, and you can actually import drawings into the game. We still aren’t sure how the VR aspects will work with the Switch.
Games We Want
The first game on plenty of gamers’ wish lists is certainly none other than Metroid. The last well-received Metroid game was all the way back in 2007 with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. After 2010’s less-than satisfying Metroid: Other M, fans had to wait six years for the next title, and it ended up being the four-player 3DS Federation Force. Metroid deserves a triumphant return. Whether as a stunning first-person shooter like the Prime games, or a more classic 2D title, it would be a guaranteed way to fire up some of Nintendo’s most hardcore fans, while appealing to gamers that might not tune in for the company’s usually more family friendly offerings.
Speaking of those family friendly titles though, few games can bring a large group together quite like Mario Party. Add in the fact that every Switch can break apart into controllers for two players, on top of the local multiplayer features, and you have a recipe for party game like none other. 2015’s Mario Party 10 was a solid game, but it didn’t really blow anyone away. A new console is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the series and reinvent it with a fresh energy going forward, placing special emphasis on that mobile functionality.
Pokemon Sun and Moon
With the Switch, Nintendo is bringing together its handheld and home console libraries into an incredible pool of franchises to pull from. The main titles in the Pokemon series have always been on handhelds. Going forward however, developer Game Freak has already confirmed Pokemon titles will appear on the Switch, without giving any type of timeline. This could mean any number of things, including no Pokemon games on the console until the next generation.
Before then, Nintendo should get Pokemon Sun and Moon on the console. Gamers that have missed out on Pokemon titles for years due to not wanting a handheld would finally be able to jump in without any more delay.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
In a similar vein, you also have the Monster Hunter series. While the franchise has thrived on handheld, it’s hard to deny just how much better the huge monster fights are on your big screen TV. This year’s Monster Hunter Generations on the 3DS was a great game, but a few features sadly didn’t make the jump from the previous title. Things like the inability to go to other villages while online and the removal of Guild Rank Quests are small considerations, but are noticeable absences in an otherwise fantastic package. An Ultimate version of the game would allow some of these features to perhaps make the cut, while the game itself is beefed up to take advantage of the Switch’s more impressive hardware.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Revealed on the same day, you’ll have to excuse us for not being able to help ourselves. Few things would place a notch in the Switch’s third-party belt like the next game from Rockstar. Skyrim, if it does in fact come to the console, already proves that the Switch can handled large, high fidelity, open-world games. But long before Red Dead Redemption 2 even comes out, just word that the game will be on the Switch would go a long way to convincing gamers of the console’s strengths.
While Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t be out until fall of next year, Injustice 2 actually lines up with the Switch’s timetable. Both coming March 2017, Injustice 2 would make a perfect launch tile for Nintendo’s console. Appealing to a more mature audience, and taking advantage of the handheld and local multiplayer functionality, it’s a natural fit. Just like Take-Two and Ubisoft, WB has also come out at a partner for the new console, meaning, not only would it be awesome for gamers, it’s actually very possible.
And finally: the reason that we all love Nintendo. As exciting as each of these games would be, they are nothing compared to the surprise twist Nintendo so often seems to be able to hide up its sleeve. Even on the Wii U, Bayonetta 2 was announced as an exclusive title out of nowhere and went on to be one of the console’s highest reviewed games. And just like that, we now have Bayonetta fighting it out beside Nintendo royalty in Super Smash Bros. That kind of out-of-the-box, surprisingly successful, zaniness is what makes Nintendo special. The Switch is already a handheld and a home console. What’s next?
These are just the games we want to see most. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below.