The Nintendo Switch is rapidly approaching its fourth birthday, and its impressive library of games only continues to grow. However, the console’s best days are far from over. In fact, some classic first-party Nintendo titles are set to make an appearance this year. Additionally, many highly-anticipated sequels and intriguing indies are also headed to the platform very soon.
Below is our selection of the best new Nintendo Switch games you need to on the lookout for in the near future.
New Nintendo Switch games:
1. Star Wars: Hunters
Release date: 2021
One of the more surprising announcements at the most recent iteration of Nintendo Direct was Star Wars: Hunters. We don’t know too much about the game yet, but it’s described as a “competitive arena combat game.” It sounds a bit like the perfect combination between Star Wars and Overwatch.
While we’ve only seen a short, 30-second teaser so far, it did show off a heavily-armed stormtrooper, a Wookiee, a bounty hunter, and a red lightsaber-wielding Sith. The animation style is somewhat similar to that of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but we’ll have to wait until release day to learn all of the details.
Star Wars: Hunters will release on the Nintendo Switch sometime this year, and it will also be available on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel
Release date: TBD
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild took the world by storm when it launched alongside the Nintendo Switch in 2017. An atmospheric open-world adventure, this entry in the Legend of Zelda series reimagined and expanded the kingdom of Hyrule. It is now the best-selling Zelda game ever released. Many fans were hoping for a sequel, but few expected one to be announced so soon. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 was unveiled at last year’s E3 with a short teaser.
Little is known about the game yet, save for the fact that it will be a direct continuation of Breath of the Wild. Nevertheless, the sequel promises to be darker not only than its predecessor but than most other Zelda games. Fans are already likening Breath of the Wild 2 to Majora’s Mask based on just the short teaser trailer. There is also speculation that Zelda herself might be a playable character this time around. The teaser also seems to hint at the return of the series’ classic villain, Ganondorf.
But when can we expect The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2? This is another unknown. At this point, it’s most likely it will make its debut sometime in 2021.
3. New Pokémon Snap
Release date: April 30, 2021
The original Pokémon Snap was a simple game with a simple premise: take photos of Pokémon in their natural habitat.
Released on the Nintendo N64, Snap was a surprise hit, selling more than one million copies. Pokémon Snap was relaxing and imaginative, but it also forced players to think outside of the box to score maximum style points with each… snap.
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Now, after more than 20 years, the game is getting its long-awaited sequel. In development by Bandai Namco, New Pokémon Snap promises to keep the spirit of the original game. Players can hop right back in Zero-One and begin their adventure through dense jungles and clear tropical waters.
There are some new things we can glean from the short teaser, however. New Pokémon Snap will have a wider variety of habitats and Pokémon. Every generation seems to be represented, but we don’t think all 809 creatures will be making an appearance.
You’ll have to wait a few more months, but your Lental region journey can finally begin on April 30.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
Release date: July 16, 2021
It may not be Breath of the Wild 2, but at least we know that one Legend of Zelda title is just around the corner. This time, you can plunge into a Switch remake of the classic title, Skyward Sword.
You can battle to save Zelda in a few different ways — connected to your TV, on the tabletop, or in your handset. However, this remaster of Skyward Sword brings you closer to Link than ever before with new sword combat. He will mimic every swing of your Joy-Con, forcing you to be careful and accurate with your strikes.
While we can’t wait for Breath of the Wild 2, it’s always exciting to dive back into a classic title. The game will be available on July 16, 2021, but you can pre-order your copy right now.
5. Cris Tales
Release date: March 31, 2021
Described as a “love letter to classic RPGs,” Cris Tales promises to be one of the most intriguing new Switch games. The visually-stunning indie puts you in the shoes of Crisbell: a Time Mage tasked with rewriting history. Crisbell and the allies she makes along her way have to stop the fierce Time Empress before she brings about a cataclysm that threatens to destroy the kingdom of Crystallis.
Cris Tales is a turn-based RPG with unique gameplay mechanics. Crisbell can see into the future, present, and past simultaneously, allowing you to craft creative battle strategies. You can jump into the past to face weaker versions of your foes, glimpse into the future to see how effective your attacks are, and act accordingly in the present. Your allies have unique abilities too. Together, you can alter the course of history and see its events unfold before your eyes.
If your interest is already piqued, there is some good news! Cris Tales is set to arrive on the Nintendo Switch in March 2021, and pre-orders for the game are already open.
6. Metroid Prime 4
Release date: TBD
Metroid is one of Nintendo’s oldest and most storied franchises, first appearing on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Metroid has since earned legendary status, even inspiring its own co-genre in Metroidvania. The franchise made the jump from 2D to 3D with Metroid Prime on the Gamecube. Two sequels followed, but now fans are eagerly awaiting the fourth installment.
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Unfortunately, we know little to nothing about Metroid Prime 4 yet. Its first teaser, if you can call it that, was shown at E3 2017, but little else has materialized since. What we do know is that the game was being developed by an unknown studio but has since then been scrapped and passed back to Retro Studios — the original developers behind the Prime trilogy.
Due to all the development changes, Metroid Prime 4 isn’t expected to release until later this year or beyond, but as far as new Nintendo Switch games go, it’s still one of the ones we are most excited about.
7. Bayonetta 3
Release date: TBD
If there is a game series that epitomizes the spectacle fighter genre, it would be Bayonetta. The titular shapeshifting witch made her first appearance more than a decade ago, stunning audiences with her demon-summoning hair and unique combat abilities.
Now, she is set to return exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, guns blazing. The game is being developed by PlatinumGames, the studio responsible for the first two installments. Unfortunately, this is pretty much all that we know so far. The first Bayonetta 3 teaser trailer was released three years ago and the studio has stayed silent since.
8. Hollow Knight: Silksong
Release date: TBD
One of the most popular indies of recent years, Hollow Knight, is getting a sequel. Originally planned as a DLC, Hollow Knight: Silksong transformed into a full-fledged game in the development process. The sequel to the smash-hit indie will see players take control of a new character called Hornet. She might resemble the nameless knight in appearance, but she has a different skillset and weapon-crafting abilities.
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The setting is new too. Team Cherry shared that Silksong will be an “inversion on the Hollow Knight theme”: ascending to the top of a new kingdom instead of exploring forgotten depths. On her way up, Hornet will meet plenty of enemies, but also many friendly NPCs. Better yet, they will be able to ask for her help and send her on quests.
Hollow Knight: Silksong does not have an official release date yet, but it will debut on the Nintendo Switch as a console exclusive alongside PC/Mac platforms.
9. Sports Story
Release date: 2021
The name Sports Story is pretty unassuming, so you would be forgiven if it wasn’t on your radar, but it should be! It follows in the footsteps of Golf Story; a charming pixelated RPG littered with fun characters, witty writing, and some bizarre golfing challenges.
The same seems to be true about Sports Story. “A game about sports, but not always,” it promises to take you on adventures through tennis courts, golf courses, but also magical dungeons and goat-infested abandoned buildings.
If you’ve enjoyed bizarre and funny RPGs like Earthbound or Undertale in the past, you’ll want to keep an eye on Sports Story. The game was initially set to be released in mid-2020, but we expect it to come out sometime this year.
New Nintendo Switch games: Honorable mentions
With so many new Nintendo Switch games on the horizon, we’ve put together a list of honorable mentions that were just edged out.
- Eastward — Post-apocalyptic worlds don’t always have to be dark and gritty. Eastward is a charming RPG that invites you into a colorful wasteland, full of puzzles, mystery, and strange characters.
- Axiom Verge 2 — A sequel to the gold standard for Metroidvania indies game. Axiom Verge 2 is set in a new world, but it promises to be just as engaging and challenging as its predecessor.
- Star Wars: Republic Commando — A remake of the Clone Wars classic, Republic Commando brings you back to the world of Delta Squad. Command Fixer, Scorch, and Sev as you make your way through the iconic campaign
- Mineko’s Night Market — A wholesome merchant simulator with an adorable art style, Mineko’s Night Market is a cat-filled adventure that Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing fans are bound to love.
- Overwatch 2 — Blizzard’s hero shooter was an instant hit. We don’t doubt the same will apply to Overwatch 2 when it arrives on the Nintendo Switch.
- Shin Megami Tensei V — The latest entry in this classic JRPG franchise will take you for a wild ride, leaving the fate of the world in your hands.
These are our picks for the best new Nintendo Switch games that are coming soon. We’ll update this list as games are released and new titles are announced.