The 19 Biggest Nintendo Switch Exclusives Confirmed For 2018: Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Tennis Aces
By Jordan Ramée on
In 2017, Nintendo soared back into the limelight with the Switch--the fastest selling console in US history. Incredible exclusives like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey proved Nintendo still remembered the strengths of its franchises and the importance of taking risks. For an overview of all the Switch games we reviewed last year, head over to our Switch review page.
Already, Nintendo is using 2018 to build upon the company's successes and produce more fantastic-looking follow-ups to fan-favorite franchises, like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Kirby Star Allies. A number of new IPs, like Octopath Traveler, round out Switch's library of exclusives for 2018 library. You won't find these titles anywhere else.
There are plenty of exciting exclusives for Switch this year. Below is a full list of the biggest ones, and for more information on each game, click through to the slides ahead to find out what each game is and its release date.
Nintendo Switch Console Exclusive Games In 2018
- Nintendo Labo
- Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2
- Octopath Traveler
- Light Fingers
- Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
- Monster Hunter Ultimate Generations
- Kirby Star Allies
- Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu! / Let's Go Eevee!
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Pokemon Quest
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
- Code of Princess
- Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
- Super Mario Party
- Dragon Marked for Death
- The World Ends With You - Final Remix
- Mario Tennis Aces
We've compiled every one we know of so far here, and will continue to update this gallery with new games as they get announced. Be sure to check back often as we update this gallery with more exclusives. And if you're curious about other platforms, you can check out our features on PS4 exclusives, Xbox One exclusives, and PC exclusives. In the meantime, which exclusives are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.
Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2
When Nintendo revealed Bayonetta 3 at The Game Awards, the company also confirmed a popular rumor: Bayonetta 2 and the original Bayonetta were on their way to Switch. The sequel headlines the physical packaging of the game, but every copy of Bayonetta 2 includes a download code for the original.
We gave the original Bayonetta an 8/10. Check out our Bayonetta review.
We loved the follow-up even more, giving it a perfect 10/10. Check out our Bayonetta 2 review.
Developer: PlatinumGames | Release Date: February 16
Kirby Star Allies
Kirby made his debut on Switch in Kirby Star Allies. This title provides a multiplayer twist on traditional Kirby action, allowing four players to party up and tackle platforming stages and boss battles together. Like Kirby, his allies use powers absorbed from lesser enemies.
We gave the game an 8/10. Check out our Kirby Star Allies review.
Developer: HAL Laboratory | Release Date: March 16
Nintendo Labo is a series of kits that include cardboard cut-outs and other materials that are assembled in combination with the Switch and its Joy-Cons to be played with special game software and vice versa. The series' first two kits--the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit--released in April.
We gave the Nintendo Labo and its first two kits a 7/10. Check out our Nintendo Labo review.
Developer: Nintendo | Release Date: April 20
Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
Continuing the tradition of updated Wii U games that get Switch ports like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokken Tournament DX, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze launched on Switch in May. The game adds a new playable character, Funky Kong, who introduces his own unique twist on the original's platforming gameplay.
We gave the game a 9/10. Read our Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze review.
Developer: Retro Studios, Monster Games | Release Date: May 4
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
The revamped version of Hyrule Warriors comes to Switch with all of the maps, missions, characters, and DLC from both the original Wii U release and the expanded 3DS version. Even Yuga and Ravio from A Link Between Worlds joined this Dynasty Warriors-style game. Both Link and Zelda get new Breath of the Wild-themed costumes as well.
We gave the game an 8/10. Check out our Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition review.
Developer: Omega Force | Release Date: May 18
The Bit.Trip games from developer Choice Provisions rank among some of the best throwback experiences of the past decade. Nintendo Switch owners have exclusive access to the series' newest game, Runner3, which continues the tradition of linking rhythmic timing and platforming, while also promising plenty of new tricks to stump returning players.
We gave the game a 7/10. Read our Runner3 review.
Developer: Choice Provisions | Release Date: May 22
The original 151 Pokedex returns in Pokemon Quest, a free-to-play spin-off to Nintendo's popular pocket monster franchise. The game differentiates itself with its blocky art-style. Gameplay for Quest is separated into four parts: catching Pokemon, training your team, managing your base camp, and adventuring into the unknown in story missions.
Developer: Game Freak | Release Date: May 30
Mario Tennis Aces
Mario Tennis Aces from developer Camelot--the team behind the GBA game Golden Sun as well as numerous other Mario sports titles--launched on Switch this past spring. Mario's newest run at tennis includes a challenging story, three tournaments, and new special abilities.
Our review of the game is still in progress, but we're currently giving it an 8/10. Check out our Mario Tennis Aces review.
Developer: Camelot | Release Date: June 22
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
The incredibly adorable puzzler, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is finally on Switch. It includes an added Super Mario Odyssey-themed level modeled after that game's New Donk City location. You can also play with a friend--each using one joy-con--where one controls Toad and the other can shoot turnips to attack enemies.
We gave the game an 8/10. Check out our Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker review.
Developer: Nintendo | Release Date: July 13
Square Enix and developer Acquire's Octopath Traveler is a retro RPG that mixes 2D and 3D graphics in an effort to bridge the gap between 16-bit and HD. They game encompasses eight different main characters who each have their own personal story.
We gave the game an 8/10. Check out our Octopath Traveler review.
Developer: Square Enix, Acquire | Release Date: July 13
Code Of Princess EX
Originally for 3DS, Code of Princess is coming to Nintendo Switch in July. This hack and slash game features a few RPG elements you can explore with its cast of over 50 playable characters. There are two multiplayer modes as well: co-op missions and a Versus mode.
Back in 2012, we gave the 3DS version of the game a 7/10. Read our Code of Princess review.
Developer: Studio Saizensen | Release Date: July 31
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
Monster Hunter Generations new HD port is already available on Switch in Japan, and it comes to the rest of the world later this year. With no sign of Monster Hunter: World coming to Switch, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate will have to satisfy your need for a new hunting experience on the go.
We gave the original game a 7/10. Read our Monster Hunter Generations review.
Developer: Capcom | Release Date: August 28
Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party marks the 11th time Mario and his friends have gotten together to beat each other up, steal from one another, and willingly participate in a diverse assortment of tiny death traps. Or as they like to call it: a party. Like the Mario Party titles that released for Wii and Wii U, Super Mario Party will feature mini games and challenges that utilize both traditional button controls and motion controls.
Developer: Nd Cube | Release Date: October 5
Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! / Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee!
Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! are the first Pokemon RPGs to come to Switch. The two titles take gameplay inspiration from Pokemon Yellow and Pokemon GO. Choose whether you want to be followed by an adorable Pikachu or lovable Eevee and then start your quest to catch 'em all!
Developer: Game Freak | Release Date: November 16
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. is finally coming to Nintendo Switch, and you won't have to wait all that long for it: it's coming this holiday season. Every fighter from every previous Smash Bros. game is coming to duke it out in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and a few newcomers like Daisy, Ridley, and Inkling are joining them.
Developer: Nintendo | Release Date: December 7
Light Fingers is a turn-based multiplayer board game where your goal is to gather loot and progress across the board, all while your opponents play cards and manipulate mechanical obstacles in an effort to trip you up. The game is coming to Switch sometime this year.
Developer: Numizmatic | Release Date: TBA 2018
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
The third game in the No More Heroes series from infamous developer, Goichi "SUDA 51" Suda, is scheduled to land on Switch later this year. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is a revenge tale against frontman Travis, who finds himself confronted by Badman, father of Travis' first assassination target, Bad Girl. Before they get into a scuffle, both characters are drawn into a video game system. From within, they will have to confront a handful of fictional video games, supposedly inspired by real-world hits like Hotline Miami.
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture | Release Date: TBA 2018
Dragon Marked For Death
The latest game from the team behind Mega Man Zero, Mega Man 9, Mega Man 10, and Azure Striker Gunvolt is coming exclusively to Switch this year. Dragon Marked for Death looks like another action-packed 2D side-scroller with intricate sprites, but Inti Creates is experimenting by adding in four-player local co-op and progression systems that give the game an action-RPG feel.
Developer: Inti Creates | Release Date: TBA 2018
The World Ends With You - Final Remix
The hi-res version of Square Enix's The World Ends with You is coming to Switch, along with a "sizable" new story scenario. This anime-inspired game is set in modern day Tokyo and created by the same team behind Kingdom Hearts III. The Final Remix version was announced during January's Nintendo Direct Mini, and is due sometime this year.
When we reviewed the original game on DS, we gave it a 9/10. Read our The World Ends with You review.
Developer: Square Enix | Release Date: TBA 2018