The Biggest Nintendo Exclusives Of 2019 On Switch & 3DS
There's no shortage of exclusives Nintendo exclusives coming this year across both Switch and 3DS. After this year's E3, the tenured games company is looking to have an exceptional latter end of the year with plenty of promising new exclusives on the horizon--many of which we're already getting! That's right, an exclusive like Super Mario Maker 2 is out now, while the highly-anticipated Fire Emblem: Three Houses is set for late July.
There's also an exciting mix of new games in the docket, which includes ones from established franchises and others that are entirely new. A third Luigi's Mansion is being developed and a remake for The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is coming. On the other hand, Pokemon developer Game Freak is creating a new game tentatively titled Town where players defend a strange village from incoming invaders, and a fast-paced mech-action game called Daemon x Machina is on the way too.
But what would the year be without a few re-releases and ports? Both Switch and 3DS have quite a few, like Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
Nintendo might surprise us with even more exclusives as the year goes on, so be sure to check back often as we update this feature with more games as they're announced. For a more general overview of what's coming to Switch and 3DS this year, check out our feature highlighting Switch game release dates in 2019.
Which Nintendo exclusives are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section below.
Contra: Rogue Corps
The Contra franchise returns this year with Contra: Rogue Corps. It's a third-person, behind-the-shoulder title that also features moments that are presented from a top-down perspective and the side. You can play solo or with friends via online or local multiplayer.
Also revealed was a new Contra Anniversary Collection that bundles together several games from the series' past. It's out now on the eShop.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: September 24, 2019
Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is the latest installment in the crossover sports games starring the '90s two most iconic gaming mascots. This time around you and friends can compete in sports such as surfing, skateboarding, sprinting, climbing, boxing, horse racing, swimming, fencing, soccer, baseball, hurdles, long jump, and more.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: Winter 2019
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
Square Enix's critically acclaimed Dragon Quest XI is heading to Nintendo Switch sometime this year. As the "definitive" version of the game, the port is mostly the same as its PS4 and PC counterparts but includes some bonus extras, such as the option Japanese voice audio, an orchestrated version of the soundtrack, and the ability to switch to a 16-bit interface modeled after the visuals from the SNES era of Dragon Quest. Though, fans should recognize that last feature from the 3DS port of the game that never made it to the West. If you've yet to play DQXI, the upcoming Switch port might be the best way to experience it.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: September 27, 2019
Panzer Dragoon Remake
The cult favorite Sega Saturn game Panzer Dragoon is getting a remake. Based on early footage, it will retain the classic rail-shooting action the original known for, but with a bold new visual upgrade.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: Winter 2019
The new Animal Crossing finally has a name! Titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this latest game will start with players boarding the Nook Inc. charter, which will ferry them to a deserted island where they'll set up a tent and establish their town. As you settle into your new home, you'll do traditional Animal Crossing activities, such as shaking trees and catching fish. You'll also be able to craft tools and furniture using the materials you collect on the island at Tom Nook's workbench.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: March 20, 2020
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If you're eagerly awaiting the release of Bayonetta 3, then know you're not totally left astray. Developer Platinum Games is releasing another action game this year called Astral Chain. Like the studio's previous work, the premise is similarly playful and over-the-top. You play as a police officer a part of a special task force charged fighting against mysterious, alien-like creatures. But you're not without weapons when dealing with this otherworldly threat; you're equipped with a Legion, which is a special techno-organic weapon that assists you both in combat and crime investigations.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: August 30, 2019
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Daemon x Machina
Do you like giant heavily-armed robots? If your answer to that question is a resounding "Yes!" then Daemon x Machina is probably for you. It's the latest game by Kenichiro Tsukuda, the main producer of the PS2-era Armored Core games. Early trailers have showcased a colorful display of over-the-top action complete with heavy machine-gun fire, missile barrages, and beam saber fights. It's not every day that we get a mech-action game, so it's certainly refreshing to see something like Daemon x Machina get made.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: September 13th, 2019
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Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the latest in the long-beloved tactical-RPG series. You will assume the role of Byleth, a former mercenary, and professor at the Church of Seiros' Officer's Academy. While making decisions for yourself, you'll also follow the stories of three students and heirs to three rival nations: the Adrestian Empire, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Leicester Alliance.
As to be expected, Fire Emblem: Three Houses features the series' classic turn-based battles. However, some new additions are thrown in, such as expanded unit control, deeper character progression, and the ability to freely roam a hub area to interact with units and gather intel.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: July 26, 2019
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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The fan-favorite Game Boy adventure The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is getting remade from the ground up on Switch. Nintendo didn't share many details about the remake, but it seems to retain the top-down perspective of classic 2D Zelda games.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: September 20, 2019
Luigi's Mansion 3
Nintendo fans should be pleased that there's Luigi's Mansion 3 on the way. Since the 2001 release of the Gamecube original, the series has managed to garner a cult following throughout the years. The latest game once again stars the easily-frightened plumber who's on an adventure through what looks to be a haunted hotel. Nintendo hasn't discussed too much about the game, but early footage showcases elements from previous games, like ghost-sucking vacuums, spooky corridors, and plenty of wacky ghosts.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: October 31, 2019
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
The Marvel Ultimate Alliance series hasn't seen a new game in about a decade, but with Avengers: Endgame still fresh in the minds of the pop culture zeitgeist, there's probably never going to be a better time to bring it back. Developed by Team Ninja (of Ninja Gaiden, Dead Or Alive, and Nioh fame) exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, this four-player action RPG will let you choose from dozens of Marvel characters and wreak havoc on countless villains and enemy grunts.
If you've played previous games, or anything resembling Diablo, you'll know what to expect from Ultimate Alliance 3. Each character will have up to four flashy special abilities on top of regular and ultimate attacks, and will emphasize synergizing them with your teammates. You'll have a squad of four at all times (AI will substitute for real players when playing solo), and your abilities will be enhanced if all your characters are, for example, Spider-People, women of Marvel, or wise-crackers. But the real joy will be seeing just how much fan service they can stuff into this game.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: July 19, 2019
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Pokemon: Sword and Shield
Pokemon Sword and Shield are the latest games in the tenured monster-collecting RPG series. It signifies the beginning of the eighth generation, which is set in a new region named Galar. Like previous games, you play as a Pokemon trainer on an epic adventure across the region, encountering plenty of wild Pokemon to catch and rival trainers to battle. The two games are being directed by Shigeru Ohmori, a developer known primarily for directing Pokemon Sun and Moon, but also has credits with the series going as far as back as 2002's Pokemon Ruby and Saphire.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: November 15, 2019
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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an upcoming collection that compiles both New Super Mario Bros. U and Super Luigi U, which both released on Wii U in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The games will remain largely the same for the collection, but will include some added features, like the ability to play as Nabbit and Toadette across both games. If you missed these games the first time around, this collection just might be your chance to finally experience the chaotic multiplayer platforming that is the New Super Mario Bros. U games.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: January 11, 2019
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Super Mario Maker 2
Many have clamored for a sequel to the much loved Super Mario Maker on Wii U. Given Nintendo's recent penchant for porting Wii U games onto Switch, it seemed like we'd get the same for Mario level creation tool. But it looks like we're getting a full-on sequel instead. Super Mario Maker 2 will contain many of the tools present in its predecessor and more. One of the big new additions is the ability to create slopes and the inclusion of Super Mario 3D World assets to craft custom levels.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: June 27, 2019
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Town (Working Title of GameFreak game)
Town is the working title of an upcoming RPG by GameFreak, the studio responsible for the massively popular Pokemon franchise. The game is set in a village with a mysterious secret that you must work to uncover. The entire adventure unfolds within this town, which once enjoyed peace and prosperity until monsters suddenly appeared to make a mess of things. To survive, you'll need to battle these invaders while also enlisting the aid of other villagers.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: TBA 2019
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is the latest in the long-running Steamworld franchise. Following in the tradition of the series, Quest is another hybrid of popular games genres. It blends the progression and combat of turn-based JRPGs with tactical card games.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: April 25, 2019
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
If you're a No More Heroes fan, you should keep an eye on Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. The upcoming adventure puts you in control of series protagonist Travis Touchdown. This time he's trapped inside a possessed video game console with Badman--the father of an assassin he previously killed--where he must fight through its various games to survive. Unlike previous games, Travis Strikes Again plays more like an isometric action game packed with several other gameplay types, which include drag races, side-scrolling platforming, and more. It's also worth noting that it's the first game that franchise creator Suda 51 has directed for studio Grasshopper Manufacture since No More Heroes 1. While it's part of the series as a whole, Suda does not consider it a direct sequel to previous games, but rather a fresh jumping-on point for newcomers to experience Travis.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: January 18, 2019
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Yo-Kai Watch 3
After waiting several years, Yo-Kai Watch 3 has finally arrived in the West. With your trusty Yo-Kai, you follow two parallel stories and unravel the mysteries behind strange sightings in BBQ, an over-the-top caricature of Texas.
Yoshi's Crafted World
Revealed during Nintendo's E3 2017 presentation, Yoshi's Crafted World looks as adorable as you'd expect. While it appears to be a rather straightforward 2D side-scroller, it offers a subtle twist to the formula in which levels appear as dioramas, and you switch from the front view to a behind-the-scenes look to reveal the stages' secrets.
Yoshi's Crafted World oozes a charm that'll likely put a smile on your face as you play it. You can even experience the game with a friend, as it'll also support two-player local co-op. Regardless of your player configuration, Yoshi's Crafted World seems like it'll surely delight.
Platforms: Switch | Release Date: March 29, 2019
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Cadence of Hyrule
Cadence of Hyrule is a spin-off of The Legend of Zelda series that crosses the series' style with the critically acclaimed indie hit, Crypt of the Necrodancer. While its style and structure are evocative of classic 2D Zelda games, it's more of a sequel to Crypt of the Necrodancer in its mechanics.
Platform: Switch | Release Date: June 13
Etrian Odyssey Nexus
Katana Zero is a neo-noir samurai action game where you play as a katana-wielding assassin who works for an ambiguous benefactor. While you spend most of your time killing baddies, you'll spend the day talking to a therapist and revealing unexpected secrets behind your past.
Check out our full review.
Platforms: Switch, PC | Release Date: April 17, 2019
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Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is a 3DS port of the much-loved Wii game, Kirby's Epic Yarn. This expanded version contains new features, like the ability to craft bigger yarn balls, as well as two new modes where you get to play King Dedede and Meta Knight. If Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is anything like the Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 3DS port, then it's bound to be an impressive piece of software well worth grabbing just for the novelty of it all.
Platforms: 3DS | Release Date: March 8, 2019
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Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr's Journey
Continuing in line with the Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga remake, Nintendo is giving the same treatment to 2009's Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. As its name implies, the game will include extra content in the form of Bowser Jr's Journey, in which you play the mischievous son of Bowser as he gathers an army to stir up chaos. This comes in addition to updated graphics and mechanics, which should be welcoming for those who missed on this critically-acclaimed adventure the first time around.
Platforms: 3DS | Release Date: January 11, 2019
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