The Biggest Nintendo Games to Play in 2017
By GameSpot Staff on
What's Coming for Nintendo Consoles in 2017
2017 is going to be filled with an abundance of exciting new Nintendo games. From heavy hitters like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to Dragon Quest XI, there's a whole lot to get excited about. As of the end of 2016, here are the biggest games coming in 2017. Of course, lots more is going to be revealed in the coming months as we get closer to launch of Nintendo Switch.
Mario Kart on Nintendo Switch hasn't officially been announced, but we're still excited by the possibility of another entry in the franchise. A version of the game was shown off in the Switch's reveal trailer, but what we don't know is whether it will be a whole new game or simply a port of Mario Kart 8.
The glimpse we got in the trailer showed off an old track--MK8's version of the GameCube classic Yoshi's Circuit from Mario Kart: Double Dash--but also included new characters and features. King Boo, who isn't available in Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, was one playable character shown, plus it seems you can now hold two items at once.
Mario Kart 8 was one of the best Wii U games and arguably the greatest Mario Kart game ever. But a whole new game, custom-made for the Switch, could be even better.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
After multiple delays, Nintendo's iconic RPG series returns on console in 2017 with the long-awaited Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Due out for Wii U and Nintendo Switch, the game is set in what looks like a massive open world, bigger than any Zelda game before it, replete with all manner of deep, dark dungeons to explore and creepy enemies to defeat. Nintendo has said fans should forget everything they know about the Zelda series for this game, and we're excited to learn more about what that means. There is also Amiibo support, and the newest trailer teased that Zelda will appear. When Breath of the Wild comes out, the franchise will be more than 30 years old. After all this time, we're still as excited as ever.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (For Switch)
Nintendo's Wii U had some excellent games, but one thing it lacked was strong support from third-party publishers. That's why any hint of hot non-Nintendo titles appearing for the upcoming console is something to be celebrated...even if it is a years old title like Skyrim. The Bethesda game was featured heavily in the early looks at the Switch, and while we're still waiting on official confirmation of its release on the next Nintendo console, it'll be an exciting addition. The game may be old, but the appeal of being able to play this classic on the road by utilizing the Switch's portable capabilities makes us keen to travel through Skyrim one last time.
Unannounced Mario Game
While Nintendo hasn't officially announced a new Mario game for the Nintendo Switch (yet), there's one thing you can be sure of; there's going to be a new Mario game for the Nintendo Switch.
In the reveal trailer for Nintendo's next console, we got a brief look at a few potential titles. And while some games like Mario Kart and Splatoon may just be upgrades or ports of what was released on Wii U, the small slice of Mario gameplay was from an area we'd never seen before. The game looks like it'll be another 3D experience instead of a side-scrolling New Super Mario Bros. game, and it’s set in a colorful village in the throes of celebrating Dia de los Muertos.
However, it's worth keeping in mind that even playable experiences aren't indicative of what we'll get with final hardware. After all, when the Wii U was first revealed at E3, the presentation included playable demos of a Legend of Zelda boss battle...and Breath of the Wild still isn't out! Hopefully this is more than a proof of concept.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
While Dragon Quest's popularity in the West never quite matched that of Final Fantasy, the DQ series has an almost equally long and storied history of epic adventures. The pixelated versions of the games prior to Dragon Quest VIII never quite did justice to the visual design of the game's character creator Akira Toriyama (of Dragon Ball fame). However, when DQ8 came out, the experience was almost like playing a cartoon.
The vibrant monsters and colorful characters came to life in ways that you could only imagine in previous games, and with the added layer of excellent voice acting, the game's story and world took on even deeper, more compelling layers.
The 3DS remaster of DQ8, though not as an extensive an overhaul as 2016's update to DQ7, is still set to bring new features to the game including new playable characters, the ability to speed up the turn-based battles, and a more streamlined version of the item-crafting mechanic. But even without those improvements, DQ8 is a piece of timeless gaming history that holds up today.
Of course, Stardew Valley is already out on PC and PS4, but the reason we're excited for a Switch version is because it will allow us to take the addictive farming sim on the go (without requiring the network setup of a PS4+Vita). Stardew Valley came in at number 16 on our list of the top 25 games of the 2016, showing that we think it's a great experience as is, but as we've seen with the Harvest Moon franchise on portable consoles, farming sims are perfect for long trips, commutes, and just playing a relaxing game away from the big screen.
Even if it doesn't add any new features Stardew Valley will be well worth experiencing a first (or second) time on Switch, and there's also the possibility that the console port could add multiplayer. Taking care of farm chores on your own can be fun, but couch co-op would make the adventure even more engaging.
Dragon Quest XI
The current generation of consoles have provided an abundance of Dragon Quest riches. In addition to Dragon Quest Heroes, and 3DS versions of VII and VIII, we're also going to get a new numbered version in the series: Dragon Quest XI. Little is known about the game currently, but it's going to release on a very disparate set of systems: PS4, Nintendo Switch, and 3DS.
The game hasn't been shown running on Nintendo's upcoming console at all, so it's unclear how it will compare graphically to the PS4 version, but it goes without saying that the 3DS version won't look quite as nice. To make up for the graphical shortcomings, the handheld version will have some kind of Streetpass functionality, and the lower half of the screen will display the world in retro 16-bit graphics.
And who knows, maybe if Dragon Quest Q XI is finally a hit in the West, we might get a port of Dragon Quest's MMO Dragon Quest X!
Unannounced Splatoon Port
Here's what you're always guaranteed with any new Nintendo console: high quality first-party titles. However, while Nintendo frequently returns to familiar, storied franchises, the developer doesn't tend to go all-out with completely new concepts. But 2015's melded Nintendo's excellent world-building and eye for aesthetics into the (new for Nintendo) third-person shooter genre.
While Nintendo hasn't made an official announcement about Splatoon, updates for the Wii U title ended in 2016, and the reveal trailer for Switch showed a group of people playing Splatoon in an arena crowded with screaming esports fans. That doesn't necessarily mean that Splatoon is going to unseat any esports regulars on the circuit, but we're positive that Nintendo's new IP will live on on Switch in some form. We're just hoping that it will be as charming and fun as the original.