The Most-Anticipated Nintendo Switch Games Of 2023 And Beyond
One of the best gaming years in recent memory is about to get better, as Nintendo plans to close out the second half of 2023 with a bang. With the June Nintendo Direct setting the stage for what lies ahead, Nintendo isn't holding anything back as it lines up new Mario games, remakes of beloved classics, and plenty of third-party support for its Switch console. These new additions come after the release of games like Fire Emblem Engage, Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Nintendo is riding that momentum throughout the rest of the year and into 2024.
So what does the rest of 2023 and the months beyond have in store for Nintendo? On the first-party front, there's a new 2D Super Mario Bros. game that's full of reality-bending flowers and elephant power-ups, an enhanced port of one of Luigi's best 3DS adventures, and the return of Detective Pikachu. Two massive expansions for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, a mystery-solving narrative adventure in the form of Oxenfree II, and pure pixel carnage in the form of Mortal Kombat 1 are also on the way during the Switch's twilight years.
Let's take a look at all of the big and notable games on the way to Nintendo Switch.
AEW: Fight Forever - June 29
There's a new challenger in the professional wrestling ring, as AEW: Fight Forever is lacing up its boots ahead of its arrival on Switch. Developed by former WWE game studio Yukes, this is the first big All Elite Wrestling game, and it features plenty of main event talent on its roster. This AEW game is aiming to recapture the glory days of WWE's best-selling wrestling games--specifically, WWF games like No Mercy, WCW/NWO Revenge, and Wrestlemania 2000--and to that end, it's combining classic sports entertainment action with varied match types, plenty of big talent, and plenty of opportunities to spill some blood when you're in the ring.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals - July 12
Set five years after the first game, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals doesn't appear to be deviating from the formula that developer Night School has used for its previous games. At its core, it's still a narrative-heavy experience in which you have to carefully navigate through conversations and solve a few puzzles along the way. But the big difference here is the story itself, as Oxenfree II's tale of strange anomalies, sinister groups, and an environmental researcher looking for answers makes for a potent combination of intrigue and mystery.
Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - July 13
If you're in the mood for a trip back to 1997--but without being subjected to Toni Braxton's "Un-Break my Heart" every 10 minutes on radio--then get ready for Atelier Marie Remake. A full remake of the classic PS1 JRPG, this version of the game comes with a massive facelift, adds in a few gameplay features that have been present in more modern games in the series, and adds in plenty of new quests.
Pikmin 4 - July 21
Shigeru Miyamoto does what he wants. He has earned that right, and what he wants to do is make a new Pikmin game. Confirmed for Nintendo Switch, Pikmin 4 is the next adventure featuring the adorable helpful critters, and the Switch's control scheme means gameplay will be more intuitive. According to Miyamoto, this will allow you to spend more time focusing on strategic gameplay decisions and less on just placing your Pikmin in particular locations. Additionally, there will be a new perspective that is closer to the Pikmins' own height, though it's unclear if this will be one option or the new standard.
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons - July 27
There's been a quiet revival of arcade action games over the last couple of years, as both Streets of Rage and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have made comebacks on that scene. Now, it's Double Dragon's time to shine, as the duo of Billy and Jimmy Lee are ready to clean the streets in Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons. This particular incarnation of the martial arts twins is looking to modern genres for inspiration, as Rise of the Dragons is mixing brawling action with roguelite elements. You'll be able to pummel your way through levels, unlock extra characters, and invest in some nifty bonuses between stages in this retro-flavored beat-'em-up when it arrives later in 2023.
Disney Illusion Island - July 28
Some of the best platforming games of yesteryear starred Disney's iconic animated characters, and in July, the House of Mouse is preparing for a new adventure. Disney Illusion Island stars Mickey Mouse and friends as they explore the mysterious island of Monoth, on a quest to recover three magical books, and so far, the game looks like an enchanting platformer. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy are all brought to life with hand-crafted animation, and the island is home to plenty of secrets. With space for up to three other players to join you, Disney Illusion Island is shaping up to be a family-friendly game to look forward to.
Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical - August 3
What happens when you combine a Greek pantheon with musical theatre? You get Stray Gods, a musical choice-based RPG with an all-star cast of voice actors. Focused on college dropout Grace--who has been granted the powers of a Muse--Stray Gods is an odyssey fused with a mystery as Grace attempts to discover what happened to her predecessor. Laura Bailey stars as Grace, and she's joined by Troy Baker as Apollo, Felicia Day as Athena, Rahul Kohli as Minotaur, and many other big names.
30XX - August 9
Currently available in early access on Steam, 30XX's full release on Switch will see you jump, shoot, and slash your way through challenges. A roguelike action platformer that can be played cooperatively, this spiritual successor to Capcom's Mega Man series combines crisp controls and fluid movement with the endless cycle of fighting, dying, and being reborn to try your hand at surviving a dangerous gauntlet all over again.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk - August 18
A very funky expression of personal style, graffiti, and crisp cel-shaded visuals, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is shaping up to be the Jet Set Radio spiritual successor that fans have been waiting for. It's all about increasing your rep in every neighborhood, tagging walls with a can of spray-paint, and challenging other crews for local supremacy in a tricky showdown. Beyond that urban jungle appeal, expect to master your tricks of the trade with environments that are just begging for you to perform grinding, sliding, wall-running, and air maneuvers.
Blasphemous 2 - August 24
It's time to get penitent this summer, as Blasphemous 2 once again asks you to smash foul beings in the face with the pointy end of some medieval weaponry. Like the first game, this side-scrolling Souls-like puts you in the armor of the Penitent One, a holy warrior trapped in a neverending cycle of rot and violence. Like the first game, Blasphemous 2 mixes that action-packed design with some gothic art direction, throws in challenging boss fights, and caps it off with a haunting soundtrack before you inflict some righteous retribution on ghastly creatures.
Mortal Kombat 1 - September 19
While some of the most highly anticipated fighting games of the year won't be landing on Switch, Mortal Kombat 1 isn't one of them. The sort-of reboot of NetherRealm's hyper-violent fighting game will be launching on Switch alongside the PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5 versions, although this Switch edition of the game is being developed by Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive. This isn't the first time that a modern Mortal Kombat game has been available on a handheld gaming system, and while you can probably expect a few graphical concessions to get it running on Switch hardware, this version will probably have all the trademark gore that you'd expect from this fighting game franchise.
Mineko's Night Market - September 26
Another narrative-driven and social simulation adventure game for the pile, Mineko's Night Market is also a celebration of Japanese culture and a story about friendship. Intertwined with themes of tradition--and a whole lot of cats--you'll guide Mineko as she solves puzzles, takes part in market games, and sneaks past government agents with the use of clever disguises. Boasting hours of exploration through its many environments and four seasons to experience, don't be too surprised to find yourself engaging in some wheeling and dealing with locals to help progress the story.
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest -- The Adventures of Dai - September 28
It's a great time to be a fan of Dragon Quest, as in addition to a new Dragon Quest Monsters that's in development, Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest - The Adventures of Dai is also on the way. Based on the manga and anime series of the same name, Infinity Strash recaps the important plot beats of its source material as you take control of Dai and fight back against the Dark Army. Expect a whole lot of dungeon-crawling and the chance to recreate iconic moments from the anime in this action-packed RPG.
WrestleQuest - TBA
Don some spandex clothing, take a hero's journey, and perform a hurricanrana off the top rope in WrestleQuest, as you go from rookie sensation to world champ in this love letter to a bygone era of wrestling. Featuring wrestling icons like Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and Andre the Giant, you'll be able to powerbomb your way through a wrestling universe where sports entertainment and RPG fantasy have formed an incredible tag team.
Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections - TBA
Another great fighting game to look out for soon is Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections, a compilation of CyberConnect2's famed Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm games. This new edition of the 3D arena fighter features a whopping 124 playable characters, a few new faces, and a remastered version of the story told across previous entries, including the titanic final battle. There'll even be some new content to tie into the world of Boruto, the sequel series to Naruto that focuses on his son and his growing legend.
Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends - TBA
For fans of adventuring with a dreamy twist, try to keep your eyes open for Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. A unique journey through Slumberland, you'll have four characters to guide--brave Nemo, the magic-wielding Princess, the mischievous clown Flip, and the agile royal guard Peony--as you explore a world based on Winsor McCay's landmark 1905 comic strip. The dreamscape is surreal, the waking world hides secrets of its own, and each character will bring a unique way to play the game thanks to their inherent traits and skills. With a soundtrack by Wayne Strange, Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends is shaping up to be an enticing all-nighter of a game.
Gunbrella - TBA
This noir-action game has a creative title that tells you exactly what it is. You're armed with a Gunbrella, a firearm that also serves as an umbrella, as you take down cultists, gangsters, and other threats on your quest for revenge. It's the follow-up to the indie hit Gato Roboto for developer Doinksoft and marks another interesting-looking indie game being published by Devolver Digital. It's coming in 2023.
Loco Motive - TBA
What is it about trains that make them the perfect vehicles for murder most foul? You'll have to discover the answer to that question yourself, as Loco Motive puts you in the gumshoes of a rookie detective, lawyer, and an undercover spy as they race to prove their innocence before the real killer strikes again. While the setup is grim, the rest of the game plays out like a slapstick whodunnit as you interact with fellow passengers. Loco Motive has a delightful pixel art aesthetic, a moody soundtrack by Space Haven's Paul Zimmerman, and plenty of puzzles that'll likely leave you scratching your head.
The Garden Path - TBA
The gaming calendar is usually full of intense action games, but for a change of pace, make friends with a talking onion in this relaxing gardening game. The Garden Path doesn't just sound like a cathartic reason to sit back and tend to a patch of ground that needs a green thumb touch; it's also a slice-of-life simulator that looks fantastic with its painterly aesthetic.
Rune Fencer Illyia - TBA
An action-packed platformer that's focused on both exploration and combat, you'll play as a young Runist named Illyia of Moonstone who is on a journey to find her missing twin sister and a way home. There's plenty of danger along the path though, but Illyia quickly picks up some sharp sword skills and powerful runic magic that'll help her survive in a hostile land.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet DLC - TBA
The most recent pair of mainline Pokemon releases have been best-sellers for Nintendo, and just like the games that came before it, the world of Paldea is set to grow with two new expansions. The first of these, The Teal Mask, features a festival that you'll be able to attend, as well as a new legendary Pokemon to acquire. Later in the year, you can set foot inside of a new academy as part of a student exchange program in The Indigo Disc, with that expansion also having a mythical pocket monster to pursue. Additionally, the game will be updated with hundreds of legacy Pokemon, so you'll be able to find and catch iconic critters like Ninetails, Metagross, and Vikavolt out in the wild.
Metal Slug Tactics - TBA
Metal Slug has long been one of the best run-and-gun action game franchises out there, but for a change of pace, the series is swapping its blitzkrieg design for a more measured tactical-RPG format. A combination of gorgeous pixel art and fluid animation, Metal Slug Tactics features series powerhouses Marco, Eri, Fio, and Tarma and their over-the-top arsenal in an isometric tactics format that looks fun, clever, and explosive ahead of its eventual release.
Mina the Hollower - TBA
Yacht Club Games has made several follow-ups to its breakout hit Shovel Knight, but Mina the Hollower marks a totally new franchise for the indie studio. The game is said to be modeled after Game Boy classics like Link's Awakening, and the studio opened up its development process early with regular streams and blog posts showcasing concept art and design concepts. It's coming thanks to its successful Kickstarter campaign, but no release date has been set.
Star Wars: Hunters - TBA
Star Wars: Hunters is a team-based action game that may primarily be thought of as an iOS and Android game, but it's also coming to Nintendo Switch. Hunters features 4v4 combat in maps based on iconic locales from the Star Wars universe. There will be a ton of playable characters, including Jedi, Stormtroopers, Mandalorian, and more.
Metroid Prime 4 - TBA
Metroid Prime 4 has been in development for many years at this point, and development even restarted in 2019 when Retro Studios took over. There's still no word on a release window, and no one really knows how far along in development it actually is. That said, with Retro Studios at the helm and the sheer brilliance of the trilogy before it, we imagine Metroid Prime 4 will be worth the wait... however long that winds up being.
In the meantime, you can check out (or replay) Metroid Dread, which brought side-scrolling Metroid back in style last year. Based on a recent report from Jeff Grubb of GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb, you might be able to return to the Prime series earlier than expected, though, in Metroid Prime Remastered. Metroid Prime Remastered, according to the report, is coming to Switch.
Detective Pikachu Returns - October 6
Just how did a Pikachu wind up with a wisecracking attitude, a knack for solving crimes, and an endless thirst for coffee? That's the origin story that'll be in the spotlight in Detective Pikachu Returns, as the intrepid gumshoe teams up with his human partner Tim Goodman and several other Pokemon to solve a series of mysterious incidents in Ryme City.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder - October 20
If Bowser thought that Mario in a cat costume was bad enough, wait until he tangles with the mightiest plumber in his ultimate elephant form. While this new 2D Super Mario Bros. game has plenty of traditional gameplay that's enhanced by stunning new visuals, a wide roster of playable characters, and smooth animation, it's shaking up its formula with Wonder Flowers. Touch one of these plants, and the world around Mario will transform in unpredictable ways, ranging from pipes coming alive to hordes of enemies appearing to challenge you.
Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 - October 24
If you ever wanted to relive the saga of Solid (and Naked) Snake, then Konami's upcoming Metal Gear Solid collection will scratch your itch for covert action. This collection includes not only Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, but also the original games that started the entire saga, Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge, as well as a virtual museum of bonus content.
Star Ocean: The Second Story R - November 2
One of the finest RPGs of its era, Star Ocean: The Second Story R is getting a handsome upgrade this year. Featuring 3D environments, new 2D character sprite models, and luxurious art, this remake of the 1998 cult-classic also overhauls its combat to offer more strategic opportunities for victory as you explore a dangerous planet.
WarioWare: Move It - November 3
Boasting over 200 microgames, the latest WarioWare game is a cardio blast that's designed to get you moving. With a Joy-Con in each hand, you'll need quick reflexes to beat each game, and if you're looking to include a few friends in the silliness, up to four players can take on Wario's challenges in local Party Mode.
Super Mario RPG - November 17
A complete overhaul of the SNES classic, this new version of Super Mario RPG retains its original turn-based DNA but amplifies it with brand-new graphics. For anyone who missed out on the original game that starred Mario, Bowser, Peach, and the original characters Mallow and Geno, Super Mario RPG is a captivating journey across the Mushroom Kingdom as you take on the nefarious forces of the Smithy Gang.
Batman: Arkham Trilogy - Fall 2023
The best superhero video game saga of all time, Rocksteady's trilogy of genre-defining Batman games is headed to Switch in one ultimate package. Not only does this collection include the enhanced editions of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City alongside Arkham Knight, but they come with all of their respective DLC as well. That's an entire Batcave of extra costumes, challenge missions, and extra story content that adds dozens of extra hours of content to the massive package.
Princess Peach solo game - TBC
Its been almost two decades since her last solo adventure, but at long last, the spotlight is back on Princess Peach. For now, Nintendo is keeping details on this new game locked up, but from the brief teaser we saw, it looks like Peach will be able to Sailor Moon-style magical girl transformations to power up and unleash some royal pain on anyone who threatens the Mushroom Kingdom.
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - TBC
Some of the best games of the 3DS era have gotten a second lease on life on the Switch, and the next game getting that treatment is Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Once again starring Mario's timid brother, who definitely is afraid of some ghosts, this game has received a visual update and sees the plumber in green take on all manner of troublesome phantoms in the Evershade Valley.