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E3: Biggest Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games Of 2021 And Beyond

The Nintendo Switch keeps building in strength, thanks to a library of great first-party games and strong third-party support. With the flexibility of playing while docked to a TV or as a handheld, portable console, it's a great way to enjoy your favorite games. We've already seen plenty of brilliant Nintendo Switch games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, so it's exciting to know there's more to come. Whether you've been a Switch owner from the beginning, or are perhaps eyeing the new OLED version, there are plenty of upcoming games to get excited about. To help you find your next gaming obsession, we've compiled a list of the biggest upcoming Nintendo Switch games to watch out for over the next year.

Nintendo Switch owners should also check out our guides to the best Nintendo Switch games, best Nintendo Switch games for kids, and the best games of 2021 so far--which includes several great Switch games.

Metroid Dread

Long has the Metroid series conjured a strong sense of tension and foreboding with its mysterious sci-fi setting filled with deadly hazards. Metroid Dread will crank the fear factor up to 11, particularly with the introduction of the invincible EMMI robots that relentlessly chase Samus through cramped corridors. Alongside Samus' usual abilities, she will also possess a stealthy power-up known as the Phantom Cloak. This new ability renders Samus invisible to the EMMI, but it can only be used sparingly, since it chews into her energy and health reserves. Set after the events of Metroid Fusion, whispers emerged about Metroid Dread as early as 2005, a project only recently fully-realized, making it the first new 2D game in the Metroid series in nearly 20 years. It looks speedy, action-packed, and intense: we're absolutely ready to run for our lives when Metroid Dread comes to Nintendo Switch on October 8.

Mario Party Superstars

Mario Party Superstars is a celebration of the popular game series that induces multiplayer mayhem--and breaks friendships--dating back to the Nintendo 64. It'll feature five game boards from the N64 Mario Party entries, each fully remastered, alongside 100 minigames from the series' vast collection. Importantly, Mario Party Superstars will include button controls as well as motion controls, so you can play it the way you enjoy it best. Mario Party Superstars also features online matchmaking so you can play with friends anywhere, anytime. The reinvigorated visuals of each classic board and minigame are pretty impressive, looking vibrant and popping with color. Mario Party Superstars will let you duke it out for the title of superstar on Nintendo Switch come October 29.

Shin Megami Tensei V

Shin Megami Tensei fans have had a great 2021, with the Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster earlier this year, and they've got more to look forward to with Shin Megami Tensei V mere months away. Some of you may be more familiar with the Persona series, a spin-off deriving from Shin Megami Tensei, which also had a Switch release this year with Persona 5 Strikers. Involving an epic story of clashes between gods and humans, demons to fight, and alternate realms to explore, Shin Megami Tensei V has all the ingredients of a strong JRPG. Series veterans will recognize familiar turn-based combat elements, such as building consecutive attacks by targeting weaknesses and the ability to recruit demons to your side through negotiation. Due out November 12, Shin Megami Tensei V will be a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl graced the Nintendo DS back in 2007 as the handheld console's first entry in the Pokemon series. Now, 15 years later, the superlative-laden Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the Nintendo Switch remakes of the DS games. Fans of the original Diamond and Pearl will be delighted to know the remakes are remaining extremely faithful to the DS versions. Instead of recreating the Sinnoh region with the same visual perspective as recent entries Pokemon Sword and Shield, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl retain a similar art direction to the source material, albeit with sharper graphics. The remakes should provide all sorts of nostalgia for returning players, while providing a sharp-looking introduction to Sinnoh for first-timers. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl arrive on Nintendo Switch on November 19.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

The Advance Wars series brought some of the best tactical gameplay of the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS era. Now we get to revisit it with a fresh new look in the form of Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp, a Nintendo Switch remake of the first two games. Featuring turn-based gameplay on a grid, the Advance Wars games see you assume the role of one of various Commanding Officers directing troops to victory, with each military group capable of using game-changing special abilities, such as unit repairs or power boosts. Developer WayForward (Shantae, River City Girls) has got the job with the remake, breathing new life into the series that will now feature online multiplayer in addition to the campaigns and local play included in the original release. You'll be able to suit up for battle when Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp marches onto Nintendo Switch on December 3.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is shaping up to be one of the most exciting new additions to the series in years. Where Pokemon Sword and Shield took small steps into open-world exploration with the Wild Area, Pokemon Legends: Arceus looks to be going all-in. Set in the distant past, you play as an adventurer tasked with creating the Sinnoh region's first Pokedex. In a significant change to the series, Pokemon Legends: Arceus appears to take place in real-time, with catching Pokemon requiring you to aim and throw Poke Balls while they roam openly in the wild. Its lush, nature-filled open-world setting has drawn comparisons to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild--a game that certainly makes for good inspiration. The focus on the eponymous Pokemon promises plenty of interesting narrative implications, as Arceus is considered a deity-like figure that created the Sinnoh region. We'll find out more when Pokemon Legends: Arceus hits Nintendo Switch on January 28, 2022.

Splatoon 3

Splatoon, the family-friendly ink shooter, is a big seller for Nintendo, so the announcement of Splatoon 3 was a welcome inevitability. The Splatoon series has captured imaginations worldwide with its bright and fast-paced gameplay, fresh music, and the hotly contested Splatfests. Splatoon 3's setting as shown in the reveal trailer is a Mad Max-style desert wasteland, which looks moody as hell and a like fascinating location for waging turf wars. One of the new weapons revealed is a bow capable of shooting ink arrows to take out opposition inklings and claim territory for your team. Both Splatoon games released so far have been brilliant fun for all ages, which is exactly what we're expecting when Splatoon 3 splashes onto Nintendo Switch sometime in 2022.

Project Triangle Strategy (Working Title)

With a working title named after the widely-adopted weapon triangle system of many turn-based strategy games, it's clear what you're going to get with Project Triangle Strategy: plenty of tactical gameplay along with a deep story. A follow-up to Square Enix's gorgeous HD-2D RPG Octopath Traveler, Project Triangle Strategy takes more of a turn-based strategy approach in telling a grand tale about the "Saltrion War" of factions vying for control over the valuable resources of--would you believe--salt and iron. What intrigues us most about Project Triangle Strategy is its strong focus on game-altering choices. By making decisions based on utility, morality, and liberty, you shape the narrative and affect who joins your cause. With more stunning pixel art, tactical gameplay, and a choice-based story to enjoy, we're awaiting more on Project Triangle Strategy--including its final name--ahead of a 2022 release on Nintendo Switch.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Nintendo and Ubisoft's tactical crossover with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle surprised even the most rusted-on genre veterans with its whimsical setting and clever gameplay, so we're thrilled a sequel, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, is incoming. This time around, Mario and his Rabbid friends venture forth to save the galaxy alongside Rabbid Rosalina and Rabbid-Luma hybrids known as "Sparks". Not content to rest on the same grid-based combat of its predecessor, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope includes more real-time combat elements in addition to an increased focus on overworld exploration. Beloved video game composer Grant Kirkhope is returning to score this one, too, so there will be plenty of wonderful music to listen to while you take on the freshened-up combat encounters. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope will bring its quirky genre hybrid action to Nintendo Switch during 2022

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild II

How do you follow up one of the greatest games of all time? Make a direct sequel, naturally. The Breath of the Wild sequel--which we don't yet know the official title of--has us all clamoring for details, with recent trailer footage offering a tantalizing glimpse into the setting we'll be exploring in the near future. We've done our own speculation as to what the next Hyrule adventure will entail, going over the symbolism used in an effort to decipher what the Zelda team has in store. Combine this with the potential narrative implications of recent spin-off Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, there are any number of scenarios that could play out. Breath of the Wild was so brilliant in part because of its wondrous sense of discovery and exploration. Its sequel will take to the skies in an exciting attempt to reach the same dizzying heights in 2022 on Nintendo Switch.

Sports Story

From small indie team Sidebar Games, Sports Story is the follow-up to charming RPG-sport hybrid Golf Story, with the addition of several more sports, including tennis and soccer. Similar to the Mario Golf and Mario Tennis games on Game Boy Color, Golf Story combined satisfying sports gameplay with RPG elements, such as leveling up stats and acquiring better equipment, alongside a humorous story where every problem could be solved by hitting a golf ball at it. Sports Story was initially slated for a 2020 release but was delayed indefinitely due to its increasing development scope. At this point, we're not sure when Sports Story is going to bounce onto Nintendo Switch consoles.

Metroid Prime 4

Look, we don't know when to expect Metroid Prime 4--especially in light of development restarting at the start of 2019--but the series' and Retro Studios' collective pedigree alone is reason enough to eagerly anticipate the eventual release of the fourth entry. The Metroid Prime series is an outstanding first-person adventure game with shooter mechanics, lauded for its ability to generate immersion through meticulous worldbuilding and phenomenal sound design. We certainly hope to see Metroid Prime 4 in 2022 so we can once again assume the role of Samus in another brilliant spacefaring adventure. One thing we do know for sure: Metroid Prime 4 will be a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Hollow Knight stunned many of us with its brilliant, bug-filled take on the popular Metroidvania genre, so it's sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong, has to be one of the most hotly anticipated indie games going. From Team Cherry, a team almost as tiny as its insectoid characters, Hollow Knight sports tight combat and rewarding exploration, and includes some of the best environmental storytelling seen in any video game. Hollow Knight: Silksong stars Hornet, a protagonist larger and more vertically nimble than Hollow Knight's hero. At exhibition demos back in 2019, Hornet's needle and silk-based abilities were simultaneously familiar, yet different, making her a satisfying, refreshing character to play--mainly due to her abilities' encouraging greater verticality. We're not sure when Hollow Knight: Silksong is arriving on Nintendo Switch, but here's hoping it's soon.

Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 is in the same boat as Metroid Prime 4. We know it's in development: we just don't know when to expect the return of everyone's favorite Umbra Witch. As recently as E3 2021, we heard Bayonetta 3 is "progressing well", so we'll have to hang tight in the meantime. Bayonetta's known for some of the most deliriously camp action-shooter gameplay out there, and the eponymous character is as charming as she is deadly, defeating hordes of angels and demons with flowing locks of hair that would make Rapunzel jealous. It's for this reason and many more that we think Bayonetta 3 is one of the biggest upcoming Nintendo Switch games.

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