The Switch might have the smallest list of games overall when compared to the other platforms this year, but it has the most exclusives of any of them. We’re not sure they’re all going to make it to market this year, but even just a few of them will make the system worth owning. Couple that with the growing third-party support and the thriving indie seen on the system, and you have a recipe for a solid year of gaming with Nintendo’s still-new handheld. What’s your ‘most-anticipated’ game for Switch in 2018? Did we nail it, or is there a hole in our list big enough to drive Kirby in tank form through? Jump in the comments and let us know!
Bayonetta 1/2 (Nintendo Switch – February 16, 2018)
Okay, so Bayonetta 1 and 2 aren’t new. But they’re still some of the best action-gaming goodness to come out of Japan in a while, and Japanese developers are flooding us with great action titles these days. The collection will put both of the existing Bayonetta titles onto one system and, more importantly, onto a system people are actually buying. Sorry, Wii U.
Being able to play Bayonetta on the go is an appealing idea, though I’m not sure if I want some kid looking over my shoulder while I play this game.
Bayonetta 3 (Switch – 2018)
But why stop at two Bayonetta games when we can have a third? Whether this will actually hit in 2018 is a shot in the dark, but that it’s in development at all is worth celebrating on its own. The first Bayonetta was great, but the sequel came out on the Wii U, a system that sold less in a year than its predecessor did in its lifetime. Often, the kind of sales that come with that are enough to shutter a studio. Thankfully, Nintendo’s feeling generous and is helping Platinum Games make a third title. This time it’s on a much more popular console, and we can’t wait to dig in.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch – 2018)
Konami went and made things weird a few years ago when they decided to dump all their awesome creators and instead repurpose their licenses for pachinko machines. Those displaced creators didn’t sit still for long, though. Hideo Kojima went off and started his own studio. Meanwhile, former Castlevania boss Koji Igarashi turned to Kickstarter with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a game that looks to recreate what we love about classic PlayStation and Gameboy Advance-era Castlevania games but with a new coat of paint. The game has seen some delays and production issues, but the previews have undeniably looked good, so we’re eager to see if Igarashi can deliver when so many other Kickstarted games have failed.
Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch (Switch – 2018)
For the first time in over a decade, Fire Emblem is coming to a (technically) home console. The series has been stuck on handheld systems for a long time, and it only seemed to be cemented by Fire Emblem Heroes, the mobile entry in the series. In a move that seems to be the reverse of many game companies, though, instead of moving the series further and further into mobile, Nintendo is taking things back. The last Fire Emblem title to hit a console was Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, released in 2007 for the Nintendo Wii. Nintendo is playing it close on this one, so we don’t know much, but we do know that the publisher expects to have it in our hands this year. Nice.
Metroid Prime 4 (Switch – 2018/TBA)
This might not be a 2018 game. In fact, we’d almost bet on it being a 2019 one – much like the title below. But we’re going to hold out hope until Nintendo tells us otherwise. Metroid seems to be a weird problem for Nintendo Among its many licenses, few are as beloved and as neglected. Fans have been begging for a new Metroid game for a long time, whether it’s a proper 2D Metroid game or another Metroid Prime-style first person game. Finally at E3 2017, Nintendo answered our prayers as only an enigmatic trickster deity could – with a single image.
And for now, that’s enough. Like a drop of water in the desert, we’ll take it.
Pokemon for Nintendo Switch (Switch – 2018/TBA)
It’s no different for Pokémon on Switch. Since Pokemon started, fans have been begging for a full-fledged console entry, a game not hindered by limited handheld power but at the scale of a proper Pokémon RPG. But to this point, every mainline Pokémon game has been handheld-bound. The game is all about trading with your friends and wandering the countryside, so it makes sense.
But then we got the Nintendo Switch. It’s a console. It’s a handheld. It’s a handsole? It’s handheld enough that developer Game Freak is ready to work their beloved game world into a proper console entry.
With Metroid Prime 4 almost certainly not coming this year and the Pokémon games tend to be a yearly affair. It’s totally possible we could see a new entry this year, especially since the latest entries, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, are beefed up re-releases of 2016’s fresh entry.
Of all the barely-announced titles on the docket this year, this might be the one we’re most optimistic about.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (Switch – 2018)
One of the weirdest, coolest games on the Wii was No More Heroes. It was a violent, stylish game about a geek with a laser sword taking down increasingly bizarre assassins. We haven’t had a No More Heroes game in a decade. Now, creator Suda51 is returning to the series, but he’s doing something a little different. We’re not sure just what that means yet. The game will be playable on a single Joy-Con, suggesting a simple control scheme. Suda51 is also bringing in other indie creators such as the teams behind Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight for licensing purposes.
But it’s a Suda51 game, it’s a Switch exclusive, and it’s No More Heroes. That’s enough for me.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Switch – 2018)
The paradigm shift that came with the Nintendo Switch was apparently quite obvious to developer Bethesda. Right from the beginning, the company was bullish on the system. Thanks to the Switch, Skyrim is finally a mobile game. And then we got a surprisingly playable Doom port.
Now, from the company that brought you “shooting at dragons on the bus” and “shooting at monsters at the beach” comes “shooting at Nazis anywhere you damned-well please.” 2017’s excellent, complex, and gorgeous Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is getting its own Switch port. While it won’t be up to the impressive levels seen on PC and Xbox One X, the Doom port has us anticipating the game. For the longest time, Nintendo systems have been exciting almost entirely because of Nintendo games. Now, Bethesda might be one of the biggest steps toward changing that.
Yoshi (Switch – 2018)
There’s only one word for Yoshi. Adorable. Since the dino’s first games on the SNES, Nintendo has capitalized on that, bringing us Yoshi games in media like crayon and yarn. The upcoming game, simply titled Yoshi at the moment, takes the wonderful world of the green goober and puts it into the perspective of a papercraft diorama. Everything is construction paper and paint and crayon. Go into a building, though, and you’ll see the backside of all that paper. Milk cartons and UPC labels and the like.
Yoshi games are always enchanting, and this one is sure to be the same. It looks like a blast and we can’t wait to hear more.