When it comes to gaming consoles, we can only expect the best from Nintendo and that is true with its youngest bad boy, the Nintendo Switch. It has eaten its competitors alive and showed us the future of consoles — handheld and mobile. While two of Nintendo’s closest rivals are rumored to be cooking up their handheld device, the Series Z Portable for Xbox and PS5 Portable for Sony, Switch seems to still reign as king four years after its release.
With the growth of the Switch gaming community came the massive expansion of game selections in its library. This time, you are no longer contained in playing Animal Crossing although it would still be a mainstay of Nintendo. Whether you are into action RPGs or you want to take it low with tile-matching games, there are upcoming Switch games in store for you.
In this article, we have compiled the best upcoming Switch games you shouldn’t miss in 2021 and beyond. We will be taking an exclusive sneak peek at their gameplays, release dates, and ultimately how you can get them before anyone else.
Upcoming Switch Games in 2021
We have listed down the best upcoming Switch games in 2021 below in consecutive order. Let’s begin with the countdown, shall we?
1. Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Atelier Ryza 2 is among the upcoming Switch games to hit the eShop the earliest this year. It is expected to be out on Nintendo shelves on January 26, alongside PlayStation and PC. The game is the continuation of the first series, which follows the heroine Ryza as she embarks on new adventures from Kurken Island.
The story still revolves around crafting, alchemy to be exact. Upon request from a friend Ryza heads towards Ashra-am Baird and explores ruins in pursuit of a glowing stone. As for the gameplay, Atelier Ryza 2 is now more action-filled with the inclusion of real-time turn-based battles. Our heroine has also acquired new abilities such as diving underwater, wall climbing, and using a rope to move from gaps.
Atelier Ryza 2’s physical Nintendo Switch game might sell out easily as many people are optimistic about the game. Pre-orders of its digital copy is available on eShop.
2. Cyber Shadow
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Side-scrolling is an old but flourishing genre. In fact, many upcoming Switch games are following the trend — Cyber Shadow being one of them. With a nod to the classic Ninja Gaiden video game, this upcoming Switch title follows a character named Shadow, a ninja who is on a mission to rescue his clan from the brink of falling to artificial life forms. The protagonist is equipped with a sword and special abilities to defeat enemies and several bosses.
In terms of the graphics, not everyone might enjoy Cyber Shadow as it still follows a 2D design. But for people who want to recall the 8-bit aesthetic, this game might provide a taste of yesteryears.
Cyber Shadow will be officially available on January 26. It is also coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
3. Blue Fire
Release Date: February 04, 2021
Blue Fire is among the first 3D platformer games to arrive on Nintendo Switch this year. The game revolves around exploration where players travel to a deserted kingdom called Penumbra. As players embark on their journey, they have to be mindful of lurking danger brought about by various enemies within the ruins. They have to engage in battles with minions and eventually the big boss.
Of course, you don’t have to take down the enemies bare-handedly. Scattered around the kingdom are precious collectibles and loot to gear you up for upcoming battles. Several survivors of the perished kingdom will also come to your aide.
Blue Fire will officially be available for Switch on the fourth of February, simultaneous with its Steam release. Its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will follow at a later date.
4. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Super Mario 3D World is the new face of Super Mario Bros. And its first-ever release on Switch seems to be the highlight of the platform game series for 2021. We won’t exactly say that its original release on Wii U in 2013 was a success. Hopefully, the Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury would bring the rave that the previous series deserves, this time on Switch.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, as the title suggests, involves free-roaming gameplay in a three-dimensional space as opposed to the bland side-scroller. Players of up to four in number could team up online or locally to control the game’s main characters, including Luigi, Peach, Toad, and of course Mario. Their ultimate goal is to rescue the Sprixies held captive by Mario’s archenemy, Bowser.
Despite having a modern look, this upcoming Switch game stays true to what a platform game is. It still involves a lot of jumping, running, and dashing to reach a goal and enter the next level. Along the way, players can collect coins and power-up items they can use to defeat the big boss in the final level.
5. Persona 5 Strikers
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Your favorite Phantom Thieves are also going back to action with the upcoming release of Persona 5 Strikers on Switch. This Persona 5 follow-up is bringing fire to the RPG series with the added hack and slash element taken from Omega Force’s Dynasty Warriors.
The story starts six months after Persona 5 when mysterious events began to unfold, ending the Phantom Thieves’ fun vacation. Summoned at an alternate world called Jail, the protagonists reunite to solve the mysteries that cause people to act strangely in the real world. Players can use stealth to avoid clashes and initiate surprise attacks to gain an advantage against enemies.
Persona 5 Strikers will be available on February 23 and three days early for those who pre-ordered.
6. Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection
Release Date: February 25, 2021
2021 is a big year for arcade die-hard-fans as some of the favorite classics are bound to Nintendo Switch, starting with the Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection. This release marks the 35th anniversary of the side-scrolling style arcade game.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins was a huge success in the retro years, thanks to its challenging gameplay and usually mysterious endings. Admittedly, it became stagnant in the past years with few attempts of remake failing to stir excitement among gamers. Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection, however, seems to be turning the tide this time.
With a nod to its predecessors, this reboot combines the devilish action gameplay, gothic storybook-like graphics, and side-scrolling levels. Interestingly, the game seems to have quite a few tweaks on our protagonist as shown on trailers. Arthur might have a hammer as his new weapon and flame shield for deflecting attacks. Of course, that’s only a small portion of the actual game. We’ll get the whole picture of it on February 25, the official release date of Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection.
7. Bravely Default II
Release Date: February 26, 2021
While other game developers are starting to abandon turn-based battles, Square Enix is staying faithful to the classic recipe with the upcoming Switch game, Bravely Default II. Aside from the turn-based and role-playing elements, this numbered title in the Bravely series is entirely a different game. Bravely Default II introduces a completely independent narrative and a new set of player characters. So if you are used to playing the previous Bravely titles, you need not worry about getting lost in its latest iteration.
Similar to other RPGs, Bravely Default II starts with the main character, in this case, Seth, being spawned in a certain location and eventually joined by other characters to ally. Its gameplay revolves around protecting the four elemental crystals, which could cause destruction when fell into the wrong hands. Nothing much has been revealed yet about the story but we could easily guess what happened or else the characters won’t be sent to quests in the first place.
In terms of the battle system, Bravely Default II still contains Brave Point and asterisks, which players can use to cast multiple attacks in a single turn and change their class, respectively. This upcoming Switch game had several demos before and gained mixed reactions. Some gamers say that it has a high-level difficulty that requires too much grinding to defeat enemies.
8. Monster Hunter Rise
Release Date: March 26, 2021
It is hard to think of gaming without monster-slaying. Well, Monster Hunter Rise will bring that element to your favorite handheld console. Based on the previous teasers released by its developer Capcom, this upcoming Switch game has the same narrative as with its previous franchises.
The main character has to take on the role of a hero whose goal is to save a village that is being terrorized by monsters. On their journey, the players will have two friendly creatures along with 一 one is Palamute, a flying creature that helps players traverse high cliffs; and Palico, a feline that can perform attacks during battles. For every successful quest and monster slain, players will gain loot they can use to forge more powerful weapons necessary to take on deadlier monsters in the future.
The game will be available in both single-player mode and cooperative play of up to four players. Monster Hunter Rise is available starting March 26, 2021. It will be cross-compatible with another upcoming Monster Hunter franchise, the Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin.
9. Balan Wonderworld
Release Date: March 26, 2021
The creators of Sonic Adventure for Sega Dreamcast are bringing something special on Nintendo Switch this Spring. Balan Wonderworld is an upcoming 3D action platformer for Switch that will give players a dream-like experience, at least based on what we’ve seen on trailers.
It follows two playable characters set by a curious clown into an imaginary world to restore the balance of their positive and negative memories. While in the game, players will be able to try on different costumes that will give them quirks such as levitation and the ability to freeze time. The premise of the game revolves around progression. For each level of the game, players have to dash on enemies and face a big boss at the end. Only when players complete the 12 levels of the game that the characters will be able to return to the real world.
Balan Wonderworld will feature a cooperative play mode where two players will be able to combine their quirks. The game is expected to be available by March 26, 2021 on Switch alongside PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X, and Microsoft Windows. There is no cross-play confirmation for this game yet.
10. New Pokémon Snap
Release Date: April 30, 2021
There is a strong tie that binds Nintendo and The Pokemon Company together and the exclusive release of New Pokémon Snap on Switch proves that. New Pokémon Snap is the sequel to Pokemon’s first-person life simulation game, which debuted in Nintendo 64 system in 1999. In terms of the gameplay, the New Pokémon Snap will remain true to its root, which revolves around exploration.
New Pokémon Snap involves a player character whose task is to help Professor Mirror in his research study. As the player, you have to explore the islands in the Lental region using a hovercraft, take photos of Pokemons in their natural habitat, and eventually build a Photodex. Professor Mirror will rate each photo you take but mind you, he’s a bit particular in terms of the composition. To get better shots, you can use magical berries to lure Pokemons and interact with them.
Now, every remake should have a new flavor to it you may think. Luckily, New Pokémon Snap isn’t dubbed as “new” for no reason. Aside from taking photos, you also have to unlock the mystery about the Illumina Phenomenon that causes Pokemons to glow. This child-friendly game is set to be available worldwide on Apr 30, 2021. Pre-order is also available.
11. Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny
Release Date: Summer 2021
It’s official, Disgaea is now rising from the dead with the awaited release of its sequel, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny. The game brings many firsts in the tactical role-playing series, the 3D visuals being the most notable one.
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny follows a young zombie from the Netherworld named Zed, seeking to destroy the God of Destruction. Often with complex gameplay, this Disgaea installment will challenge players to rise as the most powerful. Its Nintendo page suggests that it will have adjustable gameplay settings as a benchmark for players of different levels.
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is having an early release in Japan on January 28 while it will arrive in summer this year in the West. Its physical copy is also available for pre-order.
12. Mineko’s Night Market
Release Date: TBA
A game doesn’t always have to be action-filled to be considered good. Oftentimes, there is joy in playing mundane games and the upcoming Switch game Mineko’s Night Market is a good example. This cat-filled game offers a cutesy aesthetic and gameplay that won’t bore you out. It is a social simulation adventure game with resource gathering as its cornerstone.
It follows the life of a girl named Mineko after she arrives in a Japanese-inspired, feline-lover town. Her mission is to manage a market and bring back the old glory of the town. To do this, players, accompanied by cats, have to explore the town, collect unique items, and do some crafts for a weekly night market. While on her journey, Mineko will also be able to join mini-games like puzzle solving, cat racing, and doing stage performances.
There is no exact date as to when Mineko’s Night Market will arrive on Switch but basing it on its page, it’ll surely be this year.
13. No More Heroes (NMH) III
Release Date: 2021
The CoronaVirus pandemic might have delayed the 2020 scheduled release of No More Heroes III, but there’s no more waiting as it’s set to hit the Nintendo shelves this year. As per Grasshopper founder’s statement on Twitter, they are prioritizing quality for the awaited release of the Nintendo exclusive. A direct sequel to the first two No More Heroes numbered series, the game happens nine years after NMH II.
Geared with powered armor and his katana, a sword that resembles a lightsaber, the ambitious assassin Travis Touchdown returns to Santa Destroy. In an attempt to save the world from alien domination, the proud hero strikes on floating pyramids that appear to be a metropolis for the invading forces.
No More Heroes III is the first numbered entry of Grasshopper since 2010 and the fourth entry in the NMH franchise. The exact date of the release is set to be finalized.
How to Get Nintendo Switch Games
There are two ways you can get your favorite Switch games: one is by downloading a digital copy from the official game store of Nintendo. If you want to be more retro, you can opt for a physical copy on cartridges, which you can buy directly from Nintendo or from other vendors like Amazon. Oftentimes though, publishers will give you both the digital and physical copy of their game unless they only published it digitally.
Digital Purchase via eShop
eShop is where you can download games and apps for Nintendo Switch. It’s like the Google Play Store for Android phones. To begin the process of downloading or buying games for Switch, you should have a Nintendo Account first. All your purchases will be linked to your account and, in some cases, will allow you to play on a secondary Switch console where your Nintendo Account is also logged in.
- Connect your Switch Network to a Wi-Fi Network.
- Go to eShop and log in with your Nintendo Account. You might also need to set your device as the primary console for your account.
- Find the game you want to purchase. It should automatically download once your payment is processed.
Buying Physical Games
If you rather want a cartridge game for your Nintendo Switch that is not from eShop, you can buy them from various retailers online. There are some risks to this, so you may want to be more inquisitive. Amazon and Best Buy are the sites we recommend where you can confidently buy physical game copies for Switch. All you need is to add them to your cart, make the necessary payments, then wait for them to be shipped. Convenient, isn’t it?
There you go with the upcoming Switch games for 2021 that should excite you in many ways. Hopefully, this guide helps you cherry-pick the games you want to try on your handheld companion this year. Whether you’re using the old Switch or the new Switch Lite, Nintendo has something coming for you. In fact, a bunch of them will follow. No worries, we will keep you updated!