2020 was a dashing year for Nintendo Switch. Thanks to the global lockdown, Switch's popularity sky-rocketed, while Animal Crossing New Horizons brought us all much-needed relief amidst all the chaos. If you thought 2020 was 'lit', 2021's line-up will make it seem like a mere spark in comparison.
Original titles such as Super Mario 3D World and Monster Hunter Rise, as well as beloved titles including Apex Legends and Persona 5 Strikers, among many more, are coming to Nintendo Switch in 2021. If we're lucky, we may even get the sequel to the almighty Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Below, we've rounded up the most anticipated Nintendo Switch games coming in 2021. Let's dive into it!
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Release Date: 12 February 2020
A Nintendo line-up cannot be complete without a Mario game, and this year is a big one. Super Mario 3D World is the reimagination of Super Mario 3D from Wii U. So get ready to step into the shoes of Mario, Gree Mario (I know his name is Luigi, but Green Mario is what comes out naturally) Princess Peach, Toad, and more to save the Sprixie Kingdom.
The Switch release will also add a ton of new features to take full benefit of Switch's bells and whistles, including gyro support. Let's not forget Bowser's Fury, a completely different side game that feels like the perfect blend of Super Mario 3D World and Mario Odyssey, but much grimmer when compared to the colourful levels and streets if the aforementioned games.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is Switch's first big game of 2021 and Nintendo is has got their hopes high, which as history testifies, means an amazing game and a lot of fun time with your friends in the multiplayer mode.
Release Date: 18 February 2020
Astrologaster is a recollection of a ridiculous, and ridiculously true, story by indie developer Nyamyam. While the flip-book style gameplay isn't exciting in itself, it's the story that makes Astrologaster worth playing. The game follows Simon Foreman, a real occult doctor who cured the London Plague with his homebrew connection. But the thing is, he dropped out of Cambridge's medical school and was at the risk of getting convicted for practising medicine without a licence.
There was, however, a way out. If 8 of his querents gave him recommendation letters, Cambridge would give him a medical licence. That's what you're tasked with in the game. Consult the stars and help your (historically) notable querents out of their miseries. If you think Cambridge did something absurd by giving a seemingly lunatic man a medical licence based on a few recommendation letters, wait until you hear the fact that they also helped make this game almost 600 years after the original events.
Astrologaster's unique art style and blissful soundtrack, paired with the ridiculous story going over the troubles of 16th Century English gentry make Astrologaster a must play.
Release Date: 25 February 2021
If you think all Nintendo games are about jolly adventures in colourful places, then you need to play Hellpoint. It's a dark and brutal sci-fi game that's getting a Switch port pretty soon. Step into the shoes of a nameless humanoid stranded on derelict space station Irid Novo, a planet that's orbiting a black hole on the edge of the galaxy. You must battle vicious and nasty creatures, who grow stronger as the Irid Novo is drawn closer and closer to the black hole and solve the mystery behind the events that happened there.
If you're a fan of the Souls series and looking to challenge yourself on the Switch, then Hellpoint is worth your time. But if you're into light-hearted adventures that can take away the stress of a long day, then I'd recommend you to skip over this one.
Bravely Default II
Release Date: 26 February 2021
Bravely Default II is the sequel to the original title by the same name on Nintendo 3DS. Coming from Team Asano and Square Enix, Bravely Default II is a classic JRPG, so you can look forward to deep character customization, turn-based combat, cute characters, and an enchanting world full of lore. Fortunately, Bravely Default II is more of successor rather than a plain old sequel to the first game, so you won't need any prior knowledge of the series to enjoy this wonderful RPG.
Release Date: 9 March 2021
After a ton of leaks, rumours and anticipation, it's official; the beloved battle royale Apex Legends is coming to Nintendo Switch in 2021. Since its release, the game has witnessed constant updates and an evergrowing player base. Since Apex Legends is free to play, it's bound to make a huge buzz when it lands on Nintendo Switch.
Monster Hunter Rise
Release Date: 9 March 2021
Monster Hunter Rise is a brand new take on the Monster Hunter series, built specifically for Nintendo Switch. The game takes you back to the Kamura Village 50 years after the last calamity took place, where you must face deadly monsters and protect the lang. The multiplayer mode allows you and up to three other friends take on nemesis together. A host of new features, some of which were built specifically for the Switch, are also in line. New monsters, a dog companion and the ability to ride Wyverns are a few to mention. Oh, and did we mention that 'Rise' is a play at the verticality of the game, which essentially means you can climb any surface in the game like Zelda BOTW.
Release Date: 30 March 2021
If you need some downtime after grinding Apex Legends and rushing through Monster Hunter Rise, then Pokemon Snap is the perfect way to wind down. Unlike other fast-paced action titles here with sky-high stakes such as saving the world, Pokemon Snap is about clicking pictures of Pokemon on a beautiful island. Originally made for the Nintendo 64 all the way back in 1999, the new Pokemon Snap is essentially a virtual wild-life photography simulator, where the wild-life happens to be Pokemon. So prepare to travel to luscious land and hold the camera perfectly to get that perfect shot!
Release Date: TBD
If Tony Hawk in Tony Hawk's pro skater was replaced by a pigeon, you'd get Skatebird. That's basically what Skatebird is about. It's not the game you want, but the one you need. The concept and gameplay look. . . intriguing, to say the least.
Release Date: TBD
If you mix Zelda BOTW and Ni No Kuni with a sprinkle of Studio Ghibli movies and bake it till golden brown, you'll get Baldo. The story follows Baldo, the 'pure child' of prophecy, adventuring in the world of Rodia. The game was supposed to release in 2020 but got indefinitely delayed in September. Now we're left hanging with the bare knowledge that the game will be an open-world adventure full of interesting characters, weird and wonderful creatures, puzzles, combat, and temples to uncover and explore.
Baldo's premise seems quite promising and given the fact that the game has been in production for 15 years, I can almost bet my money that it will be a good one. The studio's artist Fabio Capone stated that: "The idea started a long time ago, as a game called The Dark Knight ... That project ended once the GameBoy Advance era came to an end. It was a shame. A few years ago, once the technology that allowed better cartoon shading came around, we thought it was a good time to get our hands on the project once again."
Other Confirmed Games for Nintendo Switch
There are two other MAJOR games that are officially in production at Nintendo, the problem is there is not even a single clue about their release. But these games are so ambitious and eagerly awaited that we had to mention them!
First Announced: 2017
A short and
sweet spicy teaser at The Game Awards 2017 made the return of our favourite witch official. The game currently in development over at PlatinumGames, but we have no word of its release just yet.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel
First Announced: 2019
Undeniably the best title on Nintendo Switch yet and perhaps the best Nintendo game ever, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel! The official announcement came in 2019 and the game went undercover after that. While there is no release date here either, I did some rough calculations by taking Zelda BOTW as a benchmark. The development of Zelda BOTW took 5 years. Given that the game was released in 2017, the pre-production must've started in 2012 while the official-ish announcement followed in 2014, three years before the actual release and two years after the development kicked off.
Going by the same assumptions, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel must've started right after the release of BOTW. The timeline of the official announcement matches this theory. So, the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel should've landed sometime in 2023, but the global pandemic must've caused some delays, so we can safely assume that Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel will come out in or around 2024.