Nintendo’s 2020 helped define the year as one of the worst to go down in history. After the release of Animal Crossing, much of their first-party focus scattered itself among Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. While the console did acquire the hit Steam title, Hades, original first-party releases were in short supply but heavy demand.
However, 2021 is already lining up to be a prime year for Nintendo. In addition to first-party hits, developers and publishers, like Koei Tecmo, Capcom, Atlus, and Square-Enix will release major titles throughout 2021. For fans of Nintendo’s first-party titles, console exclusives, and everything in between, the first part of the year already looks to be one of promise.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
The upcoming Mario title consists of a port of the 2013 Wii U title, Super Mario 3D World. Developed by the team behind Super Mario Galaxy, it features similarities to 2D Mario, such as the familiar powerups and level design structure, while being played in a 3D space. It also features 4-player co-op which can now be played online.
In addition to releasing one of the greatest Mario games of all-time on Switch, this title will also feature the Bowser’s Fury campaign. Here, Mario will team up with Bowser Jr. to save Bowser from a dark and powerful transformation. This open-world segment takes many cues from Super Mario Odyssey and will feature new goals, stages, and plenty of new elements with 2-player co-op enabled.
Release date: 2/12/21
Bravely Default II
From the developers of the Bravely titles and Octopath Traveler, Bravely Default II will take place in a new world and era from its predecessor. Square-Enix’s upcoming Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) pays homage to their familiar Final Fantasy series with its job system, enemies, and spell names. In doing so, it offers a unique twist to familiar JRPG combat in the form of its Brave and Default battle system.
Fans who enjoy classic JRPGs are in for a thrill with the upcoming Bravely Default II. If you’re a fan of REVO’s music, known for his opening themes in Attack on Titan and Sailor Moon Crystal, you will surely enjoy the title’s soundtrack as well. Bravely Default II also features a 5-hour demo currently available on the Nintendo eShop.
Release date: 2/26/21
Persona 5 Strikers
Atlus and Omega Force’s upcoming title, Persona 5 Strikers, will take place after the hit JRPG, Persona 5. Serving as the storyline sequel to the title, Scramble will feature the Musou (or Warriors) elements familiar with Omega Force’s series of games. Nintendo recently released the Musou title, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, last November.
Much as Age of Calamity incorporates Zelda elements into its gameplay, Persona 5 Strikers will feature Persona 5 elements to include its UI and numerous battle cues such as turn-based combat while summoning Personas.
Release date: 2/22/21
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection
Capcom’s upcoming 2D platformer will feature the long-awaited return of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. The beloved side-scroller features some of the most soul-crushing difficulty in the history of gaming. Starring the knight, Arthur, he must rescue the Princess from the hellish demons which have kidnapped her.
Fear not, as more recent Ghosts ‘n Goblins titles include easier difficulties if you enjoy a more leisurely stroll through the horror lands. Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection will be the first title released in the series since 2006’s Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins for PlayStation Portable. If you’re looking to try an entry in the series and have Nintendo Switch Online, I strongly recommend playing Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts from the SNES library.
Release date: 2/25/21
New Pokemon Snap
Nintendo’s upcoming New Pokemon Snap will be the Pokemon spin-off’s first new entry since 1999 for the Nintendo 64. Players will ride in a machine in an on-rails experience while snapping pictures of Pokemon. While adding Pokemon pictures to their library, they can also interact with the creatures through the use of various items.
Pokemon Snap was known for such interaction which created some unique and hilarious animations from the creatures. They could also evolve Pokemon and unlock new areas which ultimately brought them to Mew in a cosmic rainbow finale! New Pokemon Snap will feature Pokemon from the past 8 Generations of the series and offer many new terrains to explore.
Release date: April 30, 2021
Monster Hunter Rise
Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has seen a rise in popularity ever since the release of Monster Hunter World in 2018. While the series has invited new fans over the course of its 3DS, Wii U, and past generation releases, Monster Hunter World took the world by storm with its release on multiple platforms. This series features bounty-hunting missions where players will hunt down massive creatures.
For players seeking online co-op action and want to equip themselves with the mightiest weapons available, Monster Hunter Rise will offer the ideal experience. Partner with the Palicoes and cook up delicious new meals. Monster Hunter Rise will feature a new era of massive weapons and creatures to go after later this year.
Release date: 3/26/21
Shin Megami Tensei V
Atlus’ latest entry in the SMT series featured a strange development cycle. Originally announced in January 2017, Atlus has remained quiet on the series since its original announcement. Likewise, the series has not seen a release since Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse in 2016. However, last year they featured a trailer unveiling the game for a Switch release alongside the remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
This dark fantasy JRPG series features players summoning demons from hell and other mythological beings from history. You can recruit creatures into their party, level them up, and even fuse them to create new and stronger creatures. Known for its difficulty, SMT fans can look forward to the challenge while newer fans can appreciate the shared enemy designs from the Persona series.
Release date: TBD
What Else Will Come to Switch in 2021?
While these confirmed releases will arrive on the Switch later this year, we also know of confirmed titles, such as Metroid Prime 4 and Genshin Impact coming to Switch. Though we do not know of their release date, Metroid Prime 4 remains in development while Genshin developer, MiHoYo, confirmed the Switch release of their gacha RPG giant last year.
If the past year’s Game Awards taught us anything, it’s entirely possible to have a digital gaming event during a quarantine. While Nintendo’s lack of a full Nintendo Direct left many players disillusioned last year, perhaps a returning E3 might invite the developer to showcase some major hits during the summer.
We will keep you posted on upcoming developments on Nintendo Switch titles over the course of the year. In the meantime, follow our social media links below and keep up with our content! If you’re interested in an upcoming title, be sure to let us know in the replies.
Take care and see you next time!