Nintendo didn’t exactly have a success on its hands with its last game console, the Wii U. To that end, the Mario company scrapped that unique device far earlier than it probably planned and began work on its successor, the Switch. This game machine is a hybrid device that acts like a home console when you’re sitting in front of a TV but can also become a portable system when you want to go out into the world (or just into the bathroom). Nintendo will offer many details about the system during an unveiling on January 12, 2017, but here are the Nintendo Switch games you can expect to see in the coming year or so.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The final big game for the Wii U will also be among the first big games on the Nintendo Switch. We’re talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an enormous game that sounds like an ambitious departure for the series.
For one thing, Nintendo says it will be 12 times larger than the previous holder of “largest Zelda game ever” award, Skyward Sword. Not only that, but the game is apparently so open that, immediately after starting it, you can go directly to confront the final boss, skipping everything in between. That leaves tons of room for player choice, something past Zelda games haven’t been too keen to allow.
2. New Mario game
What good is a new Nintendo system without a new Mario game? That’s not something we’ll find out with the Switch, because Nintendo has shown off short snippets of this 3D platformer. We hardly know anything about it, but I’m sure Nintendo will give us more information in the coming months. If you want the deepest possible analysis of what Nintendo has shown, check out GameXplain’s 11-minute dissection.
Nintendo’s kid-friendly online “shooter” is coming to the Switch. In case you missed it on the Wii U, it’s a team-based game in which players try to coat the entire stage with their color of paint. It’s a fresh take on the well-worn shooter genre, and if the Switch trailer is anything to go by, Nintendo plans to give Splatoon an eSports boost.
4. Mario Kart 8
Judging from the Switch trailer, Mario Kart 8, one of the best games on Wii U, is making the jump to the Switch. Internet sleuths have pointed out that, unlike the Wii U version of the game, the Switch version features at least one new character (King Boo) and offers players two item slots instead of one. This is probably an enhanced version of the game that will come with all the DLC released for the original, along with some new tweaks and features.
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
A portable version of Skyrim? Sounds great. This game featured prominently in the Switch reveal video, but developer Bethesda is keeping its lips sealed about it for the moment. That’s why we’re still not sure whether this is the original game or the remastered edition — or even if it’s definitely coming to Switch at all.
All Bethesda will say is that it has partnered with Nintendo to make Switch games. Despite that, it seems highly unlikely Nintendo would show the game in a trailer and fail to seal the deal. Assuming it does come out, it will be great to bring such a sizable open-world RPG to a system you can play on the go.
For years it has seemed that Nintendo was the only company interested in making 3D platformers in this day and age. Now a group of former developers from Rare have banded together to bring the spirit of Banjo-Kazooie to a new generation of players. Yooka-Laylee looks so similar to the classic Banjo games that it almost borders on copyright infringement.
This one’s not officially confirmed yet either, but developer Playtonic Games says it’s “working very closely with Nintendo to look to bring Yooka-Laylee to the upcoming Nintendo Switch.” That quote comes from the very same announcement that the promised Wii U edition was cancelled. If it doesn’t come to Switch, it will leave some Nintendo fans deeply unsatisfied.
7. NBA 2K17
Sports fans can play some basketball on Switch thanks to NBA 2K17, a b-ball sim that received high praise from critics and players alike when it launched in September. Among the new features are 10 licensed collegiate programs and a career mode that features Michael B. Jordan. This is the best basketball sim on the market.
8. LEGO City Undercover
Previously a Wii U exclusive, LEGO City Undercover is making its way to the next generation of Nintendo hardware. This game puts you in the plastic shoes of Officer Chase McCain and sends you after all kinds of bad guys in an open-world LEGO city. The game was well-received on Wii U, so it should be a good family-friendly romp on Switch.
9. New Sonic game
Currently going by the working title Project Sonic 2017, this speedy platformer is coming to all the big systems — including Switch. Based on the trailer above, it seems to be some kind of post-apocalyptic Sonic game that stars two different versions of Sonic. We’ll see how that shakes out, but judging by the lackluster Sonic games we’ve gotten recently, don’t hold your breath that this one will be worth your money.
10. Just Dance 2017
This energetic music game has you cut a rug in time with an eclectic playlist of pop hits. The series tends to deliver good party games, as well as a fun way to exercise. As an interesting side-note, this game is also coming to Wii and Wii U, making it one of the only games ever to span three console generations.