The Spring season is upon us, and with the Nintendo Switch out in the wild and settling into a groove we thought it was a good time to revive our 'Biggest Games' lists, which previously started to get a tad stretched for Wii U and 3DS. Such is the relative richness of the Switch line-up that we're back to separate lists for retail and the eShop; naturally we're starting off with the big 'uns we'll see in stores.
Our usual criteria apply - only confirmed games are included, no rumours, and we've tried to stick to games with a 2017 release date or window. Some are expected in 2017 and make the list, and a couple of 'honourable mentions' are out in Japan but not yet confirmed for the West; we wanted to get a list of 20, but release windows will change. Also, remember some games like the new Fire Emblem for Switch or Shin Megami Tensei have no realistic window for this year or are due in 2018, so aren't included here.
With E3 yet to come we think the line-up is looking pretty decent, all told, so let's get to it.
Where applicable there are Amazon affiliate links below - a percentage of purchases and pre-orders via those links may go to Nintendo Life.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 28th April
Nintendo's next big-time retail release, this will rather smartly tap into two distinct Switch audiences - those that had a Wii U but fancy an all-in-one edition also playable on the go, and those that never owned a Wii U. With all of the core content and DLC, along with a new set of Battle courses and modes, this will offer plenty of Mario Kart bang for our buck.
This one isn't too far away now, and is an intriguing release that seems rather well suited to Nintendo hardware. The old-school visuals are given a HD sheen and it'll have those familiar mechanics, while there'll be a small number of new characters. Online fighting will obviously be a highlight, though the motion-controlled first-person perspective looks a bit wonky. Overall we're excited about this one.
ARMS - Spring
To date this is Nintendo's most notable stab at a new IP on the Switch, as it blends motion-based combat with relatively complex mechanics such as dodges, grapples and special moves. The early demo at events showed some promise, but Nintendo arguably has work to do in order to showcase the levels of content and variety that will justify this retail title.
Splatoon 2 - Summer
It's no surprise that the breakout Wii U hit of 2015 is getting a full release, with new stages and weapons confirmed for online play and the hope of a smart single player mode. Quite a lot of detail around this one is still vague - such as any adjustments to online modes - but the recent Global Testfire showed that the core gameplay is as fun and colourful as ever.
Fire Emblem Warriors - Autumn / Fall
Nintendo and Koei Tecmo solidified a development relationship with Hyrule Warriors, which brought The Legend of Zelda and the Omega Force-led Warriors franchises together. Along with a lot of DLC that release was evidently a success, so there's optimism that Fire Emblem will be a strong fit for that formula; this one will also have a version on the New Nintendo 3DS.
Super Mario Odyssey - Holiday Season
In theory all we know of this is what we saw in a brief announcement trailer, but the footage included there was rather exciting. Aside from all the attention given to a 'real-world' stage there was the usual batch of creativity shown along with Mario's hat acting as a platform, with gameplay reminiscent of the freedom enjoyed in the iconic Super Mario 64. Oh, and Bowser has an awesome hat...
Sonic Forces - 2017
Originally announced with a flashy cinematic trailer in a slightly chaotic Sonic Anniversary party last year, just recently a brief snippet of gameplay was shown (above). Not much else is known, but ultimately it's exciting that the next tentpole and multi-platform Sonic title is coming to the Switch - the Wii U had the decent Sonic Lost World and the less decent Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, but like many Sonic fans we're hoping this will be the mascot at his very best. And before any of you get on our case, keep an eye out for Sonic Mania in our upcoming eShop list.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - 2017
Nintendo is sticking to its 2017 window for this one, but frankly it's the top contender for any delays into 2018. But still, if it does arrive this year we'll be very excited about it, as both Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii and New 3DS) and Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) are top class efforts from Monolith Soft. We expect a huge world to explore and an eye-watering playtime (and hopefully improved performance than in the trailer) with this sequel.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 2017
We were a bit hesitant about putting this in the 'biggest' ten, but it should be acknowledged that it's one of the most acclaimed games of the past five or so years, and it'll be playable on Nintendo hardware and on the go. Those factors alone are rather exciting, and there may indeed be Nintendo-centric gamers yet to experience this game; we're very curious to see how it'll turn out.
Minecraft: Switch Edition - 2017
A bit like with Skyrim we were hesitant over this one, but we think it could be a reasonable success on Switch (and yes, that's a Wii U trailer above). By the time it arrived on Wii U we thought the ship had sailed, yet it performed reasonably and the most popular versions of this game are still selling consistently well. It's the most evergreen of games, so we're hopeful that a fully featured Switch version will perform well on the console; we're taking a punt on a 2017 release, too.
- FIFA 18
- Dragon Quest XI
- Disgaea 5 Complete
- Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition
- NBA 2K18
- Puyo Puyo Tetris
- LEGO Worlds
- Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence (Currently Japan-only)
- Dragon Quest Heroes I•II (Currently Japan-only)
So there you have it, ten main titles and another ten 'honourable mentions' that we think highlight some of the best retail games coming to Switch. Let us know which games you're most looking forward to in the poll and comments below, and also remind us of anything blindingly obvious that we've missed!