We’re in the midst of a Warriors series Golden Age on the Nintendo Switch. Recently, we asked you – Nintendo Life’s readers – to rank each of these Musou games, and games like Hyrule Warriors and Age of Calamity beat out the likes of Samurai Warriors 5 and One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3.
This got us thinking, what series would we most want to see receive a 'Musou Makeover'? As far as we’re concerned, for a game to make for a good Musou spinoff, it has to meet two requirements: a lot of playable characters, and even more enemies to cut down by the thousands.
To our surprise, a lot of Nintendo and Switch staples meet those requirements and then some. Below are 10 series we’d most like to hack-and-slash our way through hordes of enemies in. Oh, and we’ve left out the Metroid series. Beyond Samus, we can’t think of many other playable characters. Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the poll and comments.
Let's start with a little-known gaming series that not many people are talking about right now...
10 - Sonic the Hedgehog Warriors
Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Rouge, Blaze, Metal Sonic, Big the Cat, Jet the Hawk – the list goes on. For better or for worse, the Sonic the Hedgehog series has a large roster of characters, which would make for a unique Musou cast if their movesets were distinct enough from one another.
Add in the speed Sonic is known for and zipping through masses of Dr. Robotnik’s cute little robots would make for an undoubtedly exhilarating take. Don’t lie – you’d like to wreak havoc as a Chao through Green Hills and Casino Nights just as much as we would.
9 - Shin Megami Tensei Warriors
As the parent series to Persona, we already know Shin Megami Tensei Warriors would work because the hyper-stylish Persona 5 Strikers released in 2021 to critical acclaim. SMT IV and SMT V were Nintendo exclusives, too, so we wouldn’t be shocked if we actually got this game on Switch one day.
SMT games do not lack for demons to slay, yet it does not feature many prolific characters to flesh out a roster. To mitigate this, we’d love to see a Musou game where we recruit and fuse together demons that become playable just like in the main games themselves, though we imagine any studio tasked with creating such a game would drastically decrease the demonic roster from the 221 creatures we saw in SMT V last year.
Yep, that's a gauntlet on the ground there, Omega Force.
8 - Dragon Quest Warriors
Look – we know that Dragon Quest Heroes released as a launch title for Switch in Japan, but that particular Warriors title never escaped The Land of Rising JRPGs — not on Switch, at least. The Dragon Quest series is absolutely ripe for mob-decimating Musou gameplay which makes this a travesty. Maybe with the success of Age of Calamity and Fire Emblem: Three Hopes Square Enix and Koei Tecmo will reconsider and localise it one day.
Or, if we may roll a little greedy, a brand-new Dragon Quest-themed Musou game that draws on the franchise's four-decade history. With dozens of party members and of some of the most colourfully killable monsters ever imagined, the lack of a Dragon Quest Musou on the Switch in the West keeps us up at night.
7 - Kirby Warriors
With god-tier power levels, Kirby himself might need a nerf if his series ever got a Musou game. Despite a small but unique cast including Waddle Dee, King Dedede, and Meta Knight, we could see a Kirby Warriors game making a splash with his copy ability altering his moveset on the fly – maybe even altering the power level based on how many of each enemy the pink puffball swallows.
Okay, we’ll admit it. After Kirby and the Forgotten Land, we just want more Kirby.
6 - Xenoblade Warriors
Despite being the youngest series on this list, Xenoblade has made quite the name for itself as a flagship title for the Switch. Shulk, Pyra, and Mythra already made it into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and there’s a lot more characters where that came from.
What makes Xenoblade an appealing choice for a Musou game, however, is its expansive and gorgeous environments. Hacking through masses of fauna as a Blade or a Nopon in the Gaur Plains sounds like a grand old time.
5 - Final Fantasy Warriors
Final Fantasy is no stranger to crossovers between their individual games. Between Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, Dissidia Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts, the protagonists and party members of the mainline series routinely hop from game to game like interdimensional Hellgaroos.
Much like with Dragon Quest, a Musou Final Fantasy would work extremely well as a love letter to the series' legendary history – Cloud, Squall, Zidane, Lightning, and more all joining forces to lay waste to legions of FF baddies.
Alternatively, a Musou game that focused on an individual title would work too – just don’t make it Final Fantasy VII. We’ve had enough of Midgar for a while.
4 - Donkey Kong Warriors
Imagine this: the Kremlings team up with the Tikis from Donkey Kong Country Returns and the Snowmads from Tropical Freeze to steal Donkey Kong’s banana hoard once and for all. It’s up to Donkey, Diddy, Dixie, Cranky, Lanky, Funky, and the other Kongs to get them back.
Throw in a mine-cart super move to rack up the KOs, an underwater level, and animal mounts, and we’d have our wallets out faster than Donkey Kong can eat a hand of bananas.
3 - Castlevania Warriors
Castlevania Warriors makes so much sense. Like many games on this list, it has a bevy of possibilities when it comes to playable characters. The Belmonts and Alucard spring foremost to mind, but there’s also the likes of Soma Cruz and Shanoa to consider. Each hero's moveset could use some of Castlevania’s most iconic weapons: whips, magic spells, and massive axes. The enemies – from skeletons to those annoying Medusa Heads – also seem like a no-brainer.
There’s one issue: Dracula might have to hire a new interior planner to widen his narrow halls to fit in all the potential monster-slaying.
2 - Mario Warriors
The Moustachioed hero of the Mushroom Kingdom might seem like an odd choice for a Musou game, but hear us out. Mario isn’t a stranger to spinoffs – parties, tennis, golf, go-karting, paper-based adventures, and especially the turn-based strategy of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle – and that makes us believe a Super Mario Warriors wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary. He certainly appears to be losing his temper a lot in Mario Strikers: Battle League. Indeed, a Mario Musou would be as sweet as one of Princess Peach’s cakes.
And there’s only one other game on this list that we believe would make for as much fun as nabbing a Super Star to charge through hundreds of Koopas and Goombas while controlling Luigi, Peach, and even deeper cuts like Captain Toad and Pauline...
1 - Pokémon Warriors
Pokémon Warriors tops this list as the Musou game that fits the criteria best and as the one we’d most like to play. Set such a game in a region uninhabited by trainers or other humans, put together a list of playable Pokémon from fan favourites – such as Charizard, Lucario, Pikachu and Garchomp – with a surprise choice or two thrown in for good measure, and let players loose to fight through hordes of other Pokémon on a mission to save the region for one reason or another.
We firmly believe Pokémon would adapt to the Musou formula as well as Zelda and Fire Emblem, if not better. The Pokémon series isn’t a stranger to surprising spinoffs. Take the tactics gameplay of Pokémon Conquest or the recent success of Pokémon Unite for example. A Musou just makes sense.
And that’s the 10 best video game series that we hope get the Warriors treatment one day. What about you? Let us know in the poll which Musou spinoff you’d most like to play, or if we missed a particularly ripe game series.