Nintendo Switch Ports We'd Love To See In 2023
Image: Nintendo Life

Early in 2022, we put out a list of 14 games we'd love to have on Switch. Since then, we've got at least five of them on Switch, so we're either prescient or powerful. So, in hopes that 2023 will be similarly rewarding, we're aiming this feature at you, Doug Bowser — we'd love to see the following games ported onto Nintendo's hybrid console. You don't even have to credit us, we're just that nice.

The Big Games

Wind Waker HD & Twilight Princess HD

Let's start it off easy, eh? These two excellent Zelda remasters have been trapped on the Wii U for too long! Bring their glorious HD selves over to the Switch — bundle them together, even — and we'll be happier than a Goron in a rockslide. We've already got Skyward Sword, which is arguably the hardest to port of those three games, so surely this pair can't be far behind?

What are the chances?

Call us hopelessly optimistic, but we feel like there have been hints that this could happen for a while now, and we can't see why Nintendo wouldn't consider at least one of them an easy win. Still, rumours are not reality.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Again, we've already got Super Mario Galaxy 1 in that short-lived Super Mario 3D All-Stars bumper pack. SMG2 is one of the best Mario games of all time, and it would be such a boon to be able to play it on Switch, maybe even before the next Super Mario game (Odyssey 2, perhaps?) comes out. It's been a while since we've bounced around with our second favourite Italian plumber, hasn't it?

What are the chances?

Honestly, who knows with Super Mario Galaxy. Nintendo gave us 3D All-Stars and then ripped it from our hands by taking it off sale (although it really isn't hard to find even now). Behind the closed doors of the Japanese HQ, anything could be happening, but with Tears of the Kingdom on the slate, it sort of feels like it's Mario's turn to hog the spotlight next, you know?

Tomb Raider: Survivor Trilogy

This trilogy compilation release of Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal, was released for PS4 and Xbox One, so it stands to reason that they'd run well enough on Switch, too. They're rather good games (with the original being a real stand-out late in the PS3 / Xbox 360 era) that tell the origin story of the iconic character, and they all have a flair for cinematic action and some occasional tomb raiding. Not all diehard fans of the IP approve of the games, but we reckon they're a fun time.

What are the chances?

Low-ish, we'd say. 2022 was an anniversary year for the franchise and would have been the ideal time, but previous IP owners Square Enix announced Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris for Switch instead, and port house Feral Interactive confirmed that those had slipped into 2023.

Embracer Group's acquisition of the IP and developers in August 2022 may increase the chances slightly of seeing the previous Tomb Raider trilogy ported to Switch, but we wouldn't hold our breath.

Batman: Arkham Collection

It sometimes feels like the Rocksteady-developed 'main' Arkham games have been done a disservice. Not only was the 'Return to Arkham' PS4 / Xbox One collection a technical disappointment, but the newest entry (Arkham Knight) has gone unloved and hasn't had any upgrades for the latest hardware. The trilogy, nevertheless, is comprised of three excellent games that would be awesome to play on Switch.

What are the chances?

It should be technically possible, though the third entry would be rather demanding to port across. The first two games should be do-able however, and let's not forget that we had Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition and Batman: Arkham Origins on Wii U, and even Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate on 3DS (later in its HD form on Wii U). The precedent is there.

Will it actually happen? Considering the haphazard treatment of the games over the years probably not. Still, you never know...

Metroid Prime

With Metroid Prime 4 scheduled to be with us sometime prior to Halley's Comet return, whispers abound that Nintendo is sitting on a remastered version of Metroid Prime, just waiting for the right time to pull the trigger and whet everyone's appetite ahead of MP4's arrival. We'd rather have the trilogy in a simple HD port, to be honest, but it's not our decision.

So, what are the chances this year?

Well, assuming that Prime 4 development is progressing — however slow-and-steady that progress may be — it's not beyond the realm of possibility that we'll see the rumoured Prime remaster, with Prime 4 to follow. Nintendo will want to start the Prime 4 Morph Ball rolling at some point, and releasing Metroid Prime on Switch would be a great way to do that.

Or, you know, the entire Prime trilogy. We'd take that, too.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

We got Mass Effect 3 on Wii U, remember? Remember the Wii U and Mass Effect 3? Sitting in a tree? K-I-S-S-I-N-G? Those were the days when EA execs looked at the Wii's numbers and thought they better go all-in on Wii U. And just look how that turned out.

What are the chances?

Having been stung on Wii U, EA hasn't bothered much with Switch. Since then, EA has also decided to go all-in on Xbox, with many of their games available through Microsoft's Game Pass. Many of the games in this list will suffer from this — if something's raking in the chips through Game Pass, why bother with Switch, where the game will run worse and make (probably) less money? This one ain't that likely, unfortunately.

Fallout (any of them)

It is a crime that the Fallout series only has one game on Switch, and it's the fun-but-forgettable mobile game, Fallout Shelter, and not New Vegas, Fallout 3, or Fallout 4. We're relatively sure that each one of these games would make a fantastic Switch port, since ol' Bethesda did such a great job porting over Skyrim to every platform ever, and Obsidian brought us Outer Worlds and Pillars of Eternity II, but they just haven't materialised.

What are the chances?

Weeeeeell, Microsoft now owns both Obsidian and Bethesda, the two developers of the Fallout series, so... not very likely? But then again, the Switch has Minecraft, Ori, and (apparently) will be getting Call of Duty, too, so it's not a zero chance. But you know how complicated company relationships can be, especially with rivals. We think this would be an easy win that could revitalise the older Fallout games for new audiences, but we aren't Phil Spencer.

Dragon Age (any of them)

Oh, can you imagine how much fun it would be to play even just Dragon Age: Origins on Switch? Surely someone at BioWare or EA can polish up a 13-year-old game for a 5-year-old console, no? And if we managed to get Dragon Age II and the glorious Dragon Age: Inquisition on the Switch as well, we would probably be glued to that tiny screen for months. If Skyrim and The Witcher 3 can do it, Dragon Age Inquisition can do it, too!

What are the chances?

Pretty low, for the same reasons as Fallout and Mass Effect: Xbox and EA are unlikely to let these behemoths out of their stables. Microsoft is more willing to share than Sony, it's true, but EA seems to have decided that the Switch isn't worth their precious time (proof: the travesty that is FIFA on Switch. Sigh).

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Another regular request of ours, 2020's Yakuza: Like A Dragon and its Dragon Quest-loving turn-based gameplay would still be gratefully received on Switch.

What are the chances?

Still low, unfortunately. You would hope that the broad audience and colossal success of Switch might make the series' producers reconsider putting the game on Nintendo's console, but Sega isn't the fastest company when it comes to gauging customer trends. As much as we'd love to see Ichiban become Switchiban, we might be asking too much.

Come on — Switchiban? Giving you solid gold over here!

Grand Theft Auto V

First up, it’s the fifth mainline entry in the GTA franchise. It introduced several new things to the series, the most significant being not gating the city from the beginning. Clunky in some ways, stunningly ambitious in others, the sheer scope of Rockstar’s environments is astonishing, and exploring Los Santos on Switch would be a fine thing — it was on PS3 and Xbox 360, for goodness' sake!

What are the chances?

Not impossible from a technical standpoint (PS3 and Xbox 360 just about handled it), but the game’s biggest innovation makes a Switch port less likely; GTA Online is still a colossal money-spinner for Rockstar, so a port of an old game to a console with a patchy online reputation probably isn’t an in-house priority. And after GTA Trilogy's launch state and the drubbing the developers received for it, there's probably not much inclination on Rockstar's part to get their hands dirty with a distraction like this. A shame.

Mad Max

Mad Max deserved better. Sure, it was a middle-of-the-road (pun intended) action-adventure that pulled from the Assassin's Creed school of design — that is, "map icons, everywhere" — but it was really fun to careen around the desert in a souped-up jalopy. It deserves to be able to get back up, brush off the dirt, and have a second chance at life on the Switch.

What are the chances?

Pretty microscopic, in no small part due to the fact that no one has thought about this game much since its 2015 release. We would put our money on Avalanche and Warner Bros. wanting to do more productive things with their time than remastering a game that received a lukewarm reception even when it was shiny and new.

Shadow of Mordor

Speaking of games that were pretty cool but faded away into the cultural soup, Shadow of Mordor! This innovative Lord of the Rings spin-off introduced us to the Nemesis System, in which your enemies not only remember you, but you form a sort of relationship with them during the course of the story, watching them rise up the ranks to lead armies before you get to fight them again. We haven't seen anything quite like it since.

What are the chances?

Hard to say exactly, but it's been almost ten years since this game came out. Monolith has since been working on a Wonder Woman game, although there hasn't been much news on that front other than a ton of recent new hires. Would they have the time to polish up Shadow of Mordor for us poor Switch players?

Tales of Arise

An action-RPG from Bandai Namco, Tales of Arise is the most entry in the Tales series featuring such games as Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Vesperia. This latest game was very well-received on other platforms, and we'd jump at the chance of playing it on Switch.

What are the chances?

Various games from the Tales series have appeared on Nintendo platforms over the years — including Switch — and Arise is an Unreal Engine 4 game, which Switch supports. That said, the series producer said back in August that there were "no plans" to bring the game to Switch — before also adding the usual 'if we see demand' caveat.

Marvel Snap

A dark horse in the race for 2022 Game of the Year, this mobile strategy card game came from nowhere to sweep a bunch of prizes. Apparently, it's really good. And it's a mobile game, which is easier to port over to Switch than a whole Fallout or whatever, right?

What are the chances?

We think the chances are surprisingly high, actually. It's a simple enough game, without all the confusing complications behind other card games like Magic: The Gathering, and it's got some stellar scores. It wouldn't be that big of a step to bring it over to Switch now that it's proved to be mega-popular, we reckon.

That's all the big games we'd love to see on Switch next year, but keep going to page two to find out which stellar indies and mid-size games we've got on our list (spoilers: one of them is Papers, Please!)...