Nintendo Life Most Anticipated Switch Games
Image: Nintendo Life

We're approaching the end of 2021 now and we've have seen some fantastic games come to Switch this year. It's also true that a few big names have slipped into 2022 — for understandable reasons — but there are still some heavy hitters to come before the bell rings on 31st December.

Below we've updated our list and rounded up thirty of the biggest Switch games we're looking forward to — both the remainder we're waiting for in the final month of 2021 and all the big ones lined up for 2022. They run the gamut from AAA first-party offerings to promising-looking indies. There are a few big names that are still pencilled in for this year, so we're hoping for some surprise drops as we head into the Holidays (fingers crossed!).

We've had a lot of great titles so far this year with the likes of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, Bravely Default II, Monster Hunter Rise, New Pokémon Snap, Famicom Detective Club, Game Builder Garage, Mario Golf: Super Rush, Tony Hawk's 1+2, Disgaea 6, Monster Hunter Stories 2, Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, WarioWare: Get It Together! and Metroid Dread *breathe* — plus a huge number of amazing indie titles. With just a few weeks left, there's still plenty more to look forward to before the year is out, though.

So, let's take a look at our most anticipated Switch games ...

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain (Switch)

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain (Switch)Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 3rd Dec 2021 (USA) / 3rd Dec 2021 (UK/EU)

Announced on a quiet Thursday in early September, the Big Brain Academy series — the slightly more relaxed sibling of Brain Age / Brain Training from back in the Nintendo DS era — is back in December with Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain on Switch.

Featuring 4-player brain-based bouts, you'll also be able to battle brainiacs from around the world via a new online where you challenge other people's ghost data in a brain vs. brain sorta scenario. It's out on 3rd December and looks like decent family fare for the holidays.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition (Switch eShop)

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition (Switch eShop)Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft / Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Release Date: 3rd Dec 2021 (USA) / 3rd Dec 2021 (UK/EU)

One of the four helpings of Danganronpa dropping on the same day, this 10th anniversary edition of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc arrives on the same day as Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition, Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Anniversary Edition.

That's a whole lot of Spike Chunsoft's visual novel-ing for a single day, but dagnabit if we're not down for Danganronpa! Busy day, December 3rd.

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Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition (Switch)

Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition (Switch)Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition (Switch)
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: 3rd Dec 2021 (USA) / 3rd Dec 2021 (UK/EU)

This is a wholesome and delightfully colourful adventure inspired by Disney's theme parks and huge array of characters and franchises. This one has areas inspired by films like Frozen and The Little Mermaid, bringing spruced up visuals and all the DLC from the 3DS original; it's due on 3rd December.

Life is Strange: True Colors (Switch eShop)

Life is Strange: True Colors (Switch eShop)Life is Strange: True Colors (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Square Enix Europe / Developer: Deck Nine Games
Release Date: 7th Dec 2021 (USA) / 7th Dec 2021 (UK/EU)

The inexplicable absence of the episodic Life Is Strange series on Switch has finally been addressed — Square Enix Europe is bringing both Life Is Strange: True Colors and Life Is Strange Remastered Collection to Nintendo's console this year.

True Colors was scheduled to arrive on 10th September before getting delayed — it's apparently coming on 7th December now. The Remastered Collection got pushed back to 2022.

Loop Hero (Switch eShop)

Loop Hero (Switch eShop)Loop Hero (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Four Quarters
Release Date: 9th Dec 2021 (USA) / 9th Dec 2021 (UK/EU)

Announced as part of Nintendo's August 2021 Indie World Showcase, Loop Hero is a timeloop strategy RPG coming to Switch that has you wandering a procedurally generated look battling monsters and sapping your energy and resources as you go.

Sounds grim, but it released in March 2021 on PC platforms and its card-playing gameplay and old-school aesthetic are very well-regarded. We'll find out what all the fuss is about on 9th December.

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon (Switch eShop)

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon (Switch eShop)Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Yacht Club Games
Release Date: 13th Dec 2021 (USA) / 13th Dec 2021 (UK/EU)

Shovel Knight was a game that rightly earned rave reviews and a big fanbase, with plenty of updates making it a hefty action platformer. After an almost uncountable number of cameos in other games we're now getting a new game — Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon — with a bit of a different take on the lead character and extended cast.

It'll bring puzzle and 'bump' battle mechanics into the mix on 13th December.

OlliOlli World (Switch eShop)

OlliOlli World (Switch eShop)OlliOlli World (Switch eShop)
Developer: Roll7
Release Date: Q4 2021 (USA)

Announced over the summer, this is a very different look for the series after the success of the original two games. Once again you'll be skateboarding through tricky courses and performing all sorts of neat tricks, but this time it's in an extremely colourful world with an overhauled visual style. This'll offer some much-needed warm-weather vibes when it arrives this Winter.

Outer Wilds (Switch)

Outer Wilds (Switch)Outer Wilds (Switch)
Release Date: 2021 (USA)

A twenty-two-minute timeloop game that we've had our eye on for quite some time on other consoles, Outer Wilds is finally coming to Switch in late 2021. Not to be confused with The Outer Worlds, which is already available on Switch, Outer Wilds was one of the games we hoped to see get a Switch port at the start of the year so we're thrilled we'll soon be able to play it on-the-go.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (Switch eShop)

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (Switch eShop)Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Obsidian Entertainment / Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date: 2020 (USA) / 2020 (UK/EU)

Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity picked up the torch put down by Baldur’s Gate many moons ago, and both of those games are available to play on your favourite Nintendo hybrid handheld. Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire is coming soon and is set five years after the events of the previous game. It's been available on PS4 and Xbox One since January 2020, although it had its own performance issues on these consoles. Hopefully the extra time taken with the Switch port will iron out any significant issues.

This was expected to arrive in Early 2021, although it's missed that window. We've got our fingers crossed that we'll see it before the end of the year.

Sports Story (Switch eShop)

Sports Story (Switch eShop)Sports Story (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Sidebar Games / Developer: Sidebar Games
Release Date: TBA

First announced in December 2019 for a mid-2020 release, this Switch-exclusive sequel to early indie hit Golf Story was delayed and we're hoping to see Sidebar Games' sporty RPG hybrid arrive sometime in 2021. If Sports Story is anything like as fun as the Mario Golf-inspired original, it'll be more than worth the wait.