Nintendo Life Most Anticipated Games 2021

We've updated the list below with some new announcements and removed the 2021 Switch games that have come and gone already. Loads to look forward to!


2020 is but a dim and distant memory (at least, we wish it was!) and it's time to look to the future. We saw some fantastic games come to Switch last year — several of them released within a matter of weeks of their surprise announcement — but we also saw some big names slip into 2021, for understandable reasons.

E3 2021 is over, too, and we've seen some big reveals for what Nintendo has in store for Switch in the second half of the year. Below we've rounded up thirty(ish) of the biggest Switch games we're looking forward to in 2021. In no particular order — although vaguely chronological — they run the gamut from AAA first-party offerings to promising looking indies, plus a few big names that have been waiting in the wings for a while and stand a chance of breaking free this year (fingers crossed!).

Who can say exactly what the rest of 2021 holds for Nintendo and the Switch? Well, the Switch OLED Model is launching alongside Metroid Dread on 8th October, and the schedule before and after is looking pretty tidy. We've had plenty of games in the first half of the year — titles like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy, 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 and Zelda: Skyward Sword HD *breathe* — and following announcements from the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct, there's plenty more to look forward to throughout the rest of the year.

So, let's take a look at our most anticipated Switch games of 2021!

Cris Tales (Switch)

Cris Tales (Switch)Cris Tales (Switch)
Publisher: Modus Games / Developer: Dreams Uncorporated
Release Date: 20th Jul 2021 (USA) / 20th Jul 2021 (UK/EU)

Delayed from 17th November 2020 to 'Early 2021' Cris Tales eventually launched on 20th July. It's an indie RPG from Dreams Uncorporated that pays homage to traditional JRPGs of old. The game started development way back in 2014, so a little longer in the oven wasn't the end of the world. "A delayed game is eventually good, but a bad game is always a rotter, unless it's patched up the wazoo."

Some famous developer said that, we're sure. You can now read our Cris Tales review to find out if it was worth the wait (spoilers — we like it).

Neo: The World Ends With You (Switch)

Neo: The World Ends With You (Switch)Neo: The World Ends With You (Switch)
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: 27th Jul 2021 (USA) / 27th Jul 2021 (UK/EU)

This upcoming sequel to DS classic The World Ends With You was a real surprise when it was first revealed by Square Enix last November, but a very welcome one. We got a Switch version of the original in the form of The World Ends With You: Final Remix, although it always felt like the game worked better on DS — it'll be great to see how this new game works on a system it's designed for. NEO: The World Ends With You launches on Switch on 27th July 2021.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (Switch)

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (Switch)The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (Switch)
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: 27th Jul 2021 (USA) / 27th Jul 2021 (UK/EU)

Finally arriving in the West on 27th July after launching in Japan on 3DS in 2015(!), The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles includes both Capcom's first and second games in this throwback series set in Ye Olde England (probably) where Phoenix Wright's ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, meets the World's Greatest Detective: Batman Sherlock Holmes er, Herlock Sholmes.

Yes, something about Capcom not wanting to fall foul of the Arthur Conan Doyle estate, apparently. It's supposed to be good, so fans of the Phoenix Wright games won't want to miss out on this one.

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SkateBIRD (Switch eShop)

SkateBIRD (Switch eShop)SkateBIRD (Switch eShop)
Developer: Glass Bottom Games
Release Date: 12th Aug 2021 (USA) / 12th Aug 2021 (UK/EU)

After featuring in December 2019's Indie World Showcase with a projected release date of 'late 2020', SkateBIRD's developer Glass Bottom Games announced a delay before finally confirming the game's release date: 12th August 2021. A Kickstarter success, it features a bunch of avian skateboarders pulling heelflips and grinding Tony Hawk-style around a host of skate park levels. What's not to love about that?

No More Heroes III (Switch)

No More Heroes III (Switch)No More Heroes III (Switch)
Publisher: Grasshopper Manufacture
Release Date: 27th Aug 2021 (USA) / 27th Aug 2021 (UK/EU)

Originally 'TBC 2020', the reveal of No More Heroes 3 was exactly what fans of Travis Touchdown's original Wii games wanted to hear, and this sequel looks set to deliver the full porcelain-throned, laser-sworded Touchdown experience. Suda51's Wii originals are already available on Switch, so there's time to catch up before the trilogy is formed on 27th August.

Spelunky 2 (Switch eShop)

Spelunky 2 (Switch eShop)Spelunky 2 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Mossmouth / Developer: Mossmouth
Release Date: Q3 2021 (USA) / Q3 2021 (UK/EU)

Classic roguelike platformer Spelunky is coming soon to Switch alongside its more recent sequel, Spelunky 2, and we cannot wait to finally get our hands on both the original and the 2020 follow-up. Switch is one heck of an indie game machine but for several years now it has been missing one of the breakout indie hits — finally having this pair on the console just feels right.

They're lined up for an indeterminate Summer 2021 launch, so not long to wait now.

Townscaper (Switch eShop)

Townscaper (Switch eShop)Townscaper (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Raw Fury / Developer: Oskar Stålberg
Release Date: Q3 2021 (USA) / Q3 2021 (UK/EU)

A gorgeous-looking town-builder from indie developer Oskar Stålberg (of Bad North fame), we've been following the development of this game on Twitter for what feels like years now and can't wait to finally get our hands on this relaxing and colourful town... scaper later in Summer 2021.

Yes, 'scaper', not 'scraper' or 'scrapper'. Although you may be able to do both those things, too.

Axiom Verge 2 (Switch eShop)

Axiom Verge 2 (Switch eShop)Axiom Verge 2 (Switch eShop)
Developer: Thomas Happ Games
Release Date: 2021 (USA)

Rescheduled for a "Spring 2021" release after an initial delay from its original Fall 2020 window, Thomas Happ's sequel to the inspired original is now lined up for a Q3 2021 release window following another delay. The game will once again be channeling the classic Metroidvania juice into a delicious retro-flavoured cocktail.

First revealed as part of the December 2019 Indie World Showcase, we've been salivating at the prospect of Axiom Verge 2 for a while now and can't wait to play it.

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 Summer 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.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Switch)

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Switch)Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Switch)
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive / Developer: TT Games
Release Date: Q2 2021 (USA) / Q2 2021 (UK/EU)

Pushed from 2020, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has since been delayed for a second time and it's currently without a release window. The game will give you the opportunity to play through all nine sci-fi stories in rejigged, reimagined, and decidedly blocky fashion with modern spit-polish. Expect more controllable minifigs than you'll know what to do with. Hopefully, we'll be calling dibs on General Grievous sometime in 2021.

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 soon.

The Good Life (Switch eShop)

The Good Life (Switch eShop)The Good Life (Switch eShop)
Publisher: White Owls
Release Date: Q3 2021 (USA)

SWERY's The Good Life is described as a 'debt replayment daily life RPG' and 'Daily Life Simulator x SWERISM'. It's set in Britain and looks like what you get if you Twin Peaks was transplanted into the Galar region from Pokémon Sword and Shield. From famed the director behind D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die and Deadly Premonition, it's coming in Summer 2021.