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? A new hardware revision certainly isn't out of the question, but whatever happens the schedule is already looking tidy. We've had games in the first half of the year — games 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, and with the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct done and dusted, there's plenty more to look forward to.

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

Mario Golf: Super Rush (Switch)

Mario Golf: Super Rush (Switch)Mario Golf: Super Rush (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Camelot
Release Date: 25th Jun 2021 (USA)

Introduced in the February 2021 Nintendo Direct, this is the long-awaited return to the fairways for the Mushroom Kingdom's finest. Mario Golf: Super Rush is set to feature RPG elements along the lines of the celebrated Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color, plus an entirely new spin on the game in the titular Super Rush mode, which has multiple players racing around the course in Nintendo's take on 'speed golf'. It looks manic and hilarious if the trailer is anything to go by, and we can't wait to get into the swing of things.

We love a good walk spoiled, so we'll be grabbing a 3-wood and hitting the fairways on 25th June.

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 (Switch)

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 (Switch)Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 (Switch)
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: 25th Jun 2021 (USA) / 25th Jun 2021 (UK/EU)

This game launched on other consoles last year, and was confirmed for Switch back in February. Scheduled to hit on 25th June 2021, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 will take you back twenty years to a time when your knees were in better shape and you still had dreams of pulling a 720°. That is unless you're a young whippersnapper, in which case you'll have the chance to catch up on the first two installments of one of the most influential sports series ever.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (Switch eShop)

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (Switch eShop)Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (Switch eShop)
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: 29th Jun 2021 (USA)

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is a Switch exclusive in the West (in Japan it'll be getting a PS4 release, too) and will be the first entry in the offbeat turn-based strategy series to use 3D models. It certainly won't be losing any of its personality, with its trademark irreverent humour, lovably madcap characters and levelling and damage numbers that go up to eleventy-stupid.

All in all, it's shaping up to be a classic dose of Disgaea goodness from developer Nippon Ichi Software, and it'll be available on your Switch in 29th June 2021.

Sky: Children of the Light (Switch eShop)

Sky: Children of the Light (Switch eShop)Sky: Children of the Light (Switch eShop)
Publisher: thatgamecompany / Developer: thatgamecompany
Release Date: 29th Jun 2021 (USA) / 29th Jun 2021 (UK/EU)

Coming from Thatgamecompany, the critical darlings responsible for the sublime Journey, this new adventure game has been available on mobile devices for some time and was scheduled for Switch back in Summer 2020. It's coming a full year later than planned, but Sky: Children of the Light will finally see the light of day on Nintendo's console 29th June 2021.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin (Switch)

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin (Switch)Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin (Switch)
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: 9th Jul 2021 (USA)

Monster Hunter Rise isn't the only new entry in Capcom's series coming to Switch in 2021. Nope, portable spin-off Monster Hunter Stories is getting a Switch-based sequel named Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin, too.

Adopting the same art style seen in the 3DS original, Monster Hunter Stories 2 will feature a strong narrative focus, and will presumably retain the simple RPG mechanics the sub-series is known for. The protagonist, Monster Rider, befriends monsters from the series rather than slaying them to make a tail feather cap, so it'll offer a different flavour of Monster Hunter-y goodness alongside the more traditional entries on Switch when it launches in 9th July 2021.

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (Switch)

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (Switch)Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (Switch)
Publisher: NIS America / Developer: Nihon Falcom
Release Date: 6th Jul 2021 (USA) / 9th Jul 2021 (UK/EU)

The latest entry in Nihon Falcom's action-RPG series was announced for Switch in the West back in June 2020. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox got its English-language debut on PS4 in February, but it'll be coming to Switch on 6th July 2021 in North America and 9th July in Europe.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (Switch)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (Switch)The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 16th Jul 2021 (USA)

Announced as part of the February 2021 Nintendo Direct, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD brings the bespoke Wii entry in the series back with a high definition lick of paint, plus newly integrated stick-based swordplay as an optional alternative to the original gyro controls.

While this game's slow start, compartmentalised world and requisite motion controls weren't everyone's cup of tea (not to mention Fi's constant barrage of tips and advice), we have very warm memories of our time with the ten-year-old game and we can't wait to see how this Switch version compares. It launches on 16th July.

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' — and now with a 20th July release dateCris Tales is an indie RPG from Dreams Uncorporated that looks to pay homage to traditional JRPGs of old. The game's been in development since 2014, so a little longer in the oven isn't going to make much difference.

"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.

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 surprised 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.

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.

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.