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. Still 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.

Below we've rounded up thirty(ish) of the biggest Switch games we're looking forward to in the remaining months of 2021. In vaguely chronological order, 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 surprise-dropping this year (fingers crossed!).

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 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 before the year is out.

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

Sonic Colors Ultimate (Switch)

Sonic Colors Ultimate (Switch)Sonic Colors Ultimate (Switch)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: Blind Squirrel
Release Date: 7th Sep 2021 (USA) / 7th Sep 2021 (UK/EU)

A remaster of the Wii-exclusive Sonic Colo(u)rs, SEGA's 30th anniversary tie-in Sonic Colo(u)rs: Ultimate brings what is arguably one of the finest 3D Sonic games ever to Switch. We spent some hands-on time with a version of the game pre-launch — you can check out our thoughts in Alex's video — and we were definitely excited to see one of the hedgehog's best games get a second chance on Switch.

The game's out on 7th September, and you can find out right now how the game holds up in our Sonic Colors Ultimate review.

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WarioWare: Get It Together! (Switch)

WarioWare: Get It Together! (Switch)WarioWare: Get It Together! (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 10th Sep 2021 (USA) / 10th Sep 2021 (UK/EU)

Mario's greedy nemesis Wario is finally bringing his brand of microgame mayhem to Switch in the form of WarioWare: Get It Together!, the latest entry in the long-running series that now includes a simultaneous 2-player mode and the ability to play not only as the titular villain, but also his friends. We bagsy 9-Volt!

It's been too long since we indulged in some manic microgames — check out our review for the full lowdown on this latest entry.

NBA 2K22 (Switch)

NBA 2K22 (Switch)NBA 2K22 (Switch)
Publisher: 2K / Developer: Visual Concepts
Release Date: 10th Sep 2021 (USA) / 10th Sep 2021 (UK/EU)

We've been big fans of 2K's basketball output on Switch, and although it has been confirmed that NBA 2K22 on Switch will be lumped in with other previous gen consoles and won't have several features available in the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X releases, we're still interested to see the next iteration of this premier b-ball series. We'll be hitting the court on 10th September.

SkateBIRD (Switch eShop)

SkateBIRD (Switch eShop)SkateBIRD (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Glass Bottom Games / Developer: Glass Bottom Games
Release Date: 16th Sep 2021 (USA) / 16th Sep 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 confirming the game's August release date... which has since slipped another month to 16th September 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?

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Switch)

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Switch)Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Switch)
Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Level-5
Release Date: 17th Sep 2021 (USA) / 17th Sep 2021 (UK/EU)

This sequel originally came to PS4 back in 2018, and we've been hoping this might find its way to Switch ever since the port of Wrath of the White Witch. Set 100 years since the events of that game, it was announced for Switch in May in both physical and digital forms. It features a similar Ghibli-esque art style that caught everyone's attention back in 2011, and the Switch version — dubbed the Prince's Edition and out on 17th September — also contains The Tale of a Timeless Tome, The Lair of the Lost Lord and The Adventure Pack DLC.

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.

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 Fall 2021.

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.

Card Shark (Switch eShop)

Card Shark (Switch eShop)Card Shark (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Nerial
Release Date: 2021 (USA)

Showcased in the Nintendo Indie World presentation in August 2020, you'll build up a reliable repertoire of sneaky card tricks to employ at the games tables as you cheat your way to the top of high society as an 18th century French card shark in the appropriately named Card Shark. It looks to be a stylish little adventure game from developer Nerial and publisher Devolver Digital, and it's coming sometime in 2021.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)
Release Date: Q3 2021 (USA)

This 'definitive' edition of ZA/UM's 2019 RPG came to other consoles (specifically PlayStations 4 and 5) back in March and generated some controversy in Australia where it was refused classification.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is lined up for a Q3 2021 release on Switch.

Knockout Home Fitness (Switch)

Knockout Home Fitness (Switch)Knockout Home Fitness (Switch)
Developer: Marvelous (XSEED)
Release Date: 28th Sep 2021 (USA) / 8th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)

We like ourselves a good fitness game, and having exhausted the excellent Ring Fit Adventure, we're looking for something else to scratch our fitness itch — we're hoping that Knockout Home Fitness might fit the bill.

Featuring various martial arts-based workouts, we're hoping to get fit for the holidays when we'll promptly fall out of shape and once again use Knockout Home Fitness to knock ourselves back into shape in the New Year. It's launching on 28th September in North America, and 8th October in the UK and Europe.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania (Switch)

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania (Switch)Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania (Switch)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Release Date: 5th Oct 2021 (USA) / 5th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)

Bringing content and courses from the first three Super Monkey Ball games to Switch, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania got many a super simian enthusiast excited when it was officially announced at E3 2021. It's landing on Switch on 5th October, so there'll definitely be plenty to keep ball-rolling fans busy once the tenth month of the year rolls round...