Confirmed for a simultaneous global launch on Nintendo Switch sometime in on 12th November 2021, this is a Switch exclusive from Atlus. First announced way back in 2017, we've had to wait a while for it, although Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster arrived on 25th May, so hopefully that'll tide fans over until the new game hits. There'll certainly be no shortage of SMT action this year on Switch.
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Announced as part of February's Pokémon Presents showcase celebrating the franchise's 25th anniversary, and confirmed for release on 19th November 2021, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are Switch remakes of the DS entries that lacked the extra adjectives. Fifteen years since the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl brought Gen IV and the series to a non-Game Boy handheld, we'll get to relive our Sinnoh days on Switch through the lens of a chibi style unique to the series (so far). Can. Not. Wait.
Dotemu is back for another slice of the retro-inspired street-brawling pizza pie after its incredibly successful bout with Streets of Rage 4. With all four heroes in a hard shell back in a new game that channels the spirit of Konami's classic arcade beat 'em up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shedder's Revenge is shaping up to be a tasty slice of co-op action and it'll be available on Switch sometime in 2021.
To say that we've wanted to see the return of the 'Wars' series for a while would be the understatement of the decade — fans of Advance Wars in particular have wanted to see the series back in the spotlight, but ever since Fire Emblem: Awakening really took off in the West, developer Intelligent Systems has had its hands full with swords, axes and lances.
Fortunately, WayForward has advanced to the front line with this remake combining the first two Game Boy entries. Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp marches to Switch on 3rd December, so you won't have to Stop the Cavalry this Christmas.
Previously a Wii U exclusive in the Fatal Frame franchise, Koei Tecmo's Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water was one of the few titles that actually made use of Wii U's central asymmetrical gimmick. That coupled with a lukewarm critical reception made a Switch port seem unlikely — we gave it a 2/10 likelihood of a Switch port in our round-up of the Wii U games not yet on Switch.
The franchise has a devoted and loyal fan base, though, and Koei Tecmo has made the decision to rework the Gamepad elements and bring the game not only to Switch, but other platforms, too. A very welcome surprise! It's launching sometime later this year.
Hollow Knight: Silksong, a Switch console exclusive, Team Cherry's highly anticipated follow-up to the hugely successful 2D Metroidvania Hollow Knight, was first announced in February 2019. The developers have been relatively quiet ever since, although we've seen some teases.
Obviously, 2020 came and went, so this sequel will hopefully arrive soon in 2021.
And finally, some outside chances, plus confirmed 2022 Switch games...
The Umbra Witch has been a conspicuous absentee over the last couple of years, despite repeated reassurances that her third series entry is coming along just fine. To be fair, we did get Platinum Games' excellent Astral Chain — one of the best Switch surprises of 2019 — but the lady with the magical hair has been uncharacteristically quiet for too long and it's about time we get a serious dose of Bayonetta's trademark sass and sizzle. We've got our fingers crossed for a Paper Mario / Age of Calamity-style "it's-coming-in-two-months" drop.
2021 has got to be her year, right? Right?
The latest game in the sword-filled life sim RPG series (the first release was literally subtitled 'A Fantasy Harvest Moon', Rune Factory 5 was originally scheduled for 2020, but as with so many games it has slipped into next year. The gameplay trailer broadcast as part of the Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase in September showed off the wholesome farming and fiend-flaying gameplay the series is known for. Rune Factory 5 is out now in Japan and although it was originally scheduled for release in the West sometime in 2021, the launch has since been postponed to 2022.
Having been scrapped and restarted at the beginning of 2019, with veteran Metroid Prime team Retro Studios now steering the ship, there's still a ways to go with this one — the fact that Retro was still looking for a Lead Producer as of August 2020 should clue you in that Metroid Prime 4 needs more time in the oven — a lot more time. We've seen late last year the pitfalls and perils of rushing a tentpole game to launch before it's good and ready, and there's no way Nintendo will let Prime 4 out of its sight until the game is juicy and tender.
Metroid fans will have something to chew on when Metroid Dread arrived in October; realistically, we're thinking Holiday 2022 is the earliest we'll see Prime 4. That is if the following game doesn't fill that slot...
In a similar vein to Metroid Prime 4, work is continuing on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, and while there were desperate hopes that it might sneak out in 2021, it wasn't to be. The E3 2021 trailer for the game confirmed a projected 2022 release window. Yes, we know that's a big ol' window, but at least we've got a year now! It's just not this year.
And given the slippy nature of this particular series when it comes to making release dates, it may not even be next year.
First announced back in February, Splatoon 3 has been a 2022 game from the beginning, but now we've added a section for those... so here it is!
The game will take you to the city of Splatsville, Splatlands (we're being totally serious) and will introduce new weapons, new stages and new ways to squirt your mates in online Turf Wars. We're hungry for more details on how this is going to update the original Splatoon's online shooter gameplay after the excellent, but very similar sequel.
With Switch 'Pro' rumours still lingering after the announcement of the Switch OLED Model, the next year or so is shaping up to be very interesting indeed for Nintendo fans. We can't wait to see what surprises the company has up its sleeve.
Hold up, that's 30 Switch games from this year, plus five games for 2022 (and possibly beyond)! Yes, we've snuck a few extras in there — we'll continue to update this list throughout the year, so check back every so often for freshly announced additions.
Is there something on your radar that you think we've missed? Let us know with a comment below and tell us which of the games above you're most looking forward to throughout 2021.