Nintendo Life Most Anticipated Switch Games
Image: Nintendo Life

2023 is a year full of games, to no one's real surprise, but which ones are the most exciting? Which ones have us saving up our Nintendo eShop Gold Points? And which one is a Zelda sequel that has us foaming at the mouth? The answers may (not) surprise you.

Below we've rounded up 30 of the biggest Switch games we're looking forward to. They run the gamut from AAA first-party offerings to promising-looking indies. Nintendo's habit of not announcing games until a couple of months prior to release means there may be even more surprises to come before the year closes out, and we'll no doubt be adding to (and subtracting from) this list as the year goes by.

Switch's 2023 got off to a good start with Fire Emblem Engage, and a pair of Persona ports, but there's plenty more in the pipeline over the coming weeks and months.

So, let's take a look at our most anticipated Switch games for the coming year...

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line (Switch)

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line (Switch)
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line (Switch)
Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: indies zero
Release Date: 16th Feb 2023 (USA) / 16th Feb 2023 (UK/EU)

The beloved rhythm game returns at last on the 16th February 2023, when Theatrhythm Final Bar Line brings a whopping 385 Final Fantasy songs to the Switch. Final Bar Line will also include four-player online play, so you can prove to all your friends that your internal metronome is always on beat.

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Tales of Symphonia Remastered (Switch)

Tales of Symphonia Remastered (Switch)
Tales of Symphonia Remastered (Switch)
Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco
Release Date: 17th Feb 2023 (USA) / 17th Feb 2023 (UK/EU)

Pencil in February 17th 2023 if you like action RPGs, remakes of GameCube games, and/or beautiful anime cutscenes, because the remaster of Tales of Symphonia has all of those, and that's when it's coming out. Think old-school Dragons Quest and Finals Fantasy, polished up with sharper visuals but without losing the charm of the original.

Digimon World: Next Order (Switch)

Digimon World: Next Order (Switch)
Digimon World: Next Order (Switch)
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: 22nd Feb 2023 (USA) / 22nd Feb 2023 (UK/EU)

This digital pet RPG, originally released on Vita and PS4, is winging its way over to the Switch on February 22nd, 2023, ready to rival the multitude of Pokémon games from 2022. The stakes are high with Digimon World: Next Order, as your Digimon will only evolve if you meet certain requirements, and if not, they'll die and be reborn. Expect to have a much closer bond with your loyal partner 'mons than in Pokémon, where you can discard an old friend with naught but a moment's notice. Who's the real monster, eh?

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (Switch)

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (Switch)
Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 24th Feb 2023 (USA) / 24th Feb 2023 (UK/EU)

Another announcement from the September 2022 Nintendo Direct, Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a remaster of the 2011 Wii game which made good on its title by taking Kirby back to the land of dreams.

We awarded the original a 9/10, so we've got high hopes for this Deluxe version and the extras it will bring on 24th February 2023.

Octopath Traveler II (Switch)

Octopath Traveler II (Switch)
Octopath Traveler II (Switch)
Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: 24th Feb 2023 (USA) / 24th Feb 2023 (UK/EU)

The sequel to Square Enix's hit 2018 RPG which introduced the world to the gorgeous 'HD-2D' style, Octopath Traveler II will bring another eight characters to the fold with eight paths to follow through the game. While some might disagree, we'll take as much HD-2D as we can get if they look as good as the first game and the excellent Live A Live.

OT2, as nobody is calling it, will be out on 24th February 2023, jostling Kirby for dominance on Switch. Kirby's got form when it comes to a fight — then again, he's up against eight people!

Who wins? We do, silly.

Rune Factory 3 Special (Switch)

Rune Factory 3 Special (Switch)
Rune Factory 3 Special (Switch)
Publisher: Marvelous (XSEED)
Release Date: 2nd Mar 2023 (USA) / 2nd Mar 2023 (UK/EU)

Another remake of a beloved farming game from days of yore, Rune Factory 3 Special follows warm on the heels of the excellent Rune Factory 4 remake for Switch. Sure, it's no Elden Ring, but on March 2nd 2023, we'll be diving back into the world of Rune Factory once more. Well, they will in Japan. The date in the West is 'Spring 2023'.

Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (Switch)

Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (Switch)
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (Switch)
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release Date: 9th Mar 2023 (USA) / 9th Mar 2023 (UK/EU)

A remaster of the fourth game in the series, the 2008 Wii game is getting an overhaul following the appearance of the Wii U's Maiden of Black Water on Switch back in 2021.

Known as Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse in Europe, we're eager to start snapping pics with this on 9th March.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (Switch)

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (Switch)
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: PlatinumGames
Release Date: 17th Mar 2023 (USA) / 17th Mar 2023 (UK/EU)

Announced at The Game Awards 2022, we'll admit that we were surprised to see another Bayo game so soon after Bayonetta 3, and even more surprised that it would be a highly stylised storybook prequel of a game letting us know about baby Bayonetta's origins. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon will be out on March 17th, 2023.

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key (Switch)

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key (Switch)
Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key (Switch)
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release Date: 24th Mar 2023 (USA) / 24th Mar 2023 (UK/EU)

The latest instalment in the Ryza series is Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key, an adventure RPG that will tackle the titular Ryza's final adventure to discover the roots of alchemy. With a seamless open world to explore — one of the largest in the series — and 11 party members to befriend, it sounds like it's going to be a game that takes up most, if not all, of our time when it comes out, following a month's delay, on March 24th, 2023.

Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star (Switch eShop)

Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star (Switch eShop)
Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Imagineer
Release Date: Mar 2023 (USA) / Mar 2023 (UK/EU)

Yes, this exists! Announced during the September 2022 Nintendo Direct, this is the crossover that precisely nobody expected. Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star brings characters from the popular manga and anime series into the world of Switch-based boxercising with the makers of Fitness Boxing at the helm.

Come on, you're not intrigued to see what this is all about!?! We don't believe you. Experience Ken's rage (not that one) sometime in March 2023.

Outer Wilds (Switch)

Outer Wilds (Switch)
Outer Wilds (Switch)
Release Date: TBA (USA) / TBA (UK/EU)

A 22-minute timeloop game that we've had our eye on for quite some time on other consoles, Outer Wilds was finally announced as coming to Switch in late 2021... although it obviously missed that window.

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 2021 so we're thrilled we'll soon be able to play it on-the-go. It didn't happen in 2022, though, so suuuuurely 2023 is the year at last?

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum (Switch)

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum (Switch)
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum (Switch)
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment / Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: 2023 (USA) / 2023 (UK/EU)

A story-driven action-adventure game based on J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novels, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum looks to be channelling Andy Serkis' performance from the Lord of the Rings movies, and then some. Originally scheduled for January 2021, the game was delayed until 2022 before getting a solid 1st September date on other platforms... which turned out to be not-so-solid.

A new release date hasn't been announced yet, although the Switch version will likely be arriving in 2023 anyway. The latest trailer certainly looks snazzy — we've got our fingers crossed that the gameplay can live up to the potential of both that trailer and the epic source material.

Trinity Trigger (Switch)

Trinity Trigger (Switch)
Trinity Trigger (Switch)
Publisher: FuRyu
Release Date: Q1 2023 (USA) / Q1 2023 (UK/EU)

Originally (accidentally) revealed as 'PROJECT-TRITRI', this action-RPG comes from developers with CVs that list projects such as Chrono Cross, the Xenoblade Chronicles series, Bravely Default, Secret of Mana and even Pokémon. So yes, you're damned right we're interested!

The game is out now in Japan and is scheduled for a release in the West in Q1 2023. Reviews have been positive, and we're itching to check out the localisation.

Minecraft Legends (Switch)

Minecraft Legends (Switch)
Minecraft Legends (Switch)
Publisher: Microsoft / Developer: Mojang
Release Date: 18th Apr 2023 (USA) / 18th Apr 2023 (UK/EU)

Mojang is planning another Minecraft spin-off, this time in the form of an action-strategy called Minecraft Legends, set in the same blocky world with all its well-known biomes and threats. When it comes to Switch on 18th April, you'll be fighting against the Piglins, using the power of the various mobs in the game to defeat the evil oinkers.