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