Nintendo Switch launch lineup and every 2017 game release
Nintendo looks to continue its streak of innovative gaming machines with the Switch, a system that straddles the line between home console and portable. The swappable controllers and different play configurations certainly make for an intriguing pitch, but any gamer knows that a console is only as good as its games. Thankfully, Nintendo has offered a clear picture of the titles that will be launching alongside the system when it releases on March 3, 2017, as well as the games that will be arriving throughout the rest of 2017. Read on for a complete look at the games that will be arriving in the Switch’s first year.
Launch day games:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Easily the most anticipated of the Switch’s day-on releases, Breath of the Wild is a bold new take on The Legend of Zelda. The world is more open than ever before, with an increased emphasis on exploration and discovery in an absolutely massive world. In fact, rather than merely funneling players towards the main story with a mandatory set of weapons and gear, Breath of the Wild will add more focus onto role-playing elements and crafting, offering a much less rigid adventure for Link.
Designed as a collection of party games, 1-2-Switch lets two players compete face-to-face in a variety of quirky tasks using the Joy-Con controllers. With cow-milking, dance-offs, and Old West duels among the eclectic mix of included competitions, 1-2-Switch makes silly use of the Switch’s many control methods and well be a breakout hit with non-gamers, like Wii Sports was on the Wii.
Super Bomberman R
Over the years, Bomberman has had its fair share of misguided attempts to modernize, but Super Bomberman R isn’t one of them. Instead, Konami is delivering a return to the classic, top-down action, with stages laid out in a grid. Players can strategically bomb their way through more than 50 story mode stages, play cooperatively with friends, or compete against up to seven other players over local connection or online play.
The latest in the highly popular Skylanders series of toys-to-life games, Imaginators mixes up the formula by letting players create their very own hero to fight alongside Spyro and the other Skylanders.
Just Dance 2017
Ubisoft has frequently been among Nintendo’s fiercest supporters, so it’s hardly a surprise that the publisher is bringing its hit dancing game to the Switch. Expect the same waggle-along-to-the-music gameplay as every other iteration, along with a soundtrack that mixes pop classics with the latest hits.
March 2017 games:
Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!
This puzzle game is designed to be played by two to four players working together. Each person controls a paper character that can be trimmed into new shapes by working together. Players will need to snip each other into useful shapes and interact with the environment in creative ways to find solutions.
I am Setsuna
This game from Tokyo RPG Factory and Square Enix was a big hit with fans of Japanese RPGs when it released on PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC in 2016. Now Nintendo gamers will get a chance to experience I am Setsuna’s take on the genre.
Has-Been Heroes is a strategy-action game from the makers of the Trine series, an immensely popular indie platformer that revolved around combining the special abilities of three different characters to overcome obstacles. This game offers a somewhat similar approach, only with combat instead of puzzles. The player controls three characters at a time and can combine hundreds of spells to create combo effects and turn the tide of battle, with a heavy dose of randomness to ensure every playthrough feels fresh.
April 2017 games:
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Billed as the definitive version of the Wii U’s mega-popular kart racer, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes everything that was in the original, including all DLC releases, along with a few extras. The Battle mode has been revised with a new set of arenas to compete on, and new guest characters are joining the fray in the form of Splatoon’s Inklings. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe arrives on April 28.
Spring 2017 games:
Arms is a classic case of Nintendo’s capacity to reimagine genres that seem stagnant. This time around, it’s boxing games that have gotten a makeover, and the new look is quite a weird one. Part Punch Out, part shooter, Arms features characters with springs for arms and enormous boxing-gloved hands that shoot out across the arena to clobber their opponents. While it’s designed to be played with the one Joy-Con controller in each hand, making use of both motion controls and buttons, Nintendo has confirmed that you’ll also be able to play with conventional controls, as well. Arms also promises to have quite a lot of depth to master as you do battle against other players online and locally.
Lego City Undercover
Lego City Undercover was one of the earliest games released for the Wii U, which means it didn’t get too much attention. Now, Warner Bros. and TT Games are bringing it back for a second chance at the spotlight. A kind of kid-friendly take on the Grand Theft Auto formula, the game puts players in the role of an undercover cop named Chase McCain as he tries to bust a big-time criminal in the sprawling Lego City.
Sega has struggled to return its iconic blue hedgehog to its former glory, but Sonic Mania might be the company’s most convincing attempt yet. By handing the series over to indie developers and leaning hard into retro gameplay and visuals, this is shaping up to be the next great 2D Sonic game we’ve been waiting for since the ‘90s.
Summer 2017 games:
One of the Wii U’s breakout hits was Splatoon, Nintendo’s original take on competitive online shooters. This sequel keeps many of the basic elements, likes guns that spray the map and opponents with paint and heroes that can switch between squid and human forms, intact. There are plenty of upgrades, as well, in the form of new weapons, modes, stages, and outfits to equip. In an exciting move, Nintendo will once again support the game after launch with content updates, such as additional maps and weapons, available at no extra cost.
September 2017 games
2K Games is testing the waters on the Switch with its popular basketball franchise. Details are scarce, so it’s unclear whether this will be a port of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions or a different release built from the ground up for the Switch.
Fall 2017 games
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
What is there to say about Bethesda Game Studios’ 2013 RPG, Skyrim, that hasn’t already been said a million times over? It’s handily the best fantasy RPGs of the last five years, and now you’ll be able to relive the adventure while on the go, thanks to the Nintendo Switch.
Holiday 2017 games:
Super Mario Odyssey
The Wii U managed to come and go without ever getting a full 3D Mario title, but Nintendo isn’t about to make the same mistake twice. Super Mario Odyssey marks a return of the larger, more open levels of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, with an interesting twist. This time around, Mario is leaving the Mushroom Kingdom behind to explore vastly different worlds than we’re used to seeing. That includes New Donk City, a take on New York that includes realistic looking humans, and a Mexico-inspired land full of Day of the Dead–style skeletons. Oh, and if that weren’t enough to entice you, Mario’s hat now has eyes, a mysterious change that Nintendo promises will factor into the story and gameplay. How, exactly? We’ll have to wait and see.
Project Sonic 2017
The second and higher profile of the two Sonic games planned for release this year, Project Sonic 2017 appears to be a spiritual successor to the fairly well-received Sonic Generations, with both the classic and modern designs of the leading hedgehog represented as distinct characters, each with his own style of gameplay.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Though it’s got a “2” right there in the title, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is actually the third game in a series of JRPGs from developer Monolith Soft. Xenoblade Chronicles launched on the Wii in 2012 after a long campaign by fans to release the game outside of Japan, and its follow-up Xenoblade Chronicles X arrived on the Wii U in 2015. Little is known about this latest entry, but Nintendo has revealed it will star a new main character searching for something (or someone) known as “Elysium.”
Some of the more than 80 games currently in development for the Switch aren’t confirmed for release in 2017 but have still been announced. Below, you’ll find a list of other titles on the way that may or may not arrive before 2018, per Nintendo’s official schedule.
- EA Sports FIFA
- Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
- Fire Emblem Warriors
- Arcade Archives
- Disgaea 5 Complete
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Farming Simulator
- Fast RMX
- Minecraft: Story Mode
- Puyo Puyo Tetris
- Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
- Syberia 3
- Shin Megami Tensei: Brand New Title
- Dragon Quest X
- Dragon Quest XI
- Dragon Quest Heroes I+II
- Project Octopath Traveler
- No More Heroes successor