Despite some setbacks this past decade what with the poor launch of the 3DS and the entire mess that was the Wii U, Nintendo is steadily recovering. This is in thanks to them fixing said 3DS problem along with launching the Switch in 2017, which has continued to sell like gangbusters.
Console stuff aside, there have been many franchises that debuted this past decade as well. We will look at games released between 2010 and 2019 for new stuff as long as they have at least one sequel. On the death side we will only look up to 2014 as five years seems like a good cutoff. These dates will be based on the North American releases unless otherwise specified.
10 Began: Ni no Kuni
The first Ni no Kuni game to release in the West was Wrath of the White Witch in 2013 for the PS3. However, the first game in the series, Dominion of the Dark Djinn, debuted for the DS in Japan in 2010, which makes it count as both a series that began this decade and as a Nintendo one.
Also Wrath of the White Witch was just re-released this year on the Switch. Besides those games, there was also Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom in 2018, which was a PC and PS4 title. Maybe that too can come to Switch someday.
9 Died: Golden Sun
Golden Sun released on November 1, 2001 for the Game Boy Advance. Camelot, the developer, went on to make two sequels for Nintendo. The first sequel was for the GBA in 2003. The other launched many years later on the DS in 2010. After that game, Dark Dawn, Camelot primarily created sports titles based on Mario including Mario Tennis Open and Mario Golf: World Tour. While good, it sure would be nice to see them return to their RPG roots.
8 Began: Xenoblade Chronicles
Xenoblade Chronicles launched on April 6, 2012 for the Wii. As a side note it actually released two years earlier in Japan. Anyway Monolith Soft, the developer, made Xenoblade Chronicles as a spiritual successor to Xenosaga, which they couldn’t continue for Nintendo since Bandai Namco owned the rights thus this was born. Since the inaugural release there was Xenoblade Chronicles X in 2015 for Wii U and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for Switch in 2017. It has also been revealed that they are remaking their original hit for 2020 thus perpetuating another decade of “Xeno” goodness.
7 Died: Lufia
Lufia & the Fortress of Doom released in November 1993 for the Super Nintendo. Neverland, the developer, went on to make sequels on SNES, Game Boy Color, and DS. In-between there Atelier Double also made one for GBA. That makes this series twenty-six years old with only five console and handheld games. The last of which was in 2010. It’s a sad legacy for an underrated RPG franchise.
6 Began: Bravely Default
Bravely Default launched on February 7, 2014 for the 3DS. Like Xenoblade Chronicles, this was actually two years after the initial Japanese launch. Anyway Silicon Studio, the developer, released a sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer, in 2016. The producer of the series, Tomoya Asano, said this in an interview with the Japanese magazine Dengeki, “Personally, I’m aiming to release a game for the Bravely series at least once a year.” Well, it’s been awhile so where is that love and enthusiasm now? It’s still early to call it dead though.
5 Died: Kid Icarus
Kid Icarus released on July 1, 1987 for the NES. Nintendo went on to help fund a sequel on the original Game Boy in 1991. Another sequel wouldn’t debut until 2012 for the 3DS and that was the last game. Now at the very least the hero, Pitt, has gone on to star in the Super Smash Bros. series, but that hardly counts as keeping the franchise alive. Seven years is too long.
4 Began: Yo-kai Watch
Yo-kai Watch launched on November 6, 2015 for the 3DS. This was two years after the Japanese release. Said debut, headed by Level-5, the developer, exploded. It created a sensation in Japan not seen since Pokémon, which makes sense since it is basically Pokémon, but with ghosts. There are toys, comics, an anime, films, and tons of games. There are actually too many games to go through between the 3DS, Switch, and mobile platforms. It might be one of the most successful new Nintendo franchises of the past decade.
3 Died: The Conduit
The Conduit released on June 23, 2009 for the Wii. High Voltage Software, the developer, was able to make a sequel, also for Wii, in 2011. Despite it having a banger of a cliffhanger, they weren’t able to make any more. Technically the last game was an “HD” remake for Android phones of all places in 2013. While this series died, High Voltage Software has gone on to make a lot of other games of varying degrees including helping make the PC ports for Mortal Kombat X and Injustice: Gods Among Us.
2 Began: NES Remix
NES Remix launched on December 18, 2013 for the Wii U. Nintendo released a sequel in 2014 along with a port that same year for 2014 on 3DS.
Players go through challenges based on NES classics like The Legend of Zelda and Kirby’s Adventure. Where was Game Boy Remix, or SNES Remix? It was both born and destroyed this past decade.
1 Died: Nintendogs
Nintendogs released on August 22, 2005 for the DS. Similar to how Pokémon released multiple versions at launch, Nintendo did the same thing for Nintendogs with each cartridge featuring a new set of dogs. It was one of the most successful franchises for the DS and allowed sales for the system to skyrocket. Nintendo thought of trying this again with the release of Nintendogs + Cats in 2011 for 3DS. This sadly was less successful despite including cats now. This was primarily due to how the 3DS’ launch itself was handled including that steep price of $250.