Over a year ago, the Nintendo Switch hit the market with a decent launch lineup that pivoted around The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. With 2018 slowly coming to an end, the console is set to boost its lineup with an array of exciting and highly-anticipated entries predicted to elevate Nintendo's device to a must-own system. While there are precious few games capable of matching the sheer brilliance and mass-appeal of Super Mario Odyssey or Splatoon 2, the Switch's catalog desperately needs to amp up its variety.
Be it ports of other console favorites or re-imaginings of classic Nintendo franchises, fans are spoilt for choice across the next couple of months. Do you fancy playing a tough-as-nails platformer? Nintendo has got your back! How about a dark fantasy RPG with real-time combat and a devoted fanbase? Well, you better prepare your wallet! Nintendo has always done its own thing and, generally, people pick up its consoles for their exclusives; however, the Wii U was the first entry to widely neglect third party titles. Ever since launching into the next generation, the Japanese company has been trying to re-establish itself as a brand capable of satisfying all types of gamers and not just Nintendo fans. Only a couple of big exclusives are released per year, so we should look towards other publishers to accurately celebrate the Switch's impressive line-up.
Here are 25 Nintendo games coming in 2018 that we need to play!
25 Mega Man 11
Finally, Capcom seems to have noticed that Mega Man has a couple of supporters. Set to launch in the first week of October, Mega Man 11 is the first official release since 2010's predecessor and carries the weight of expectations resulting from a near-decade-long wait that appeared destined to last forever. Alongside the publisher's recent announcement of Devil May Cry 5, Capcom looks ready for a return to its glory days. Hopefully, Mega Man 11 lives up to the hype, as fans have suffered enough disappointment over the years.
24 The World Ends with You: Final Remix
If asked to pick a solitary upcoming JRPG worth purchasing, there would be no need to look any further than The World Ends with You: Final Remix. An HD update of the flawless 2008 Nintendo DS title, this action role-playing game remains the pinnacle of Square Enix's recent output. Besides a shiny coat of paint, Final Remix includes an epilogue that expands upon the story. This might be one of those games devised expressly to be played in handheld mode, as the original made good use of the Nintendo DS's portability.
23 Dark Souls: Remastered
Explore the kingdom of Lordran as a cursed warrior destined to light the first flame. Originally published in 2011, Dark Souls was considered too graphically intensive for the Wii and failed to complement Nintendo's family-friendly image. Spawning two further sequels and a spiritual successor in Bloodborne, which remains the PlayStation 4's best exclusive, From Software remastered Dark Souls to earn a quick buck. While currently available on Microsoft and Sony's consoles, the Switch version has been temporarily delayed but should be available by the end of summer. Handheld Dark Souls sounds like a match made in heaven!
22 Super Mario Party
It would not be a Nintendo console without a string of Mario spin-off titles. With Mario Kart 8's port scratching anyone's go-karting itch, Super Mario Party is the next product created to further cement the Italian Plumber as gaming's main mascot. Ditching the car system explored in Mario Party 9, Nintendo opted to return to the classic board game style and promise to add an array of exciting new gameplay tweaks that take advantage of the Switch's Joy-Con controllers. The Mario Party franchise has always been on the gimmicky side, but Super Mario Party might be a welcome return to form.
21 Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Frankly, we feel sorry for anyone who spent money on a Wii U, as Nintendo seems determined to eradicate any trace of the console from history. Porting any half-way decent exclusives published during the previous generation, the Nintendo Switch has rendered its predecessor obsolete. Priced at a lower $39.99, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker fleshed out the titular character's Super Mario 3D World levels into a full game and garnered a positive enough reception upon release. While this might not be worth re-purchasing for those handfuls of people who bought a Wii U, anyone yearning for an enjoyable action puzzle game should give this a try!
20 Dragon Ball FighterZ
Slated for a September 28 release, Dragon Ball FighterZ serves as merely another reminder that Nintendo has embraced third-party titles. Following the triumphant Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, this 2.5D fighting game is an entirely different beast from its beat 'em up predecessor. Developed by Arc System Works, whose resume includes the Guilty Gear series, Dragon Ball FighterZ sits among the anime's best gaming adaptations and helped the series enter the tournament scene. While a must-own for any fans of Akira Toriyama and Nintendo, Dragon Ball FighterZ can be appreciated by any gamer with an affinity for fighters.
19 Luigi's Mansion
With the Nintendo Switch serving as a handheld and home console, someone would be forgiven for overlooking the fact that the 3DS remains active. Admittedly, 2018 saw a sharp decline in the number of games published on the portable system, but Nintendo has not completely neglected its clientele. Even if brand-new titles are in low supply, the publisher's extensive back catalog means there will never be a shortage of viable ports. Published for the GameCube, Luigi's Mansion pushed Mario's taller brother into the deep-end and forced the eponymous mascot to go on a ghostbusting adventure. In 2013, a sequel entitled Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon was published on the 3DS.
18 Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country
Despite possessing about as much juice as a high-end toaster, the Wii managed to run one of the most expansive JRPGs of the last couple of decades. Putting aside the dozens of side-quests, Xenoblade Chronicles' main story offers nearly 70 hours of content and its sequel is more of the same. As one of the more credible justifications for purchasing a Nintendo Switch, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 launched at the tail-end of the previous year and a new piece of DLC is slated for September 2018. If this JRPG flew under your radar, there is no better time than the present to explore Alrest!
17 Pokémon: Let's Go...
For some reason, Nintendo has never seemed particularly passionate about transferring Pokémon to its home consoles. While there have been a couple of 3D adventures, the majority pale in comparison to their handheld counterparts. Fueled by the success of the mobile game and expected to calm the flames until 2019's Pokémon Switch, Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let's Go Eevee centers around the brand's Generation I and should be pretty similar to the portable titles. The Joy-Con works as a make-shift Pokeball, while gamers can battle other trainers and, hopefully, take down gyms.
16 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
A Nintendo console cannot survive without its own Super Smash Bros. Dedicating a fair chunk of its E3 conference to the brawler, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate boasts an impressive roster that encompasses every single character that has featured in the franchise. Alongside returning favorites, there are bound to be a couple of fresh faces, although Waluigi seems destined to miss out. At the end of the day, Super Smash Bros. is synonymous with Nintendo and 2018's addition could prove to be the best of the bunch. Set to be available from December 7, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate supports the GameCube controller.
15 Sonic Mania Plus
Amidst a sea of disappointment that has come to define Sega's blue mascot, Sonic Mania emerged as a solitary lifeboat willing to safeguard the franchise's legacy. Gone are the days when Sega questioned Nintendo's supremacy over the gaming industry; nowadays, the hedgehog is merely happy to feature in a title that avoids being mentioned among the worst of the year. Developed by fans rather than the official team, Sonic Mania is the closest the series has gotten to recapturing the glory days of the Mega Drive.
14 WarioWare Gold
As a clone of Mario, Wario lives in the shadow of Nintendo's king. The antagonistic mascot's mustache possesses more personality than the Mushroom Kingdom's resident savior, but the WarioWare games have always been a tad more niche than his counterpart's adventures. Split into a variety of microgames that number in the hundreds, WarioWare Gold promises to be a culmination of the series' best elements. With a closely approaching August release date, WarioWare Gold is set to grace the 3DS market with its presence and will be the first entry in over five years.
13 Starlink: Battle For Atlas
Taking into account the somewhat lackluster commercial and critical reception garnered by Star Fox: Zero, fans might have to be satisfied with a crossover. Nevertheless, Ubisoft's Starlink: Battle for Atlas looks absolutely mouth-watering! Boasting gorgeous visuals and a range of planets to explore across a star system, Starlink could fill the void left by No Man's Sky's unanswered promises. We will have to wait and see whether the exploration and combat have any real depth, but the trailers and gameplay footage have done more than enough to peak our interest!
12 The Banner Saga 3
The final installment in Stoic's tactical role-playing trilogy, The Banner Saga 3 sits among the most highly-anticipated titles of the summer. Even if this list was not limited to games slated for the Nintendo Switch, this turn-based RPG would have warranted a mention. In anticipation of the story's conclusion, Versus Evil ported the first two chapters onto the hybrid console, so there is truly no excuse to ignore this saga. In the near future, we hope that Stoic puts together a comprehensive package that covers the entire adventure. Anyway, The Banner Saga 3 can be purchased from July 24, 2018.
11 Senran Kagura Reflexions
Marvelous' ode to fan service refuses to adhere to a single genre. Be it the musou-inspired combat of Senran Kagura Estival Versus or Peach Beach Splash's light-hearted take on third-person shooters, nobody can criticize the series for playing it safe. Scheduled to be published exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, SENRAN KAGURA Reflexions favors story over gameplay. A visual novel that prioritizes its interactions with the likable cast, Reflexions must prove that Senran Kagura is capable of writing a fascinating and engaging plot. While this is definitely not for everyone, fans who appreciate these characters might get a kick out of the experience.
10 Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost Of Dusk
After deciding to limit the last couple of entries to Japan, Aksys Games announced that Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost Of Dusk would be heading to North America. Dating back to the late '80s, Jake Hunter is a visual novel series centering around various investigations led by a hard-boiled detective. Closer to an old-school text adventure than something akin to Phoenix Wright, Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost Of Dusk might be worth considering for 3DS owners. Due to the franchise's turbulent history with localizations, the game must do a brilliant job of introducing the characters to a new generation.
9 Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Bolstered by stylized visuals and a strictly adult tone, No More Heroes and its streamlined sequel differentiated themselves from the Wii's child-friendly library. Spearheaded by Suda51, Grasshopper Manufacture adherence to over-the-top insanity and irreverence helped craft quite a niche. Announced exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is the franchise's third installment and sees the titular antihero teleported into a console to fight a retired baseball player named Badman. Also, the antagonist happens to be the father of No More Heroes' Bad Girl.
8 Titan Quest
Scavenging through its extensive catalog of titles, THQ pulled 2006's Titan Quest out of the clutches of irrelevance to celebrate its ten-year anniversary. Alas, the Nintendo Switch was nothing but a pipe dream in 2016, therefore the publisher was handed with the perfect excuse to re-release the action role-playing game set in Ancient Greece, Egypt, and Asia. Early this year, Titan Quest landed on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the Switch's handheld mode seems like the ideal system to revitalize the hack and slash RPG.
7 Labyrinth Of Refrain: Coven Of Dusk
Since the Nintendo Switch became a thing, Wii U buyers have been treated rather dismissively. In some ways, the PlayStation Vita is Sony's Wii U, although the handheld console lacks first-party games rather than third-party alternatives. Packed to the brim with small Japanese IPs, Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk serves as merely one example of the Vita's unfairly disregarded library. Ported to the PlayStation 4 in 2017, Nintendo Switch owners can pick up Nippon Ichi Software's first-person dungeon crawler towards the end of this summer. Unsurprisingly, the Switch's handheld option feels like a better fit than the PlayStation 4.
6 Octopath Traveler
Launching on July 13, we cannot wait to have Octopath Traveler in our mitts! A collaborative effort by Square Enix and Acquire, this Nintendo Switch exclusive is an open world role-playing game harboring back to the lovely days of the 16-bit SNES. Expanded upon traditional turn-based battles, Octopath Traveler allows players to pick from eight adventurers, with each candidate opening up unique jobs and altering the storyline. After the latest venture, it is time to accept that Final Fantasy will not be returning to its roots; nevertheless, Square Enix's younger IPs tend to share many similarities with the JRPG's golden era.
5 Tales Of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
In the age of remasters and remakes, it can be tough to view this practice as anything other than a cynical cash grab by money-starved studios. Even though nothing compares to a fresh experience designed specifically for the current generation, certain older games benefit from a re-release. Available only on the Xbox 360, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition presents an ideal opportunity for Western audiences to experience this landmark release in Namco Bandai's storied series. Stuffed with new characters and additional content that never made it out of Japan, Tales of Vesperia instantly ranks among the best JRPGs of the current generation.
4 NAIRI: Tower Of Shirin
A puzzle-platformer equipped to test even the most experienced of players, NAIRI: Tower Of Shirin contains enough adorableness to send boxes of kittens running towards the hills. Developed by HomebearStudios, the Nintendo Switch has amassed an incredible treasure trove of indie titles that compliment the console's flexibility. Do not be fooled by the cute art style and anthropomorphic ducks, NAIRI: Tower Of Shirin's charming narrative explores numerous mature themes that should hit a chord with many players. As the final selling point, apparently, the art style is influenced by Studio Ghibli. Okay, take our money!
3 Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
Disappointed that Monster Hunter: World skipped Nintendo's current system? Dedicated to filling that void, Capcom is publishing Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate on the Switch. An enhanced port of 2015's action role-playing game released for the 3DS, everything points towards Ultimate eradicating its predecessor in terms of performance, accessibility, and playability. The original hardly lacked for content, but this version's roster consists of more than 90 large monsters to tame! Besides the obvious graphical overhaul, the Switch's controller is the foremost reason to pick up Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.
2 My Hero One's Justice
Once an anime exceeds a certain popularity threshold, a video game adaptation becomes a matter of when rather than if. Currently on its third season, My Hero Academia is a coming-of-age story dealing with superpowered teenagers attending a college for heroes. Both the manga and anime are worth seeking out, so there is more than enough material to justify an adaptation. Described as an arena brawler by Bandai Namco, My Hero One's Justice mimics the franchise's aesthetic, although we will have to wait and see whether the gameplay is anything special.
1 Yo-Kai Watch Blasters
Launched in 2011, the 3DS' shelf life is slowly winding down to a close. At the moment, Nintendo's coming soon page lists only eight handheld titles and only four of those have a designated release date. Out of the bunch, Yo-kai Watch Blasters should be the most appealing, but Level-5's spin-off is far from a new game. Based on a mini-game in Yo-kai Watch 2, the JRPG's Japanese release date occurred in 2015. While better late than never, Yo-kai Watch Blasters deserved to be subjected to a much quicker turn-around. More of a beat 'em up than a Pokémon clone, Western gamers have another excuse to turn on their 3DS console.