The Nintendo Switch library is one of the most diverse platforms around, encompassing everything from first-party exclusives like Breath of the Wild to indie hits like Stardew Valley. In 2020, we can expect a bunch of new third-party games to hold us over until Nintendo’s next big direct.
Here, we’ll be highlighting the best upcoming games making their way to Nintendo Switch in 2020 and beyond in order of release date. Make sure to check back as we continue to update this list in the future and consider reading our other curated lists to learn about more great games:
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Paper Mario: The Origami King
Developer: Intelligent Systems – Release Date: July 17, 2020
It’s been four years since Nintendo fans had a new Paper Mario game to sink their teeth into. While the last two entries in the series, 2012’s Sticker Star and 2016’s Color Splash, didn’t resonate as much as we’re sure Nintendo would have liked, the Switch has provided an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and recapture the magic of classic Paper Mario RPGs like The Thousand-Year Door.
Due out later this summer, The Origami King sees Paper Mario on a brand-new adventure to save the kingdom from King Olly and his army of Folded Soldiers. Combat remains turn-based but features some interesting new modifications. Enemy encounters now take place on ring-based battlefields that players can rotate in order to form clusters of enemies to maximize damage each turn.
Developer: East Day Studios – Release Date: July 28, 2020
While it may not quite have as much street cred as the Tony Hawks and Skate 4s of the world, Easy Day Studio’s Skater XL has quietly been growing its audience since it’s 2018 release. The game offers a more minimalist approach to skateboarding sims and tries to strike a balance between approachable controls and true simulation.
That being said, an updated version of Skater XL is making it way to Nintendo Switch later this summer along with some new content included with other versions of the game. Most notably, a brand-new map is being added. The Easy Day High School level will consist of 25 locations inspired by real-world school skate spots in California.
The Last Campfire
Developer: Hello Games – Release Date: Summer 2020
The Last Campfire is a new property in development by Hello Games, the studio responsible for the online space survival game No Man’s Sky. While it looks much more toned down compared to the studio’s last project, there are some overlapping ideas such as themes of loneliness and a protagonist “searching for a way home.”
Described as an adventure-puzzle title, the game sees you guiding an adorable small traveler as they traverse a series of dense environments, each packed with interesting creatures and secrets to uncover. The goal is to make it back home to light the last campfire without dying. Considering it’s scheduled to release this summer, we’re expecting Hello Games has more to share.
Developer: NAPS Team – Release Date: Summer 2020
Baldo is an upcoming action-adventure RPG with a visually-striking cel-shaded art style. It tells a charming story about a young boy meeting a diverse cast of weird and funny characters while traveling throughout magical lands.
The game features an explorable open-world where you can discover new towns, enemies, hidden temples, weapons, and tools. Although Baldo doesn’t have a release date yet, it’s Zelda meets Ni No Kuni presentation already has us hooked.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Developer: TT Games – Release Date: Oct 20, 2020
All signs point towards Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga being a pivotal entry in the long-running Lego game franchise. The upcoming title plans on adapting all nine episodes of the Star Wars saga, including The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
So far, we know the game will feature optional fully-voiced dialogue and allow players to complete any of the episodes in whichever order they choose. Given the success of the original Lego Star Wars games and the rise in quality of more recent entries, we’re confident The Skywalker Saga will deliver an updated version of the best Lego series to date.
Developer: Dreams Uncorp. – Release Date: Nov 17, 2020
Cris Tales is a love letter to classic JRPGs that’s managed to pique our interest due to its gorgeous 2D visuals and clever implementation of time travel mechanics. The story revolves around an orphan named Crisbell who becomes a time mage tasked with saving the world from calamity.
While playing, you’ll be able to access past, present, and future versions of Crisbell’s world simultaneously while making decisions that affect each version of her world. Publisher Modus Games has provided a November 17, 2020 release date, but in the meantime, there’s a Cris Tales demo you can check out to get a feel for what the game’s like.
Empire of Sin
Developer: Romero Games – Release Date: Fall 2020
Empire of Sin is a turn-based action/strategy title that tosses players into the seedy underbelly of 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago. The game tasks you with building a criminal empire from the ground up by mastering a variety of different rackets, such as speakeasies, union protection, and casinos.
To make a name for yourself, you’ll have to expand your influence by taking over rival territories and hiring loyal street soldiers. However, the journey won’t be easy as corruption and violence pressure you to bribe, intimidate, and when all else fails, go to war with rival gangs.
Axiom Verge 2
Developer: Thomas Happ – Release Date: Fall 2020
The first Axiom Verge proved to be a fantastic take on the classic Metroidvania formula and is regarded as one of the best 2D platformers on the Switch. It also stands out for having been created by one man, indie developer Thomas Happ, who has been hard at work designing a sequel.
Axiom Verge 2 will build upon the existing lore of the game’s universe while introducing new characters, powers, and gameplay mechanics. In the announcement trailer, we can make out a few new gadgets such as boomerang, a spider drone, and one that turns matter into bursts of energy.
Developer: Polygon Treehouse – Release Date: TBA 2020
While anyone eager to pick up Polygon Treehouse’s upcoming horror adventure Roki will be able to do so on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation in late July, the Nintendo Switch version has been delayed for the time being. A big part of this has to do with global changes to workflow in addition to the different procedures involved with launching a game on multiple platforms.
Still, we’d say Roki is worth waiting for if you already had your eyes set on the Switch version. This will provide more plenty of time to get even more excited and see what critics, such as us, have to say. Presented as a narrative-driven experience, the game sees you exploring an ancient and mysterious forest inhabited by creatures from Scandinavian folklore.
Little Nightmares II
Developer: Tarsier Studios – Release Date: TBA 2020
Tarsier Studios’ Little Nightmares is a delightfully creepy puzzle-platformer and one of the standout indie horror games of 2018. The game ends with an interesting twist that we’re excited to see expanded upon in a sequel due out this year. Published by Bandai Namco, Little Nightmares II got announced during Gamescon 2019, where a brief teaser was shown.
The sequel will feature a new playable character named Mono, who’s also joined by Six, the protagonist from the original. The two will work together to clear platforming challenges and solve puzzles in a variety of unsettling new environments. The second character will be AI-controlled by default, but Tarsier hopes to add local co-op before the game’s release.
Bravely Default II
Developer: Team Asano – Release Date: TBA 2020
In true Square Enix fashion, the company is planning to release a sequel to 2012’s Bravely Default even though one already exists called Bravely Second: End Layer. We’re just glad the company has opted from using their standard (and confusing) game naming system and is keeping things simple with Bravely Default II.
The sequel will introduce players to a new world, story, and characters, namely the latest incarnation of the Heroes of Light, a team of courageous fighters who travel the world in search of four magical crystals. It’s developed by the original BD team and features music from series’ composer, Revo.
Developer: Crytek | Saber Int. – Release Date: TBA 2020
Crytek and Saber Interactive have partnered to release Crysis Remastered, an updated version of the first-person shooter best known for its demanding graphics requirements. While gaming has come a long way since the days of using Crysis as a benchmark for your rig’s capabilities, the remaster looks to reclaim some of that former glory.
Crysis Remastered will feature high-quality textures, support for ray tracing, reworked lighting systems, and many more improvements. The original saw players controlling a super-soldier named Nomad who finds himself wrapped up in a sci-fi conspiracy involving North Korea and aliens. While the remake didn’t look too hot in a recently leaked trailer, Crytek is delaying the project until it’s up to snuff.
Developer: Team17 Digital – Release Date: TBA 2020
The Survivalists is an upcoming crafting survival game set in the same universe as developer Team17’s The Escapists series. The sequel/spin-off makes a couple of notable changes, namely a switch to a more tropical destination brimming with cute little monkeys. However, these monkeys aren’t just for your amusement and can also be taught how to use tools, gather resources, and will even craft things for you.
In addition, The Survivalists will feature online co-op for up to four players. While The Escapists 2 included co-op as well, we’re happy to see Team17 marrying the idea with survival-based gameplay. Players will explore a sprawling 2D open-world with a day/night cycle and work together to build bases, hunt, and solve mysteries.
Developer: Sidebar Games – Release Date: TBA 2020
Sidebar Games’ Golf Story was one of the best indie sleeper hits of 2017, telling an uplifting story of a down-on-his-luck golfer who manages to turn his life around by going back to his childhood love of golf after 20 years. The studio is back with a sequel, this time expanding its efforts to include a wider variety of sports-based activities and mini-games.
Scheduled to release later this year, Sports Story maintains the 2D presentation of its predecessor while introducing new characters and locations, including a renowned tennis academy where your character will train, and a prestigious castle where you’ll get to meet the queen. The game isn’t taking itself too seriously and seems like a satisfying continuation of Sidebar’s hilarious writing.
Mineko’s Night Market
Developer: Meowza Games – Release Date: TBA 2020
Mineko’s Night Market is an adorable adventure game inspired by Animal Crossing that features vibrant environments and more cats than one could ever dream of. You play as a curious girl getting used to her new home on a Japanese-inspired island at the base of Mount Fugu.
With an emphasis on the story and exploration, the game sees you trying to unravel the island’s many misteries, including a mythological Sun Cat God named “Abe”. Gameplay revolves around completing daily tasks such as crafting items, breeding cats, and maintaining a shop.
The Red Lantern
Developer: Timberline Studio – Release Date: TBA 2020
Joining the fleet of narrative-driven “nindies” is The Red Lantern, a part-adventure game part-dog sledding sim with eye-catching visuals. Described as a “rogue-lite, resource management game,” it sees you leading a team of sled dogs as you try to brave the harsh Alaskan tundra.
Each playthrough offers a unique experience where random events can occur. For example, in one run you may find yourself dealing with frostbite or perhaps come face-to-face with a vicious bear. Developer Timberline Studios plans on including hundreds of different scenarios that will add to the game’s replayability.
Developer: Pixpil – Release Date: TBA 2020
Eastward proves it’s possible to have nostalgia for a game you haven’t even played, evoking memories of Saturday morning-cartoons and retro 16-bit video game soundtracks. This is further complemented by a striking pixel art style that makes for charming characters and amusing environments.
The game is described as an action-adventure RPG and closely follows an unlikely pair as they embark on an emotional journey to uncover the truth behind their pasts and the universe. As you travel across the decaying cities of a post-apocalyptic world, you’ll encounter a colorful cast of strange creatures and humans with their own story to tell.
No More Heroes III
Developer: Grasshopper Manuf. – Release Date: TBA 2020
Goichi “Suda51” Suda took to the stage during Nintendo’s E3 2019 Direct to announce No More Heroes 3, the next mainline entry in the hack n’ slash franchise in over 10 years. While we still don’t have a specific release date, a report from Nintendolife suggests the game is about 35-40% complete.
NMH3 takes place nine years after NMH2 and two years after the events of Travis Strikes Again. It sees series’ protagonist Travis Touchdown returning to his hometown of Santa Destroy to defend the world from alien invaders led by an interplanetary terrorist. The hack n’ slash game plans on fully utilizing the Switch’s Joy-Con motion control technology both inside and outside of combat.
Developer: Bit Loom Games – Release Date: Late 2020
Sometimes the greatest ideas get their start in a ridiculous premise, like what would happen if two adorable dogs were joined at the hip. Whether or not you consider that a “great” idea is a matter of personal preference, however, PHOGS! makes a strong case in favor of double doggo mayhem.
Described as a “puzzle-filled adventure,” this indie game sees you and another player combining your canine wits to get past a series of physics-based obstacles spread across 24 levels and three distinct worlds. Each one introduces new mechanics that call for unique strategies centered on three pillars of dog: barking, biting, and bouncing.
Developer: Robi Studios – Release Date: TBA 2021
There simply haven’t been enough new 3D platformers this generation so we’re glad to see developer Robi Studios looking to fill the gap with Blue Fire. Even if the game isn’t expected to drop until early next year, the announcement trailer does a great job at setting up Blue Fire‘s moody protagonist and impressive level variety.
In it, you’ll explore the vast yet corrupted kingdom of Penumbra, home to all sorts of mystical creatures, some friendly, most not. Along the way, you’ll meet survivors, solve puzzles, track down collectibles, and gain mastery over the game’s traversal system. It’s reminiscent of 3D Zelda and Super Mario titles with a bit of Hollow Knight‘s edginess sprinkled on top.
Developer: Glass Bottom Games – Release Date: TBA 2021
Sporting some serious Tony Hawk Pro Skater vibes, SkateBIRD (and yes, the bird is capitalized) is a chill arcade skateboarding game about “birbs who try their best.” After selecting from one of many equally adorable birds, you’re transported to sandboxes packed with skatable objects.
Since you’re a tiny bird, environments are scaled accordingly, with bendable straws acting as grind rails and ramps which are made out of cardboard. There are also a variety of items to unlock such as cute articles of clothing for your bird and secret music tracks.
Developer: Bandai Namco Studios – Release Date: TBA
One of Nintendo’s most iconic N64 titles will be making a return on the Switch at some point in the future. During a recent Pokémon presentation, the company announced that a remake of Pokémon Snap is currently in development at Bandai Namco Studios. Aptly named New Pokémon Snap, the remake will see players donning their cameras once again and visit new islands where Pokémon roam freely.
You’ll be able to photograph Pokémon in their natural habitats and see them interact with one another in real-time. Unlike the original, which only focused on the first generation of Pokémon, it seems New Pokémon Snap will feature cameos of creatures from every mainline game, including Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Developer: PlatinumGames – Release Date: TBA
It’s been a while since we got any news about the third entry in PlatinumGames’ stylish hack n’ slash series Bayonetta. The game was announced at The Game Awards 2017 where a brief teaser set the tone for fans to get excited. Since then, we haven’t heard much.
While Nintendo and Platinum have both confirmed the game is coming along just fine, it’d be nice to see some gameplay footage or even a cinematic trailer to build up some hype. Considering its one of the most highly-anticipated Switch exclusives, we’re hoping 2020 is the year we finally get to play Bayonetta 3.
Metroid Prime 4
Developer: Retro Studios – Release Date: TBA
Despite being one of the most anticipated Switch releases, there haven’t heard much news concerning Metroid Prime 4 since it was announced at E3 2017. This is expected from Nintendo, whose notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to their core franchises.
However, in a surprising move, the company decided to pull back the curtains to let fans know the game is being delayed as production was shifted to Retro Studios. Additionally, veteran Metroid Prime producer Kensuke Tanabe is leading the project. The Prime series is known for taking the classic Metroid formula in new directions by shifting to a first-person POV and exploring new forms of gameplay.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel
Developer: Nintendo – Release Date: TBA
Arguably one of the biggest surprises to come out of E3 2019 is Nintendo’s announcement that work on a sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild has already begun. The first game was praised for its detailed world, open-ended gameplay, and would go on to receive multiple awards including several “Game of the Year” honors.
Judging by the reveal trailer, the next entry will maintain BOTW‘s art style while sorting a much darker tone. At one point, we’re able to see Ganondorf’s reanimated corpse before the camera switches to an exterior shot where Hyrule Castle is seen rising into the air. Fans have already begun comparing the sequel to Majora’s Mask, another heavy hitter in the Zelda series known for its darker themes and mature undertones.