The Nintendo Switch took 2017 by storm, with Nintendo releasing some phenomenal new titles — and picking up a few big-deal AAA and indie ports from other platforms to fill out its library. If 2017 was a good year for Nintendo fans and Switch owners, 2018 looks to be even better, with a number of great-looking Switch exclusives on the horizon.
One of the best elements of the Switch is its portable capability, though, and that’s part of what makes the idea of porting older games to the system so exciting — you can take games on the go that were previously only playable in your living room or on a PC. Here’s a list of older games to keep an eye out for as they make their way to the Switch in 2018.
The Switch excels as a great machine for smaller, tighter indie game experiences on the go, and Darkest Dungeon should be right at home on the console. The turn-based dungeon crawler is great for short bursts of play, and its creepy, Lovecraftian horror aesthetic brings some needed spookiness to the Switch in general. Darkest Dungeon has been a big hit on PC, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Vita, and it should be a great fit for the Switch as well. There’s no firm release date for Darkest Dungeon on Switch yet, but one developer tweet suggested January could be a possibility.
Steep is an underrated winter sports title that mixes skiing, snowboarding, paragliding and wingsuits in an open world. The game has two cool aspects going for it: First is the online multiplayer that mixes other players onto your mountain runs, both when you’re running events and when you’re just wandering the game’s world. Even better, though, is Steep‘s loving rendering of an amazing and gorgeous winter mountain range that’s a relaxing place to explore. Steep is a solid open-world title and fills a role in the Switch library for fans of winter sports games. There’s no Switch release date yet for Steep.
‘Kentucky Route Zero’
It’s been years since the small team behind the surreal point-and-click story title Kentucky Route Zero first started releasing the game episode by episode. All five KRZ acts will finally be out just in time for the game to launch on Switch, adding one of the weirdest and most interesting indie titles on the market to Nintendo’s library. Following several characters as they explore a haunted Kentucky highway, KRZ has continually garnered rave reviews, and its magical realism approach to storytelling and beautiful low-fi visuals make it a great get for Switch players. Look for Kentucky Route Zero to hit the Switch in the first quarter of 2018.
‘Bayonetta’ and ‘Bayonetta 2’
Bayonetta fans who skipped the second installment in the action-adventure series because it was only available on the Wii U are finally getting another option. Bayonetta 2 pulled down rave reviews for its intense, gorgeous and varied combat, putting players in the role of a gun-toting witch as she colorfully tears through tons of bad guys. Many reviewers consider it a classic, so the move to Switch should allow lots of new players to check out a phenomenal game that was previously out of reach. And with the original Bayonetta hitting the Switch ahead of the third entry into the series, fans will have tons of opportunities to wreck some baddies. Look for Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 on Switch on February 16 — in the meantime, you can read our Bayonetta 2 review.
The Switch has a host of fun and quirky multiplayer titles that are great for a party, and TowerFall Ascension will make a great addition to those ranks. The game puts players in the role of one of several archers, and the battle takes place on a single 2D screen. Each player carries only a few arrows for their bows, but arrows can be reclaimed from the battlefield, making taking each shot a risk and scrambling to grab more ammo a requirement. Taking on friends in split-screen co-op is a blast, but you can also play cooperatively against a host of enemies, making TowerFall a great title at home, with friends, or while you’re mobile. We’re still waiting for a firm Switch release date, however.
‘Super Meat Boy’
You can already get the punishing platformer Super Meat Boy on tons of systems as it’s been out since 2010, but the game’s quick levels and tight controls seem like they’ll be especially well-suited to handheld play on the Switch. It’s already a great portable game on the PlayStation Vita, working very well as a game for playing on a bus or a plane, so Super Meat Boy should be a great addition to the Switch lineup for the same reason — fast games that are easy to pick up, put down, and take anywhere. The Switch version also comes with an exclusive “race” mode to sweeten the deal. Super Meat Boy hits the Switch on January 11.
Another smaller-scale but beautiful indie effort, Furi is an action-adventure shoot-em-up that consists of a series of intense boss fights. Armed with a sword and a powerful cannon, your job is to speedily dodge powerful enemy attacks before rushing in to deal punishment of your own. It makes each boss fight become something of a puzzle and a test of your reaction times. Furi is great for short bursts of gaming, which is ideal for the on-the-go nature of the Switch. Look for it to hit Nintendo’s console in early 2018.
‘Outlast’ and ‘Outlast 2’
The Switch’s library is filling out fast, but one area in which it could stand to have more depth is horror. The Outlast games should help fill that niche nicely. The two first-person horror titles find players mostly hiding in the dark from powerful enemies, or running for their lives — these are games in which there’s no combat, where you have to rely on your wits instead. Both plunge players into almost complete darkness, with only the night vision function on a handheld camera to show what’s hunting you. The grab-and-go capabilities of the Switch should be perfect for playing the Outlast games in the dark at night. Both should be available on the Switch in early 2018. You can read our Outlast and Outlast 2 reviews while you wait.
If you’re looking for online co-op intensity on your Switch, Payday 2 will hook you up. The four-player game is all about sneaking into locations like banks and sticking up the joint. Your job is to steal everything you can, with players working together, delegating responsibilities, setting up defenses and tying up civilians to get them out of the way. But eventually, the cops show up, turning the stickup into a shootout, and requiring players to fight their way out with the loot. Payday 2 should be a great online option for Switch multiplayer fans. You’ll see Payday 2 hit the switch on February 27, and you can read our review here.
‘Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus’
Doom and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim both delivered on the tantalizing promise of bringing big AAA games from more powerful home consoles to the handheld Switch. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus looks like it will add another highly praised shooter to that lineup. The opportunity to play big, great core games on the Switch means you won’t be losing anything if you pick it over other consoles, and the idea of blasting robot Nazi dogs on the go is an intriguing one. Wolfenstein 2 will be out sometime in 2018, and you can pass the time until then by reading our review.