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Our most anticipated Nintendo Switch games of 2023

It’s safe to say that even without The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, 2022 was the Nintendo Switch’s best year since its launch. Nintendo rolled out the big guns for the console’s fifth year, with a wave of high-profile first-party titles. The wide list included long-anticipated releases like Bayonetta 3, charming surprises like Nintendo Switch Sports, and Game Awards-nominated masterpieces like Xenoblade Chronicles 3. You could have made a solid top 10 list using only Switch exclusives in 2022.

How do you follow up on such a strong year? That’s a question Nintendo is surely going to work to answer in 2023. While the Switch will get the year’s biggest game in Zelda, the rest of its lineup is largely shrouded in mystery. We know a few games that are on the horizon, but we likely won’t know what the whole year looks like until a winter Nintendo Direct.

Though 2023 will likely shock us, there are still plenty of Switch titles we’re already looking forward to heading into the new year. From Fire Emblem to Zelda, here are the Switch games you need to keep your eye on next year.

Fire Emblem Engage — January 20

Alear and Marth open a door in Fire Emblem Engage.

If you’re looking for consistency when it comes to Nintendo games, the Fire Emblem series delivers. The tactics series has already impressed on the Switch multiple times thanks to the excellent Fire Emblem: Three Houses and its surprisingly deep Musou spin-off, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. The next mainline game of the series looks to continue that trend. Fire Emblem Engage will lead the Switch’s 2023 library with an RPG that pays tribute to the past. The big hook this time is that players can summon old heroes like Marth to fight alongside them in battle. Though it’ll be hard to top the astonishing interpersonal relationships that Three Houses presented, Engage looks like it’ll deliver the same tactical strengths that make the series one of Nintendo’s finest.

Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe — February 24

Kirby wields a sword in Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe.

Couldn’t get enough Kirby in 2022? Fortunately, you won’t have to wait long for the pink puffball’s next adventure. Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe drops in February, bringing a Nintendo Wii classic to the Switch. Though the original 2D platformer didn’t get the same praise as Kirby and the Forgotten Land in its day, it’s still regarded as a charming entry in the series with satisfying platforming. Considering that Kirby is currently riding on a wave of goodwill, the deluxe edition might land with players even more in 2023.

Octopath Traveler 2 — February 24

Four warriors standing on a cliff.

At this point, it’s unnecessary to say that any given year will be a big one for RPG fans. The Switch continues to be one of the best platforms for the genre, and that’s set to continue in 2023. One of the year’s most high-profile releases will come in the form of Octopath Traveler 2, a sequel to one of Square Enix’s more beloved modern RPGs. The new installment brings back the gorgeous 2D-HD art style that sparked a revolution in the genre, as well as its multi-character approach to storytelling. It’s coming hot off the heels of the recently released Live A Live remake, a game that was a major inspiration for the Octopath series. If you can’t wait for February, make sure to go back and give that game a try first to get the full historical context.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon — March 17

Bayonetta battles a monster in Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon.

This year’s Game Awards was loaded with surprises, but none were as left-field as Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon. The colorful action game is a complete departure from the usually dark, mature series; it almost looks like a kid’s game. It tells the story of Cereza in her younger years, traveling alongside her demon cat Cheshire. So far, we know it’ll still be an action game, though it’ll have more of an emphasis on puzzles. For those who want just a little more lore following this year’s excellent Bayonetta 3, it’ll hopefully be a fun little side adventure on the long road to a proper fourth installment.

Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection — April 14

Mega Man fights an enemy in Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection.

If you’ve been pining for a return to the Mega Man Battle Network series, 2023 is about to be your year. Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection contains a whopping 10 games in total, including all of the series’ dual releases. The real-time tactical RPG series is a treat for Mega Man fans, Game Boy Advance enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the genre alike. It has players defeating enemies using battle chips on a computer-like grid. Considering how popular tactics games are these days, it’s a perfect time for the series to make its grand return — especially as we wait for the long-delayed Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom — May 12

Link on island in the sky in Tears of the Kingdom.

How do you follow up on what’s now regarded as one of the best and most influential games of all time? By doing it again. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom looks to build on Breath of the Wild‘s incredible success by delivering another dazzling open-world experience. The main difference this time (that we know of, at least) is that Link will take to the skies, expanding out the world of Hyrule. Though that’s not all you can expect from the sequel. Trailers have teased a darker tone, new abilities, and Link’s odd new arm. The less we know, the better as Tears of the Kingdom will need to dish out some true surprises to top a true classic.

Fae Farm — Spring 2023

Two players farm outside during autumn in Fae Farm.

If you’re a fan of cozy farming games like Stardew Valley, you’ll want to keep your eye on Fae Farm. Created by the studio behind Dauntless, the indie is shaping up to be a charming little RPG/farming simulator hybrid based on what we saw of it recently. Best of all, it’ll feature multiplayer for up to four players online and locally, which already makes it one of the Switch’s most promising co-op titles of 2023.

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk — Summer 2023

A character parkours over a box in Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.

When companies won’t give us sequels to old games we loved as kids, sometimes indie developers need to step in. That’s exactly the case with Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, which is essentially the Jet Set Radio successor we never got. The upcoming game will have players grinding around a city as they paint the streets with graffiti and evade cops. Of course, it’ll have a strong emphasis on music too, featuring music from Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma.

Sea of Stars — TBA

The Solstice Warriors stand under a full moon in Sea of Stars' key art.

For fans of retro RPGs, Sea of Stars could very well end up being one of 2023’s best. Created by Sabotage Studio, the team behind indie hit The Messenger, Sea of Stars is a turn-based RPG that draws inspiration from classics like Chrono Trigger. Based on what we saw earlier this year, it’s looking like a loaded narrative experience that uses simplicity to its advantage. If you’re a genre purist who’s sick of the current action-RPG trend, Sea of Stars will be one to watch in 2023.

Pikmin 4 — TBA

Pikmin and Bulborb in Pikmin 4.

So far, we barely know anything about Pikmin 4. Slated to launch sometime in 2023, Nintendo has only shared its pretty art style and its new ground-level perspective. That’s about it, but what more do you need to know? The Pikmin series is one of Nintendo’s most creative creations and it hasn’t gotten a mainline installment in a decade. If all goes according to plan, it should be a welcome return to form for a series that’s always been trapped on Nintendo’s least popular consoles. A Switch release should bring more eyes than ever to it, potentially turning it into one of the company’s top exclusives.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Play this Zelda hidden gem for free with Switch Online before Tears of the Kingdom

Ahead of the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, it’s a great time to look back on the stalwart Nintendo’s series presence on Nintendo Switch. From Breath of the Wild to a plethora of classics on Switch Online, it’s probably the best console for any fan of this series to own. That said, there’s one Switch exclusive that may have flown under your radar and is worth checking out before Tears of the Kingdom. That game is Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the Necrodancer featuring The Legend of Zelda.
All About Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Ft. The Legend of Zelda - Nintendo Switch
Free for Nintendo Switch Online members until May 7 and available at a 50% discount on the eShop through the launch of Tears of the Kingdom, this game is a rare case of Nintendo collaborating with an indie studio for a project tied to one of its biggest franchises. The result is a Zelda game that expands on the rhythm-based action formula established in Brace Yourself Games’ 2016 hit Crypt of the NecroDancer.
Although this roguelite doesn’t play like any other Zelda game out there, it makes some design choices that call back to the series' most iconic titles. That, as well as its rhythmic nature, will feel refreshing ahead of Tears of the Kingdom’s ambitious and systems-heavy open-world adventure. If you haven’t played it, give Cadence of Hyrule a shot while it’s free.
A unique adventure
As a crossover between Crypt of the Necrodancer and The Legend of Zelda, the game begins with NecroDancer protagonist Cadence being whisked away to Hyrule. She quickly inspires Link or Zelda to explore the world and fight back against Octavo, who put Hyrule’s king to sleep with a magical Lute. Those who prefer the more minimalist stories of earlier games in the series will enjoy how quickly the game gets players to the rhythmic action. People begging Nintendo to make Zelda playable in Tears of the Kingdom will also appreciate that they can play most of the game as her if they want.

The act of playing Cadence of Hyrule is where things get really interesting, as it combines old and new ideas to create something that feels familiar yet refreshing. Starting with the new, this is a rhythm game where players must move and attack enemies on the beat. The Zelda franchise is known for its music, and Cadence of Hyrule takes full advantage of that by including versions of some of the series’ greatest hits. Until we get a Theatrhythm-like game for Zelda music, this is game fans of the franchise's iconic soundtracks can't ignore. 
Hopping tile-to-tile on the beat is pretty simple to understand, but it can get quite difficult as players must also account for the fact that every enemy also moves and attacks on the beat. Recognizing that players will probably die a lot, the game is structured as a roguelite where some dungeons are procedurally generated (as is the world each time you start a new file). Items can be found or bought with Rupees to help players during an individual run, while Diamonds are collected in dungeons or by clearing a screen of enemies can be spent on more permanent upgrades.
This may sound daunting, but gameplay options like setting the controllers to vibrate on the beat or only letting enemies move when you do can make it easier. Most Zelda fans should also feel more at home with how other parts of Cadence of Hyrule are designed.
But still familiar-feeling
Rhythm-based movement and combat aside, this is a classic top-down Zelda action-adventure game with aesthetics, presentation, and iconography that the series was once known for. The familiarity in terms of the locations visited, enemies fought, and items obtained makes those more distinct elements easier to embrace. It’s also novel to see elements from post-2D Zelda games show up in this style, like Skull Kid via DLC.
It demonstrates just how malleable and well-designed the core Zelda formula is because it still feels faithful despite its rhythmic nature. While Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom’s massive open worlds and deep gameplay systems impress, they’ve also created a yearning for a more classically structured Zelda experience from some fans.

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Marvel’s Midnight Suns for Nintendo Switch canceled ahead of last-gen launch
Hulk shouts at an enemy in Marvel's Midnight Suns.

Superhero strategy game Marvel's Midnight Suns is getting its long-delayed Xbox One and PS4 port on May 11, but there's some bad news for Nintendo Switch owners: The Switch version of the game has been canceled.
2K Games and Firaxis released Marvel's Midnight Suns, a card-based strategy game focusing on the supernatural side of the Marvel comic book universe, for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S last December. While Digital Trends enjoyed the game, it underperformed financially and the game's director left Firaxis altogether following its release. Originally slated to launch alongside the current-gen versions of Midnight Suns in October 2022, the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch versions of the game were indefinitely delayed when the game was pushed to December.

Now, the PS4 and Xbox One ports will finally come out digitally alongside the Blood Storm expansion on May 11, but 2K confirmed in the press release announcing the date that "the Nintendo Switch version of Marvel's Midnight Suns will no longer be offered as part of updated plans."
Additionally, the release calls Blood Storm the "final" DLC for Midnight Suns, so it seems unlikely that the game will continue to receive lots of post-launch support, unlike other Firaxis titles such as Sid Meier's Civilization VI and XCOM 2. That's certainly a more muted ending than one would expect from a Marvel game from the industry's premier strategy developers.
Marvel's Midnight Suns will finally launch for PS4 and Xbox One on May 11. It's currently available for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S. 

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It’s the last day of Nintendo’s April Indie Sale — don’t miss these 7 great games
hades best builds key art new cropped hed 1244036

Nintendo just hosted an Indie World showcase and previewed some exciting indie games like Rift of the Necrodancer, Blasphemous 2, and Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals. While the Nintendo Switch has always been a first-party, AAA-title machine, it's also become an indie powerhouse over the years and is home to some of the best small games on the market. To celebrate its stream, Nintendo just launched a weeklong sale on some of its top indie titles, including all-time greats like Celeste and Hades.

The sale kicked off on April 19 and runs until April 26 at midnight PT. While you have a good week to browse, here are seven excellent deals that you'll want to take advantage of before time's up.
Celeste -- $5 (75% off)

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