With an already stellar arsenal of games in its library, it’s hard to think how Nintendo could outdo themselves with Switch games in 2022. That is until you look at the list of forthcoming titles, packed with much-hyped sequels and series re-boots, and you realize that the console is looking at a year of great releases.
These are our top ten hype train riding titles for the Nintendo Switch in 2022.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Following the stratospheric sales of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the Pokémon Company and Game Freak take the next step for the series with this exciting title. Set thousands of years before any Pokémon game we’ve experienced yet, Pokemon Legends: Arceus reimagines the world of collectable creatures into something we’ve never quite seen before.
While it doesn’t look like a complete departure from the Pokemon formula we all know and love, it does seem that we’ll see some bold new decisions in terms of game mechanics in this title. So far, we’ve seen some changes to the battle system and how catching Pokémon works with primitive Pokéballs. Still, we’re excited to see what other innovations Game Freak will bring to the table when Pokémon Legends: Arceus releases on January 28.
Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
With the appropriately wild success of the first game, it’s no surprise that the currently untitled sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild received the award for Most Anticipated Nintendo Game at E3 this year. Since then, the hype train for this follow-up has gained traction with every hint that Nintendo have dropped, and it might just be one of the most anticipated titles across all platforms.
This year we learned that the sequel would not only take place in the same Hyrule we grew to love in the original game but will be expanded to unfold across the region’s vast skyline. Link, or whoever the game’s protagonist might be, will traverse new heights with their glider and challenge Skyward Sword’s Link as the most capable airborne adventurer throughout the Zelda timelines.
We can’t wait to touch down once more in Hyrule and find out which lurking evil threatens the land this time around. There’s still no exact release date, but we expect that we’ll be gliding again at some point in 2022 in one of the years most wanted Switch games.
Back again for another playful take on the shooter genre, Splatoon 3 promises a wealth of ink-blasting weapons and blank canvas locations for mess-making. Splatoon’s popular online mode also returns, with Inklings and Octolings battling it out in Turf War. With new items and a never-before-seen Ink Bow, online battles are sure to get even more colourful, and avid players cannot wait.
That’s as well as a brand-new storyline, ‘Return of the Mammalians’, in which Splatoon’s humanoid squids must fight off a resurgence of mammals in their world. However, unlike the first two Splatoon games, this most recent addition will be outside Inkopolis in the previously unvisited Splatsville. With all this, Nintendo’s newest franchise looks to keep gaining momentum when it releases at some point in 2022.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
We were all surprised when Nintendo’s biggest name joined forces with the Rabbids for a tactical RPG adventure. That made it all the sweeter a surprise when it turned out to be a delight and a refreshing change of pace for the genre. Ubisoft look to go one better with this sequel, losing the rigid movement system from the first game and adopting a more fluid way of manoeuvring around the battle.
Taking inspiration from past Mario games, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope leaves behind the Mushroom Kingdom for the expanse of space. We’ll even see Mario Galaxy’s adorable Lumas return, combining with the game’s titular Rabbids to create Sparks, who, despite their appearance, have the power to change the universe drastically. Mario and his band of merry sidekicks must harness the power of Sparks before it falls into the hands of evil.
Another one for the RPG fans, Triangle Strategy, is the latest tactical showpiece from Square Enix. So naturally, we’re expecting big things from this turn-based tactical title, coming from the developer who has delivered Bravely Default and Octopath Traveller in recent years.
The “HD-2D” graphic style is a continuation of that seen in Octopath Traveller, with Square Enix set on its vision to breathe new life into nostalgic designs. Admittedly, that’s not the only Square Enix idiosyncrasy we’re expecting for this game, as with each new trailer, it seems that the game world and narrative will both offer the developer’s patented depth and complexity.
Kirby and The Forgotten Land
Kirby is one of the few beloved Nintendo characters without a fully-fledged 3D platforming adventure, so the little pink survivor’s fans are more than ready for this title. Coming as a surprise to many when announced at September’s Nintendo Direct, Kirby and the Forgotten Land plunges Kirby into an abandoned city landscape, in one of the most endearing imaginings of a post-apocalyptic world we’ve ever seen in a game.
The game’s trailer sees our favourite star-surfing mascot exploring empty malls, theme parks, and other areas of a vast metropolis devoid of human life. This unknown disaster leaves Kirby fighting off the monsters left behind and figuring out where he is and what might have happened there. We can’t wait to adventure again with Kirby, this time in all his spherical 3D goodness.
The Sonic renaissance might finally come to fruition with this big roll of the dice for Sega’s superstar mascot. Recently announced and relatively out of the blue, Sonic Frontiers looks to be a step in a new direction for the famous blue hedgehog, a move that has not always paid off for Team Sonic.
However, with Sonic Adventure director Takashi Iizuka returning to the helm, fans are optimistic that this Sonic game might bring the series out of the funk it’s been in since the maligned period following the release of 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog. There might be some reason to be optimistic, too. Despite still not knowing much about the game, the most recent trailer revealed the open world of the Starfall Islands, the game’s lush and expansive setting that we can’t wait to zoom around.
The wait is nearly over for those who remember when this game was first announced in 2018 and took interest. Despite multiple delays, ESRB has rated Digimon Survive, and the title aims to join the roster of Switch games dropping in 2022, three years after the intended launch.
In this departure from the RPG style of recent Digimon games, Digimon Survive combines the visual-novel genre with tactical-role playing and strategy elements to offer a distinctly different experience from the usual monster hunter. We’re most looking forward to the promised replayability of the game, with decision making affecting the storyline and multiple possible endings with multiple possible Digimon forms. If the developers can deliver, this might be the dark horse of forthcoming Switch games coming in 2022.
Nintendo’s resident badass Bayonetta returns in PlatinumGames hack and slash hit in their third instalment. After years of agonizing silence for fans, the developer officially announced Bayonetta’s return at the end of September’s Nintendo Direct, and the hype has gone into overdrive since then.
We’ve only seen a little bit of gameplay from the third game in the series, but it looks like our heroine is back to kick ass on a planetary level, with all of her old powers as well as new ones. The most recent trailer showcased Bayonetta’s new demon possessing powers as she summoned a massive dragon for a Kaiju-style battle with planetary invaders, so we’ve got high hopes for what else might be in store for this witch.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-boot Camp
GBA classics Advance Wars 1 and 2 are coming in a double-bill package to the Nintendo Switch. Both games have their influences seen in a host of titles already on the console, so fans of the turn-based strategy genre are enthusiastic about getting to play enhanced versions of the originals.
The game was initially poised to release in December 2021 but was recently delayed until Spring 2022. That means it’s still not all that long to wait until you can strategize by land, air and sea, with online multiplayer for the first time in an Advance Wars game.
Those are our picks for the most anticipated Nintendo Switch games in 2022. It’s looking like a strong year for RPG and tactical titles, but if you can’t wait that long for a fix of turn-based adventure, check out our guide for the top ten RPG’s currently available on Switch. Or, if you’re looking for gift ideas for the Switch lover in your life this holiday season, see our list of the best accessories on the market.