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Upcoming 2022 Nintendo Games: The Best Year Ever For Fans?

Nintendo has some of the biggest franchises across the entire gaming industry, with iconic series like "The Legend of Zelda," "Super Mario," and "Fire Emblem" all boasting massive fanbases worldwide. These titles have helped Nintendo carve out its own niche, and have helped the Switch perform incredibly well in the few short years since its launch. The Switch has also seen an incredible amount of support from third-party developers as well, further strengthening its library of blockbuster titles and hidden gems.

2020 has delivered some great console exclusives on the Switch for players to sink their teeth into. From high-octane action titles like "Metroid Dread" to party games like "Mario Party Superstars," the little hybrid handheld console truly seems to have something for everyone. 

However, the Nintendo Switch's future looks even brighter, with 2022's confirmed and possible releases making the coming year look like the best ever for Nintendo fans.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

"Pokemon" has been a dominant force in the video game industry for years, and the newest entry in the franchise, "Pokemon Legends: Arceus," sees the developers tackling a bold new approach, complete with a near open world, an early time period in the "Pokemon" world that fans have never seen before, and some new variants to boot. Fans grew even more hyped when "Pokemon Legends: Arceus" released a creepy horror-themed trailer that seemed to signal a total shift in tone for the franchise.

Apart from the new setting, "Pokemon Legends: Arceus" also includes a number of interesting gameplay changes, including crafting, observing wild Pokemon behaviors and brand new attack styles. As noted by iMore, all of the new twists have hyped up fans of the series, and "Arcues" is looking like a solid follow-up to 2020's much-anticipated (but slightly underwhelming) remasters, "Pokemon Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl."

  • Release Date: Jan. 28, 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Adventure, Action RPG

  • Game Modes: Single-player

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

The "Advance Wars" series has not received a new entry in years, despite becoming an iconic pillar of the Game Boy Advance and turn-based strategy titles (per LifeWire). This made it all the more exciting when Nintendo revealed "Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp" for the Switch, even now that it has been delayed into 2022. The entry revitalizes two of the classic titles from the series, updating them with entirely new visuals that maintain the tone and style of the original releases while also translating them to a more 3D and modern look.

A particularly exciting new addition coming to the remasters is a brand-new multiplayer mode that lets up to four players battle it out and determine who is the best commander. Players get a number of ways to customize their matches, adding an interesting new way to play "Advance Wars." As noted by Input, this makes the reboot a great way for fans to revisit some of their favorite games while also being a good entry point for turn-based strategy fans everywhere. If the remaster does well enough, perhaps fans will have a completely new entry to look forward to in the near future.

  • Release Date: April 8, 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Turn-based strategy

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online multiplayer (up to 4)

Triangle Strategy

Square Enix's "Triangle Strategy" is a bold new turn-based RPG that puts players in control of a group of warriors as they try to navigate a story that reacts and evolves with every decision players make. Featuring a beautiful art style, the game sees battles play out over multi-tiered arenas, each of which feature environmental elements that players can to use to their advantage. Alongside flanking, height advantages, and a variety of different unit types, the combat in "Triangle Strategy" pushes players to think their strategies out carefully, as one key decision can spell victory or defeat.

Interested players got a chance to check out a demo of "Triangle Strategy" soon after its announcement, and their feedback influencing numerous changes to the game before release (per GamesRadar). Overall, however, the demo was very well received among strategy fans. CBR compared "Triangle Strategy" to the popular "Fire Emblem" series for its emphasis on characters, challenging combat, and the engaging narrative hinted at in the demo, so RPG fans have a lot to look forward to.

  • Release Date: March 4, 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: RPG, Turn-based strategy, Adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

The coming Spring will also see the return of one of gaming's most iconic characters in "Kirby and the Forgotten Land," and the new game looks very different from Kirby's previous adventures. The title's reveal trailer was strikingly beautiful and featured Kirby navigating a rundown metropolis in the midst of being reclaimed by nature.

Beyond that, "Kirby and the Forgotten Land" promises to include all of the features the series is beloved for, including combat, cute enemies, exploration, and plenty of platforming challenges. And of course, players will be able to swallow Kirby's enemies and copy their abilities to help them along their way. Leaks have also pointed towards the game having some kind of online mode (per GamesRadar), which could mean that gamers can expect whimsical co-op play. Whether or not the leaks are accurate remains to be seen, but even without co-op, "Kirby and the Forgotten Land" looks to be a real treat for platformer fans.

  • Release Date: Spring 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Action, Platformer

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Arriving at some point in Summer 2022, "Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak" is the hotly anticipated expansion to one of the best RPGs of 2021. "Sunbreak" will give players more of the monster-slaying action that they know and love, as well as new monsters, locations, missions, and equipment for players to craft. The expansion will also expand on the mythology of the "Monster Hunter" series in exciting ways, offering new story threads for players to follow. There is a lot of pressure on "Sunbreak" to perform well after the massive critical success of the "Iceborne" expansion for its predecessor, "Monster Hunter World."

Fans of the "Monster Hunter" series are accustomed to spending dozens of hours on a single entry in the franchise, and an expansion like "Sunbreak" offers an opportunity to craft even more advanced gear and learn new strategies for Wyvern-wrangling. Fans of the series are extremely excited for the new expansion, but it also offers an incentive for newcomers to join the fun — although they may want to tag along with an experienced friend or consult a guide to help them along their way.

  • Release Date: Summer 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch, PC

  • Genre: Action RPG, Action, Adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online multiplayer

Splatoon 3

The "Splatoon" series took the world by surprise when the first game was released in 2015 and brought a fresh new spin on multiplayer shooters. Rather than having players solely focus on killing one another, "Splatoon" matches are won by the team that covers more of the map with their special color of ink at the end of the match. 

Now, fans have "Splatoon 3" just around the corner, which promises to build on the series even further with new weapons, equipment, fashion, and a uproarious single-player campaign. "Splatoon 3" also introduces an entirely new region of the game's world known as the Splatlands, which has a distinct desert vibe separating it from the more metropolitan settings of the previous games. "Splatoon 3" also marks the return of 4v4 Turf Wars, so longtime fans will feel right at home with the latest entry.

  • Release Date: TBA 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Third-person shooter

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online multiplayer

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Another surprise success for Nintendo was the release of "Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle" which combined the world of Nintendo's Super Mario with Ubisoft's Rabbids to create what The Verge called a "unique" take on the turn-based strategy genre. The upcoming sequel, "Sparks of Hope," again sees players taking control of classic "Super Mario" characters and Rabbids cosplaying as them in turn-based battles. However, it features a new approach to combat that frees it from the strict tile-based structure of the first title.

Fans of "Super Mario Galaxy" will be excited to see that "Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope" also takes the series to the stars; its intergalactic campaign sees players jump to a variety of planets, each of which contain recognizable aspects of both series, as well as entirely new bosses, enemies, and locations. Be sure to keep an eye out for easter eggs while you dive into a sequel to one of the best modern "Super Mario" games.

  • Release Date: TBA 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Adventure, Turn-based, Tactical RPG

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

Bayonetta 3

"Bayonetta" fans have endured a very long wait for the newest entry in the series. The sequel was originally announced in 2017, only for its developers at PlatinumGames to say very little ever since. Many fans began to worry whether or not "Bayonetta 3" would ever come out, but thankfully the game has finally been confirmed to be to be releasing sometime in 2022. "Bayonetta 3" expands on the supernatural elements fans know and love, packing a new Demon Masquerade ability and some of the biggest battles the series has ever seen into an adventure full of guns, magic, and charm.

Now that details on "Bayonetta 3" are more widely available, hype among its fans has reached an all-time high. The series has an impressively strong track record of delivering over the top action and a dense storyline, and fans are already trying to guess the plot of the new one. While it has taken a long time to get here, outlets such as TheGamer have argued that it looks like "Bayonetta 3" will be more than worth the wait.

  • Release Date: TBA 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Action, Adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

Chocobo GP

A revival of the cult classic kart racing game "Chocobo Racing" — itself a spinoff of the massively popular "Final Fantasy" series — is coming to the Nintendo Switch in the form of "Chocobo GP." 

According to Siliconera, "Chocobo GP" will feature a minimum of 20 race-able characters from throughout the franchise, each with their own unique ability. During races, players can pick up "Magicites" to help them out, which act similar to the item boxes in Nintendo's very own "Mario Kart" series. The game's trailer has also shown previews of some of the tracks that will be included, but it's unclear just how many will be available at launch.

"Chocobo GP" also includes full online and local multiplayer, making it a great title to pick up to race against friends, no matter if they are on the other side of the globe or seated on your living room couch. With "Mario Kart 8" still gaining in popularity every year,  "Chocobo GP" could be the breath of fresh air that fans of kart racing games have been looking for.

  • Release Date: TBA 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Racing

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online and local multiplayer

Star Wars: Hunters

"Star Wars: Hunters" is a third-person combat game coming to mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch in 2022. Set after the fall of the evil Empire, the game features a cast of brand new characters. These include characters like ex-Storm Troopers, Wookies, warriors of the dark side, and even a Jawa. Each character fulfills a damage, tank, or support role with a unique kit, and players are teamed up in groups of four to battle against one another in an arena setting. Made by the company behind "FarmVille," the free-to-play title is sure to bring fans a whole new way to experience "Star Wars" with their friends.

Any new entry into the "Star Wars" franchise is going to get plenty of attention from the franchise's rabid fanbase, and "Star Wars: Hunters" is not different. When it was first revealed, it quickly became one of the most-anticipated Switch games at the time. The game boasts flashy combat, arenas based on fan-favorite locales, and a full cast of characters that cover the entire spectrum of "Star Wars" lore. 

With all of that behind it, it is no surprise that the soft launch of "Star Wars: Hunters" on Android has started getting fans even more excited for its eventual worldwide release. This hype will only grow more powerful as the Switch version's 2022 release draws closer.

  • Release Date: TBA 2022

  • Available On: iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Action, Third-person shooter

  • Game Modes: Online multiplayer

Hollow Knight: Silksong

"Hollow Knight: Silksong" is a beautiful indie Metroidvania that started as an expansion to the extremely successful original "Hollow Knight" before growing into a full-fledged sequel. Fans have waited for any news on the game for quite a while, as its narrative and mechanics seem to promise quite the bold new adventure. Not only will "Silksong" bring a number of big changes to the original's combat, but it also features a different player character, Hornet, who has to adventure through a vast kingdom to protect Hallownest from dark forces.

The new character brings with her different abilities for players to master, forcing fans to adapt to Hornet's unique playstyle both in and out of combat. Like most Metroidvanias, players should expect intense boss battles, exploring Hallownest to memorize its geography, and plenty of puzzles and platforming challenges. The developers have described Hornet's new combat mechanics as more acrobatic in nature, so players will likely be expected to nimbly weave between enemies. For Metroidvania fans really looking for a challenge, "Hollow Knight: Silksong" will also introduce a Silk Soul mode, which unlocks after completing the game for the first time and offers hardcore players an entirely new challenge.

Thanks to a number of leaks (per GamesRadar), fans are pretty positive that Hornet will be making her debut at some point in 2022.

  • Release Date: TBA 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS

  • Genre: Adventure, Action, Metroidvania

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

Breath of the Wild 2

The sequel to "Breath of the Wild" is one of the most hotly anticipated releases on any platform, and "The Legend of Zelda" fans will finally be able to get their hands on it in 2022. There is still a lot of information about it that remains a mystery, such as its plot or even what its official title is, which has led to plenty of fan speculation online. The theories and conjecture have also been fueled by the many hidden details in the game's trailers, which have led fans to do everything from playing the trailer backwards to scrubbing through it one second at a time. It's clear that time manipulation will play a large part in the sequel, which should get fans of the series' complicated timeline very excited.

Either way, when more information about the sequel starts being released, it will undoubtedly get players even more hyped for the follow-up. Fans have quite a few ideas for what improvements they would like to see from "Breath of the Wild 2," and, hopefully, Nintendo will be able to deliver on these high expectations. Until an official release date is pinned down, fans will just have to keep poring over the trailers to see if they missed anything.

  • Release Date: TBA 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Action RPG, Adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

Metroid Prime 4

The road to "Metroid Prime 4" has been a precarious one. The series has not received a new entry since 2007, and the new sequel's development process was completely rebooted following its reveal at E3 in 2017. This particular development has left many fans worried, with some afraid that Nintendo might just cancel "Metroid Prime 4" entirely, especially since the company has said little to nothing specific about the game at all. The "Metroid" fanbase has a particular sweet spot for the "Prime" subseries, which redefined what its games could look like, moving the action from a traditional 2D Metroidvania design to a first-person shooter perspective.

Thankfully, it does seem unlikely that Nintendo will completely abandon the project at this point. A recent earnings report from Nintendo showed  thatthe company was still not confident about when it will be released, but the length of time from the reboot of its development indicates that it shouldn't be too much longer. Even if the game doesn't quite make it to release in 2022, Nintendo the immense success of "Metroid Dread" earlier this year (per GameRant) has hopefully illustrated to the company just how much demand there is for new releases in the series.

  • Release Date: TBA – Possibly 2022

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: First-person shooter, Adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player only