Nintendo is coming off the back of a pretty good year in 2022 when it comes to exclusives. We had titles early on in the year like Pokémon Legends Arceus, Kirby and the Forgotten Lands followed later by Bayonetta 3 and Splatoon 3; all titles that were well received and reviewed on Nintendo's versatile flagship console. Luckily for Nintendo fans 2023 is looking just as exciting; with plenty of big franchises receiving new entries including of course The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is definitely the highlight for 2023 and has been eagerly awaited by many following the massive success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which is now nearly 6 years old. It seems crazy that it was 6 years ago so many of us got lost in that gorgeous setting in what was heralded as a true masterpiece of modern gaming. As a result of both the wait and the strengths of its predecessor The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has an absolutely enormous hype train, and we're definitely aboard here at GamingDeals. This major release is also spelling the end of the Nintendo Switch console's life as it is apparently going to be the last "significant" release for the console. Although this has been reported we're still wondering what's happening with Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo please give us an update! But don't worry there are still plenty of great Nintendo Switch games to look forward to in 2023 which we will cover in this article.
The end of the Nintendo Switch coming this year makes sense now as the Nintendo Switch is definitely in its twilight years and technologically speaking is miles behind the prowess of the gaming beasts that are the Xbox Series X and PS5. We're hoping this means 2023 is the year we get some new Nintendo hardware with some 60FPS capabilities and a decent resolution; our fingers are crossed and we are hoping to see Nintendo take some inspiration from the success of the Steam Deck which was released last year, we can't see Nintendo moving away from the versatile dock/handheld form factor.
With all that said let's get into the games!
Best 2023 Nintendo Switch Exclusives in release order (click to jump to a specific title):
If you're looking for other platform exclusive releases for 2023 or just a list of all the biggest titles we've got you covered with these articles:
Release Date: January 20th 2023
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Genre: Strategy, Tactics, RPG
Metacritic Score: 80
Trailer: Fire Emblem Engage Announcement Trailer - YouTube
Fire Emblem fans rejoice as early in the year you'll be getting the next title in the series and it's going back to strategy and tactics. If you've not played Fire Emblem before the gameplay is turn-based with a focus on strategic combat as you lead an army of units to take down your foes. The games are rich in story and there is plenty of character development here leading to you really caring about the units in your platoon. Bonds and relationships will form between characters which can enhance performance on the battlefield.
The setting for Fire Emblem Engage sees you command the army of the Divine Dragon as you battle your way across the continent of Elysos to become its salvation.
Release Date: 24th February 2023
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Metacritic Score: 79
Trailer: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe Trailer - YouTube
Last year we saw Kirby come back in a big way with the release of Kirby and the Forgotten Land and now this year we've got Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe coming to Nintendo Switch, perfect for if you missed the game's original release on Nintendo Wii. As expected for a remaster the visuals will be upgraded for the Nintendo Switch version.
In Kirby's Return to Dreamland, you can adventure with up to four players on a single console, choosing from the most beloved characters of the Kirby world including: Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede (the obvious choice) and Bandana Waddle Dee. The game originally sold quite poorly on Nintendo Wii but had some good scores so it's good to see Nintendo bringing it back to be enjoyed by a wider audience with a nice graphical touch-up.
Release Date: 17th of March 2023
Developer: Platinum Games
Metacritic Score: 81
Trailer: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon Announcement Trailer - YouTube
We definitely weren't expecting to be jumping back into the world of Bayonetta so soon after Bayonetta's release after 2023 but this surprise is most certainly a welcome one! This Bayonetta entry definitely stands on it's own two feet with a focus on puzzle solving and oozing with visual style (as to be expected with Bayonetta).
Bayonetta Origins: Cereze and the Lost Demon sees players explore the backstory of the witch as she attempts to save her mother travelling through the forbidden Avalon Forest where she discovers the demon Cheshire who possesses Cereza's stuffed toy and becomes her faithful ally. You will play as both Cheshire and Cereza as you solve puzzles and fend off the monsters of the forest in a bid to save Cereza's mother.
Release Date: 2nd of March 2023
Genre: Fighting Game
Metacritic Score: 65
Trailer: Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star trailer - YouTube
Combining your boxercise with a universe based around a deadly martial artist just makes sense. Fitness Boxing is collaborating with the popular Manga Fist of the North star so you can exercise whilst feeling like the main character in your own anime combat adventure.
Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star will have a plethora of different game modes for you to box through with many of the characters you may know and love from the franchise, take on bosses whilst you break a sweat this March!
Release Date: 21st of April 2023
Metacritic Score: 82
Trailer: Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp Trailer - YouTube
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-boot camp was actually set to release in 2022 but Nintendo made the decision to delay the game due to the world events happening in Ukraine out of respect. Now following the 2023 February Nintendo Direct Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp has been given a release date. We wouldn't expect any delays with this title as it has probably been in a state to be released for quite some time given the original release date and reason for delays.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-boot camp is a turn-based strategy game where you command the Orange Star Army. Using land, air and naval units in order to take down your enemies in order to capture towns and maintain peace. This remake will feature the main campaigns of both Advance Wars and Avance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising.
Release Date: 12th of May 2023
Genre: Action, Adventure
Metacritic Score: 96
Trailer: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Official Reveal Trailer - YouTube
This year's behemoth from Nintendo is the much anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom; probably one of the most hyped games of the year across all platforms let alone just those exclusive to Nintendo Switch! The game is looking to be set in the same Hyrule we saw in Breath of the Wild but the lands above have certainly changed with plenty to explore above the vast lands we knew from its predecessor. New temples and caves litter these unexplored realms and we can't wait to find out what lies within.
It's hard to say whether Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, it seems to be set in the same world but we're unsure how exactly the timeline is going to fit together; there is definitely a lot of mystery around the sequel which only adds to the excitement.
From a gameplay perspective, we'd expect a lot of similarities to Breath of the Wild regarding the open world which honestly redefined the genre somewhat and made exploring truly a joy; the combat also is most likely very similar but with new weapons and tools to take advantage of. We are really looking forward to seeing what Nintendo do with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as expectations are incredibly high as a result of the quite remarkable game it is following on from.
Release Date: 21st of July 2023
Genre: Real-time strategy
Trailer: Pikmin 4 Trailer - YouTube
Real-time strategy meets cutesy explorathon as the highly anticipated Pikmin 4 releases as the first ever original game in the series to come to Nintendo Switch. This time around you don’t play as Olimar the explorer, instead controlling your own player-created character tasked with rescuing him alongside other members of an expedition team. This you do by smartly controlling and directing a plant-like race known as Pikmin, the different colours of which dictate their usefulness in specific situations.
New to Pikmin 4 are two new types of the titular race: for the very first time in the franchise you have ice pikmin, useful for crossing water streams via freezing, and then glow pikmin whose uses should be obvious. Couple this with the removal of a time mechanic to let you explore at your own pace and the addition of a rideable dog called Oachi, and Pikmin 4 is a Nintendo Switch game that has the potential to be the best in the franchise.
Release date: 28th of July 2023
Developer: Dlala Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Trailer: Disney Illusion Island Trailer - YouTube
Play as your favourite Disney characters as you jump, run and swing your way through the beautiful hand-drawn environments of Disney Illusion Island.
Disney Illusion Island can be enjoyed solo or in co-op with up to 4 players controlling Disney legends including Mickey Mouse, Mini Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck.
Release Date: 2th of September 2023
Publisher: Marvelous USA
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Trailer: Rune Factory 3 Special Trailer - YouTube
Another remaster for the list as we see Rune Factory 3 Special release early in March 2023. Being brought to the Nintendo Switch with improved visuals and is for now exclusive to the Nintendo console.
Adventure and wield powerful weapons and magic as you take on powerful monsters and discover the secrets of a mysterious fantasy town. New features to the remaster include a "Hell" difficulty for veterans to truly challenge themselves with as well as a Newlywed Mode which contain standalone adventures following marriage to the bachelorettes of the game.
Release Date: Spring 2023
Developer: Phoenix Labs
Publisher: Phoenix Labs
Trailer: Fae Farm Announcement Trailer - YouTube
Farm sims are a sub-genre of games that have had a great resurgence since the release of Stardew Valley which saw monumental success of an indie title getting better and better with every new update. Fae Farm as an indie title seems to be inspired by Stardew Valley and trying to put it's own spin on the farm sim genre.
Fae Farm is set in a more magical and fairy tale dream land where you can take advantage of magic spells in order to create your very own enchanted farm. You can play solo or with up to 4 players online or locally exploring the land of Azoria. Discover new magics, explore dungeons, develop new friendships and unravel the stories of Azoria and its inhabitants this year in Fae Farm.
Release Date: 6th October 2023
Publisher: Game Freak
Genre: Puzzle adventure
Trailer: Detective Pikachu Returns Trailer
The original Detective Pikachu game for the Nintendo 3DS was a surprisingly fun 3D puzzle adventure that did an excellent job of showcasing how Pokémon function in the world – arguably much more so than the mainline series of JRPGs. You play as the titular detective attempting to crack the case in a plot that was remarkably similar to the big-screen adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds. Detective Pikachu Returns looks to pick up immediately where the last one left off.
Detective Pikachu Returns once again sees you teamed up with your human partner Tim Goodman, tasked with unravelling even more of Ryme City’s deep secrets with the aid of your fellow Pokémon. The extra oomph of Nintendo Switch compared to Nintendo 3DS, however, renders this world more vividly and colourful, sure to result in a family-friendly detective adventure game whether you enjoy Pokémon or you don’t.
Release Date: 20th October 2023
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Genre: 2D platformer
Trailer: Super Mario Bros. Wonder Trailer
Up until now Nintendo Switch players have only been able to enjoy previously released 2D Super Mario games through the likes of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Super Mario Maker 2. Well, in 2023 the Nintendo Switch finally receives its own original, never-before-released 2D Super Mario platformer in the form of Super Mario. Bros Wonder. As one of six playable characters – Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy (for the first time) and Toad – you and friends venture through the new Flower Kingdom in classic side-scrolling fashion.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder touts an all-new art style, one that pays tribute to both the future and the past by utilizing 3D character sprites combined with animations that harken back to the expressiveness of original Nintendo art work. New this time around is the ability to directly transform into animals, such as an elephant, and a collectible known as “Wonder seeds” that have the potential to change the level dynamic and world. It’s not every day that a new 2D Super Mario game releases, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder looks to be a fitting instalment exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
Release Date: 3rd November 2023
Developer: Nintendo EPD, Intelligent Systems
Trailer: Warioware: Move It! Trailer
Nintendo Switch players are encouraged to think fast and get moving in the latest upcoming entry to the WarioWare series of fast-paced puzzle games. WarioWare: Move It! The sequel is the eleventh overall game in the series, following up 2021’s WarioWare: Get it Together! through the introduction of over 200 new minigames. As before, it’s a title that looks to take full advantage of the Joy-Con controller’s unique HD rumble features, asking you to shake, wiggle and twirl your way to victory – either alone or in a party against friends.
WarioWare: Move It!’s selection of minigames looks to be just as wacky and creative as those featured before, involving sheep, treasure, nose plucking and all the other expectedly odd antics Nintendo players have come to expect from the franchise. Up to four players can jump in to the minigame action at once and a local Party Mode makes it easy to play together by setting the action atop a board game. If you’re prepared to think and act fast, WarioWare: Move It! will have you interacting with your Joy-Con unlike any other Nintendo Switch game in 2023.
Release Date: 17th November 2023
Developer: Nintendo EPD, Square Enix
Genre: Action RPG
Trailer: Super Mario RPG Trailer
In between The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Metroid Prime: Remastered, the Nintendo Switch isn’t lacking when it comes to full-scale remakes of classic Nintendo titles. However, in 2023 one of the most obscure (yet beloved) first-party SNES games is set to return in the form of Super Mario RPG, a complete remake of the 1996 original, which will allow players on Switch to experience the progenitor to the Paper Mario series in all its charming glory. The original Super Mario RPG was unprecedented at the time for its use of 3D graphics. Nearly 30 years on, it’s able to take advantage of modern hardware to look and play as it always was intended.
Super Mario RPG pairs Mario up with a group of unlikely companions (including arch nemesis Bowser) to try and take down the villainous Smithy Gang. You do so by engaging in thrilling turn-based battles against monsters sprinkled throughout the isometric world of Star Road as a party of three. Super Mario RPG is one of the quirkier Mario titles, introducing ideas and concepts that went on to be series staples. It’s already available to play on Switch in its initial version via the Nintendo Online subscription service, but this ground-up remake looks far prettier and more refined.
Release Date: TBA
Developer: Retro Studios
Genre: 3D adventure
Trailer: Metroid Prime 4 Trailer
Originally announced during Nintendo’s 2017 E3 press conference with a short logo tease, Metroid Prime 4 has largely been vapourware ever since. It’s not been seen or mentioned in any worthy capacity since the year when the Nintendo Switch originally launched, but we do know that it’s being made by original developer Retro Studios who recently elected to stoke up some excitement through Metroid Prime Remastered, a remake of the original GameCube game.
Metroid Prime 4 is expected to have more of a cinematic focus compared to other games before it, as revealed in job listings and reports from industry insiders. Though very little details about Metroid Prime 4 are still known, Nintendo Switch players should expect to explore a planet’s worth of dungeons, caverns and caves while battling alien critters as main character Samus Aran reacquires her useful powers. The last time we saw a new Metroid Prime game was back on the Wii, so hopes are high that Metroid Prime 4 will take advantage of the Nintendo Switch hardware when it eventually does release.
So there you have our list of some of the much-anticipated games releasing exclusively on Nintendo Switch in 2023. We're sure more games will be released this year and more concrete release date information is available. Let us know below what you're looking forward to playing this year on Nintendo Switch and if there is any titles you think we should add to this list.
Article Last Updated 28th June 2023
Added Detective Pikachu Returns, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Warioware: Move It!, Super Mario RPG and Metroid Prime 4 as recently announced in the June 2023 Nintendo Direct.
Released (Archived) Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Fire Emblem Engage, Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp.
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