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 Nintendo Switch Exclusives coming in 2023 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.
Top deals for: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
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.
Top deals for: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Release Date: 21st of July 2023
Genre: Action, Strategy
Trailer: Pikmin 4 Trailer - YouTube
It's so good to see Olivar and the Pikmin marking their return after a 10-year hiatus since Pikmin 3 was originally released on the Nintendo Wii U and now thanks to the February Nintendo Direct we now have a release date for Pikmin 4 and a solid few minutes of gameplay footage. This unveiled a new ice Pikmin with the ability to freeze enemies and the environment as well as a super cute canine companion Oatchi the space dog who will be joining you on your Pikmin 4 adventure! Oatchi can carry Pikmin and smash through certain obstacles all whilst being very adorable.
We'd expect Pikman 4 to once again focus on a real-time strategy as you control your Pikmin in order gather supplies and take on pesky enemies; we're curious to see how Nintendo push the envelope with this new entry in the Pikmin 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.
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: 18th May 2023
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