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20 Upcoming Switch Games That Will Help Nintendo Dominate in 2020

These are all of the good titles-i.e. Animal Crossing-and none of the bad to play this year.
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It finally happened. The Nintendo Switch surpassed the Super Nintendo in lifetime sales, with over 50 million units moved since the console launched in 2017. This puts the handheld/non-handled device above the bulk of Nintendo’s console library, including the N64, Wii U, and GameCube. All that’s left for the Switch to beat is the NES and the Wii. The Switch could very well become the best-selling Nintendo console of all time. Damn. What a time to be a Nintendo fan.

Now that the Switch is getting into its third year, the pressure is on. The console premiered with some must-have titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Since then, we’ve seen games like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Pokémon Sword and Shield, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and a stellar catalog of indie offerings keeping the Switch afloat. But with the next round of consoles coming up, Nintendo may see itself on the chopping block if it doesn’t step up this year.

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The Nintendo Switch needs good games to keep surging forward. Both Metroid Prime 4 and a Breath of the Wild sequel could be the kind of showcases that bring the Switch to the next level—but it’s still unconfirmed when either of them will be premiering, if ever. Still, there are some big names in the mix for 2020. Here are the 20 best titles for Switch we are most anticipating.

1|  The Outer Worlds

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Release Date: 2020

Gonna be honest here, I’m not sure who plays this game. But clearly people do, since they've released three of them and are now remastering the original. Considering the original Wii disc can still run upwards of 70-to-100 bucks, those who wanted to play it may be better off waiting for the new, nicer $60 version, as opposed to spending an abhorrent amount for a 10-year-old game. Anyway, if you like Xenoblade, then I bet you're excited, and I’m excited for you. —C.S.

2|  Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

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Release Date: March 6, 2020

After GameFreak and Nintendo dropped Pokémon Sword and Shield, they broke tradition by releasing a DLC package instead of a remake of an earlier main series Pokémon game. Along with the DLC, though, is this update of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team, the Nintendo DS dungeon crawler that lets you stomp around as the cute little pocket monsters instead of controlling them as a human trainer. The visuals leave a bit to be desired, but the kid-friendly title should be a fun way to tide yourself over until we get new Sword and Shield content. —D.N.

3| Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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Release Date: March 20, 2020

Escaping reality to pay loans, work your ass off, and have anxiety about being liked by your friends—somehow Nintendo made a game about crippling debt and the American loan hell that is relaxing and joyful. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is easily one of the most anticipated titles of the year by one of the few communities left in gaming that is a purely wonderful and kind fandom (the rest of the world needs to take a cue). The game features a new island, some awesome-looking multiplayer, and of course, new items and villagers. New Horizons also has one of the most adorable art styles we’ve seen in a long time. We love Animal Crossing, and Animal Crossing loves us. So if you want to feel like you're in control of your finances and pretend you can afford to buy a home, pick this one up. —C.S.

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4| DOOM Eternal

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Release Date: March 20, 2020

The DOOM series is back, baby. Blood, guts, flames, demons, hell—everything your parents tried to stop you from enjoying back in the early '90s down in your cousin’s basement is now available on the Switch. This sequel to the critically acclaimed reboot from 2016 looks a lot like the last one. But this time, you have a sword. A sword! In space! Fighting demons! —D.N.

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5|  Doom 64

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Release Date: March 20, 2020

Any Nintendo 64 game showing up on the Switch is a godsend. Doom 64 is launching alongside DOOM Eternal (and Animal Crossing). The hellish, polygonal shooter tops off the retro DOOM collection currently available on the Switch, thus weirdly giving DOOM fans everything they ever wanted. —C.S.

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6|  Trials of Mana

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Release Date: April 24

While the Secret of Mana remake was unfortunately lackluster to say the least, Trials of Mana is getting a full 3D remake that looks more than promising. After releasing the Mana collection to great acclaim and bringing the original Trials of Mana for SNES to the West for the first time, there’s no doubt this high fantasy JRPG with realtime combat will be a hit. —C.S.

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7|  Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pack

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Release Date: June 2020; Fall 2020

Pokémon Sword and Shield finally brought the beloved monster-catching RPG series to consoles. It wasn’t perfect; the game saw a good bit of criticism along with its praise. But Sword and Shield were a big step forward for the series, and now Nintendo is showing its support with a huge DLC package. New clothes, new (and old) Pokémon, new areas, and even more storylines set in the vast and mysterious Galar region. Nintendo is selling the Expansion Pass for $30, which will give you access to the Isle of Armor in June, and then the Crown Tundra in Fall 2020. —D.N.

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8|  Gods & Monsters

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Release Date: Fall 2020

Is this game Breath of the Wild? It sure as hell looks almost exactly like it. But maybe that’s being too harsh—or too complimentary, depending on whether you think developers should be aping one of the greatest Nintendo titles of all time. Credit where credit’s due, though, the folks behind Gods & Monsters also made Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which was an equally stupefying open world title from 2018. With the shimmery art style and heavy emphasis on nature imagery, Ubisoft will have its work cut out for itself in distancing this from Zelda. —D.N.

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9|  Axiom Verge 2

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Release Date: 2020

Axiom Verge is one of the most true-to-form Metroidvanias out there. Feeling like a spiritual successor to the Metroid series, this action platformer has inspired level design and thrilling gameplay, and it strikes a perfect balance between nostalgia and current-day polish. Last year, the announcement that we’ll in fact be getting a sequel this year was made with a cryptic trailer. So not a lot is known, but if it's anything like the first, there's a lot of retro gaming to look forward to. —C.S.

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10|  Bravely Default II

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Release Date: 2020

This JRPG with its hand-drawn art style first came to Nintendo back in 2014 on the 3DS. It’s a little confusing—Bravely Second: End Layer from 2016 is actually the sequel to that original title. This one, Bravely Default II, is a standalone title with a completely new cast of characters that has more of a thematic connection to the first game. This sort of thing is nothing new for Japanese role-playing franchises, especially those that hail from Square Enix. Hell, there are so many interconnected (and completely detached) Final Fantasy games, it’s impossible to keep track anymore. —D.N.

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11|  Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise

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Release Date: 2020

This one is an out-of-left-field sequel to the wild serial-murder-thriller-mystery game Deadly Premonition from 2010. It was batshit but undoubtedly still has a cult following, and the team on the sequel is made up of the original creator and some original team members. If you're interested and can't wait, the first title was remastered and re-released on Switch, which is available right now if you need some serial drama in your life. —C.S.

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12|  Hollow Knight: Silksong

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Release Date: 2020

Hollow Knight is finally getting its DLC-turned-sequel this year. The hack-and-slash, Dark Souls-esque, 2D platforming title is one of the most inspired and heartfelt indie titles we've played, so we're ready to get our hands on the new game. Featuring new boss battles, new combat, and much more, I for one can't wait to explore more of this insect nightmare. —C.S.

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13|  LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

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Release Date: 2020

Whether you're a Star Wars fan, a LEGO fan, or a Tik Tok-er, chances are you're probably pretty goddamn excited to return to a brick-built galaxy. The Skywalker Saga promises to fully include all nine Star Wars films, and the game looks gorgeous, with some new options to make it fun for button-mashing 6-year-olds and skilled 30-year-olds alike. —C.S.

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14|  No More Heroes III

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Release Date: 2020

The No More Heroes franchise has been silent for ten years, but Travis Touchdown is finally coming back sometime in 2020 on the Switch. And with him will come more pseudo-lightsaber combat, more explosive anime-style cut-scenes, and something that looks like a straight-up Iron Man mech suit. This should be a good way to blow off some steam in the new year. —D.N.

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15|  Overwatch 2

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Release Date: 2020

Currently I am in an Overwatch detox. My angry screaming had gotten out of hand—borderline eviction worthy—so no Overwatch for me for a while. However, Blizzard announced that Overwatch 2 is coming, with a new co-op mode, updated models, new maps, and a lot more. It will act as an extension of the current game, allowing multiplayer to still be played between the original and this title, and all current skins and collectibles will transfer to the new version. Not a ton is known about Overwatch 2, but you better believe it's going to drag me right back to competitive rock bottom again. —C.S.

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16|  SkateBIRD

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Release Date: 2020

There’s a big, skateboard-sized hole in the middle of the gaming industry right now. With Tony Hawk out of the scene and Skate 4 nothing more than a pipe dream at the moment, SkateBIRD could be the reckless extreme sports blowout to fill the void. It’s a skateboarding game. But the skaters are birds. We’re sold. —D.N.

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17|  Streets of Rage 4

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Release Date: 2020

Twenty-six years after Streets of Rage 3, Dotemu, an indie dev that’s been bringing back remasters, remakes, and sequels of games of old, is finally following up the arcade brawler with Streets of Rage 4. Any retro gamer has probably played an unhealthy amount of this series, so to have it come back decades later is a nostalgic player's dream come true. No word on an exact release date, but it is slated for sometime this year. —C.S.

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18|  Super Meat Boy Forever

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Release Date: 2020

The sequel to one of the biggest indie games from the last decade, this frantic, heavily stylized platformer was long overdue for an update. While the original still more than holds up, we'll happily take control of the little meat cube again. —C.S.

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19|  What the Golf?

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Release Date: 2020

What the Golf? is a golfing game where you do virtually everything imaginable except play golf. Sometimes you’re flinging a golf ball into sticky walls like an old-school side scroller. Other missions have you golfing the actual golfer across the screen. Things get kind of profound. You may end up controlling the actual green instead of the golf ball. The mobile title is coming to the Switch sometime in 2020, promising “epic boss fights,” “more surprising golf mechanics,” and “surprises!” Maybe in this pseudo sequel we will finally find an answer to the existential quandary, “What the golf?” —D.N.

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20|  Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

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Release Date: 2020

Gonna be honest here, I’m not sure who plays this game. But clearly people do, since they've released three of them and are now remastering the original. Considering the original Wii disc can still run upwards of 70-to-100 bucks, those who wanted to play it may be better off waiting for the new, nicer $60 version, as opposed to spending an abhorrent amount for a 10-year-old game. Anyway, if you like Xenoblade, then I bet you're excited, and I’m excited for you. —C.S.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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