Christmas is the best time of year to give the gift of Nintendo!
The other consoles, and their games, may or may not even be available this holiday season. So what better time to rely on good ol’ Nintendo to complete your gift lists?
2021 was actually a great year for Nintendo Switch releases.
Exciting additions to familiar franchises was the theme of the year, from the long awaited adaptation of Monster Hunter: Rise in March to The Legeng of Zelda: Skyward Sword in July, and up to October’s Metroid-Dread. Even Mario and his whole team got in on the fun this year. Multiple times, in fact.
Pokemon (sort of) had three major releases this year, with Pokemon: Shining Pearl, and Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond, (The difference between the two purchases is each comes with its own exclusive Pokemon character. It wasn’t a bad gimmick, and the game is loads of fun.) and Pokemon: Snap the first-person photography game.
Bravely Default II was one of our favorite console releases from early 2021, and we were pretty sure it was going to make it on our end of the year lists, as well…
Need a Nintendo Switch?
Let’s get started. Here’s our list of the 10 best Nintendo Switch games for the 2021 Holidays.
Developer: Nintendo – Publisher: Nintendo – Rated: Everyone
Nintendo’s beloved wii classic finally got its Switch adaptation on February 12, 2021. Along with it: Bowser’s Fury, an awesome additional adventure. 3D World is possibly the best Super Mario game in over a decade.
Play solo, or with up to four players, jumping, climbing, dodging and smashing through endlessly fun, colorful levels. You have four playable characters to choose from: Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad.
All ages will have hours of fun with Super Mario 3D World for Switch, making it a practically necessary addition to any gamer’s collection, and an ideal gift for the holidays!
Developer: Mercury Steam, Nintendo – Publisher: Nintendo – Rated: Teen
Samus returns! The Metroid franchise’s latest installment is one which fans have been clamoring for, for a very long time.
And while this is an exceptional addition to a very special video game tradition, it isn’t Metroid Prime 4 like so many of us were hoping to see this year. That title will be released on December 31, and is available for pre-order now.
Instead of the next Prime installment, we got the first 2D Metroid release in 19 years.
Metroid Dread is rated Teen for the shooting of guns, and the brand’s custom, dark aesthetic, and older gamers will appreciate how truly on-brand the game feels.
Despite not being exactly what fans were screaming for, Metroid Dread has been recieved extremely well. In fact not only is the game among the top rated releases of 2021, its grabbed more accolades than most 2D games of the decade.
Developer: Capcom – Publisher: Capcom – Rated: Teen
2021 also saw the arrival of Monster Hunter Rise, the Nintendo Switch’s most comprehensive Monster Hunter title to date!
Play Solo or join up to 3 other hunters in local or olnine co-op play. Hunt, kill or capture new and returning monsters, including the new flagship target, Magnamalo.
Team up with new canine companions, Palamutes, tracking down new and familiar threats to Kamura Village.
If RPG’s are your preferred approach to hunting down behemoth’s, then you may prefer Monster Hunter Stories 2, which was released on July 9, this year, for Switch and PC.
Developer: Claytechworks – Publisher: Square Enix, Nintendo – Rating: Teen
The extremely well-loved Bravely series returned in 2021 with an enormous bang, in the form of Bravely Default II, released in February.
The Role Playing series’ third installment offers new characters, fresh game-play developments, and a completely different set of challenges from its 2 preceding entries.
The sequel follows four main characters, as they set off across the continent Excillant, a new setting from the franchise.
We loved this game when it dropped in February so much, we aren’t surprised at all how well it held up over the year, even with so many great releases in 2021.
This is a title that could easily be overlooked by holiday shoppers, but make no mistake; Bravely Default II is a gift that will be very well recieved.
Developer: ILCA, Game Freak – Publisher: Nintendo – Rated: Everyone
Individually each game comes with its own exclusive Pokemon, making all three options entirely viable purchases in their own rights, respectively.
The November release, or re-release, has been flying off of shelves, so you may have trouble securing a copy, fairly soon.
Developer: Tantalus Media, Nintendo – Publisher: Nintendo – Rating: Everyone
Another remake of an extremely popular wii classic, Skyward Sword, released in November, wasn’t quite as popular as its most recent predecessor, 2017’s superb The Legeng of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but no game is, so whatever.
Explore Dungeons, solve puzzles, meet Zelda for the first time, and lift your sword up to the sky, as Link in his earliest adventure to date.
All the elements of a classic Zelda game are included, so this will go over splendidly as a gift, this holiday season.
Developer: Square Enix – Publisher: Square Enix – Rated: Teen
The most stylish game on the list was released in July, and it blew first time player’s minds! Fans of the DS version loved the gameplay improvements, and the overall look of the Switch update, and for very good reason.
The action-RPG follows Neku through some pretty crazy missions, after he meets the mysterious Shiki and his day gets flipped over.
The music sets the tempo for fast-paced, rhythmic battle for Neku’s survival.
This is an awesome, outside-the-box gift idea for teens and adults.
Developer: Nintendo – Publisher: Nintendo – Rated: Everyone
This game is seriously addictive, and the entire family is at high risk! Mario Golf: Super Rush is not just the best of its series, it is among the best golf games, period, in almost a decade!
With 17 playable characters, 11 beautiful courses and 5 game modes, you and 3 others can whack balls around for hours. Mario Golf: Super Rush is truly a blast!
The gameplay is easy to learn and there have even been significant improvements to the shot gauge, so no actual golf experience is necessary! Swing away.
Developer: Moon Studios – Publisher: Iam8bit, XBox Game Studios Rated: Everyone
The backdrop is gorgeous, and the challenges are formidable. Side-scroll along with Ori, through two lush adventures, jam packed with beautiful imagery and terrifying creatures.
It’s been almost 7 years since Ori and the Blind Forest debuted on consoles and its fan base hasn’t stopped growing since the series’ first game debuted in 2015.
Ori: The Collection is the ultimate gift for first timers of an exceptional game franchise.
10. New Pokemon Snap
Publisher: Bandai Namco – Publisher: Nintendo – Rated: Everyone
The Pokemon brand has dominated its market for decades at this point, and while the majority of its appeal remains a mystery to those who grew up on either side of the phenomenon, the kids like it, and it’s not going away.
Remember when people were running around snapping pictures of Pokemon, and you thought they were nuts? I think that’s what this game is about.
I know that Nintendo has sold a gargantuan amount of copies of New Pokemon Snap, and it is one of the most highly rated console game of 2021.
Ok, so we’re definitely photographing Pokemon. Check…
..among other things, of course.