Every big Nintendo Switch game launching in 2023

Nintendo has set itself up for a killer 2023, with a number of remakes and franchise returns.
super mario rpg nintendo switch games for 2023

Prior to the June 2023 Nintendo Direct, the rest of the year looked to be a quiet one for Nintendo. While sequels for heavy-hitting franchises like Fantasy Life and Professor Layton had previously been announced, alongside DLC for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet – and of course, Pikmin 4 – there seemed to be a distinct lack of first-party Nintendo Switch blockbusters on the way.

In true Nintendo fashion, that turned out to be completely untrue. In secret, the company has been working away at a smorgasbord of first-party video game releases for Nintendo Switch, many of which are mere months away.

The benefit of remaining quiet about games until they’re nearly ready for release is that player expectations are kept in check, and excitement can be allowed to grow organically. With only months before just-announced major games like the Super Mario RPG remake are released, fans of Nintendo games have plenty of reasons to get excited right now, and to look forward to a very near future.

Read: Nintendo Direct June 2023 – All the game announcements

Following the company’s major announcements, Nintendo is now set for an absolutely massive 2023. Here is every major first-party game releasing for Nintendo Switch in the coming months.

Everybody 1-2 Switch!

Release Date: 30 June 2023

In late June 2023, Nintendo will launch Everybody 1-2-Switch!, a game that has reportedly spent much time in development. In this party collection, you’ll be able to link up with crowds of friends to take part in mini-games, largely revolving around frantic movements. To blow up a balloon, you’ll need a phone or Joy-Con pumping rapidly in the air. To win a race, you’ll need to run quickly on the spot.

Up to 100 players can take part in gameplay, making it great for massive gatherings of people, if you’re somebody with dozens of friends. Everybody 1-2-Switch! can also be played in local co-op using Joy-Cons or smartphones as controllers.

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE

Release Date: 30 June 2023

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is a spooky detective game developed exclusively for the Nintendo Switch by Too Kyo Games and Spike Chunsoft. It’s also co-written by Kazutaka Kodaka, known as the creator of the popular Danganronpa series. In this game, you play as a young detective with mysterious powers and forgotten memories, working alongside a band of fellow detectives to uncover their origins while saving the strange Kanai Ward from supernatural threats.

Along the way, you’re haunted by a spirit, who aids your quest for truth as your town grows darker, and mysteries force their way to the surface. You’ll travel freely in this quest of discovery, with the game focussed on investigation and exploration using a range of special abilities.

Pikmin 4

Release Date: 21 July 2023

The next major first-party Nintendo Switch game, which follows in the wake of the excellent Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is the long-awaited Pikmin 4. This sequel tasks players with guiding cute plant-like creatures through natural environments, collecting certain objects and avoiding danger along the way. The key twist in this sequel is you’ll be able to explore at night time, with plenty of fresh and spooky frights waiting in these dimly-lit sojourns.

To celebrate the launch of this game, Nintendo recently announced HD remasters of Pikmin and Pikmin 2 for Nintendo Switch, which are now available on the Nintendo eShop.

Detective Pikachu Returns

Release Date: 6 October 2023

The long-awaited sequel to the Nintendo 3DS classic Detective Pikachu was officially announced during the latest Nintendo Direct. As with the last game, this Pokemon adventure will star the titular gruffly-voiced Pikachu as he investigates a brand new mystery.

This go around, he’ll look to uncover a range of secrets in Ryme City, where humans and Pokemon live together in harmony. Along the way, he’ll again team up with partner Tim Goodman, and even dive deep with his own origin story. Whether this discovery will align with the film of the same name is currently unknown – but the ride should be worthwhile, regardless.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Release Date: 20 October 2023

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the latest chapter in the classic side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. franchise, but it comes with some key twists that mark it out from its predecessors. In this game, you’ll explore various worlds, smashing bricks and nabbing power-ups as per usual – but along the way, your world will warp and twist thanks to Wonder Flowers, which make the landscapes surreal and turn your path weird.

Read: Super Mario Bros. Wonder announced for Nintendo Switch

Wonder appears to be an imaginative new take on classic Mario, with a new, more colourful visual style and plenty of eye-popping personality. Plus, this go around, you’ll be able to turn Mario into an elephant – and that’s extremely cool.

WarioWare: Move It!

Release Date: 3 November 2023

Surprise! The Nintendo Switch is getting another WarioWare game, subtitled Move It!. In this microgame adventure, you’ll tackle over 200 challenges, all requiring you to get up and move your entire body. Each WarioWare collection is centred on a particular gimmick – past entry Get It Together! was focussed on multiplayer activities – and this one appears to include plenty of active, silly movements.

Read: Composer launches album made entirely in WarioWare D.I.Y.

Per the game’s Japanese title, Move It! is designed as a spiritual successor to Nintendo Wii game, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, one of the very best entries in the franchise. Expect it to feature a similar quality of fun, over-the-top microgames.

Super Mario RPG

Release Date: 17 November 2023

Super Mario RPG, the beloved but largely forgotten collaboration between Nintendo and Squaresoft (now Square Enix), is getting a major remake in 2023. The announcement was a flagship reveal during the latest Nintendo Direct that shocked pretty much everyone. In recent years, there was endless debate around the game and who exactly owned the rights, given both Nintendo and Square Enix had an equal claim to its world.

Read: Super Mario RPG remake will reintroduce the best Yoshi

Whatever rights issues that may have previously existed have now been officially resolved, as this faithful remake is due to launch imminently. There’s no doubt plenty of keen (and old) Super Mario RPG fans are glad to see this game return – and there are plenty of newer fans excited about the chance to finally play the story on a modern console, too.

Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince

Release Date: 1 December 2023

Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince is a Nintendo Switch-exclusive game developed by Square Enix – and while it’s technically not ‘first party’ in the traditional sense, it deserves a place on this list as one of the bigger Nintendo Switch games releasing in 2023.

Rather than following the mainline Dragon Quest franchise, Square Enix’s Monsters spin-offs are a bit more Pokemon or Persona. In The Dark Prince, you’ll explore a colourful fantasy world, collecting and fusing monsters for use in battle. As you roam, you’ll face off against darker creatures, and eventually learn to harness your strengths as a monster wrangler.

Pokemon Scarlet + Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero

Release Date: The Teal Mask – Autumn 2023 | The Indigo Disk – Winter 2023 [Northern Hemisphere]

Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet are set to get two major DLC expansions later in 2023. The first is The Teal Mask, and it will take players through the land of Kitakami, which features new locales, new Pokemon, and a hidden mystery.

The second major expansion, The Indigo Disk, will send players to explore the mysterious Blueberry Academy, which is an educational institution set in the middle of a vast ocean. While details on this story chapter are currently murky, we can assume there’ll be more water-type Pokemon in Blueberry Academy, which will be revealed alongside new and mysterious legends.

Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time

Release Date: TBA 2023

Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time was first announced in the February 2023 Nintendo Direct, and while it’s only received a few updates since then, its mere existence is enough to create excitement, particularly for those who grew up with the original Fantasy Life on Nintendo 3DS. This upcoming sequel looks to expand the gameplay of the original, with new lives to live, and plenty of activities to jump into.

The appeal of the Fantasy Life franchise has always been its diversity of options. You can choose to live your life as a warrior or sorcerer, but you can also venture forth as a fisher, chef, or miner, perfecting cosy activities, and carving out your dream days. Stay tuned for more details about this game, which is being developed exclusively for Nintendo Switch by Level 5.

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam

Release Date: TBA 2023 / 2024

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam, another major Nintendo Switch exclusive from Level 5 does not currently have a formal release date, and may well slip into 2024 – but it’s worth including on the list of the biggest upcoming Nintendo Switch game releases. This long-awaited sequel is set to return the beloved Professor Layton franchise back to its roots, with a new puzzle-filled adventure starring Layton and his apprentice, Luke.

This go around, they’ll be exploring the strange land of Steam Bison, a steampunk future city based on the United States. It’s believed this adventure will be a true sequel to the mainline Layton games, following on from the devastating events of The Unwound Future. Stay tuned for more details about this upcoming game.

It’s worth noting there are plenty of other major Nintendo Switch games on the way, including several cross-platform and third-party titles likely to make a splash on the console – Mortal Kombat 1, Persona 5 Tactica, Sonic Superstars, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Oxenfree 2, Disney Illusion Island, and plenty more besides.

Nintendo has also formally announced a range of new projects for 2024 – including a Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon remaster, and an untitled Princess Peach game. Both will lead a new year for the company, which likely has plenty of strong developments in store.

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Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.