Nintendo has an impressive back catalogue. And while much of Nintendo’s excellent handheld and console titles have been remastered for newer audiences, there’s plenty of worthy games that haven’t been as lucky.
The Switch has already become Nintendo’s third highest selling console of all time — and it’s still got plenty of years left on its shelf-life. The combination of handheld and console capabilities has marked it out as a unique, convenient and extremely fun console. It also bridges a gap between hardcore and mainstream gamers, making it one of the most popular consoles around. (It’s still ridiculously hard to get an original Switch because it won’t stop selling out.)
Games being ported to the Switch gain a brand new audience who may experience them for the first time ever. This new popularity leads to the potential for future sequels. With that in mind, these are the games we most want to see make the leap to Switch.
Pokémon Snap was a game ahead of its time. In it, players travel along a railed pathway through various Pokémon domains snapping pictures of them in their natural habitat. It’s an extremely simple concept, but one that deserves a revisit — particularly because the original Nintendo 64 graphics look rather naff now.
Pokémon Snap may not be long or robust enough for an entirely new game, but the idea of travelling through the world of Pokémon and getting up close with them is one that could absolutely be included as a mode in an upcoming game. A modern graphics engine could give life to these sparse locations — and even take advantage of the often-unused infrared camera in the console’s Joy Cons for added immersion.
Pokémon Snap was simple but very addictive, and would be right at home on the Nintendo Switch. It’s the wholesome fun we need right now.
The Professor Layton Collection
The Professor Layton games were some of the absolute best games the Nintendo DS had to offer. With a mix of charming visuals, excellent puzzles and consistently well-written stories, every game is an absolute delight. Unfortunately, the series often plays second fiddle to the Phoenix Wright franchise because of their similar detective-based themes. A collection of Phoenix Wright games is available for Switch, but the Layton games haven’t made the same jump.
Curiously, the 3DS and mobile game Layton’s Mystery Journey (the seventh game in the series) does have a Switch port. Of all the games, it is the least well-received so bringing it over without the original two trilogies is an odd move. Professor Layton deserves another shot in the limelight, and a Switch port is the perfect solution.
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Yoshi’s Woolly World is one of the most wholesome games you’ll ever play. It follows the titular Yoshi through a world made of yarn as he saves the rest of the yoshis from Kamek’s evil magic. Everything in the game, including enemies and obstacles, is made of yarn — and you can see every lovingly-crafted stitch.
The game originally debuted for the Wii U and has since recieved a 3DS adaptation as well as a Switch sequel (Yoshi’s Crafted World) — but the original absolutely deserves to be adapted to Switch, too. The graphical leap between Woolly World and Crafted World is pretty big, particularly if you’re playing the 3DS demaster, but despite this it’s still good fun. It’s definitely worthwhile porting this game over.
Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine is one of the best action-adventure entries in the franchise, but so far it’s been stuck as a GameCube-only title. The reasons for this are unclear. It’s one of the most critically acclaimed Mario games, it looks gorgeous and it’s extremely fun to boot. Why a franchise like Luigi’s Mansion has received so many ports and sequels and Sunshine never has is a total mystery (although Luigi’s Mansion is also very good). Simply put, Sunshine deserves to be on Switch.
With rumours currently swirling around the entire Mario series receiving current gen remasters, this is one port that might just end up happening.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Ocarina of Time is a classic and remains fresh even two decades after release. It tells the timeless tale of Link’s journey between the present and the future to save Hyrule from Ganondorf’s dark powers. It’s already been ported once, to the 3DS in 2011, but it deserves to make another leap. While it may need a visual overhaul to fit amongst the Switch’s more advanced offerings, the gameplay itself still feels great.
The game’s dungeons are amongst the most challenging and clever out there, and every story twist is so well told. Modern audiences deserve to re-experience this classic in brand new, HD glory.
And speaking of Zelda titles that deserve Switch ports…
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Twilight Princess was a total triumph for the Legend of Zelda franchise when it released for Nintendo Wii and GameCube in 2006. It featured a visually distinct Zelda world, a stunning story and solid gameplay. While the Wii version felt a bit hamfisted in its approach to motion controls, the GameCube version became an instant classic. In 2016, a HD remaster for the game made its way to the Wii U, and this version solved a lot of the problems people had with the original game’s limited graphics.
The visual leap between the Wii U version and Switch version wouldn’t be enormous. A bit of spit polish here and there, and the game could easily make the jump. As one of the modern Zelda classics, it’s definitely earned another look.
Elite Beat Agents
Elite Beat Agents is absurd, but totally fantastic. Debuting on the Nintendo DS in 2006, this title featured a band of secret agents using the power of dance help people overcome their fears. At its heart, it’s a funky rhythmn game but it gets weird fast — and its weirdness is part of its appeal. Eventually, the Elite Beat Agents end up fighting rock golems and aliens and it’s here that the fun really gets going.
Elite Beat Agents is a strange game, but it’s also incredibly charming and well put together. The beat should absolutely continue with a Switch port or remaster of the original game. Bring on the weirdness.
Pokémon Silver and Gold are two of the best Pokémon games out there. They took the winning formula of the original games and spun it into something truly magical. Originally released in 1999, both games later recieved Nintendo DS adaptations in the form of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Johto and Kanto are rarely beaten as the best Pokémon game settings and these titles allowed you to explore both regions to your heart’s content. It made for an incredibly robust Pokémon game that deserves another look — perhaps in the form of a Let’s Go-style title. It’d also mean all those abandoned PokéBall Plus’ would finally find a new use.
Super Mario 64
If you’re a Mario fan, chances are you’ve played Super Mario 64. Often regarded as the best Mario game ever, the last time we saw this game was as a 2004 launch title for the Nintendo DS. It’s a brilliant port of the game, but one limited by the limited graphics of the Nintendo DS. A new title could take advantage of the improvements this port made (like adding in Luigi) and build on its success.
The hunger for Super Mario is more present than ever. The success of Super Mario Odyssey proves that. Allowing fans to return to Peach’s iconic castle and all its platforming action once more would be totally welcome. Fans have been working on independent Super Mario 64 mods for years, and if Nintendo won’t allow them to stay online, the perfect solution is right there in a Switch port.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
The Paper Mario series has churned out frequent hits, but has been less popular than the mainline Mario adventure games. The Thousand Year Door is perhaps the best game of the lot and the one most worth revisiting. It has a gorgeous, origami-style aesthetic, strategic turn-based gameplay and a storybook-style narrative that’s extremely clever throughout.
The Thousand Year Door is another title that’s never made a generational leap, but it’s brilliant, funny and enjoyable enough to deserve another look. This is the pinnacle of the Paper Mario franchise — and with a new title coming to Switch soon, it’s the perfect time to revisit a classic.
Diddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong Racing is in an odd spot because the rights to some characters are in limbo between Nintendo and Rare (which is now owned by Microsoft). Technically it is still a Nintendo game, though. In fact, it was ported to the Nintendo DS in 2007 with Rare characters Banjo and Cooker replaced by Dixie Kong and Tiny Kong. Since then, Banjo has appeared in Super Smash Bros. on Switch, so they could still return to the franchise — but even if they don’t, the game is still wicked fun.
As a kart racer, Diddy Kong Racing is fondly remember for its vivid landscapes, multi-mode races, colourful characters and adventure-style gameplay. It really is good fun and worth another look on a brand new console. Online multiplayer would be icing on an already exciting cake.
What games would you like to see ported to the Nintendo Switch? Disagree with any of our choices? Sound off in the comments below.