It’s been another bumper year for the Nintendo Switch, as this hybrid device slowly creeps towards the 100 million units sold club, a prestigious little party currently occupied by iconic consoles like the PS2, the Game Boy, and the Nintendo Wii and DS. This means it’s a great time for developers to bring over some of their classic series. I mean, there’s a huge audience here folks, so why not?
In the last year, we’ve had a few high profile series finally make the jump, with fantastic ports of Borderlands, Bioshock, and X-COM. We also got the wonderful Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, bringing skateboarding action in all its glory to Nintendo Switch. We even got Grand Theft Auto games on Switch, but to be honest, the less said about those monkey’s paw ports the better.
Importantly though, as we head into another year, it’s a fresh opportunity for developers to bring their classic games over to a system with a healthy audience of hungry gamers. Classic titles can run fantastically on Nintendo Switch, especially with the recent OLED Model, a lot of legacy games have never looked better. Playing Final Fantasy X HD on an OLED is a dream come true. So let’s put out some guesses, beg the universe for even more gaming goodness, and ask for some of our favourite franchises to finally make the jump to Nintendo Switch.
Here are our picks for the series we still need to come to Nintendo Switch.
Like, seriously. Where is it? This is ridiculous now, what are you doing EA? How do you see a game like Animal Crossing: New Horizons – a lifestyle sim game – and not think to bring any, ANY, version of your popular lifestyle sim series, The Sims, to Nintendo Switch. EA has been famously cautious in their support for Nintendo in recent years, after they had a few poor-selling ports on Nintendo’s less successful console the Wii U. But, come on. The Switch is nearing 100 million sales now.
I will concede that the current iteration of The Sims requires quite a lot of space, especially with its many expansions, so perhaps it’s a little bit unfeasible to bring the entire PC version over in all its graphical glory. So, why not an older version? Bring over a classic version of The Sims, and people will play them! EA, you made an entirely new series for the DS and Wii called My Sims, and you made specific versions of The Sims for DS. Do you think I forgot? You were ALL in on The Sims back then, and I loved it, I bought them all. So please, please, put any version of The Sims on Nintendo Switch.
Metal Gear Solid
Another series with an interesting history on Nintendo platforms. Metal Gear Solid has never been one for straight ports. MGS got a re-release on Gamecube dubbed Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, basically a remake of the original with huge graphical improvements and even some fun Nintendo easter eggs. You could shoot a tiny Yoshi, and that’s just cute. Then, on Nintendo 3DS, a remake of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater utilised the unique aspects of the console like 3D, and even included a feature where you could take pictures using the camera to make unique camouflage outfits.
This is all to say when Metal Gear comes to Nintendo, it’s done properly. So, if we do get some MGS on Nintendo Switch, I wouldn’t be surprised to see bespoke versions of previous titles, made to fit the hardware perfectly, perhaps using features like HD Rumble or even the IR camera to do something different. Which would obviously all be great, but personally? I’d also be really happy to just have ports. If you just slap the Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection on my Nintendo Switch, I’ll pay you whatever you want for it. Please Konami, do something right for once.
Oh, Konami. It’s such a cruel twist that you hoard classic game series like a greedy dragon with gold, while not caring enough to actually let people play them. Silent Hill is another victim of their apathy towards active development, with the latest entry in the horror franchise being a pachinko machine in Japan. And no, I’m not joking. Silent Hill also has an interesting history with Nintendo, getting unique titles like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories on the Wii which used motion controls and the speakers to deliver a uniquely unsettling experience.
While this is another scenario where I would obviously want the originals ported, I would also like to see new entries in the franchise again. Maybe give the keys to Silent Hill to a smaller developer, someone with some interesting ideas, who can make a fresh experience specifically for Nintendo Switch. With a lot of rumours flying about, I’m sure something Silent Hill is coming down the line, I just hope Nintendo doesn’t get left out.
Another series that seemed to be fully invested in Nintendo just a few short years ago. The ports of Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Origins for Nintendo Wii U were perfectly respectable versions that offered some fun new gameplay twists on established classics. The Nintendo 3DS even got a completely different version of Batman: Arkham Origins, closer to a Metroidvania in its style.
While I struggle to believe that Batman: Arkham Knight would run on Nintendo Switch, I’d love to see a collection of the three previous entries in the Arkham franchise make their way over, as they have all aged like fine wine, and still offer fantastic combat and an interesting story for the world’s best detective.
This might be a bit of a long shot, as it’s a series with absolutely nothing even resembling a Nintendo version before. But if we’re making a wishlist, this is still something I think could work great on Nintendo Switch. Seeing as we already have great ports of titles like Skyrim, Divinity: Original Sin, and Diablo III, there’s clearly a market for fantasy games over on the Nintendo Switch.
The Dragon Age series is also critically acclaimed, and as the wait for Dragon Age 4 slowly continues, a good way to get another swath of gamers into the series could be by introducing Nintendo fans to them. Yes, it would probably be technically challenging, but if we have The Witcher III on Switch with moderate success, I believe we can have the Dragon Age games with few concessions too.
Now this one just makes sense. Portal 2 especially almost feels like a Nintendo game, and the imagery of the red and blue portal guns would fit perfectly with the red and blue Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. Both Portal games strike a delicate balance of difficult puzzles with, importantly, just plain fun. The silliness of Portal is always present, especially with the comedic chops of Stephen Merchant guiding your way, so these classic games feel like they’d be right at home on Nintendo Switch. In fact, with motion controls, this could be the perfect way to play.
Yes, I know they’re coming. No, I don’t want cloud versions. The reason the Nintendo Switch is as successful as it is, is that it’s a handheld system. As the hardware ages, it’s becoming more apparent that if the Switch wants to have modern games on its storefronts, then sometimes the cloud is the only way to go. The console definitely couldn’t run Guardians of the Galaxy natively, but cloud technology still isn’t quite there when it comes to providing a smooth and satisfying experience.
Also, the Kingdom Hearts games ran on much older hardware. Outside of Kingdom Hearts 3 – which is actually still an Unreal Engine game, so, theoretically, could run on Nintendo Switch, all of the other Kingdom Hearts games should be able to run on Nintendo hardware. Yes, there’s always porting costs to consider, it isn’t as easy as copy and paste, but are you telling me you don’t want to spend the money to port the wildly successful Kingdom Hearts series to Nintendo Switch? Nope, sorry Square Enix, that’s just lazy.
When it comes to Fallout, I do slightly understand the reservations, as it’s a famously dark and adult series. Bethesda might not think that it’s worth the cost of developing ports to get disappointing sales, which I get… But looking at the great ports of games like Borderlands from this year, I can’t help but dream of what could be the ultimate Fallout release on Nintendo Switch.
A bundle with Fallout 3 and New Vegas, portable on the lovely little OLED screen, maybe even with motion controls, well it’s too much to dream of frankly. I know we already have Fallout on Switch thanks to Fallout Shelter, but while that is a fun novelty, it’s never going to scratch the narrative itch of a full, Fallout adventure.
Peggle & Plants vs Zombies
I’m lumping these together because they’re both Popcap games, a developer known for creating bubbly puzzle games that are also incredibly addictive. The original Plants vs Zombies was a personal addiction of mine back on iOS many years ago, so I’d love to see a version of the original garden destroying tower-defence brought to Nintendo Switch. Garden Warfare is lovely, but it’s never topped the addictive bliss of the original release for me.
Now Peggle? It’s just a classic. I’m asking you to imagine Peggle, but with HD rumble. Imagine you nail that final shot, the screen starts blowing up with fireworks and celebrations, Ode to Joy is blasting out the speakers, and the HD rumble in your hand is going absolutely bananas celebrating along with you. Plus, anyone who has played a game like Tumbleseed will remember how great the Nintendo Switch is when interpreting a rolling ball with that special rumble technology.
But we have Persona on Switch, I hear you say. Do we?! DO WE?! The Nintendo Switch currently has Persona 5 Strikers, a sequel to Persona 5. Then, next up, we have Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, a fighting game sequel to Persona 4 heading to Switch soon. WHAT IS GOING ON?! Atlus, I know you’re reading this, I’m begging you. Just put the Persona games on Nintendo Switch, they’ll sell like crazy. If you maybe can’t bring Persona 5 over yet because of some Playstation exclusive deal? Well, I’ve got good news, you’ve got four banging Persona games waiting in the wings, ready to be devoured by the Switch’s hungry RPG fanbase.
Now if I’m being generous, I might suggest it’s all down to timing. Atlus announced Shin Megami Tensei V years ago as an exclusive game for Nintendo Switch. It’s darker than Persona and has also been slightly overshadowed by its sister series in recent years. So perhaps, Atlus wants to make sure SMT5 gets the spotlight first, so Persona games don’t eat into their sales. But why… Why are we getting a fighting game spin-off of Persona 4 before the actual game? Switch owners love RPG games. They’ve been hungry for the Persona series ever since Joker landed in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and the recent Steam release of Persona 4 Golden was a huge success for Atlus, selling one million copies. Please, I’m begging you, let me play Persona games on my Switch. And then if I’m being really cheeky could you please port the Persona Q games from the 3DS because they’re great as well.
That’s it for our wishlist. Hopefully, we can look back next year and see that we got a few of these series on Switch, and hopefully they were good ports as well… If you need something to tide you over, be sure to check out our best Switch party games guide to entertain the family over the holiday break.