The five best Nintendo games of 2021

This story is part of Gamepur’s Best of 2021 roundup.

While Nintendo didn’t have another Animal Crossing: New Horizons-scale blockbuster in 2021, it was another successful year for the Switch. A new Switch OLED model, a few re-releases of past popular games, and promises for an exciting 2022 have kicked things in the right direction for the company. Nintendo’s first-party games fill their best lists almost every year, and 2021 has been no different.

5. Pokemon Unite

Image via The Pokémon Company
  • Released July 21, 2021
  • Developed by TiMi Studio Group
  • Published by The Pokemon Company

At this point, Pokémon is ready to take on any style of play and will print money for the Pokémon Company. For this adventure, Pokémon entered the MOBA realm. This is a 5v5 free-to-play title that features many of your favorite monsters. You battle, level up, and evolve your chosen Pokemon while collecting Spirit Orbs to dive into opponent’s hoops to score.

For such a negative reception as Pokémon Unite received when it was revealed, the game turned out to be really fun and a great introduction to MOBAs for new players. Of course, there are questions about the game’s monetization, which kinda turns that around, but if you’re coming into this game looking for something to play for short periods of time, it’s an easy and fun choice that works well even on the Switch. online network.

4. Knockout City

Knockout City
Picture via EA
  • Released May 21, 2021
  • Developed by Velan Studios
  • Published by Electronic Arts

One of the biggest surprises for us this year was Knockout City, a dodgeball arena game from the developers of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. This multiplayer game features various rotating game modes, special balls, and fun maps with interesting quirks. The movement is nice and the simple gameplay is easy to understand and enjoy.

Knockout City is a ton of fun, whether with friends or alone. Dodgeball games are almost non-existent in the gaming industry, so this is another example of how EA’s indie program can deliver more different and interesting titles than their larger teams usually do. It’s free to start, and the cost of owning the game is very fair, considering the package you get. It is one of the best multiplayer games to release in 2021 on all platforms. Even with all third-party games having issues on Switch, Knockout City works well.

3. Mario Party Superstars

Screenshot by Gamepur
  • Released October 29, 2021
  • Developed by NDcube
  • Published by Nintendo

It’s no secret that the overall quality of Mario Party games has plummeted since the GameCube days, so going back to when the series debuted on the Nintendo 64 has been very well received. Mario Party Superstars offers five sets from the first three games, 100 minigames from all ten main console titles, and online play at launch for the very first time in the series. Sure, it’s still Nintendo and not the greatest online experience, but finally getting the chance to play with other people who aren’t in your room was way overdue.

The decks here are all fun blasts from the past, and the game can be played with any Switch controller, unlike Super Mario Party. It’s accessible to all ages, and anyone can enjoy the sheer unfairness of the game. Whether or not you played Mario Party back in the days of the N64 and GameCube, we highly recommend giving the game a try. This is the perfect game for when you have friends or family over.

2. Metroid Dread

Screenshot by Gamepur
  • Released October 8, 2021
  • Developed by Mercury Steam
  • Published by Nintendo

This year, no Nintendo game has lived up to the excitement of Metroid Dread. It was the first original 2D Metroid since 2002, and it revived and released a long-running game in the series. Metroid fans have been waiting for this for a long time. Plus, it’s the only all-original Nintendo game on this list this year, which gives it some bonus points.

As for the game itself, Metroid Dread stays true to what fans love about the series. Playing as Samus is more enjoyable than ever, and the introduction of EMMIs chasing you through sections of the game adds to the dread this game will make you feel. We don’t know how many newcomers will fall in love with it, but Metroid fans should love just about everything here.

1. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Picture via Nintendo
  • Released February 12, 2021
  • Developed by Nintendo EAD
  • Published by Nintendo

One of the best utilities of the Nintendo Switch is that it can give forgotten games a second chance on the Wii U. Super Mario 3D World is one of the latest and greatest of this bunch. With its re-release on Switch, the game is now playable online, characters move faster and it gives so many who missed it the first time around a chance to play this great game away from the dreaded Wii U tablet. .

While many will buy it for the 3D World experience, a side game has been added to the package. Bowser’s Fury is a completely separate game that plays like a traditional 3D Mario game, i.e. Odyssey, Sunshine, and 64. inventory were introduced to Mario here. Getting into battles with a Kaiju-sized Bowser is about as epic as the Mario series gets, and collect-a-thon is more enjoyable than ever. All together, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is pretty much the best gaming package you can grab this year.

Timothy C. Mayo