Guide: All the first party games coming to Nintendo Switch in 2022

2021 is coming to an end, and what a year it has been! Even though the era of the character reveal of Smash Bros. is over, Nintendo still has a few tricks up its sleeve with a handful of highly anticipated first-party games coming next year.

While our list below only contains everything we know until now, chances are Nintendo still has a few more surprises to reveal for the new year before you know it. So, without further ado, here are the first board games coming to Nintendo Switch in 2022!

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Release date: January 28, 2022

Hot on the heels of the announcement of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, a brand new Pokémon adventure has been revealed. While there will certainly be familiar and modern gameplay elements, this game does something unique for the world of the series – it takes us back in time.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus will take place in the Sinnoh region, but before it’s fully settled. Based on the Hokkaido region of Japan, elements of the indigenous Ainu people are incorporated into the designs and aspects of the game.

Check out our full Pokémon Legends: Arceus coverage here.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Release date: Spring 2022

After first appearing on the Nintendo Japan site, we now have confirmation of the next Kirby game. Titled Kirby and the Forgotten Land, it will mark the pink puffball’s first foray into a full 3D adventure.

Familiar techniques and copying abilities were shown on what appears to be a desolate urban environment on an island. What mysteries will unfold for Kirby in the Forgotten Land? We will have to wait until spring 2022 to find out!

Splaton 3

Release date: TBD 2022

Splatoon 3 caused a stir during the last Nintendo Direct, showing off both its signature multiplayer gameplay and its (if tradition holds, surprisingly robust) single-player story. This adventure, titled “Return of the Mammals”, appears to center on fuzzy demons encroaching on Splatsville, the game’s new hub. Look at a furry Octarian and be scared!

It’s not all weirdness and split ends, as some familiar faces have appeared too! The Squid Sisters and Cap’n Cuttlefish are back and ready to lead the charge against this new threat, with their newest recruit to take on the role of Agent 3. The Squidbeak Splatoon will likely have their work cut out for them, but a bit of… Help from a Smallfry might be just what they need.

Check out all of our Splatoon 3 coverage here!

Bayonet 3

Release date: TBD 2022

After debuting in 2017, Bayonetta 3 was announced with nothing but a purple teaser. Now, as part of the latest Nintendo Direct, there’s still time to dance. Bayonetta 3 closed the broadcast and delivered everything you’d expect from the sleek action series and its scintillating lead.

Beyond the gameplay and spectacle, which lives up to the series’ high standards, we also get a first look at Bayonetta’s new design and a cameo from Astral Chain’s adorable mascot, Lappy. Other familiar elements, like massive summoned demons and enemy executions, are back and looking more over the top than ever – on par with PlatinumGames’ course.

It will finally be Witch Time when Bayonetta 3 comes to Switch in 2022.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Release date: TBD 2022

We correctly guessed that Nintendo would shut down the recent Nintendo Direct with the highly anticipated next installment in The Legend of Zelda series, but it was no less joyful to finally see it again after all this time. The new teaser has a ton of details to unbox, including new areas, enemies, and abilities. The video opens with the strange red tendrils that should be familiar to Breath of the Wild players, as Malice’s poisonous substance appears to envelop Link’s right arm. There’s also a quick flash of the mummified creature from the original 2019 trailer (believed by many fans to be a resurrected Ganondorf), before Princess Zelda is seen plunging into a dark pit.

After its dark opening, the trailer lights up with Link soaring through the clouds, Skyward Sword style. The sky seems to play a very thematic role in the new title, as Link’s trusty Paraglider also returns to help him navigate a series of floating islands. It could very well be that the release of Skyward Sword in 2021 is very intentional, as the new installment seems to be inspired by it and may even be related to it.


Joseph K. Bennett