Here's the skinny on the games that the NX needs in order to thrive.

10 Games that NEED to be on the NX for it make up for the Wii U

Here's the skinny on the games that the NX needs in order to thrive.

We know it’s coming. Speculation over when it will arrive and, frankly, what exactly it is is still rife, but the smart money is that we’ll be seeing the NX during 2016 or early in 2017.

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If Nintendo wants to recover from the relatively poor showing of the Wii U, here are ten games that they’re going to need for the mystery console, pronto!

10. Fire Emblem

Take a look at my little writer’s bio at the bottom of this article. As far as “too many” opinions go about the franchise, this is one of my more lucid (and involves substantially less fanfiction). What I’m saying is that I have a problem, and it’s the absence of Fire Emblem from the Wii U.

Radiant Dawn was a critical success for the Wii but was part of a downward spiral in terms of sales for the series, followed by the rather tepid Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the DS.

Fire Emblem Awakening was a Final Fantasy-style last gambit that replicated the explosive success of Squaresoft’s title, topping 1.6 million sales globally. With Fire Emblem Fates being hotly anticipated, it makes sense to take the franchise back to console.

A remake of Genealogy of the Holy War would bring one of the series’ most popular games to an audience who have yet to (officially) experience it. And if Nintendo and Intelligent Systems keep up with remaking games in sequential order, it’s up next (that’s not counting Fire Emblem Gaiden… because who does?).

9. Fortune Street

It might be difficult to see how Nintendo needs something for the NX that you might not have ever heard of… but stay with me here.

Fortune Street (known as Boom Street or Itadaki Street outside the US) is a crossover boardgame franchise. There have been several titles in the series, all based on a minigame originally found in Dragon Quest III — sort of like if Gwent or Triple Triad hit the big time.

Fortune Street for the Wii stars characters both from the Mario and Dragon Quests franchises. Given that Nintendo is reportedly already developing Dragon Quest titles for the NX, a new Fortune Street could be a savvy move that familiarizes gamers with characters from Dragon Quest. After all, Marth and Roy’s inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Melee was the famous catalyst that brought Fire Emblem out of Japan. Something similar could definitely happen on the NX through this quirky party game.

8. Bayonetta 3

I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more Bayonetta games.

…no? What?

Bayonetta 2 was a huge success for both Nintendo and PlatinumGames, acclaimed both critically and commercially. Nintendo’s hands-off approach with PlatinumGames worked wonderfully, and a flippant Twitter comment from series creator Hideki Kamiya suggests that an NX Bayonetta is a possibility. Bayonetta 3 would be both a great way to reel in series devotees (this is as good as time as any to note that the lack of Bayonetta butt in our recent article Top 10 Butts of Gaming article is a crime), and appeal to both hack-and-slash fans as well as gamers who relish a challenge. It would be a great part of a broader strategy for the NX to appeal to a wider base of fans.

7. Splatoon NX

Splatoon is tremendously fun, but as the first iteration of a pretty new concept for Nintendo, it definitely has some flaws. An NX sequel to Splatoon would be a great place to address these flaws: the hindrance/blessing of no online chat and the lack of (1v1 aside) local multiplayer due to the gamepad spring to mind. A new console would be an excellent opportunity for developers to both examine these and refine other aspects of the Splatoon experience.

…if nothing else, it might get the eldritch chant of you’re a kid now, you’re a squid now out of everybody’s heads, and that is important.

6. Super Smash Bros. and/or Mario Kart

Given that Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been out only a little over a year, it seems difficult to imagine another game in the super popular franchise to be ready for the launch of the NX. But one of Nintendo’s big hitters needs to be present from the beginning — Mario Kart, for example.

A strong multiplayer title from one of Nintendo’s core franchises would bring in the core of Nintendo’s fanbase. It seems, in hindsight, that one of the Wii U’s major mistakes was launching without one of these major titles. The NX is the perfect opportunity to learn from this mistake!

Mario games have also traditionally been great at highlighting some of their respective console’s best features — think back to Super Mario 64 and its then-revolutionary use of 3D — so it makes sense that one among the stable of Mario titles would be present at launch.

5. Pokemon

We’ve gone over this before. Nintendo is way overdue in terms of bringing Pokemon back to consoles in a meaningful way. It’s past time, and the NX is a brilliant opportunity for a Pokemon console game.

Then again, with the Wii U seemingly dead and buried, it’s more than likely that if we see anything, it’ll be for Nintendo’s next console. That’s fine. I can live with that — especially if the new console doesn’t have friend codes. Get it out the gate early and it’d be a killer app. A bundle in time for next year’s holiday would swan dive off store shelves.

Pokemon Snap 2, Pokemon Stadium 3, a Pokemon MMO… the wishlist goes on inside every gamer’s heart.

4. Red Dead Redemption 2

If the (fingers crossed!) seemingly inevitable Red Dead Redemption 2 ever launches, and Nintendo were able to secure a port, it would be something of a game-changer for them. Really, any major third party title out on multiple consoles could fill this void, so long as they let the NX have a near-simultaneous release with the Playstation 4 and Xbox 360 versions.

By showing budget-conscious console fans that the NX is viable as a primary console — that they won’t miss out on major releases — or complement to a PC or current-generation console, Nintendo stands to profit.

The Red Dead series is also much more adult in nature. With its dramatic narrative and apparent setup for a revenge-themed Red Dead Redemption 2, inclusion of a game like this is an excellent foundation on which to build a library of more mature-themed games for older gamers.

3. Metroid

If you were a Metroid fan who caught E3 this year, then I’m sorry. The Mega64 skit isn’t a parody so much as a completely justified and measured reaction to Federation Force.

It’s a crying shame that Nintendo has done so little with the Metroid franchise since the controversial Other M. As a launch title for NX, a new Metroid game that takes inspiration from the much-loved Metroid Prime series, or returns to its roots… or tries something new that isn’t Other M or Federation Force, really, would be an all-but-guaranteed hit. A Metroid game starring Samus is how Nintendo will put NX consoles in homes and butts on couches.

2. The Legend of Zelda NX (or just port LoZ Wii U)

Development of the Zelda title for Wii U seems to stretch out into eternity. It’s plausible that by the time it is completed and polished to Nintendo’s satisfaction that the NX will be released or close to it.

Nintendo faced a similar issue around the advent of the Wii, and stepped relatively gracefully around it by releasing Twilight Princess for both the outgoing Gamecube and incoming Wii. Fans with pre-orders, therefore, would not need to take to the streets in protest, while those interested in the most updated look and technology for the game would be able to purchase it for the NX.

Given what little we’ve seen about the game, it appears to be cel-shaded, so the two versions will both look stylized and fantastic.

1. A New Franchise

Splatoon‘s great — and if you think otherwise, it’s time to stop squiddin’ around. It was wonderful to see Nintendo develop a new intellectual property — the first major one in years. Nintendo earn both criticism and praise for having a relatively small stable of franchises. There’s comfort in familiarity, after all, but Splatoon demonstrated that consumers are definitely interested in new franchises under Nintendo’s umbrella.

A new title to match a new console would be an excellent way for Nintendo to start with their best foot forward for the NX — supported by, of course, a slew of core franchises and games.

It’s difficult to speculate on what a new Nintendo title would look like — or even its genre, given the diversity of content currently available. If Splatoon is any indication, though, it will be full of instantly distinct style and humor, and… probably still come with friend codes, because life is hard.


Is there something you think is missing from that list? If you’ve got thoughts on what the NX’s killer title will be, then let us know in the comments!

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Emily Speight
I'm a writer and I have too many opinions about Fire Emblem.