A new year means new games, and for 2016 there are a number of titles that Nintendo fans are going to want to mark on their calendars. We’ve put together the big releases for your convenience, and quite a few of them are heading to store shelves sooner than some people might think! The first few months of this year have multiple marquee games heading our way, but keep an eye down the road, too, for even more upcoming (potential) gems. As we get more firm release dates, we’ll keep all of you posted!
Mario plus Luigi plus… Paper Mario?! The latest portable Mario RPG will be hitting 3DS in the next couple of weeks, and between its mixing of the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario series, plus some interesting Amiibo integration, fans should be totally psyched for Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam!
Pre-order Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Square’s first Final Fantasy game for 3DS is almost upon fans, and it’s looking promising so far. It’s focus is on multiplayer, so anyone who’s been enjoying Tri Force Heroes or the Monster Hunter series should keep their eyes peeled for Final Fantasy Explorers. It’s definitely going to be different from both of those games, but similar enough that co-op lovers should have fun with it.
Pre-order Final Fantasy Explorers
Nintendo Wii U & Nintendo 3DS
After all these years, the Lego formula of video games remains as fun and endearing as it was when it first debuted, and developer TT Games hopes to continue the trend with its upcoming Lego Marvel’s The Avengers for Wii U and 3DS. Focused on the plot of the first two Avengers movies, Lego Avengers promises 100 new characters that haven’t appeared in a Lego game in the past! Lego Marvel Superheroes was a real treat for fans, so hopefully Lego Avengers will be able to live up to its predecessor.
Nintendo Wii U
After what feels like a lifetime of waiting, Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9, a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series, will finally be arriving on Wii U! The game boasts a huge variety of features thanks to its extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, including online multiplayer and a boss rush mode. The 3DS version doesn’t have an announced release date yet, but we’ll update you all as soon as we have information.
Pre-order Mighty No. 9
The first Project X Zone was a surprisingly fun strategy game, so hopes are high that Project X Zone 2 will be able to live up to the hype. The game comes with an expanded roster that includes more characters from the Namco, Capcom, and Sega families of franchises, as well as Lucina and Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening! The roster for Project X Zone 2 is hard to resist; hopefully the game follows through when it launches this February.
Pre-order Project X Zone 2
The much-anticipated sequel to Fire Emblem Awakening will be launching with two versions for fans to choose from: Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. The two titles offer different campaigns, and there are bundles available to purchase one copy of the game with a downloadable version of the other. There will also be a third, downloadable version of the game entitled Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation. For those lucky enough to get their hands on the special edition bundle, it will include all three iterations of the game on a single cartridge! Be careful when pre-ordering and make sure you’re getting the specific version or bundle of the game(s) that you want.
Now, before anyone gets ahead of themselves, yes, all six NES Mega Man titles are currently available for download from the 3DS Virtual Console, but Mega Man Legacy Collection goes above and beyond those barebones emulations of the games. Besides the original six games (which are running on a new engine for smoother playability), it includes a special Challenge and Museum Mode, offering a remix of gameplay from all six titles and a special overview of the series, respectively, as well as unlockable 3DS-exclusive challenges if you scan in a Mega Man Amiibo. For those who buy the Collector’s Edition, there’s also the allure of the gold Mega Man Amiibo that comes exclusively with the bundle!
Pre-order Mega Man Legacy Collection
Nintendo Wii U
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princes HD is the high-definition remake that fans have been vying for since the launch of The Wind Waker HD back in 2013. Twilight Princess HD will come with crisper, modernized visuals, of course, but is also promised to offer improved gameplay and a new Wolf Link Amiibo that will be sold in bundles of the title. What’s more, the special Amiibo will apparently interact in some way with the new The Legend of Zelda slated for release on Wii U later in 2016!
Hyrule Warriors Legends promises to bring along the addicting mixture of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors gameplay that the original title on Wii U introduced to fans, but with new characters in tow. Those additions include Tetra and the King of Red Lions, as well as a female version of Link named Linkle. If the first game is anything to go off of, Hyrule Warriors Legends is going to thrill action-starved 3DS owners!
Pre-order Hyrule Warriors Legends
Nintendo Wii U
Years ago, no one could have predicted that at some point in the future Nintendo would see fit to mix its Pokémon series with Bandai Namco’s fighting franchise Tekken, but that’s the world of 2016 that fans have awoken to. Not that anyone should be complaining, as Pokkén Tournament looks to be a sophisticated brawler that will make fans of both series quite happy. Pre-order Pokkén Tournament now to receive a special Dark Mewtwo Amiibo card that will only be available with the first-printing of the game!
Nintendo Wii U
We had a good time with Star Fox Zero when we went hands-on with the game at this past E3, and the game continues to look even more polished and promising in the glimpses that Nintendo has shown since that initial build. With any luck, all this waiting will pay off for fans and Star Fox Zero will be the return to form for the series that has been a long time coming. Star Fox 64 3D was excellent, but Nintendo has waited far too long to give fans a brand-new installment of the venerable franchise!
Pre-order Star Fox Zero
The sequel to Bravely Default, Square’s surprisingly spectacular 3DS RPG, Bravely Second: End Layer is set to land on Nintendo’s handheld sometime in 2016. Europeans will be getting the game come February 26, along with a gorgeous special edition bundle, but we North Americans have nary a release date nor whiff of a bundle, at the moment. Still, frills or no frills, the game itself is what matter most, and the Nintendo faithful should be looking forward to playing this one later this year!
Pre-order Bravely Second: End Layer
The game that scorned many a fan with it’s seemingly arbitrary connection to the Metroid franchise, Metroid Prime: Federation Force was nonetheless highly enjoyable during our hands-on time with the game back during E3 in June. A first-person multiplayer title, the game hopes to bring players together for fun modes like Blast Ball, where teams of three attempt to use their arm cannons to push a large sphere into the opposition’s goal. Think soccer with lasers, and that’s just about spot-on! Bad first-impressions aside, fans should be optimistic for this one, which is set for a 2016 release.
Discover Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Nintendo Wii U
Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem came out last year in Japan, so hopefully Nintendo will be able to get the game localized and on our shores sometime this year. There’s been no word on when that might be, exactly, but 2016 was the last release window Nintendo offered, so fingers crossed that it happens. With NX seemingly destined to be arriving at the end of 2016, it’s likely Nintendo will want to get this one onto Wii U as soon as possible, which would be good news for Shin Megami and Fire Emblem fans, alike.
Nintendo Wii U
This is the big one. For many Nintendo fans, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is the number one game on their most-wanted lists, and with good reason: Nintendo almost never lets fans down with its mainline entries in the Zelda series. Though it’s sporting a mesmerizing graphical style and a blue-garbed (with noticeably Gerudo-ish accents) Link, there’s virtually nothing known about this new game, but that’s not going to stop players from waiting with their breath held until it eventually drops later this year. (What are the odds it’s around Christmas? Just saying!)
These are some of the biggest titles set to launch in 2016, but who knows what else the future has in store? E3 will be here soon enough (seriously, blink and it’ll be here), and with it announcements of even more games to look forward to, and with the possibility of a Nintendo Direct being broadcast virtually at any moment, this list might grow by leaps and bounds! Keep it posted to Nintendojo for all the latest news on Nintendo’s upcoming games, and let us know in the comments if we left out anything that you’re hoping to play in 2016!