No matter how you slice it, Nintendo porting over the Wii U’s greatest hits to the Switch is a smart twofold idea. On one hand, the move helps pad out the Switch’s library with major releases dropping during otherwise quiet times. On the other, it helps preserve the Wii U’s greatest hits by giving them another, better shot on store shelves, bolstered further by preexisting praise and better marketing. And that’s without counting the Switch sequels that render the Wii U originals redundant!
In the last Nintendo Direct, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore was announced for a worldwide January release. However, we still have a long ways to go before we can consider the Wii U wholly obsolete, Wii backward compatibility and Virtual Console catalogs aside! Based on likelihood, feasibility, and reception, here are the remaining first-party Wii U-to-Switch ports I feel are the most likely ones on the horizon, in no particular order.
1. Super Mario 3D World (2013)
There is no way Super Mario 3D World isn’t already destined for the Nintendo Switch. Mario’s other mainline Wii U adventures are already on the platform, Super Mario Maker 2 has a whole game style based on its mechanics, and the catty four-player caravan of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad makes the game a perfect match for a system that comes attached with a pair of Joy-Con! The writing is on the wall, and with no big upcoming Mario adventures in sight…?
2. The Wonderful 101 (2013)
With Astral Chain out of the way and Bayonetta 3 in the distant future, the possibility of The Wonderful 101 for the Switch is an idea that PlatinumGames has often teased over the past couple of years. Whether or not this colorful over-the-top superhero romp ever returns is ultimately up to Nintendo. Nevertheless, this undersold classic more than deserves another shot on a better platform with a wider audience. Let our wish for a The Wonderful 101 Switch port ring true! Team, unite up!
3. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015)
Designed with the GamePad in mind, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is the odd duck of this list as the one major release that can only work in handheld form over docked due to its stylus-oriented play. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t keep the game from coming to the Nintendo Switch. Its control scheme lends itself wonderfully for portable play. All you need is a decent stylus, and then you have a perfect fit of a game for the Switch Lite!
4. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (2015)
Little known fact, but Nintendo actually co-owns a genuine, mature survival horror series with Koei Tecmo! Unfortunately, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water had its North American release heavily stunted: Pair minimal “spoopy” marketing with a 14 GB eShop exclusive on a console that already had little hard drive space to spare, and you have a game doomed to underwhelming sales right out of the gate. With some extra polish, a Switch remaster could be a perfect fit for an October 2020 release! Besides, a new Fatal Frame is long overdue. Yuri Kozukata appearing as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can’t be all we’re seeing of the series on Switch, can it?
5. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker + Twilight Princess HD (2013, 2016)
The Legend of Zelda so far has a fairly consistent schedule of yearly releases on the Switch. Unfortunately, the Breath of the Wild sequel doesn’t look like it will launch anytime soon. In the meantime, ports of The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD to the Switch would make excellent pit stops as definitive editions of already amazing Zelda games. Any excuse to explore the Great Sea or free Hyrule from everlasting twilight all over again is a good one!
6. NES Remix Pack (2014)
From its concept alone, the NES Remix games were a super fun novelty that paid tribute to Nintendo’s distant past by remixing a combined 28 of our favorite NES games to hilarious results. A definitive version bringing in all bonus features like Speed Mario Bros. and Super Luigi Bros. would be fantastic. Additionally, some new exclusive multiplayer-oriented remixes would be a great fit for the Switch. Now, would a complete NES Remix port work better as a standalone release or a bonus with NES Online…?
7. Pikmin 3 (2013)
While we play the waiting game on Schrödinger’s Pikmin 4, a Nintendo Switch port of Pikmin 3 would be the perfect way to pass the time. Smash Bros. representation aside, the iconic Pikmin series is one of a handful of remaining hallmark Nintendo IPs that have yet to properly debut on the hybrid platform! Hopefully it won’t be long before we hear of a likely deluxe version of Pikmin 3, packaged with all of the original’s DLC.
8. Yoshi’s Woolly World (2015)
As a solid follow-up to the original Yoshi’s Island, Good-Feel’s feel-good Yoshi’s Woolly World was arguably the most adorable, diabetes-inducing game on the Wii U. The game later saw a re-release on 3DS as Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World, introducing new challenges featuring Poochy and the ability for players to create their own Yoshi pattern, though lacking co-op play. After Crafted World’s success, porting over Woolly World to the Switch with content from both its releases only makes sense!
9. eShop-exclusive games like Pushmo World
Over the Wii U’s short lifespan, Nintendo released a handful of eShop-exclusive games that could see either ports or sequels on the Switch. Like Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move and Amiibo Challenge could benefit as a handheld-only release. Dr. Luigi would bring another “Year of Luigi” title to the Switch, following New Super Luigi U through New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe; although, I feel a sequel like Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure on 3DS would be more likely. And, in addition to Pushmo World, a new Pushmo or Art Academy sure would be nice…
10. Xenoblade Chronicles X (2015)
Out of every other title on this list, Xenoblade Chronicles X stands as the most ambitious possible Switch port. Monolith Soft CEO Tetsuya Takahashi previously expressed that porting a game as huge as XCX would be a massive and costly undertaking (but not impossible!). Even then, the developer is currently working on the Breath of the Wild sequel and the recently announced Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition.
It would likely take a long time for this port to see the light of day, but I hold on to the belief that someday (maybe 2021?) we will return to planet Mira on the Nintendo Switch. Besides, that Elma DLC in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is just too good not to build up on with a re-release! Plus, Monolith Soft confirmed they would want to make a Xenoblade Chronicles X 2 in the future. What better way to spark interest in a sequel than by reintroducing the original through a Switch port?
There are some rapid-fire honorable mentions I want to point out before I sign off. I hope some of the mini-games and concepts introduced in NintendoLand, Game & Wario, and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival somehow get repurposed into future games.
Paper Mario: Color Splash was better than its immediate predecessor on Nintendo 3DS; I will give it that. That said, I feel fans would rather a new, traditional “Mario Story” Paper Mario at this point rather than a Sticker Star 3. Likewise for Star Fox Zero; the game so heavily relied on its split-screen motion controls to the detriment of Star Fox fans and critics alike. However, the Arwing-Walker idea and Star Fox Guard wholesale deserve another shot.
Your move, Nintendo
This entire list is only written from a Nintendo-published perspective. After all, while third-party presence was middling on the platform, I feel there were some quality third-party titles on Wii U that should make the jump to Nintendo Switch! For now though, let’s table that discussion for another time.
Which Wii U game would you like to see ported to the Nintendo Switch next? What bonus features would you add to new Switch versions of these games? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.