Now that we’ve gotten a bevy of Mario related releases for the 35th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros. it makes me wonder, what franchises can we only hope Nintendo pays homage to in the coming years. With a plethora of amazing characters and worlds in their stable of IPs, we can only hope that Nintendo gives– at the bare minimum– some game collections or ports to what is shaping up to be Nintendo’s greatest console of all time, the Nintendo Switch.
Game Anniversaries In 2021
The Legend of Zelda first appeared on the Famicom Disk System in 1986, marking the first adventure for Link in Hyrule. With the upcoming 35th anniversary for everyone’s favorite green tunic wearing hero it would be incredible if Nintendo gave us the same amount of love that their mustachioed plumber is receiving right now. Updated versions of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess, and Wind Waker all exist but getting those version from the 3DS and Wii U ported to the Switch would be a transaction I wouldn’t second guess when throwing those into my cart. It would also be a perfect opportunity to give Skyward Sword another chance at life with an updated control scheme. The dream for me would be an HD remake of A Link To The Past in a similar vein to how we saw Link’s Awakening getting reborn on the Switch in 2019.
Samus Aran first appeared in 1986 in the first Metroid game and spawned a sub-genre known as “Metroidvania” which sees adventure, platformers borrowing mechanics and elements that made Metroid what it was and is. It goes without saying the bounty hunter has left her mark on gaming forever, and with Metroid Prime 4 in development, it would be the perfect anniversary gift to her fans to see that game finally come out in 2021. Or at least give us the long awaited HD Metroid Prime Trilogy port!
Donkey Kong was originally released in arcades in 1981, and will be seeing a 40th anniversary come next year. Not only would a collection of Donkey Kong titles be a welcome addition to the Switch library, but games like Donkey Kong 64 or updated versions of Jungle Beat and Donkey Konga using motion controls with the Joy-Cons, would be experiences people would love to revisit who don’t have access to older hardware. At the very least, we haven’t seen a new Donkey Kong game since Tropical Freeze when it originally released on the Wii U in 2014 (it was ported to the Switch in 2018) so a new game in the franchise would be a fitting way to celebrate the banana hoarding king of the jungle.
Although we are seeing Pikmin 3 Deluxe released on the Nintendo Switch this fall, Captain Olimar and his plucky plant horde will be seeing a 20th anniversary next year. It’s hard to imagine it has already been twenty years since Pikmin launched on the GameCube in 2001, but with only three mainline games, a fourth still in development, and a 3DS spin-off that didn’t garner the same amount of love the core games received, it would be wonderful to see the first two Pikmin games find a new audience on the Switch. Or just release Pikmin 4 next year.
We can at the very least expect some 25th anniversary Pokémon merchandise to make it’s way to store shelves next year, but it would be wonderful to see some Pokémon magic in the form of a new game or updated legacy title. Let’s Go Johto may not be what everyone is hoping for, but could be a safe bet in addition to New Pokémon Snap which got revealed earlier this year.
Game Anniversaries in 2022
The lovable pink puffball, Kirby, made his debut in 1992 with Kirby’s Dreamland on the Game Boy and will be celebrating 30 years of adventures in 2022. Although we received a collection back in 2012 on the Nintendo Wii, it would be wonderful to see an expanded collection come to the Switch in 2022. Potentially include some of the portable games that are locked to their platforms and I think you’d see an increased amount of excitement swell up for Kirby.
First appearing as the villain in Super Mario Land 2 for the Game Boy in 1992, Wario has gone on to see both his own platform games with Wario Land, his own party games with WarioWare, and appearances in most of the Mario spin-off titles and Super Smash Bros. Regardless of your opinion on the pungent plumber and his adventures, a new game in the Wario Land or WarioWare series or a collection of those games would give the yellow-capped garlic gobbler the spotlight he deserves.
Game Anniversaries in 2023
Fox McCloud made his debut in 1993 on the Super Nintendo in Star Fox and fans have been clamoring for a new game in the franchise for the last four years since Star Fox Zero left some fans feeling as though the series was headed in a bad direction. We did get a tease of new Star Fox content with the addition of the animal pilots in Ubisoft’s Starlink but hopefully this isn’t the last time we see Fox and company take flight. Also, please don’t make us wait until 2023 for a new Star Fox game, save 2023 for the collection or remaster of Star Fox Adventures or Star Fox Assault.
Will Nintendo celebrate all of these upcoming anniversaries with the same fanfare as they did with Mario? I find that pretty doubtful, but I am hopeful that some of these franchises will see some love over the next few years in some way or another. There’s certainly tons of legacy games I would love to revisit again with ease on my Switch, and the collector in me would love to adorn my shelves with boxed collections and other homages to some of my favorite characters in gaming.
For all things Nintendo and video game related, be sure to keep it locked to Pass The Controller. For a deeper dive on all things gaming and nerd culture, listen to the Pass The Controller Podcast with new episodes weekly on your favorite podcast platform. Want to continue the conversation with us and our community? Join our official Discord server.