Nintendo Direct E3 2021: 10 Announcements That Need To Happen

E3 is right around the corner, and one of the most anticipated presentations is Nintendo’s. The Nintendo Switch is performing extremely well. It is currently on track to become one of the best-selling video game consoles ever. Unfortunately, the covid-19 pandemic was rough on the Japanese gaming company. Nintendo hasn’t made any major announcements since the lockdown began. Even The Legend of Zelda saw little to no love on its 35th anniversary. However, fans are still eager for E3; they believe this will be where Nintendo will make some much needed announcements. Here are 10 things we hope to see at the Nintendo Direct E3 2021 presentation.

Nintendo Direct E3 2021

#10 – The Upgraded Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Pro

This entry might even happen before the Nintendo’s E3 direct. Rumors are hot right now and running wild regarding the upgraded Nintendo Switch. Some rumors suggest that the upgraded Nintendo Switch will feature a larger screen, better internet capabilities, and higher resolution. Whether the console is called the Nintendo Switch Pro, New Nintendo Switch, Super Nintendo Switch, or even the Switch 2, we are excited. This is a chance to extend the life of the beloved system to new heights. The Switch is only four years old, but a major upgrade could maintain the console past the life span of even the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. Seeing Breath of the Wild 2 or Metroid Prime 4 on an upgraded Switch sounds like a dream come true. Please just don’t name the console ‘Switch U’.

#9 – Pikmin 4

Pikmin 3: Deluxe released just last September on the Switch, but it isn’t too early to hope for a sequel. This one is in an awkward spot, because the co-op enabled deluxe edition of Pikmin 3 released so recently; however, Pikmin 3 originally released on the Wii U in 2013. It has been eight years since we received a true mainline Pikmin game on console. Pikmin 3: Deluxe was a success, so it would not be surprising for a sequel to be green-lit. Heck, there have been rumors regarding the existence of Pikmin 4 for several years.

Pikmin 4

Whether or not Pikmin 3: Deluxe was a test for whether or not the world wanted more Pikmin, it is safe the say the test was a success. Pikmin 3: Deluxe is now the best-selling game in the entire series. Time may be the only issue against whether or not we see a Pikmin 4 within the next couple of years. Pikmin 4 lands at the #9 spot on this list only due to the recent release of Pikmin 3: Deluxe. Is it too early to see an announcement at the Nintendo Direct E3 2021 presentation? Perhaps. Would we love to see it happen anyways? Definitely.

#8 – Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Fans were shocked to see a release date revealed for Pokémon Legends: Arceus. The open-world Pokémon game is coming to the Nintendo Switch January 28th, 2022. This is only two months after the remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl. What is shocking about this is that the original trailer looked quite rough. The game holds a ton of promise and it could end up being incredible; however, fans pointed out that the game looked empty and early in conception. Naturally fans speculated that the game was just shown off early, and that the game wouldn’t release until Summer 2022 or even November 2022. This was incorrect.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

The game is coming within the next seven months. The best way to silence these concerns would be for Nintendo to show off promising gameplay (possibly even running on an upgraded Switch?). Nintendo often allows Pokémon developer Game Freak to present their games during their own events, but it is still possible that we see the game at E3 2021.

#7 – Next Level Game’s Next Level Game

Next Level Games developed the last two Luigi’s Mansion games and both are certified Nintendo classics. Following the success of these spooky kid-friendly titles, Nintendo acquired Next Level Games as a first-party developer. This means that all future games developed by the company will be Nintendo games. This is exciting news, as the Vancouver developer has become a new fan favorite within the Nintendo fanbase.

Next Level Games

Luigi’s Mansion 3 released in 2019, so it is a bit early for another major release from Next Level Games; however, it is entirely possible that, 1.) the developer is now developing multiple titles at once, and 2.) Nintendo is eager to show off at least a teaser for a potential game releasing in 2022. We do know that Next Level Games was recently hiring more talent, so at least one game should be in active development. It would be great to see what game follows Nintendo’s acquisition of Next Level Games. Will we see Luigi’s Mansion 4? Another Punch-Out revival? Perhaps another attempt at a co-op Metroid spin-off? Only time can tell bit we are excited regardless.

#6 – Xenoblade Chronicles X – Definitive Edition

Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles X is one of the last major Wii U games to receive a port for the Nintendo Switch. This is exceptionally shocking as the game is massive. It featured HD graphics and a vast open world that could be navigated on foot or flown across via mech. Seriously, this game was monumental for the Wii U. I don’t believe that anything comparable ever existed on that console. The fact that this giant time and resource sink has yet to receive a second chance at life is shocking.

Xenoblade Chronicles X: Definitive Edition

Perhaps Nintendo wanted Xenoblade Chronicles to get its definitive edition first. Considering that Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition released last year, it is officially time for Xenoblade Chronicles X to receive the same treatment. The main huddle could be that Xenoblade developer Monolith Soft could be tied up with helping Nintendo develop Breath of the Wild 2, Splatoon 3, or could even still supporting Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The company previously assisted in the development of Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2. Monolith Soft is ambitious and stays busy, so when it comes to them anything is possible.

#5 – A New Super Smash Bros Ultimate Fighter

This one is kind of “the free space”, as it is nearly guaranteed. Nintendo never wastes a massively publicized event to announce a new fighter for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. E3 is the perfect time to show off the first Smash Bros character since February 17th. It is entirely possible that we even see two fighters.

Skull Kid Moons The Competition

Skull Kid In Smash

I personally would love to see a character from The Legend of Zelda revealed. Aside from Link clones, there has not been a newcomer from this huge franchise since Super Smash Brothers Melee. Considering 2021 is the 35th anniversary of the series, now would be the perfect time to reveal a beloved Zelda character. Skull Kid would make for a wonderful announcement, but seeing as he is already an assist trophy, I will not get my hopes up. Perhaps a popular champion from The Breath of The Wild would be fitting; or maybe even the fan favorite Sheikah warrior, Impa. Any of these characters would be a great addition to the game.

Funky Kong Swings Into Action

Funky Kong In Smash

If I had a second pick (or if we see a second character!), I think a Donkey Kong character would be appropriate. This iconic series hasn’t received much representation lately, and the DK Crew definitely has plenty of exciting options to choose from. Could we see Funky Kong, Cranky Kong, or Dixie Kong? Only time can tell if the DK Crew representation expands to more Kongs. More than likely a third-party character like Crash Bandicoot will be announced, but I prefer to speculate about Nintendo characters.

#4 – Donkey Kong Country Returns 3

Speaking of the DK Crew, how about a new Donkey Kong Country game reveal? Both of Retro Studio’s entries in the Donkey Kong Country series received critical acclaim. It is only fitting their Donkey Kong Country Returns series becomes a trilogy just as the original series did. It is possible that Retro Studios doesn’t return for the third entry, but we remain optimistic. The Texas developer is currently working hard on Metroid Prime 4, so it is possible that they have their hands full at the moment. However, it is just as likely that the studio is working on two games at once. It was previously believed that Retro Studios was working hard on a couple games between the release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in 2014 and the reboot announcement of Metroid Prime 4 in 2019.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3

The Nintendo Switch received a port of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in 2018. The port added Funky Kong as a playable character. The Mario Kart Wii fan favorite could use his surfboard to traverse over spikes and bramble effortlessly. Additionally Donkey Kong’s missing nemesis made his exciting return in Super Smash Bros Ultimate in 2018. These developments have fans hungry for more Donkey Kong, and now might be the perfect time to satisfy them.

A New Take On Donkey Kong

It is possible that a potential Donkey Kong game could be entirely different from the beloved Donkey Kong County returns games. A different studio could be taking a swing at the King of Swing. There is currently a rumor going around that suggests that the team behind Super Mario Odyssey will develop the next Donkey Kong game. Regardless of the developer, the next game could even take a 3D open-world approach. Despite our wishes of seeing the Donkey Kong Country Returns series become a trilogy, it would be great to see the DK Crew adventure through vast open jungles. We are excited for DK news regardless.

#3 – Metroid Prime 4

Metroid Prime 4

Nintendo could really benefit from showing off a Switch upgrade with a truly impressive game. I know fans wouldn’t complain either. The Nintendo DS was a huge success and showcasing the handheld with an impressive 3D Metroid game could have contributed to this. At the time this was the pinnacle of handheld technology. No one had ever seen a handheld game look so graphical impressive. If Nintendo wants to restrike the same oil, now would be a great time. The hype of the upgraded Switch and Metroid Prime 4 could launch the Switch family to previously unforeseen heights. This would be an impressive feat, as the console already surpassed expectations by far. Fans will definitely spread the hype on social media and through word of mouth.

With an impressive announcement, Metroid could get the Breath of the Wild or Animal Crossing: New Horizons treatment, elevating the Metroid series to a whole new level. Show off the capabilities of the upgrade Switch and throw in some smooth online gameplay and this would be a great way to secure E3 as a win for Nintendo. However, the #2 and #1 spots on this list could secure this win independently.

#2 – The Legend of Zelda 35th Anniversary Remakes

Fans (including myself) were left disappointed when The Legend of Zelda’s 35th Anniversary went mostly ignored. Sure The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD was announced, but this was mostly for the 10 year anniversary celebration of that specific game. Zelda fans can only hope that the real celebration has yet to happen. Could Zelda get the Super Mario 3D All Stars treatment? Or perhaps gaming studio Grezzo is working hard on some true remakes of older games.

The Legend of Zelda Is In Great Hands With Grezzo

Ocarina of Time HD

Grezzo previously created spectacular versions of Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask for the 3DS. They remade Link’s Awakening in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch. The studio also worked on the 3DS port of the original Luigi’s Mansion, the standalone 3DS Zelda game Triforce Heroes, and the recent 2021 port of the 3DS’ Miitopia. I can’t help but believe that Grezzo has had more up their sleeves since 2017. The company was recently hiring for a “medieval” and “stylish” project. This could have been for another Zelda game. Hopefully some surprises are revealed at the Nintendo Direct E3 2021 presentation..

Honorable Mention #1 – Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle 2

Mario + Rabbids was a shocking success on the Nintendo Switch. The game was made with love for both franchises; it was as charming as could be. The gameplay took a page from Advanced Wars and played as a turn-based tactical role-playing game. The whacky game had Mario and his allies wielding energy powered guns, elemental yo-yos, and remote control vacuum bombs. This game is exactly as kooky as it sounds and in the best way possible.

Mario + Rabbids 2

Grant Kirkhope Returns To The World Of Nintendo

The game featured the great Grant Kirkhope on the soundtrack. While the composer is famous for his work on Rareware games like Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, and Viva Pinata, his take on the world of Super Mario is noteworthy. A sequel doesn’t quite make this top 10 list, but I would be pleasantly delighted to see it happen.

The Game Could Become A Whole Series

Rumors and speculation suggest that a sequel is on the way. The Mario + Rabbid’s Twitter account even changed its handle to suggest the game is a series and not a one off spinoff. Hopefully the potential sequel will expand upon the co-op mode featured in the first game.

*Updates June 11th, 2021*

New rumors suggest that Mario + Rabbids 2 is indeed being shown off at E3. The game is rumored to titled Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. We anticipate the possible reveal of this highly anticipated sequel.

Honorable Mention #2 – Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 is a long time coming. So much so, that I didn’t even feel comfortable putting it on this list. Is the game in development hell? The game was initially announced by developer Platinum Games way back in December of 2017. Is the Nintendo Direct E3 2021 presentation really when we will finally see gameplay? No one knows for sure. The game would make for a wonderful announcement, especially along side other hardcore games such as Metroid Prime 4, but with no teasing going on there is not much speculation to make out of the game. The Bayonetta series is universally acclaimed; the first game even received a perfect score by respected video game publication, Famitsu.

Back in 2012, Nintendo saved the series after funding fell flat for the sequel at Sega. Nintendo agreed to finance the game and acted as publisher. In doing so, Nintendo secured Bayonetta as a first-party exclusive series. Hopefully this exciting Switch exclusive makes an official appearance soon.

#1 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Breath of the Wild 2

This one is obvious. Not only is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 one of the most hyped games of 2021, but it is nearly all but confirmed to make an appearance. The sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time (and possibly the reason for the Switch’s instant success) was revealed with a teaser in 2019. Nothing has been shown off regarding the highly anticipated game since. The Nintendo Direct E3 2021 presentation is the perfect chance to finally show off Breath of the Wild 2. Not only is it near the 35th anniversary of the series (fashionably late though of course), but it is the two year anniversary of the game’s initial announcement.

Not much is known about the sequel to Breath of the Wild, so the reveal will be exciting. Will the game feature co-op with Link and Zelda traversing across Hyrule together? Will the game take a Majora’s Mask like route and feature an alternate dimension? No information is currently available that can answer these questions. All we know is that a figure that could be Ganondorf is resting underneath Hyrule castle. If this game features a bigger and better narrative than the previous game, it could even surpass it.

Breath of the Wild 2’s reveal could single handedly result in Nintendo winning E3 this year. Supplemented by other games on this list, Nintendo is gearing up to have one of their biggest conferences to date. We can only hope that they deliver.

What are you hoping to see during the Nintendo Direct E3 2021 presentation? What games from other developers are you excited for? Let us know in the comments.