I think we can all agree 2021 wasn’t one of the best of years. In the world of video games, it was a good one, especially on the Nintendo Switch. With that said I have created a holiday gift guide listing my five favorite 3rd party games that were released this year with the exception of one. These are all games I’ve played and think are great gifts for the Nintendo Switch gamer in your life.
The Nintendo Switch 3rd Party Holiday Gift Guide
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2 will go down in history as not only the best in the franchise but also one of the best remasters of all time. All the levels from the original Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 & 2 are present and beautifully upgraded to modern standards. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2 delivered on the visuals, gameplay, and content. One does not have to be a skateboarder to appreciate everything this title has to offer. Its fast-paced arcade-style of gameplay makes it an easy pickup & play game that all ages can enjoy. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2 also includes online multiplayer, level free skate, and a park creator mode. It’s for all these reasons Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2 is a must-have for all switch owners.
Dying Light is hands down one of the best survival horror games of all time. You play as undercover agent Kyle Crane. He is air dropped into a fictional middle eastern city that is experiencing a viral outbreak that is mutating people to various forms of zombies. The twists and turns in the story will keep you engaged but the gameplay is what makes this game a standout. You can parkour your way around the entire city and in doing so upgrade your skills to unlock new moves such as dropkick and forward roll. The day/night cycle along with weapon degradation all add to the tension. At night new mutated zombies emerge which will keep your heart pounding as you parkour your way to the nearest safe house. Dying Light: Platinum Edition includes every piece of DLC making this the complete package and one hell of a good time.
I know for many this title flew under the radar which is understandable. Many “Super Smash Bros clones” have fallen short. However, this is not the case for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. The game includes a wide range of characters from the various IPs owned by Nickelodeon such as Leonardo and Michelangelo from TMNT, Ren & Stimpy, lucy from loud house, and even Zim from Invader Zim. The gameplay is fast with simple controls. If you’ve played a brawler, particularly Super Smash Bros then you will feel right at home. The game also includes some cool new features like a jump dash attack and the ability to pick up an opponent. I played this one with my kids and everyone had a blast.
4 – World War Z
Now if you are a frequent visitor to thekoaltion.com then you are well aware of my love for this game. So, when the switch port was released, I instantly knew it would be on my must-have list for switch owners IF the game performed well on the Nintendo Switch. Thankfully it runs great docked and in handheld. Now, remember this is a port of World War Z NOT World War Z: Aftermath so the new locations and features such as first-person mode are not present. The main reason I love this game so much is for the insane number of zombies you will see on-screen running at you. Yes, it’s based on the Brad Pitt film and not the book BUT it only implemented the coolest feature from that movie which was to see the horde of zombies running toward a wall and piling up so they can reach the upper level. Every time I see this happen in WWZ a smile appears on my face because it’s amazing to see happen in the game and to do my best to shoot as many as possible from the pile before they reach my team. Everything from that original release is here including the ability to play solo with AI teammates so if you are on the go and have no WI-FI you can still enjoy this action-packed zombie shooter.
As I mentioned in my opening there was ONE exception to the rule of my favorite 3rd party switch games of 2021. WWE Battlegrounds was released in 2020. The main reason I’m adding this game is not because it’s a great wrestling-themed brawler, but because for any WWE fan (myself included) this is the last game to include a stacked roster thanks to the absurd amount of wrestlers WWE have released. The Fiend, John Morrison, Aleister Black, Daniel Bryan, Sting, and Ruby Riot just to name a few.
A good amount of the roster in WWE 2K Battlegrounds is no longer with the company and if we look back at 2K’s NBA 2K Playground series you will notice once NBA 2k Playgrounds 2 was released Playgrounds 1 was removed from all eshops. It’s also worth mentioning the upcoming WWE 2K22 which is scheduled to release sometime in March will not be available on the Nintendo Switch. WWE 2K Battlegrounds is a fun brawler which includes a career mode alongside cage matches, singles, tag, tornado tags, royal rumble, and tournaments. There is also a create a wrestler mode as well as Multiplayer that supports cross-platform play.
Do you plan on buying any of these games over the holidays? Do you have another game you think would make the perfect gift? Let us know your thoughts below.