Nintendo has had some amazing success as of late, and while 2018 showed brought the likes of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it’s hard to argue the stellar year that was 2017. These 12 months not only introduced the greatest console in Nintendo history, the Nintendo Switch, but also brought games that would change industry. However, 2017 may have some competition this year as 2019 has a roster of games that could take the Nintendo crown. Which will reign supreme? Well, that’s what we intend to determine with this analysis of 2017 vs. 2019. Yes, 2019 has barely started, but we feel we know enough to have a good discussion and comparison. this year could end up a flop, but for now, it seems that 2019 has the makings of the new Nintendo king. With that said, lets get started.
The Current Champion: 2017
Let’s get one thing out of the way: 2017 will go down in history as one of Nintendo’s greatest years in gaming. While another future year could prove to be even better, there’s no denying that 2017 was defining for the company and the industry in general. To start, 2017 brought the Nintendo Switch. This handheld-home console hybrid, while deemed skeptical at first, took the gaming world by storm.
People instantly fell in love with the system, even though its launch line-up was average overall (with one clear exception). Some games include Super Bomberman R and Snipperclips. Both fun games in their own right, but nothing that rose the bar. Then there was the game that people still talk about after two years: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. To say this game was successful would be an understatement. It changed the definition of both a Zelda game and open-world games. Not to mention Breath of the Wild won Game of the Year. That has to count for something.
Moving on, Nintendo continued to bring in some heavy hitters with games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Arms. One is a port that sold better than the original, and the other a new IP that did pretty well compared to some other games. While not as spectacular as Breath of the Wild, both managed to push Nintendo further on the success wave. The rest of the summer saw Splatoon 2 and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, which both elevated their respected franchises. Fast forward to October, and we see the one game that could compete with Breath of the Wild: Super Mario Odyssey. The newest installment in the Mario franchise took 3D platformers to new heights. The unique narrative, creative capture mechanic, and gorgeous level design only touch the surface of what made this game great. Needless to say, 2017 was good for Nintendo.
The Challenger: 2019
2017 left a mark for Nintendo, but 2019 has the makings of something great as well. When looking at the list of upcoming games, its hard to argue against the great talent seen here. First up, we have Yoshi’s Crafted World coming this March. While it doesn’t make defying moves like previous games, this one seems to bring a fun and interesting take on 2.5D platformers. The ability to flip entire levels will surely add some entertainment to an adorable-looking game.
While the rest of the list doesn’t have definitive release dates, it won’t change the fact that these games have some weight to them. Take Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Animal Crossing for example. Both of these titles come from pristine franchises, so its only expected that the excitement is high. The high visual quality of the Switch alone will put these titles on a high pedestal. We also have games like Pokemon and Luigi’s Mansion 3, which will both see the long-awaited jump to a home console. Not to mention, both games will likely round out the end of 2019 and provide a substantial push for Nintendo.
Now we move on to the games that could release this year, but also could not. While these titles have good chances of releasing later, their inclusion in 2019 could push the year over the edge. The first that comes to mind is Metroid Prime 4. This game essentially broke the Nintendo community at E3 2017. Fans have waited years for a new entry in the series, so having it release in 2019 would surely sell systems. There’s also games like Pikmin 4 and Bayonetta 3; games that fans really want but are unsure of when they’ll receive them. Including just one of these titles would earn 2019 some major points, so imagine all of them. Yes, this is unlikely, but we can imagine.
Who’s the Winner (For Now)?
Both 2017 and 2019 have seen and will see great things for Nintendo. One has brought legendary entries while the other sets to include a slew of powerhouses. When all is said and done, however, we have to give it to 2017. Yes, 2019 has a lot of games, but none of them seem to be as genre-defining as the games from 2017. both Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey changed the structure of what it meant to be and adventure game and platformer respectively.
While some 2019 games like Pokemon and Metroid Prime 4 have promise to make some alterations to each’s own formula, we don’t see them making as big of an impact. As we’ve stated earlier, 2019 has just begun. We won’t know the exact outcome until the end of the year, so 2019 still has a chance. Who knows, maybe we’ll come back to this topic later this year.
Which do you think will be Nintendo’s top year? Let us know in the comments below! For more content, check out our articles on 3 Questions We Want Answered in Kingdom Hearts III and Smash Bros Director says Decidueye Could have Been in Smash Bros Ultimate. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things gaming!