A handful of awesome games have already released this year (Splatoon, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.), but there is a whole lot more to come! We have compiled a list of 30 highly anticipated  games that are releasing (for the most part) this year. Please keep in mind that these games are listed in no particular order. Without further ado, the 30 most exciting Nintendo games of 2015, and beyond.


1. Lifespeed (3DS)

If you’re a fan on fast-paced, unrelenting racers like F-Zero and Wipeout, then Lifespeed is the game for you. I got the opportunity to play Lifespeed at E3 and.. well.. It’s awesome! It’s an indie game, but screams AAA! The presentation is top notch as you jet your way through various types of tracks. You can pick up items and blast your way through enemy racers. You can also “Do a barrel-roll!” – This high-speed racer should not ‘fly’ under your radar. (Sidenote: Lifespeed is a New 3DS exclusive, due to the hardware and performance capabilities)


2. Fire Emblem: Fates (3DS)

The previous title in the series Fire Emblem: Awakening, was planned to be the last in the franchise due to sales not hitting expectations. However, Awakening was a worldwide commercial success, prompting Nintendo to greenlight a new entry. From what we have seen, the game looks to be ramping up the action. Fire Emblem: Fates (also known as Fire Emblem: If in Japan) has been a wild success in Japan as it’s already available there — until it’s out in the US, I’ll just be sitting here… playing Awakening.


3. Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)

From what we’ve seen of Xenoblade Chronicles X it looks incredible to say the least. The story is intriguing, the combat and RPG elements are easier to understand than ever before, all while appearing to have even more depth than before. It is visually stunning and the composer is promising. Best of all, it uses the same style of basic gameplay and exploration as its predecessor. Xenoblade Chronicles X will finally be in our hands on April 29th of this year.


4. The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

Sadly, Nintendo hasn’t spoken much about their next console Zelda title in quite some time. However, last time we saw the game it was shaping up nicely. This Zelda game features a larger open-world than any previous title in the series. New bow & arrow shooting mechanics were introduced, along with the return horseback sword fighting. The graphics meld together the cell-shaded art style of Wind Waker, with a pinch of maturity similar on Twilight Princess; Ultimately a visual style most similar to Skyward Sword.


5. Star Fox: Zero (Wii U)

Star Fox: Zero offers fun GamePad action that allows for a different camera angle than what you see on the TV, giving the game a “cock-pit” view. Several vehicles, such as the ‘Landmaster’, are also featured in the title. We’re still waiting for more info on the game to surface; Star Fox: Zero will be one of Nintendo’s games for the Holiday season of this year.


6. Hyrule Warriors Legends (3DS)

Hyrule Warriors released last year on the Wii U, and we here at Nintendo Enthusiast quite enjoyed it! Nintendo recently announced the game will be coming to the 3DS with more content and characters than ever. Tetra from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker makes her first appearance along with more fan favorites. I expect Nintendo will announce more characters in the near future.

7. Yooka-Laylee (Wii U)

Yooka-Laylee hit its funding goal on Kickstarter in 45 minutes. Within little more than a day, it pulled in over 1.5 million dollars, skyrocketing through each stretch goal like it was nothing. As many great looking 3D platformers are on are the horizon, there has been a total lack of high quality 3D platformers that channel the gameplay and essence of classic platformers like Yooka-Laylee does. Yooka-Laylee releases October of next year.


8. Xeodrifter (Wii U)

Xeodrifter is a charming 2D Metroid-style game originally for the Nintendo 3DS, and it received a pretty favorable review here at Nintendo Enthusiast. During an episode of our Class vs Crass podcast, Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid was asked by our live audience about Xeodrifter coming to the Wii U, and to our surprise, he said yes!


9. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival (Wii U)

The Mario Party series has been hit or miss throughout its long history, some would say the ‘party’ died long ago. I was skeptical about amiibo Festival at first, but maybe the Animal Crossing universe could really spice up the party genre. There’s a ton of Animal Crossing throwbacks and easter eggs that could be implemented into the game. All we can hope is that the game is more than just an amiibo cash-in.


10. Yoshi’s Wooly World (Wii U)

After getting my hand on Yoshi’s Wooly World at E3, the game is gorgeous as to be expected. Most already thought that Kirby’s Epic Yarn was beautiful enough on the original Wii, but Yoshi’s Wooly World looks better, even downright amazing, on an HD screen. The art style is incredibly creative and full of charm. Visuals are just a small part of a game, though, as gameplay trumps all in the end. It fortunately is as much a blast to play as it is to look at.

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Written by Brett Medlock

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