With Nintendo Switch, the Japanese game publisher has opened their horizons to many new experiences. Third-party support has never been this strong before. We've seen countless ports of major third-party games. Even franchises that have never been on Nintendo before make an appearance, say Sniper Elite or Diablo.
The Super Mario-maker has even gone so far as to allow third-party studios to create brand new games in beloved franchises like Super Mario and Legend of Zelda.
These collaborations have resulted in some very unique and refreshing renditions for the respective IPs, especially when paired with a third-party formula or franchise.
Check out some innovative first and third-party crossover games on Nintendo Switch
5) Fire Emblem Warriors
After the success of Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U, Nintendo and Koei Tecmo teamed up to give another first-party franchise, the Warriors/Musou treatment. Cue Fire Emblem Warriors in 2017, which brought real-time action combat to the iconic strategy RPG fantasy series.
Detailing a fresh new adventure in the Fire Emblem universe, the royal twins of Aytolis must gather Gleamstones and power up the Shield of Flames to prevent the rise of the evil Chaos Dragon Velezark.
Characters from several Fire Emblem games make an appearance. These include Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening, Camilla from Fire Emblem Fates, and Tiki from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
The gameplay is standard Musou fare but incorporates the series' iconic Weapon Triangles system into the mix for strategy. Speaking of which, players can also give tactical commands to NPC allies.
The upcoming successor Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes takes after the Fire Emblem: Three Houses game released on Nintendo Switch in 2019. It is set to be a more ambitious game with even more opportunities for tactical playstyles - all the while improving on the hack & slash gameplay of Fire Emblem Warriors.
4) Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
Originally announced as project SMT x FE for the Wii U, it took a surprising end turn. Fans expected a tactical union of ATLUS' supernatural-themed JRPG series Shin Megami Tensei (or SMT) and Nintendo's Fire Emblem (or FE) series of strategy RPGs.
But the final product was more in line with SMT featuring Fire Emblem characters. Called Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (with the # pronounced like the word "sharp"), this quirky Wii U JRPG from ATLUS and Intelligent Systems is set in modern-day Tokyo.
Under the guise of a talent agency, members of Fortuna Entertainment summon friendly beings called Mirages to protect humanity and fight against other evil Mirages from another dimension.
Visually, it's an onslaught of vivid colors and lights as the game is themed around J-pop idols and electro-pop music - a controversial topic for fans of both series. The gameplay takes cues from SMT with its turn-based, party-based combat and magic spells and FE's Weapon Triangle system.
However, it has its tricks up its sleeve, like the Session queue system, where party members follow up with attacks depending on exploited weaknesses. The game was ported to Switch in 2020 with the Encore label.
This enhanced version featured new story content, all previous DLC, as well as new costumes based on Persona 5 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
3) Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
The third released Warriors game for Nintendo Switch, Age of Calamity, follows in the footsteps of 2017's acclaimed action-adventure from the Japanese publisher.
Set 100 years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (or BOTW), this prequel takes Link, Zelda, and the Champions must prevent the rise of Calamity Ganon and his evil forces.
It even borrows the visual style of BOTW to a tee but maintains the gameplay from Hyrule Warriors. Players control different characters, including the Champions and the Divine Beasts too. The latter are large-scale battles, perfect for the horde-mowing gameplay that the series is known for.
It goes a step further and incorporates many of BOTW's elements like the Sheikah Slate and its abilities, weapons, and cooking. Fans looking forward to the upcoming sequel to BOTW should not miss this one.
2) Cadence of Hyrule
Who would've thought Nintendo would let an indie developer work on a game featuring their sacred franchises? This time, none other than The Legend of Zelda.
Brace Yourself Games released Cadence of Hyrule in 2019 for Nintendo's portable console. It is a literal crossover as the protagonist Cadence from the studios' rhythm-roguelike dungeon crawler Crypt of the Necrodancer finds herself in Hyrule.
Awakening the Legend of Zelda series' Link and Zelda from slumber set by the antagonist Octavo, the trio must team up and put an end to Ganon once again. While the setting, enemies, and basic elements take after the earlier 2D Zelda games, the gameplay is borrowed from Crypt of the Necrodancer.
This is essentially a Zelda rhythm game, where the player, as well as enemies, move with the tempo of the beat. Players must conquer dungeons filled with familiar foes and explore the world teeming with secrets. For fans of either game, this is worth checking out.
1) Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Ubisoft's iconic Rayman franchise is pretty popular on Nintendo systems, which have also received exclusive entries in the platformer the franchise. However, it came as a surprise when Nintendo announced that they would be partnering with the Assassin's Creed developer on a brand new crossover game.
One featuring their most beloved franchise: Super Mario. Supervised by series creator Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle brings Rayman's Rabbids into the Mushroom Kingdom.
While the initial reception was poor due to the inclusion of the Minion-esque Rabbids, the game blew away expectations on launch. Running on The Division's Snowdrop Engine, the game powers Pixar-like visuals with XCOM-style turned-based strategy gameplay.
Players will command popular Mario characters like Mario and Luigi as well as Rabbid's renditions of beloved Mario characters like Rabbid Peach. They will fight their way across tactical encounters with corrupted Rabbids with an arsenal of unique weapons and abilities, with a mysterious robot called Beep-0 on the command line.
It is also getting a sequel in the future with Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. It is scheduled for release sometime in 2022.