Everyone knows that renowned games company Nintendo marches to the beat of its own drum. Like for example, announcing a major digital event only 24 hours before it goes to air. Packed with announcements of upcoming Nintendo Switch games, the September 2023 Nintendo Direct showcased plenty to look forward to.
There was a mix of old and new, with some classic franchises getting fresh looks, while we also saw some unique Japanese RPGs take the limelight. Here are the biggest announcements from the September 2023 Nintendo Direct you should keep an eye on.
Nintendo Direct September 2023 highlights
GameCube classic Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door gets a remake
Although the GameCube was far from Nintendo’s best-selling console, the mid-2000s device had no shortage of brilliant games. One of them was Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, a sequel to the Nintendo 64 RPG set in a papercraft version of the Mushroom Kingdom.
It’s now coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2024 with updated high-definition graphics. Honestly, you wouldn’t need to change much for a new audience – it’s a game that holds up incredibly well.
Princess Peach: Showtime! gives royalty her time to shine
Princess Peach usually plays a supporting role to Mario on his many different adventures. That changes with Princess Peach: Showtime!, the heroine’s first solo outing since Super Princess Peach on the Nintendo DS.
Here, she takes to the stage (literally) in a theatre-inspired setting, donning various costumes along with themed abilities. Martial artist and swordfighter are just some of Princess Peach’s new personas, adding a fair amount of razzle dazzle to a character who’s far too often relegated to the sidelines.
Princess Peach: Showtime! releases on Nintendo Switch on 22 March 2023.
Lara Croft returns with a remastered Tomb Raider collection
One of the original adventure game stars, Lara Croft saw a surprise return during the September 2023 Nintendo Direct. Due out next year, Tomb Raider I-III Remastered updates the original three games for Nintendo Switch.
One of the cool things many modern remasters of classic games offer is the ability to swap between the original graphics and the updated visuals. Not only does it let you see how far visual technology has progressed, but it still gives you an authentic retro experience too.
F-Zero makes a comeback: in battle royale form
Nintendo’s high-powered sci-fi racing game hasn’t seen a lot of love in recent years. One of the surprises during the Direct was the reveal of F-Zero 99, an online multiplayer version of the Super Nintendo game.
Using the popular battle royale format, F-Zero 99 sees you take on 99 other players until it’s the last one standing. While it’s not a brand-new game in the series as such, it’s a cool concept. My main concern is that Nintendo won’t support it for long, given how quickly it abandoned Super Mario Bros. 35, another online battle royale game it attempted. Similar games like Pac-Man 99 have also seen limited shelf lives.
The good news is that F-Zero 99 is out now for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
Indie sensation Dave the Diver swims onto Switch
Dave the Diver is one of 2023’s best games. An indie game that launched on PC earlier in the year, it combines a compelling mix of deep sea exploration and sushi restaurant management. Unassuming in nature, Dave the Diver’s satisfying mix of gameplay systems tickles the brain in a way few other games do.
Best of all? It’s out next month, on 26 October 2023, so we don’t have to wait long.
Mario and Donkey Kong’s feud continues with Game Boy Advance remake
Inspired by the original Donkey Kong arcade game, Mario vs. Donkey Kong returns to Nintendo Switch as another classic game remade for the HD era. A blend of puzzle and action gameplay, the remake also includes local co-op multiplayer so you can play alongside a friend.
Mario Vs. Donkey Kong launches next year on 16 February 2024, making it a pretty packed upcoming schedule.
Unicorn Overlord is a flashy JRPG made by a brilliant studio
Bizarre name aside, Unicorn Overlord is arguably my most-anticipated game from the September 2023 Nintendo Direct. It’s made by Vanillaware, the studio most recently known for its incredible story-rich mech strategy title 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim.
This time around, Vanillaware moves from mind-bending sci-fi to a fantasy setting. It looks gorgeous and appears to continue the studio’s history of games that have both style and substance. It’s out on Nintendo Switch on 8 March 2024.