Nintendo's major upcoming third-party games, ranked

Nintendo has one of the strongest first-party lineups of any publisher and developer out there. It's no secret that the high level of quality of the company's games helps push its consoles forward. Interestingly, Nintendo has seen most of its success due to its first-party offerings and not so much on account of third-party games.

That said, Nintendo is constantly attempting to tap into that market with outside publishers and developers. That's never been more evident than now, with the Switch featuring a large collection of third-party releases, many of which were playable at this year's E3 in Los Angeles.

Here are the three biggest players in Nintendo's upcoming third-party library, ranked from best to worst.

Dead by Daylight

Behaviour Interactive's Dead by Daylight is one of my favorite multiplayer games, and the game that I feel perfectly captures the sheer terror of being in a slasher movie. Released in 2016, the game has evolved over the past three years with multiple gameplay refinements and an ever-growing roster of licensed killers such a Leatherface, Michael Myers, and most recently Ghostface of Scream fame. In addition, Ash Williams from the Evil Dead franchise was also included as an in-game survivor. Dead by Daylight isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so its addition to the Switch comes as a no-brainer.

How does it play, you ask? After diving into a full game as a survivor with other participants at the Nintendo booth at E3, I can attest to the fact that Dead by Daylight on Switch plays just as well as the other versions. Character movement is fluid and responsive, and the sound design is just as chilling as ever. Visually, Dead by Daylight has never been a graphical powerhouse, but it effectively features a gritty, grimy look that's in line with the horror genre.

Not once did I encounter performance issues while playing Dead by Daylight on Switch. The game runs great even on the smaller screen, ensuring that however you choose to play, you're guaranteed a prime horror experience. If you've yet to play the game, or if you're looking to add it to your Switch collection, watch for the game this fall.

Resident Evil 5

Speaking of survival horror, another big title coming to Nintendo later in 2019 is Resident Evil 5. I know, I know, this game is 10 years old, but it's still a decent experience, and a good extension of the formula introduced in Resident Evil 4.

Performance-wise, I didn't notice any technical issues while playing Resident Evil 5. The game feels just like it did a decade ago. The action is intense, there's a heavy sense of dread as you're being stalked by the infected, and exploring the levels is always interesting. You never know when something is going to jump out at you, so when you inevitably encounter a surprise enemy, the pressure is on. Oh, and screw that dude with the chainsaw! He'll always be terrifying!

While I didn't notice any performance problems while playing Resident Evil 5, the game's age is definitely starting to show a bit. I played the game in its entirety in 2009 and had a blast. Playing it in 2019, I'd say it's still fun — especially if you can double up with a buddy in co-op — but Resident Evil 5 certainly feels like a game that's a decade old. The control scheme is clunky and feels outdated, and though the slower pace works well within the confines of a survival horror game, character animations are sluggish and sloppy.

Despite my gripes with the game's age playing a factor, I still had fun with the demo. It's hard to justify buying the game all over again if you already have a recent copy on, say, your PlayStation 4. But if you haven't played the game since its heyday and you're looking to revisit it, you'll be glad to know it plays just like it did back in 2009, and this Switch version includes all the previously released DLC, too. So bring a friend and jump back into the sunny-yet-desolate world of Resident Evil 5.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood


I hate to start with an audible groan when discussing a game I'm very much looking forward to playing this summer, but damn. Yeah, Wolfenstein: Youngblood... it's not lookin' good. Ouch indeed.

On paper, Wolfenstein: Youngblood seems like a solid get for Nintendo. I know I was excited about it. But after going hands-on with the game's demo alongside another E3 attendee, I'm afraid to report that it did not play well at all. The FPS action was fast-paced, or at least it tried to be, because it was constantly bogged down by frame rate problems, screen tearing, and inconsistent performance. On top of that, graphically, the game just looked bad as it was missing the level of polish that's been seen in the other platform versions.

The rep on hand made it a point to mention that the particular demo I was playing was five months old, but with the game's July 26 release looming, it's hard to excuse the issues I was dealing with while playing Wolfenstein: Youngblood. If you have other means of playing this game, I'd suggest you go with one of those options. If all you've got is the Switch, though, you might be better off sitting this one out entirely.