Later this month, the Nintendo Switch’s game line-up is going to get even better, thanks to the releases of 2K Games gems BioShock: The Collection, Borderlands Legendary Collection, and XCOM 2 Collection. You might be familiar with 2K as a sports game publisher, but the company is so much more than that. In its portfolio is a diverse lineup of games — some that are trapped on older hardware.
What better way for them to get a second life than to be re-released (and possibly remastered) for the Nintendo Switch? Considering the platform has sold extremely well, it’s clear that porting older games to it can be a smart business move, as well as a way to gauge interest in a possible followup. Just look at the success of DOOM (2016), The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and L.A. Noire — all games that got an extra boost in sales due to their re-releases on Nintendo Switch. In this list, we’ll go through another handful of 2K-published games that should most definitely get a second life on the handheld hybrid.
Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (often shortened to CivRev) was more proof that turn-based strategy games can work on consoles, if optimized for those platforms. It ditched a lot of the nuance of the PC Civilization games, in favor of a digestible and simplified user experience, specifically made for consoles. In some ways, it’s treated as a gateway game to the bigger, fully-fledged Civilization titles on PC. While some long-time fans consider its simplification a downside, others find it welcoming, especially those who have never played games like this before. It’s a game that would feel at home on Switch — with a beautiful, vibrant art style that’s easy for newcomers to take in. The Switch is no stranger to the series, as Civilization VI released for the platform last year. With that in mind, it’s not outlandish to wish for CivRev to appear on the Switch, as well.
The Darkness 1 + 2
Often forgotten about, The Darkness is a game series that was — in some ways — ahead of its time. You play as Jackie Estacado, who has been gifted with The Darkness powers and must use them to take down members of the Italian mob. These powers give Jackie the ability to summon creatures known as Darklings, which serve as snake-like creatures that can be used to perform long-ranged attacks. Players also make use of an arsenal of firearms, which compliments the Darkling attacks in a fun way. Tying everything together is a beautifully stylized art style that compliments the intense action-packed gameplay. You don’t often see crime stories blended with supernatural elements like this, but it works surprisingly well. In the sequel, almost everything is amplified, from its visual style, to even the implementation of a cooperative campaign. Both games released on PS3 and Xbox 360, but have not yet been revisited, sadly. It’s unlikely we’ll see another game in the series any time soon, but crazier things have happened.
2K has been teasing a Mafia Trilogy for PS4, PC, and Xbox One and promises to go into more detail later. However, there’s no word on whether there are plans to bring the games to Switch, which is an absolute crime. The most recent entry, 2016’s Mafia III might be a stretch to port to the platform, due to its graphical fidelity, but the first two games would be much easier to handle since they’re from the previous generation. These games are sometimes compared to the Grand Theft Auto series, but with emphasis on mafia crime families, typically set during older time periods. Mafia III was praised for the way it handled the late 1960’s race issues during the Vietnam War, which is not something we typically see covered in video games. Much like many of the games on this list, the chances of getting a Switch port are low, but not impossible.
Tales from the Borderlands
Categorizing Tales from the Borderlands as a 2K game gets muddy since its original publisher, Telltale Games, doesn’t exist anymore. However, the Borderlands series has always been closely tied to the 2K brand, which served as its publisher for the three mainline entries. The official Gearbox website currently lists 2K as Tales from the Borderlands‘ publisher.
If Tales from the Borderlands could find its way to Nintendo Switch, it would be a huge win for the system. Arguably Telltale’s best game, Tales from the Borderlands features the humor and beloved characters from the Borderlands series and combines the choice-driven gameplay the developer is best known for. Many of Telltale’s catalog of games are on Nintendo Switch already, making the lack of this critically acclaimed entry stick out like a sore thumb. A version of Telltale reemerged recently, but with many of its core team members gone, it’s hardly the same company.
Spec Ops: The Line
Some consider Spec Ops: The Line the most underrated game of the PS3/Xbox 360 generation. On the surface, it appears like just another military third-person shooter. But beneath that is a story that challenges the way you think of war, forcing you to question the morality of your decisions. Media often depicts war as a fun, action-packed time, but Spec Ops turns that idea on its head. It’s a topic that still gets ignored today, even considering all the storytelling advancements the medium has made in the past decade. Along with its impressive narrative is a game that feels great to play. Unfortunately, the game never met 2K’s financial expectations, so the chances of seeing Spec Ops appear again on Nintendo Switch might be slim. But perhaps porting it to the platform could give it the extra attention it desperately deserves.
We may never see these games on updated hardware, much less the Nintendo Switch. But at least we can look forward to playing BioShock, XCOM 2, and Borderlands when they release for the system on May 29th.