Nintendo has twice succeeded twice in making unconventional battle royales based off of existing games. Here are four more we’d like to see.

The battle royale genre is over-saturated to the point of parody, but there is still space between Apex Legends and Fortnite for clever ideas. Nintendo has proven that twice, with both Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35 riffing on the genre. The success of both have shown that games other than shooters can make for compelling battle royale experiences with a thoughtful gameplay concept. Games like these are also excellent incentives to pay for the otherwise underwhelming Nintendo Switch Online.

In a marketplace where PlayStation and Xbox offer more robust services (albeit at a higher price point), Nintendo’s subscription service needs every advantage it can get. On top of NES and SNES titles, Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35 are core reasons why Nintendo Switch Online is worth purchasing, so getting more unique multiplayer offerings on the service should be a top priority. As such, Tetris 99 and Mario 35 should just be the beginning of Nintendo’s foray into the genre — and many of its other franchises could provide unique gameplay opportunities as well.

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F-Zero‘s take on high-speed racing would be perfect for the battle royale genre. After all, F-Zero is as much about staying alive as it is about getting first place. Hitting the wall, crashing into other racers and other actions in existing F-Zero games take away from the player’s power. When it’s depleted, the player’s craft explodes.

This could be effortlessly applied to the battle royale format. A set number of racers zip around a track infinitely, with players slowly taking each other out with each passing lap. Perhaps the track could start to narrow and the racers’ speed could increase as the match progresses to build tension. With some clever design, this could be the revival that F-Zero fans have been waiting for.

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Converting Splatoon to the battle royale genre would likely be easiest, as it already resembles popular battle royales. As Nintendo’s main shooter, Splatoon is prime for this format, especially since the game already has a competitive edge. However, this would still be new territory for the franchise, since its multiplayer matches are currently small-scale with only four players on each team.

The battle royale genre is inherently bigger and less objective focused than Splatoon is. Because of this, the formula would need to be used in a new context. A Splatoon battle royale would retain the focus on unique features and movement, but the large scale would change the dynamic. It would still be a straightforward deathmatch to the last player standing, as per genre standards, but the way that Splatoon‘s ink mechanic allows for various combat options and strategies would translate to really fun and fresh PvP encounters unlike anything found in Fortnite or Apex Legends.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Largely, The Legend of Zelda series doesn’t make much sense in the battle royale space. However, Breath of the Wild in particular could be incredibly interesting in this context. By leaning into the freedom of exploration and survival elements of the game, a Zelda battle royale could really stand out from its competition.

Breath of the Wild‘s Hyrule and its systems — especially its physics engine — are full of multiplayer potential. There could be so much creativity in terms of how players fight each other, making full use of their weapons, runes and the environment itself. Plus, there are lots of ways that Breath of the Wild‘s lore could be integrated, such as Ganon’s Blight corrupting the edges of the map, forcing players to the center.

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Star Fox

Star Fox: Assault on the GameCube is a fairly hit-or-miss experience. It has an uneven single player campaign, but an incredibly fun (albeit shallow) multiplayer suite. While it’s restricted to a handful of players, the mode mixes on-foot, third-person shooting with ground and air vehicle combat. This sort of combined arms gameplay could make for a compelling Star Fox battle royale.

Much like F-Zero, Star Fox needs a new identity, and leaning into the series’ history of excellent local multiplayer could help it find that. With more nuanced mechanics and better controls than Star Fox: Assault, a Star Fox battle royale could be the series’ saving grace. Integrating land-to-air gameplay into the context of this genre with an emphasis on Arwing dogfighting could be incredibly special.

While it’s easy to view battle royales as an overrated industry fad, it’s a multiplayer structure that offers a continually tense and engaging experience. And though the genre is currently oversaturated with games that are, at their core, fairly similar, Nintendo’s strength has always been its ability to think differently. That has paid off twice in this space already. These four concepts could all be Nintendo’s third battle royale hit, and they could even help revive some dormant franchises in the process.

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