Next Level Games was founded in August of 2002. Their first project was the multi-platform NHL Hitz Pro which was published by Midway Games. Their next release was Super Mario Strikers, a well-received Mario-themed soccer game for the Gamecube, followed by a Wii sequel in 2007 called Mario Strikers Charged. Later that same year, they released their next multi-platform title, the PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and Wii versions of Spider-Man: Friend or Foe for Activision, which was released to largely mediocre reviews. Their next collaboration with Nintendo was a new entry in the classic Punch-Out!!-series which was much better received and also a commercial success with 1.14 million copies sold. This was followed up by another Activision collaboration for Captain America: Super Soldier on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to mediocre reception.
It was announced during a Nintendo developer roundtable at E3 2011 that Next Level was working on a new Luigi's Mansion game for Nintendo 3DS, releasing in 2013 as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon in North America and Luigi's Mansion 2 in the rest of the world. The game would go on to become a massive success for the company, selling over 6 million copies.
In 2014, Next Level Games announced that they have entered into an agreement with Nintendo to exclusively develop games for their platforms from now on, further solidifying their close partnership on the heels of Luigi's Mansion 2's success. Their next game would be a cooperative multiplayer entry in the Metroid Prime-series, also for Nintendo 3DS. Metroid Prime: Federation Force released in 2016 and was largely rejected by fans hoping for news on a more traditional single-player Metroid entry, despite being in-line with NLG's quality standards. For their return to home console development, Next Level Games returned to its most successful title and released Luigi's Mansion 3 in 2019, even surpassing it with 8 million copies sold.
On January 5 2021, Nintendo announced its acquisition of Next Level Games, going into effect on March 1st, 2021.
Next Level Games has a good reputation as an employer; in 2008, they were named one of Canada's "Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada.