Pokémon is one of the biggest things in the world, there’s no doubting that. Whenever a new Pokémon game comes out, it always has monster sales. Some people say it’s because there are two versions of each entry, but that’s not really the case. Pokémon Legends: Arceus sold 6.5 million copies in its release window. That’s half a million more than Pokémon Sword & Shield (yes, both together).
So, Pokémon is popular. I hear you, over there, shouting “tell us something we don’t know!” Well, ok, um, there are, like, sixty-three thousand three hundred and sixty inches in a mile. Did ya know that? Or, maybe you didn’t know what other options were out there on Switch to sate that Poké-hunger? Well, that’s what we’re here for with our list of the best games like Pokémon on Switch.
Hopefully, you find what you’re looking for here. If not, why not try another list? We have many. Perhaps the best Switch games list? Or the best Switch Metroidvanias list, for all you backtrackers? Or maybe you want to know what’s coming up this year for Switch? Lucky you, as our rundown of all the Nintendo Direct February 2022 news has everything you need.
Now, let’s get into our list of the best games like Pokémon on Nintendo Switch.
The best games like Pokémon
Shin Megami Tensei
SMT is a revered JRPG series from Atlus, the developers of Persona (which is actually a Megami Tensei spin-off). You can get both Shin Megami Tensei III and Shin Megami Tensei V on the Switch, and both are absolutely good, but SMT V is exceptional. They’re incredibly difficult RPGs, but they do involve capturing, raising, and fusing demons and using them in battle. Enslaving sentient creatures! That’s so Pokémon. (Also check out our Shin Megami Tensei V review to see why it’s so good).
Have you ever wanted to create a farm of Pokémon, except they all looked like slimes from Dragon Quest going out trick or treating? Then Slime Rancher is for you. You take on the role of Beatrix LeBeau and set out to become a rancher, raising slimes, creating plorts, and having a good time doing it. If you wanna become a pro-rancher, check out our Slime Rancher slimes guide for a helping hand.
Slime Rancher: Portable Edition Slime Rancher: Portable Edition $24.99 Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Speaking of slimes… Dragon Quest is the best JRPG series ever, probably. But it never quite blows up in the West. It’s megaton big in Japan, however. And that’s for good reason: it’s amazing! There’s a fair argument to be had that Pokémon took hefty influence (read: copied) from DQ’s monster designs, but what makes it better than Pokémon, is that you don’t capture them. You just kill them. So much nicer. Also, Dragon Quest’s turn-based combat is so perfectly tuned (and better than Pokémon) that you’re bound to have a good time.
Developed by Moi Rai games, Monster Sanctuary has you catching monsters and using them in battle. So far, so Pokémon. However, it’s also a Metroidvania, giving you platforming challenges and varied exploration. You can even use your monsters to help you traverse the world. Choose your spectral familiar at the start just like you’d choose a partner Pokémon, then head out to save the monster sanctuary. It’s a really excellent game.
Monster Sanctuary Monster Sanctuary $19.99 $6.79 Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.
Ni No Kuni
An RPG developed by the wonderful Level-5 with animation by Studio Ghibli? Sign me up. That’s what Ni No Kuni is. The second game, Revenant Kingdom, wasn’t the best (as our Ni No Kuni II review makes clear), but the first game, Wrath of the White Witch, is definitely worth a look. It came out to quite a wide range of reviews, but since its rerelease on Switch, it seems to have been reevaluated. Not only is it a gorgeous video game, but it also has a tight combat system that merges turn-based and action combat elements wonderfully. Oh, and you can tame animals and use them in battle, so, yep, that’s another game like Pokémon.
Ok, this game isn’t out on Switch yet, but it’s scheduled for this year. Also, this game is basically just Pokémon. Developed by Spanish studio Crema and published by Humble Bundle, Temtem is an MMORPG where you, a novice Temtem tamer, set out on an adventure to capture various creatures and use them in battle. So very Pokémon. But instead of being all alone, you can do it with your friends! Isn’t that nice?
Monster Hunter Stories
I love Monster Hunter. It has a unique formula (one that players get hooked on hard), combat that Dark Souls took a lot of inspiration from, and big, characterful monsters. It’s great! The mainline Monster Hunter games are the stars of the show, as you can see in our Monster Hunter Rise review, but they’re not really like Pokémon at all. Monster Hunter Stories, however, is much closer.
In these spin-off titles, the player befriends monsters, hatches them, and can ride them around and use them in battle. Much friendlier. And the sequel is even better, as our Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin review makes clear.
This is a game that is so close to Pokémon I’m surprised Nintendo’s lawyers haven’t got involved. A classic monster-catching RPG, this has the Pokémon formula sewn through every aspect. You pick a starter, go on an adventure, and fight with your monsters. It’s also really, really fun. We can help with your Nexomon starter or there’s our guide to the best Nexomon to make sure you know what you’re doing if you do pick up this game.
World of Final Fantasy
I’ll admit, I have a weird relationship with Final Fantasy. I’ve tried most of the games in the series but only managed to finish FF7. I don’t really know if I like Final Fantasy games. So, I was quite surprised when I played World of Final Fantasy Maxima on Switch and got absolutely hooked. Aimed at a younger audience, you take control of twins Lann and Reynn and set off on a chibified adventure, full of creatures called Mirages that can join you in battle and be ridden. I genuinely really like this game.
World of Final Fantasy Maxima World of Final Fantasy Maxima $39.99 Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.
The latest Pokémon game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, is excellent (as you can read in our Pokémon Legends: Arceus review). If you like Arceus, chances are you’ll like Xenoblade Chronicles. Massive, gorgeous environments, a tight and fluid battle system, and a grand, dramatic, wacky story make it one of the best RPGs available on the Switch.
If you need to capture some creatures go play Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – instead of taming cute animals, it’s sexy anime characters that are actually swords! Not weird at all! If you’re excited about the sequel, check out our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 release date guide for all the details.
That’s a handful of the best games like Pokémon on Switch. There may be others out there, but I don’t know ‘em. If you’re still on Arceus, we’ve got Pokémon Legends: Arceus mystery gift codes, Pokémon Legends: Arceus Ginkgo Guild, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus shiny guides to give you a helping hand. I mean, there’s no way you’ve finished the game already, right?