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Top 10 Best Games Like Pokemon For the Nintendo Switch

Best Nintendo Switch games like Pokemon
Image Source: Level-5, Bandai Namco, and VEWO Interactive

Top 10 Best Games Like Pokemon For the Nintendo Switch

When you want to keep catching em’ all, these games will fill the void.

Pokemon is undoubtedly one of Nintendo’s most popular game franchises, as well as one of the best games to pick up and play on the Nintendo Switch. However, many Pokefans have already completed every Pokemon title the Switch offers and now long to fill the monster-catching void in their hearts. If you’re looking for great alternatives to play, look no further. In no particular order, here are the 10 best games like Pokemon for the Nintendo Switch.

Digmon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition

Digimon Story Complete Edition
Image Source: Bandai Namco

If there’s a franchise that comes as close as possible to being a direct rival for Pokemon, then Digimon will come to mind for many. One of the best Pokemon-like games up for grabs on the Nintendo Switch happens to be none other than a Digimon title, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition. This game is a bundle pack containing Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth and the sequel, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory.

These titles contain an RPG-styled story set within a digital world inhabited by digital creatures called Digimon. Like Pokemon, players will be able to tame Digimon and build their own teams and Digivolve their companions into stronger species. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth also features a turn-based combat system that will be familiar to Pokemon players yet different enough to inspire a new intrigue toward battles.

With 340 Digimon available to catch or create, this Digimon Story bundle pack is an excellent option for Pokefans looking for a monster-catching game with a familiar presence and easy-to-learn mechanics. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the Digimon franchise, there are many unique little critters you can meet and learn about as you go.

Nexomon Extinction

Nexomon Extinction
Image Source: VEWO Interactive

Nexomon Extinction is the second game in the Nexomon series and the sequel to the original title. While both games are enjoyable, Extinction edges the original, as the latter was initially designed for mobile devices and therefore feels a lot more simplistic. However, Nexomon Extinction kicks things up a notch and fixes many flaws. While both games are available on the Nintendo Switch, playing the first game isn’t required before Extinction. Doing so will only give you more context about some story elements and some enjoyment through easter eggs and returning characters.

Nexomon Extinction features a chibi-styled top-down overworld, which will remind Pokefans of the GBC-DS era of Pokemon games. Similarly to Pokemon, Nexomon Extinction also features wild Nexomon, which will appear from patches of long grass (or sometimes other terrains), and enemy tamers that will challenge you to battles. Nexomon’s battle and leveling systems also appear to be directly inspired by Pokemon, featuring simple turn-based combat and evolutions triggered by your Nexomon hitting a specific level.

If you miss the charm that the old top-down style Pokemon games have, then Nexomon Extinction is a perfect choice. Nexomon Extinction has taken the familiarity of these retro Pokemon titles and enhanced the experience for a modern-day-styled game, including eye-catching lighting and scenery, amusing dialogue, unique characters, and fascinating creatures. There’s even a quest system to entertain you when you get bored of catching and battling all day and night.

I was pleasantly surprised with the enjoyment I found in Nexomon. While the game may be more simplistic and straightforward compared to modern-day Pokemon titles, I found this stripped-back approach refreshing and relaxing. So, if you’re looking for something that fits these criteria, Nexomon Extinction should be at the top of your list.

Monster Sanctuary

Monster Sanctuary
Image Source: Moi Rai Games

Monster Sanctuary is a monster-taming and collecting game with Metroidvania-like exploration. While Monstery Sanctuary is a monster-collecting game at heart, just like Pokemon, it differs significantly in gameplay and story. However, there are a few minor resemblances to Pokemon that make Monster Sanctuary an excellent choice for franchise fans who want to try something different.

While the Pokemon games have moved into the 3D visual style, they were once known for their endearing pixel art style back on older Nintendo systems. Monster Sanctuary is a game that respects pixel art, sharing a vague resemblance to some of the Pokemon spin-off titles, such as Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon Conquest.

In Monster Sanctuary, the most familiar aspect for Pokemon fans will undoubtedly be the battles. In Monster Sanctuary, you fight enemy creatures and wild species by commanding your monsters in turn-based combat with a three-on-three layout, provided you have enough monsters in your party. 3V3 makes the combat surprisingly fun and would be well suited to the Pokemon players who enjoy battles outside the standard format, such as doubles, triples, and rotation.

While Pokemon games until Scarlet & Violet have been pretty linear in exploration, Monster Sanctuary’s Metroidvania-like, side-scrolling platformer exploration brings a new sense of fun that fits perfectly into the monster-catching genre. Not only can you discover and battle new monsters while exploring, but you can also level up your monsters and unlock new abilities through a unique skill-tree system, and then use the skills of your monsters to unlock secret areas and hidden passages in true explorer fashion.

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX
Image Source: Tecmo

Surprisingly, plenty of old retro titles still stand strong today, especially within the monster-catching genre. Many players still enjoy the likes of Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Colosseum regularly. Some even have high hopes that they may one day be ported over to Nintendo Switch or launched on a Virtual Console within the eShop. While these old Pokemon titles are yet to make their way over to the Switch anytime soon, Monster Rancher 1 & 2 has successfully made the jump and is ready to fill the nostalgic void in your heart.

If you can get past the dated graphics, there’s much to enjoy from Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX, especially if you’re a fan of discovering and playing games from years ago. As the title of the game suggests, Monster Rancher is a life-sim RPG adventure that will have you aiming to raise and befriend quirky and bizarre little creatures and using them to go head-to-head against opponents in battle.

Focusing mainly on the raising aspect of the creatures, the monsters you own will be capable of reacting negatively, becoming injured, or even running away, depending on how you treat them. There are also many different options to explore for developing your monster’s skills through work, such as hunting, guarding, logging, building, and more.

Some monster designs are terrifying, but this is part of the game’s appeal for me. It’s a lot of fun to see the strange little specimen that would never make it into the world of Pokemon. Both games even share a yellow mascot, but while Pikachu is an adorable little electric squirrel, Suezo has the unsettling appearance of a giant, sentient cyclops eye, giving an indicator of the creatures you can expect to find. If you want to play a classic monster-catcher from the ’90s on Switch, this Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX bundle could be the perfect solution.


Image Source: TRAGSoft

Don’t let the adorable little splash image artwork fool you! While Coromon takes a lot of inspiration from Pokemon, it tends to follow in a different direction than modern 3D Pokemon games. Instead, it brings an amusing and entertaining 2D pixel world that more closely resembles the old Pokemon many longtime fans grew up playing.

Art is a massive part of what makes Coromon so special. Every creature has animated sprites, which makes them feel more lively in battle. Unlike old Pokemon games that feature the classic circle of terrain and plain background in battle, Coromon features full landscapes and environmental backdrops for you to admire and immerse yourself in and some phenomenal music that sets the scene in every location you explore.

The creature design is very similar to the types of monsters you’d find inside a Pokemon game, with a brilliant mix of adorable, powerful, and intriguing beings to discover. Alongside the familiar monster design, Coromon also features puzzles similar to those found within Pokemon Gyms. However, these puzzles are much more elevated and entertaining to navigate, including obstacles such as flying darts and traps to avoid as you work your way through a dungeon.

There’s so much to love about Coromon, with the game taking everyone’s favorite elements of the pixel Pokemon generations and putting its unique spin on them to create something truly magnificent. The backdrops are beautiful, the characters are adorable, and the variety of creatures makes me want to catch them all, which excites me in a way that only Pokemon games have been capable of pulling off.

There are even “shinies” in Potent and Perfect Coromon, which all look fantastic (no puke-colored Nidoqueen here!), plus a brilliant exploration system, allowing you to revisit areas, unlock hidden secrets and pathways, and discover new items. Trust me, Pokemon fans, Coromon is the one.

Yo-Kai Watch

Yo-Kai Watch
Image Source: Level-5

Yo-Kai Watch had previously made a name for itself on the Nintendo 3DS as one of the best monster-catching games on the system, other than Pokemon. Luckily, for both fans who enjoyed the game on 3DS or newbies looking to jump into the Yo-Kai Watch franchise for the first time, Yo-Kai Watch 1 is available on the Nintendo Switch, bringing back the story of Nate, and his zany new friend, Whisper.

Yo-Kai Watch features some unique and exciting monster designs based on Yokai, a class of supernatural entities in Japanese folklore. In the image above, Nate’s orange cat pal, Jibanyan, for example, was created from the spirit of a house cat that passed away. This brings a unique charm to the series that helps draw you into the story and lore of each Yo-kai.

Yo-Kai-Watch also has an enjoyable combat system which features interactive attacks, meaning you’ll be button-mashing, swiping, tilting, and performing other actions on your Switch to get your Yo-Kai to use their abilities. There are also plenty of fun quests and charming areas to explore on your Yo-Kai Watch adventure, making this franchise one of the best monster-catchers alongside Pokemon in terms of the Nintendo Switch.

Unfortunately, Yo-Kai Watch has only been released on the Nintendo Switch in Japanese. You can still purchase and play the game outside of Japan, but non-Japanese speakers may need a fan translation walkthrough to help them navigate the story and quest instructions. If this is no big deal to you, you should check out the franchise and see if the first title, Yo-Kai Watch 1, or the most recent title, Yo-Kai Watch 4, strikes your fancy.

Monster Crown

Monster Crown
Image Source: Studio Aurum

Does anyone else miss the good old days of Pokemon on the Gameboy? If so, Monster Crown is the game for you. Immediately at first glance, the resemblance to the 90’s Pokemon art style and design influences are clear as day, bringing nostalgic appeal and intrigue to the game. That yellow creature looks like some awesome Nidoking and Beedrill fusion, and I had no idea I needed that absolute beast until now.

Monster Crown features a beautiful pixel art style with the same appearance and characteristics as the Generation 1 and 2 Pokemon sprites, with creatures containing limited color palettes and a clunky (but delightful) animation style. Monster Crown also dives into a much darker and more mysterious storyline than the child-friendly Pokemon titles on Switch, another appeal point for trainers looking to embark on a much darker and grittier adventure.

Monster Crown is a new iteration of the old Pokemon games everyone cherishes and adores while doing its own thing, creating a fascinating concept for any Pokefan to experience. There are many elements to admire, such as turn-based combat, a simplistic yet beautiful pixel world to explore, and a Gym Leader mechanic with Chief Tamers.

Monster Harvest

Monster Harvest
Image Source: Merge Games

If you’re a fan of Pokemon and Stardew Valley, Monster Harvest may be the game of your dreams, bringing these two genres together to create a brand-new experience. Monster Harvest sets the scene with gorgeous, simplistic top-down-styled pixel art similar to Stardew Valley. However, while Stardew Valley operates solely as a farming sim RPG, Monster Harvest expands on this by adding Pokemon-like creatures named Planimals.

In Monster Harvest, your objectives are to grow your farm, upgrade your facilities, and mutate your crops with Slime, which will cause them to transform into Planimals that you can capture, raise, and use to aid yourself in combat. These creatures will also follow you around Planimal Point as you complete your day-to-day chores, and some of them you can even use as a fast and dangerously fashionable means of transport.

The Planimals have some hilariously bad names, but that makes them much more lovable and adds to the quirky appeal of the game. After all, who wouldn’t want a rad little hedgehog monster called (and I kid you not)… Radhog?

Like Pokemon, Monster Harvest uses a turn-based combat system featuring your pixel companions, with each creature having a selection of moves. There’s an FP (Fight Points) bar alongside the HP bar, which you can expend to cast more powerful moves. Monster Harvest’s combat is a welcome distraction for when farming feels like the bane of your existence, and the combination of both fills a strange but welcoming niche in both the farming sim and monster-catching genres.


Image Source: Crema

Temtem is one of the most recent additions to the monster-catching genre on Nintendo Switch and has received high praise for including a lot of mechanics that many Pokemon fans had always wanted but were still waiting to receive until Scarlet & Violet. Don’t be mistaken, though, as Temtem stands tall and proud on its own two feet without needing to lean on other franchise names, offering a gameplay experience that any monster-catching fun will enjoy.

The most significant appeal to Temtem is easily the game’s online co-op and multiplayer abilities, allowing Tamers to team up with their friends in an MMORPG-styled world. It takes the basics of Pokemon, such as catching, trading, battling, and evolving monsters, and elevates these to new levels. In Temtem, not only can you fight against your friends, but you can also team up with them to battle other NPCs or real players and work your way through the story together.

There’s just something so special about being able to adventure through a world and watch others running around completing missions and catching Temtem of their own. It brings a real sense of liveliness and energy to the games that Pokemon hasn’t quite been able to achieve in the limited online and co-op functions the games have contained (though Scarlet & Violet finally took a step in the right direction).

There are endless ways to explore and navigate the world of Temtem, including ridable monsters, grapples, wall climbing, fishing, and vehicles. If you’re lucky, you may stumble across one of the mythical Temtem or a rare Luma (shiny) to add to your party. If you’re looking for a game to fill the void of Pokemon, Temtem is a must-try for the sheer enjoyment and fun gameplay experience it brings to the screen. Plus, you can try it out with friends or a family member and work through the story together, making the experience more fun and memorable.

Digimon World: Next Order

Digimon World Next Order
Image Source: Bandai Namco

The Digimon franchise makes another appearance on our list with Digimon World: Next Order, another great filler option for Pokemaniacs. The Digimon World game series has been around for several years and was known as the go-to choice for a Pokemon-like alternative on the PS1. Digimon World has made quite a name for itself as a hidden gem for Digmon fans and monster-catching enthusiasts, so it naturally seems like a strong contender for the lost Pokefan’s next direction.

In Digimon World, you can team up with your partner Digimon to explore, solve mysterious puzzles, engage in battle with wild Digimon, retrieve dropped items and ingredients from defeated enemies, and unlock a variety of Tamer Skills that provide valuable benefits and boosts. These aspects are similar to the gameplay found in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, so if you’re looking for a game that’s easy to pick up following your adventure in Galar, Digimon World: Next Order should be your next choice.

Although the game offers several mechanics that will feel familiar to those who have played Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, Digimon World: Next Order’s battle system operates in slight contrast. While it’s still turn-based, there’s much more to consider than in Pokemon games, such as having HP and MP to track, support options, a battle tactics menu, and Order Power. While this may sound intimidating initially, they are fun to learn as you play and provide the perfect challenge for a Pokemon fan who loves strategizing their way to victory.

That’s it for the 10 best games like Pokemon for the Nintendo Switch. For more guides, lists, and news, check out the rest of our content here at Twinfinite. We have a variety of Pokemon topics to keep every trainer entertained, so feel free to scroll down and have a look at our related links below.

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