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. So, Pokémon is popular. I hear you, over there, shouting “tell us something we don’t know!” Maybe you didn’t know what options were out there for games like Pokémon on Switch to sate that Poké-hunger? Well, that’s what we’re here for with our list of the best games like Pokémon.
Hopefully, you find what you’re looking for here. If not, why not try another list? We have many. Perhaps the best party games list? Or the best Switch Metroidvanias list, for all you backtrackers? Or maybe you want to know our thoughts on the Persona Switch games, so check out our Persona 4 Switch review or our Persona 3 Switch review.
Now, let’s get into our list of the best games like Pokémon on Nintendo Switch.
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.
We’re desperately hoping that Slime Rancher 2 makes it to the Nintendo Switch as we want to know the rest of Beatrix’s story. If you fancy playing it on PC, our sister site PCGamesN has a great guide to the Slime Rancher 2 slimes. Oh, and if you hadn’t heard, there’s a Slime Rancher movie in the works.
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 with a beautiful art style.
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 re-evaluated. 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.
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?
If you want a more in-depth look at Temtem’s terrific gameplay, head over to our Temtem review. We’ve also got guides to the Temtem starters and a Temtem tier list to give you a leg up in battle.
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 that 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.
The time-traveling 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. Or, you can check out our Pokédex guide to meet all 1,008 Pokémon.