Pokemon Scarlet and Violet kicked off with Gen 9 recently. We got shot in the arm with Legends of Arceus and its Monster Hunter-esque gameplay, but the current roster of Pokemon titles on Switch is still a welcome addition.
But maybe Pokemon isn’t really your cup of tea with its slow-paced walking simulator mechanics and tedious random encounters that force you to use repel. In that case, check out 8 other Games like Pokemon. Maybe, you’ll find a new gem.
Digmon: Cyber Sleuth
Release Date: March 12, 2015
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
Digimon: Cyber Sleuth staves away from kid’s themes and takes a steep interest in mature topics, darker storytelling, and adult humor. While the overall setting is juvenile, it centers upon a mature story, unlike Pokemon.
If you’re new to the series, there’s a somewhat learning curve to raising and evolving your Digimon. Compared to Pokemon, there’s a smooth difficulty curve that’s challenging, but not to the point that you lose interest.
Collecting Digimon, turn-based battles, and gameplay are quite similar to the Pokemon franchise, but the story is rather impressive, taking a darker and edgier step than Pokemon would ever take.
Cybersleuth is by far the best Digimon game so far because it nails the basic jRPG formula really well, and doesn’t try to experiment like earlier entries in the franchise. All in all, Cyber Sleuth deserves more love.
Monster Hunter Stories
Release Date: October 8, 2016
Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo 3DS
People were always waiting for a Breath of the Wild Style Open World Pokemon experience, but most forgot that it already existed. Capcom released Monster Hunter Stories years ago, but everyone overlook this high-budget title and sales turned out to be very mediocre.
The world-building was pretty impressive for a creature-collecting and hatching game. Adorable monsters follow you around faithfully and aid you in traversal too. You get to take in beautiful vistas, grasslands, glaciers, and bustling cities full of life.
The battle system is comparable to Pokemon, but what’s different is that your character fights alongside your monsters.
All in all, it’s the open-world massive Pokemon game that players had been asking for years but unfortunately missed out on.
Release Date: August 28, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS
Monster Sanctuary sets itself apart from Pokemon in every possible realm and it exceeded my expectations tremendously. It’s basically Pokemon meets Metroidvania. While it doesn’t seem likely to work on paper, it’s executed miraculously.
Like Pokemon, you collect monsters, level them up, and fight in a party of 6. But things get different when you look at the level system and skill trees for each monster. You get to unlock different playstyles.
While Pokemon’s exploration is rather dull, the Metroidvania platforming aspect allows users to engage in loads of exploring, but there’s a considerable amount of backtracking too, which makes the exploration aspect a bit dull in the long run.
Don’t let the pixelated graphics fool you. Monster Sanctuary takes the cake in Pokemon-like games.
Release Date: January 21, 2020
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox
Although we see Temtem copying off Pokemon’s test, it certainly managed to wow us by changing up the formula for the better in most scenarios. Its battle system is challenging yet fair. Battles are mostly two vs two, so type advantages won’t go in anyone’s favor.
Although the average tamer isn’t formidable, take them too lightly and they just might end up wiping out half of your team. If you grew up with the Pokemon series, you should look out for Temtem as it freshens up the scene with a steeper challenge.
World of Final Fantasy Maxima
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Platforms: PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
A spin-off of the mainline Final Fantasy series, World of Final Fantasy Maxima has no reason to be this good. Like Pokemon, it follows a turn-based formula, which jRPGs are best known for. But where it really feels like a Pokemon game is the incredible cutesy and chibi art style. It’s certainly a breath of fresh air and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
It’s a celebration of Final Fantasy’s 30th Anniversary. It caters to fans by adding obscure characters from throughout the series, if you’re into that. The plot is pretty weak, but that’s just a personal opinion. The turn-based gameplay still holds up. Final Fantasy has changed up a lot over the years but World of Final Fantasy takes a traditional route with a slice of Pokemon-like allure in the mix.
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
Right off the bat, Nexomon: Extinction is a Pokemon Clone. It’s meant to be one. It uses the same formula while making some minor changes and improvements. The graphics are pretty charming. They have an old-school Pokemon vibe with a slightly modern touch to them.
All the Nexomon you encounter don’t feel like knock-offs per se, but they definitely take inspiration into account. Unlike Pokemon, the warp system makes traversal a breeze, something that Pokemon would largely benefit from.
Animations are pretty fluid, yet generic. Swapping Nexomon is instantaneous, another thing that Nexomon: Extinction does better. To be fair, Nexomon: Extinction encompasses a killer old-school Pokemon experience and doesn’t fall behind.
Dragon Quest V
Release Date: February 17, 2009
Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, SNES
Dragon Quest V is by far one of the best entries in the franchise and bears loads of similarities to classic Pokemon titles. Beyond the fact that both games are jRPGs, Dragon Quest V and Pokemon do many things quite alike. The creatures are all adorable and have a charming aesthetic to them. The combat is wholly menu-driven.
The game has a focus on exploration with better world-building and level design compared to Pokemon. The characterization is a bit better and the overall story doesn’t take itself too seriously. Dragon Quest features many secrets to discover and activities to partake in.
Like Pokemon, Dragon Quest prompts players with “a group of monsters draws near!” which Pokemon obviously copied. They don’t quite fit in the same realm, despite being jRPGs, but if you like Pokemon, give Dragon Quest V a try.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of The White Witch
Release Date: November 17, 2011
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows
Ni No Kuni is one of those creature games that doesn’t get talked about all that much. The Studio Ghibli-esque art style and cutscenes are top-notch. The game oozes charm through and through. The side quests and the battle system provide some well-needed fun and offer a different taste but it becomes rather mediocre in the long run in comparison to Pokemon.
The creature-capturing mechanism is pretty random. In Pokemon, you just wait it out till your enemy’s health is depleted before capturing them, but it’s downright different and unpredictable here.
World Traversal is rather slow and boring, just like Pokemon. And it can get tiring considering the repeated enemy encounters paired with the massive world. While it won’t seem like a worthwhile option to most Pokemon fans, it’s worth sticking it out till the end.
Pokemon has been a staple in gaming since the infancy of the Nintendo Gameboy System. It revolutionized jRPGs. But not much has changed over nearly two decades. GameFreak probably won’t change up Pokemon anytime soon. With that in mind, these 8 Games like Pokemon certainly offer a change in pace.