If you’ve already completed your Pokedex in Pokemon: Sword and Shield and need something to hold you over until the next expansion, we’ve got you covered with the best games like Pokemon.
The Pokemon series has managed to stand the test of time by sticking to a set formula that involves catching, battling, and raising 800+ unique creatures.
While extra features have been added over the years, the experience is largely the same today as it was in the original Pokemon: Red and Blue – choose a starter Pokemon, set off on an adventure, and defeat an evil organization.
In this list, we will be highlighting the best video games that are similar to Pokemon in one way or another.
We have taken the liberty of providing gameplay where possible, along with information regarding the developer, publisher, and platform availability for each entry.
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Developer: Endlessfluff Games
Publisher: Humble Games
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
Fae Tactics is a strategy RPG that also shares some similarities with the popular Nintendo series. In it, you control a young mage named Peony as she ventures across a vibrant 3D pixel world meeting allies and battling enemies.
Like Pokemon, combat is turn-based and sees you summoning party members to fight on your behalf. Along with summoning allies, Peony can cast different spells top skew the odds in your favor.
Your party levels up over time and can have their abilities customized to your liking. While the selection is nowhere as large as the Pokemon games, each ally has a unique design that highlights Fae Tactics‘ gorgeous pixel art.
Developer: Vewo Interactive
Publishers: PQube Limited, Vewo Interactive
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac
On the surface, Nexomon: Extinction looks just like any other Pokemon knock-off you’d stumble upon in the app store. While we can’t quite put our finger on an exact reason, it gives off strong “predatory mobile game” vibes.
However, if you can reserve judgment long enough to buy, download, and start up the game, you’ll be rewarded with a full-on turn-based RPG that borrows the best parts of Pokemon and mixes them with some impressive new concepts, such as a catching mini-game that plays out anytime you try to befriend one of over 300 unique “Nexomon.”
Creatures fall under one of nine elemental types and can even evolve into more powerful versions when exposed to certain items. One of Nexomon: Extinction‘s greatest strengths is the level of detail in its world design, which makes exploring new biomes feel like less of an obligation and more akin to a real adventure.
Developer: Studio Aurum
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS Vita, Mac
Monster Crown falls under the same category as Nexomon but is more focused on capturing the feeling of Game Boy-era Pokemon. It features some amazing sprite-work and the animations are what you’d expect from a modern “retro” game.
Story-wise, it feels a bit like revisiting your old Pokemon haunts, only with much darker undertones. There’s an evil person you’re trying to stop, you’re battling monsters along the way but in order for them to join your party, you’ll have to convince them to make a pact.
There are also a ton of well-designed sidequests to take on and optional monster breeding that addresses all of the pitfalls in Pokemon‘s system. If you’re in the mood for an old school Pokemon game but can’t be bothered to dig up your Game Boy, check out Monster Crown instead.
Monster Hunter Stories
Developers: Capcom, Marvelous
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Android
Monster Hunter Stories plays completely different than the main series MH games and features a turn-based combat system as well as the ability to befriend monsters and hatch new ones by stealing eggs.
The game lets you name, ride, and train your monsters to become more powerful while experiencing an original story that sees you attempting to prevent a mysterious black blight from destroying the world.
If you haven’t already picked up on the Pokémon similarities, the game also features Rock-Paper-Scissors style combat mechanics, with attacks falling into one of three categories: Power, Speed, and Technique.
A nice addition is the ability to fight alongside your monsters by choosing from one of four different weapons from the MH games: the Great Sword, the Sword and Shield, the Hammer, and the Hunting Horn.
Platforms: PC, Mac
Heartbeat is a top-down RPG that takes the monster-battling concept in some interesting directions. The game runs on the RPG Maker engine and sees you playing as Eve Staccato, a “Conjurer” who comes from a small mountainside village.
In Eve’s world, humans and creatures known as Mogwai have been struggling to coexist for years, resulting in constant violence and turmoil on both sides. She quickly finds herself on a life-changing journey that will shape both the Mogwai and mankind’s futures.
The story will take you about 20 hours to complete and there are several possible endings. What we admire most about Heartbeat is how much darker and sinister the Mogwai are portrayed in comparison to Pokemon‘s ‘Saturday-morning cartoon’ approach.
Yo-Kai Watch 3
Publishers: Level 5, Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
While the Yo-Kai games have never been able to come even close to replicating the success of Pokémon, they’ve always managed to stand out for their lighthearted tone and bizarre sense of humor. Yo-Kai Watch 3 is the latest installment in the highly underrated JRPG series.
It follows the intertwined stories of returning protagonists Nathan and Hailey. At the start, you learn Nathan’s family has moved to a new city, St. Peanutsburg, while self-proclaimed nerd Hailey resides further upstate in the picturesque city of Springdale.
The great distance between the pair becomes significant in the story as you learn both characters possess special watches that let them see, befriend, and summon magical creatures called Yo-Kai.
Publishers: Atlus, Deep Silver
Persona 5 has you playing as a rebellious teenager code-named “Joker” who has some trouble adjusting to his new high school in Tokyo. Soon after his arrival, a series of strange, supernatural events begin to unfold.
As the only one who can combat these evil threats, Joker is tasked with recruiting companions to fight by his side as he juggles dungeon crawling and day-to-day life as a high school student.
There’s a great deal of freedom and flexibility when it comes to planning out your schedule. On any given day, Joker is presented with several activities to explore, such as training with allies, working a part-time job after school, or browsing for gifts to give to NPCs.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, 3DS
Dragon Quest XI is the latest entry in the long-running JRPG series. In it, you play as a young man who learns he’s the reincarnation of a legendary hero from a long ago.
Setting forth into an unknown and dangerous world to uncover the mysteries of his past, the hero enlists a team of adventurers to join him on his journey. The game presents an updated take on turn-based battling with ‘easy to learn, tough to master’ gameplay mechanics.
The main story plus a ton of sidequests and minigames will run you about 100-hours of gameplay. This should be a stroll through the park for anyone who’s spent hundreds of hours trying to fill their Pokedex in Pokemon.
There are a lot of free-to-play Pokémon MMOs out in the wild but none are as polished as PokéOne. Despite still being in open-beta, the game already features every move, ability, and gameplay mechanic from Red and Blue up until Sun and Moon.
Most interesting is the fact that the game can be played in either 2D or 3D depending on the player’s personal preference. This is a nice touch that strikes a good balance between the older spite-based Pokemon games and the current 3D incantations.
You will have to deal with some in-game microtransactions in the form of cosmetics but they’re pretty easy to avoid altogether. If you’re looking for a 1:1 Pokémon experience with a fresh coat of paint and multiplayer functionality, give PokéOne a try.
Publisher: Humble Bundle
Temtem is a monster-collecting MMORPG that makes no attempt to hide its admiration for Game Freak’s gotta-catch-em-all simulator. The game sees you embarking on a quest to become the ultimate Temtem “Tamer” by catching and battling to your heart’s content.
As you explore the six floating islands that make up Temtem’s Airborne Archipelago, you’ll encounter a variety of Temtem living peacefully with humans. There are also wild Temtem that can be caught and trained to do your bidding.
While the single-player campaign follows the Pokemon formula closely (you have to defeat eight Dojo leaders), online multiplayer is where Temtem really comes into its own, boasting a seamlessly connected world where players can battle, trade, and interact in real-time.
Publishers: Glumberland, Double Fine
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Ooblets is a refreshing take on social life sims that feels like a “greatest hits” mashup of the entire genre. You’ve got the dynamic social interactions of Animal Crossing, the farm management of Harvest Moon, and a sprinkling of Pokémon-inspired turn-based dance battles for a bit of RPG pizzazz.
The end result is a one of a kind farming sim with cute visuals and a lot of gameplay variety. You assume control over a customizable character living in a world where humans and adorable creatures known as “ooblets” coexist.
Ooblets come in all shapes and sizes and, after some convincing, will join your party and follow you around everywhere you go. Additionally, you can combine traits from different ooblets to create new species that will sprout up in your garden.