Pokemon is one of Nintendo’s flagship series, so it comes as no surprise that dozens of Pokemon games have been released for the Nintendo Switch. These include both main series games, as well as quite a few spin-offs. If you’re a fan of Pokemon yourself, there are so many choices for games to play on the Switch that you may be unsure of which ones to choose. Or, if you’re new to the franchise, you may be even more lost on what games to pick up.
In this article we’ve listed the best Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch for both long-time fans and newcomers alike. These are games that have some of the best gameplay, storylines, mechanics, and more. Nintendo Switch Pokemon games include some of the best in the franchise as a whole, so you’re sure to find something engaging to play by the end of this list!
1. Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Arceus is a main installment in the Pokemon series, but it’s actually a prequel to the entire series as a whole. The game also introduces open-world gameplay into the series, a huge step for the franchise. Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes place in the Hisui region, in a time long before partnering up with Pokemon was commonplace.
This game is not only one of the best Pokemon games, but one of the best games for the Switch console overall. The gameplay is fun and innovative, the storyline unique for the franchise, and the open-world component fits very well. There’s plenty to see and do in this game, providing hours of entertainment.
2. Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee!
For newcomers to the Pokemon series, Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! are great choices for a first game. Especially considering these games are remakes of a very early Pokemon game, Pokemon Yellow, it’s a great way to start playing. The gameplay is extremely simplified, as you only catch wild Pokemon without battling them. However, battles do still take place with trainers and gym leaders.
Although technically a remake, the time span between the games is so far removed that Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee! are essentially brand new. Long time players of the series may not initially find this installment appealing as it waters down the typical aspects of Pokemon, but nonetheless they are still great games.
3. New Pokemon Snap
The original Pokemon Snap game was released for the Nintendo 64, a fun and unique game centered on photographing Pokemon in their natural habitat. It instantly became a cult classic, so a remake was certainly in order. New Pokemon Snap builds off of the original game by adding brand new areas, missions, as well as including over 200 new Pokemon.
If you’re in the mood for a Pokemon adventure but don’t necessarily want to dive into a main series game, this is a great choice. Although it’s a simple concept, it’s very engaging and there are many hours worth of gameplay to enjoy.
4. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were one of the most popular installments in the main Pokemon series. They remain today as one of the most iconic eras of the franchise. Being quite a few years old, however, the games were due for a modern reimagining on the Nintendo Switch. All the features and aspects of the original games are included in these remakes, as well as receiving some polished, updated graphics.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is also another great choice for new Pokemon players, as it introduces one of the most popular Pokemon generations in an accessible way.
5. Pokemon Mystery Dungeons: Rescue Team DX
Yet another Pokemon game remake on the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Mystery Dungeons: Rescue Team were originally spin-off Pokemon games for the Gameboy Advance. In these games, you actually play as a Pokemon instead of a trainer, and adventure through randomly-generated dungeons to complete missions. This remake for the Nintendo Switch faithfully follows the original games, however the art style has been changed from 2D pixels to 3D watercolor-like visuals.
The gameplay for Pokemon Mystery Dungeons: Rescue Team DX is extremely addicting, and the storyline will keep you playing. Whether or not you’ve played the original games, you’re sure to enjoy this one.
6. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are the latest releases in the main Pokemon series. The games take place within the Paldea region, and introduces a whole host of new places, characters, and of course, new Pokemon. Scarlet and Violet are also open-world games, allowing you to explore the region as you see fit, a big difference from past games where the adventure was more or less linear.
Old and new fans alike will be able to enjoy this newest addition to the series. The gameplay retains the core aspects of a Pokemon game, while adding in new features, such as the Terastal mechanic which transforms Pokemon into different types. This keeps the series fresh while still maintaining the heart of Pokemon games that keeps people coming back.
7. Pokemon Sword and Shield
Pokemon Sword and Shield were the first Pokemon games to be released on the Switch. This was a landmark moment for the series, being one of the first main series Pokemon games to be released on a home console instead of a handheld. The games take place in the Galar region, which is based on the real-life United Kingdom. Many new Pokemon are introduced, as well as never before seen features such as an open-world area known as the Wild Area.
Sword and Shield received some flak from long-time players for greatly reducing the amount of older Pokemon in the in-game Pokedex. However this was done in order to keep development running smoothly. If you’re new to Pokemon or don’t mind some of your older favorites not being included in these games, then they’re definitely worth playing.
8. Pokken Tournament DX
Pokken Tournament is a spin-off Pokemon game that plays as a fighting game, pitting two Pokemon against each other in battle. The features of the game are heavily influenced by the Tekken fighting games. However, the game is focused less on technical moves as in Tekken, so it’s a good game for casual players as well.
There are 23 different Pokemon available to play as, including special versions of some Pokemon such as Pikachu Libre or Shadow Mewtwo. Some of them are available through DLC only. If you’re a fan of Pokemon and are looking for something a bit more action-packed, Pokken Tournament is the perfect choice.
Find Your Next Favorite Pokemon Game On The Switch
With all the choices for Pokemon games to play on the Nintendo Switch, it’s easy to have trouble knowing what to pick up first. However, each game can cater to different types of players, so hopefully you can find the perfect Pokemon game to start next on your Switch.
What’s your favorite Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments.