The Best Pokémon Nintendo Switch Games, Ranked

The Nintendo Switch offers a library of Pokemon titles, but which ones should fans prioritize when embarking on a new journey?

Image via Nintendo

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The Nintendo Switch is home to a good number of Pokemon titles, thanks to its long life as a Nintendo handheld device. Because of this, players have their work cut out for them when picking a new title to play, and they may be wondering which is the best Pokemon Nintendo Switch game.

The mainline Pokemon games on Nintendo Switch are in a strange place, as some of them have been condemned by fans and critics alike, yet they’re among the best-selling titles in the series. This is likely helped by the incredible popularity of the Nintendo Switch, giving The Pokemon Company a solid platform for new titles, which will sell well on name value alone, regardless of the quality of the product.

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5. Pokken Tournament DX

Pokken Tournament DX might be one of the most underrated games on the Nintendo Switch. How could a fighting game made by Tekken staff with familiar Pokemon and unique gameplay not set the world on fire? Do Nintendo fans only have enough room for Super Smash Bros. to fill the fighting game-shaped hole in their hearts?

Regardless, Pokken Tournament DX is an excellent fighting game, with a stacked roster of unique Pokemon fighters and support characters that help shake up your strategic options when battling. There is a ton of single-player content, with a lengthy story/tournament mode to finish, but the real meat of the game is in its multiplayer, as it’s a fantastic competitive fighting game, with its 2D/3D gimmick doing something that feels unique for the genre.

4. New Pokemon Snap

New Pokemon Snap arrives on Nintendo Switch this April
Image via Nintendo

Pokemon Snap fans had to wait long for a new entry in the series, even sitting patiently through the Wii U generation, which would have been a perfect system for another Pokemon photography game.

The Nintendo Switch finally delivered, as New Pokemon Snap offered the next-gen update that fans have wanted for years. Not only is the game gorgeous, but it has way more content than its predecessor and offers many ways to edit photos. The fact that New Pokemon Snap exists in the era of social media means that fans can also share their creations with the world, giving an incentive to take amazing photos.

The quality visuals of New Pokemon Snap can’t be understated, with the Pokemon and stages looking incredible. They offer a visage of what a true next-gen Pokemon experience could look like but are still likely years away from becoming a reality.

3. Pokemon: Let’s Go! Pikachu! & Let’s Go! Eevee!

Let's GO Pikachu Official Art
Image via The Pokemon Company/Gamefreak

Pokemon Red & Blue have already been remade on the Game Boy Advance, so Gen 1 was set when it came to being reenvisioned. Surprisingly, The Pokemon Company opted to remake Pokemon Yellow while adding elements from Pokemon Go into its creative systems.

The Pokemon Let’s Go games are the ideal entry point for the series for new players (especially kids) and lapsed fans who haven’t touched the franchise since the days of Gen 1 and 2. While they’re among the easier Pokemon games (especially when playing co-op), they still have the same underlying systems as the other mainline Pokemon, giving new players an introduction to the battle system. There are some tough post-game challenges for players to seek.

The ability to return to Kanto in the modern era might be the biggest selling point of the Let’s Go games, as it provides a great retro rush for longtime fans. The integration of Pokemon Go elements when encountering wild Pokemon is also a fantastic touch, considering how that game reignited many fans’ love for the franchise.

2. Pokemon Sword & Shield

Screenshot via The Official Pokémon YouTube channel

Pokemon Sword & Shield were dogged by controversies at launch due to the games not featuring all of the Pokemon from previous entries, as well as complaints about the visuals and performance of the game. Little did fans know that Pokemon Scarlet & Violet would make the Galar region seem like Ghost of Tsushima by comparison.

Gen 8 has its issues, but the games were really good, providing the framework for the first tentative steps into an open-world experience for the series, with the Wild Area standing out as something new for the franchise. It helps that the Galar region introduced memorable new characters, Pokemon, and forms, with some of the best town designs in the series’ history.

1. Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Image via The Pokemon Company

Pokemon Legends: Arceus gave fans something they’ve been asking for: a prequel. Little did they know that The Pokemon Company would be sending them back into ancient times, as Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes players back to the olden days of the Sinnoh region, back when it was called the Hisui region.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus follows up on the open-world Pokemon promise that the Gen 9 games failed to deliver. While not quite as pretty as Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Hisui region is still gorgeous to look at, and exploring it is an absolute blast, as players must use stealth and cunning to capture wild Pokemon.

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The gameplay in Pokemon Legends: Arceus combines the most fun aspects of Pokemon Go and Pokemon Sword & Shield, providing a whole new experience for fans. Exploring the Hisui region feels like a true adventure, which is a feeling that is sometimes absent from modern video games.