Pokemon is a massive franchise, the biggest children’s video game series in the world. If you’re in the market for a Switch, then Pokemon is a great game to consider for one of your first titles. There are plenty of options for gameplay, story, and time commitment, whether you’re into the mainline games or one of the many spinoffs.
Since the Switch’s release, there has been a gradual increase in the number of Pokemon titles available for purchase. Many are free, but more often than not, Pokemon titles take a standard price range. So if you’re limited on how many you can pick, we have a helpful list below that ranks every Pokemon game available on the Nintendo Switch. We’re ranking them from bottom to top.
Every Pokemon Game On Nintendo Switch Ranked
11. Pokemon Cafe ReMix
Pokemon Cafe ReMix is an adorable cafe game that found its base origins in the bygone mobile game, Pokemon Shuffle. While Shuffle was a success in comparison to some other mobile Pokemon titles, Cafe ReMix takes things a step further by introducing more detailed animations, a cafe system for players to unlock and level up along with Pokemon, and an adorable coat of paint that is both simple and sugary sweet. Gameplay consists of linking icons to unlock and level up Pokemon, all while creating some beverages along the way. If you’re a fan of cute games that don’t require too much focus, Pokemon Cafe ReMix may be an adorable title for you.
10. Pokemon Quest
Idle games can be plenty of fun, which is why the free title, Pokemon Quest, is actually quite appealing to just about anyone. This cute blocky spinoff allows you to explore unusual cube-shaped islands, all while leading a party of your own block-shaped Pokemon to victory. It’s a very simple game that allows players to either directly control the Pokemon they capture, or let the game play on Auto Mode.
9. Pokemon Unite
Pokemon Unite is the first attempt we’ve seen Pokemon make into the MOBA world. It plays as you might expect, with two teams pitting against each other on a battlefield with a wide range of different Pokemon to choose from. Each Pokemon has a different role, one that grows more potent and powerful as the game goes on. Gameplay-wise, the game is somewhat sound, and the game has received some criticism for the amount of microtransactions available in the game. For a younger audience, this may not be as suitable of a title to start out with.
8. Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu!/Let’s Go Eevee!
If you are looking for some Pokemon games that are good for younger audiences, consider Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. These simplistic spinoffs of the main Pokemon games take on some mechanics from Pokemon Go, focusing on the use of Pokeballs and Berries to get the job done when it comes to creating your team. The game is modeled after the very first game in the series. So if you love Gen 1 and all the Pokemon that come with it, this delightful spinoff will be sure to please.
7. Pokemon Shining Pearl/Brilliant Diamond
Another remake that goes for the cute angle of things is Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. As a remake of the DS titles Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, these games had some big shoes to fill. While the remakes are a one-to-one remake of the originals, unfortunately, they don’t do much to add anything new or surprising. However, if you never played Pokemon Pearl or Diamond before, this game could be your chance to play those versions, but on your TV instead of in your hands.
6. Pokemon Scarlet/Violet
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are the most recent entries in the Pokemon series. Taking on a fully embraced open-world style, this was the first title that really embraced the idea. To a certain extent, it was a success. The world was connected, with a mount letting you go where you wanted to go in the region. However, one notable item that sets these games back is the glitches that pervade the landscape. Especially during the early stages of reception, both versions of the game were subject to glitches in navigation and gameplay, so much so that it was enough to taint the experience. With patches these wrongs have been righted, but that doesn’t stop history.
5. Pokken Tournament DX
As one of the most unique spinoff games in the Pokemon franchise, Pokken Tournament is a fighting game much like Tekken. While we don’t have a proper Pokemon Stadium or Colosseum for the Switch just yet, Pokken Tournament is the closest thing that resembles it. With highly detailed graphics, an easy-to-understand battle system, and multiplayer, this game is a pleasure for anyone who likes Pokemon. You don’t even have to be a fighting games enjoyer to get a kick out of it; it’s that easy to play. Another aspect that places this game so high on the list is that, for a long time during the Switch’s shelf life, Pokken was one of the most notable titles around on the console. Before Sword and Shield, before Scarlet and Violet, there was Pokken, giving something for Pokemon fans to do while they waited for the mainline titles.
4. Pokemon Sword/Shield
If you’re looking for the most standard kind of Pokemon experience, the game you need to pick up is either Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield. Unlike Pokemon Legends Arceus, this game takes place fully in the present and therefore has the traditional Gym Battles as expected in any Pokemon game. And unlike Scarlet and Violet, the customization features for your trainer are full, from head to toe. If you enjoyed open-world gameplay, Pokemon Sword and Shield has some of that as well, with the open zone being full of Pokemon to catch. While there are no Pokemon to properly mount like in Scarlet and Violet and Legends Arceus, you still get a bike for quick and convenient navigation.
3. New Pokemon Snap
If you’re a fan of Pokemon Snap from the older days of Pokemon gaming, then the New Pokemon Snap game is sure to be a great title for your list. With improved graphics, the game is a delight to play as you, a Pokemon photographer, visit the Lental region to help study up on Pokemon species, and how they interact. With each photo-taking session, players are graded based on how they photograph each Pokemon, what different interactions they find, and how well the Pokemon is reacting to their snapshots. As one of the most favorably reviewed and beloved titles on this list, Snap goes close to the top for being enjoyable, an improvement on the previous material, and for being an overall immersive experience.
2. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX is a remake of Pokemon Red Rescue Team and Pokemon Blue Rescue team, two mystery dungeon titles that were released for the GBA and DS in the early 2000s. The basic premise is that you, a human, have become a Pokemon, one destined to save the Pokemon world from an impending disaster. Being based on the far more obscure title, Shiren the Wanderer, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX continues the mystery dungeon tradition of having dungeons to explore, items to prepare, and strategies to undertake as you live and learn.
With the consequence of losing only half your items or more, in addition to all of your money when you faint in a dungeon, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX is far easier a game to play than its predecessors, separating it from Shiren the Wanderer even further. The biggest emphasis that places Mystery Dungeon so high on the list is the story. Far surpassing other Pokemon titles in terms of detail, characterization, and memorability, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX does a great job retelling the story from Red and Blue Rescue team, while also providing great gameplay and a brand new look as a remake.
1. Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Pokemon Legends Arceus is a great title to consider if you love open-world games. Aside from Pokemon Sword and Shield’s open zone gameplay, this was the first attempt we saw at the open world mechanic, especially for roaming Pokemon. In this game, players can navigate a world far set in the past, where the link between Pokemon and humans was a little less developed. Create primitive Pokeballs, explore a big world full of Pokemon, and try to catch them all as you navigate the world’s purpose of sending you back in time.
Pokemon Legends Arceus was given high praise for being a revitalization to the Pokemon series, which many fans enjoyed. However, some fans have noted that the quests can get a bit repetitive. However, the fact that the game features multiple open zones, all of which are to be compared to the size of Sword and Shield, is a definite testament to its versatility and fun factor as a Pokemon game.