Best Pokémon-Likes On Nintendo Switch – Games To Play After You've Finished Pokémon – Nintendo Life

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The Mimikyus of video games
When they said “Pokémon! Gotta catch ’em all”, we all assumed that they meant catching all the pocket monsters. But actually, what they were talking about was catching all the Pokémon and Pokémon-like games out there — of which there are many. And now, at last, we have caught them all, and wrangled them into this very article.
If you are the kind of person who hates waiting for the next Pokémon game, even though they’re currently arriving at a rate of two or three a year, then these are the games to keep your eyes on the Poké Ball, to train up your A-mashing fingers, and to tide you over until the next Pokémon Thing and Pokémon Different Thing.
Now, let’s make like a Wailord and dive right in…
Note. Yes, we know Temtem’s out on Switch! We’re working on our review right now, and we’ll be adding it to this list in due course. If it’s up to snuff, of course.
It’s Pokémon, but: With built-in Nuzlocke modes and simpler type-matching!
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Coromon is the greatest love letter ever written. It makes no secret that it has been inspired by classic Pokémon titles, particularly those from the Game Boy Advance era. It stops just short of being a direct imitation of those games but was clearly created to cater to fans who loved those generations and have been craving more of them.

It’s Pokémon, but: It’s a visual novel!
Digimon Survive is one of the best visual novels of 2022, with plenty of heart and tension to carry you through to the final act. Fans looking for an engaging story with well-written and presented characters that deal with life-and-death situations will enjoy the ride, while players focused on the combat will probably find that the game comes up short.
It’s certainly not a traditional Poké-like, but if you want more time to hang out with your animal buddies rather than all that fighting, you’ll find it here.
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It’s Pokémon, but: With contracts!
Monster Crown is set in the wild world of Crown Island, where humans and monsters don’t so much live together in harmony as they do in begrudging acceptance. Catching monsters is as simple as offering them a pact, which they then read mid-battle and then either accept or reject based on factors like level and health. It’s also designed to look a bit like an 8-bit Game Boy Color game, if you’re into that!
It’s Pokémon, but: With more complex battles and non-linear exploration!
Nexomon: Extinction wears its influences unapologetically on its sleeve. You’re a kid who becomes a Nexomon tamer (not trainer, that’s a different word, see?), you must travel the land going from town to town while catching and training (sorry, taming) more Nexomon, and of course eventually saving the world. It’s the same idea, same formula, and even has the same battle UI. It’s a fair bit harder than Pokémon when it comes to battles, which can be both a blessing and a curse, as the difficulty spikes a fair bit. It’s ruddy gorgeous, though.
It’s Pokémon, but: It’s Digimon!
Come on, you know the deal with Digimon: They can talk, and devolve, unlike their simpler (stupider?) Pokéquivalents. Evolution is also more complicated as a result, and most battles are also 3v3 rather than 1v1.
Unlike the other Digimon game on this list, Cyber Sleuth is more like what you’d expect from a Pokémon-like, although it’s still leaning towards the “visual novel” side of things with long cutscenes of dialogue. There’s also a fair bit of grinding, but if you are a Poké-enjoyer, that won’t stop you, will it?
It’s Pokémon, but: Much better writing and visuals!
Level-5’s bewitching fairytale masterpiece of a JRPG is like a playable Studio Ghibli movie. Their trademark localisation makes the writing come to life, and the fantastic choice to use regional British accents for the characters make Ni No Kuni unlike any other game out there (except maybe Xenoblade Chronicles… and Ni No Kuni 2, obviously).
The Poké-part of Ni No Kuni is that you can catch and train Familiars, which are creatures with incredibly precise and weird names (like the “Shonky-Honker” and the “Sleepeafowl”) that range from charming to terrifying. They’ll fight on your behalf, and you can evolve–sorry, metamorphose them into more powerful beasties, too.
It’s Pokémon, but: There’s no fighting!
Ooblets, which came out recently after a long time in early access, is a quirky creature-collecting life sim set in a rundown town. But this game offers more than just creature collecting — between farming, making friends, and busting a move, players are responsible for restoring life to Badgetown and its surrounding areas through the power of the ‘Oobnet’.
Yes, the Ooblets are roughly analogous to Pokémon in that you collect them and they follow you, but matters are settled with dance battles, and your weird and wonderful menagerie can be used as farm help and companions, too. Way more useful than Pokémon ever were.
It’s Pokémon, but: With capitalism! And slimes!!
Slime Rancher: Plortable Edition is all about collecting various types of slime, not for companionship or fighting, but for sweet, sweet cash. Sort of. The slimes all, erm, excrete something called “Plorts”, which can be sold on the Plort Market for extra money, which can be used to get more slimes and build enclosures for new types, which give you different Plorts… and so on. We’re not doing it justice; it’s a blinkin’ marvellous game.
About Kate Gray
Kate Gray
Formerly of Official Nintendo Magazine, GameSpot, and Xbox UK, you can now find Kate’s writing all over the internet. She moved to Canada a few years ago, but gets tea imported from England, because she has good priorities.
Comments (44)
Arckadius
I bet they update this article when Temtem is released.
hypercoyote
"Finish Pokemon"?…..what is that?
mariomaster96
"Games To Play After You’ve Finished Pokémon"
Considering they release a new one every 10 minutes or so is that even possible?
Tyranexx
Reminder #475 that I need to dive into my Switch copies of Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth and Ni No Kuni at some point….
@mariomaster96 Depends on how one defines “finishing” each game. Though lately it seems like they release one every five minutes….
Erigen
Can’t believe you’d still recommend Digimon Survive.
I’m at chapter 11 and despite me really wanting to know how it ends. I can’t bring myself to play more in fear that I might fall asleep.
RubyCarbuncle
I’m actually playing Digimon World Next Order and Survive right now and I’ll be busy with them for quite some time. Both Nexomon games make good Pokèmon alternatives too as well as TemTem.
RubyCarbuncle
@Erigen Sounds like someone hasn’t played a visual novel before or read a book if your statement is anything to go by.
Elira
we never finish playing pokemon
Jeronan
@Arckadius Tem Tem is an okay game, but Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition is just the best of the bunch by far.
Excellent story and good gameplay. The Digimon are also quite good looking with fun and diverse evolution paths.
Arckadius
@Jeronan Oh yeah, I have played it. Its a great game.
thecricket
No Siralim on this list? They are great monster catching games! And hopefully Siralim Ultimate comes to Switch soon.
Ralizah
SMT V and Monster Hunter Stories 2 are definitely the best games on this list. And, honestly, probably my favorite monster-collecting JRPGs on the system.
iLikeUrAttitude
I can’t recommend SMT V and MHST 2 enough, they’re easily the best monster collecting games on the switch by far and blow all the pokemon games out of the water.
If you’re burnt out from pokemon or even hesitant to try out the new games play these games instead.
wuntyme8
Persona 5: It’s Pokémon, and so much more!
KayFiOS
@wuntyme8 It’s Pokémon, but with polish and a personality!
Darthroseman
Monster Sanctuary rules.
sketchturner
This is like giving me a list of games to avoid… so thank you
😜
Anti-Matter
There was another one, Yokai Watch 4.
TheBigK
Finish? No that’s not how it works, the campaign is just an obstacle to the actual meat of the game.
Kirbo100
@KayFiOS Persona 5 is Pokemon with the heart
Shadeon_Koopa
@thecricket Came here to say the exact same thing! No better place to continue my 350+ hour save file of Siralim Ultimate than on handheld.
MajinSoul
There are definitely a couple of good "Pokemon clones" available right now which is good. And while none of them managed to give me as much enjoyment as the mainline Pokemon games the increasing competition in the genre is much appreciated.
gojiguy
Surprised there’s no Monster Rancher!
Araquanid
Some of these are a stretch to call pokemon, but tbf there’s so few out there makes sense why you would.
TemTem not making this list is kinda surprising, but at the same time it isn’t, those devs really two-faced their community when it came to the online aspects.. I’ve seen quite a few cases of mod abuse from watching others. they didn’t change the game much since its playtest either, it was basically the same as the full game now except the full game now has a reddit and discord link in the loading screens and nearly doubled its price.
B_Lindz
I remember when I first played Ni No Kuni a few years back. I finished the game and had the grand realization that I would never be able to play a Pokémon game again because I had just played a game that scratched the same itch but was better in virtually every single way. Ni No Kuni is incredible and I genuinely believe it what the Pokémon series could have become in terms of storytelling, art direction, and gameplay if GameFreak hadn’t decided to make the same game over and over for the past 25 years.
Dr_Lugae
If that’s the best, no wonder Pokemon is still on top
Erigen
@RubyCarbuncle I’ve played plenty of visual novels, which is all the more reason why Digimon Survivor is so bad at it. The game convinced me that it is disguised as a visual novel when it isn’t.
The game tries to be both a visual novel and tactics game and excells at neither.
And don’t get me started on character and event continuity, which is extremely important in a visual novel.
Sora181
I’m surprised Monster Hunter Stories 2 isn’t on here. It’s one of the best RPGs I’ve played and pulled me back into the genre. It’s made with so much heart and passion along with having fantastic gameplay. I just love it so much.
Sora181
@Dr_Lugae Pokemon is at the top still because it’s the most popular. I would easily put Cyber Sleuth above 90% of Pokemon titles due to its gameplay and story
FishyS
@Sora181 monster hunter stories 2 is on this list. Did you not look at page 2? Unless the article was edited to add it in the last 20 minutes. That game is actually the only one on this list I’ve played (only the demo, but it seems like a great game and I have it wishlisted)
xjulianvel
@Arckadius TemTem was released on September 6. I’m surprised it wasn’t included in this list considering it has been featured on the site multiple times.
aznable
Shin Megami Tensei isn’t on the list because…?
The list SHOULD have read
"It’s like SMT, but: It’s pokémon!"
Waka_the_Prophet
I’ve played a few of the games on this list and—
My top recommendations:
Digimon Cyber Sleuth — Everything I wished Pokemon could be. Engaging story with real stakes and a gritty, cyberpunk setting.
Slime Rancher — Adorable. More of a first person exploration game with some Harvest Moon /Story of Seasons-like time management than anything else. I don’t really think it can be called a pokemon-like, but it’s still well worth playing.
Siralim — Ugly as sin but really addicting with deep customisation and mechanics
So-so:
MH Stories 2 — just nowhere near as good as the first with a far blander story. It didn’t make me care one bit about any of the characters whereas the first one did.
Monster Crown — A lot of good ideas and a lot of bugs and stuttering. Play it on PC, the Switch version is a mess and it’s unlikely the developer will ever fix it.
Avoid:
Nexomon Extinction— pretty graphics, terrible writing, and nothing but a grind from beginning to end. There was half the strategy of pokemon battles but 4x the amount of grinding as old-school pokemon.
Sora181
@FishyS
Hm, I didn’t see the second page. Thanks for letting me know! Also the game goes on sale fairly often, so if you see it for a good price, give it a buy!
Fizza
For how much of a Pokemon mega fan I am (this franchise has literally shaped my life), Pokemon-likes don’t usually do it for me most of the time, usually due to feeling a bit too generic compared to Pokemon’s overflowing creativity. That being said however, Coromon is one I’ve had my eyes on for a long while that I’ll probably pick up at some point in the future. It’s got both Nuzlocke rules and shinies? Sign me the hell up.
Royalblues
Someone needs to sit Disney and Jupiter in a room and tell them to bring back Spectrobes.
rockerphobia
@RubyCarbuncle as a V-Pet fan and a proud owner of the Vital Hero I can say that Next Order is fantastic.
If you are not a V-Pet fan however…get ready for a lot of poop.
RubyCarbuncle
@Erigen Fair enough but the story actually had me immersed and everyone on my Steam friend list felt the same so I’m a little confused why you feel this way but each to their own.
RubyCarbuncle
@rockerphobia Lol I don’t mind virtual pooh pooh. Wish someone would invent a portable toilet you can put in a bag for us though 🤣
rockerphobia
@RubyCarbuncle this is absolutely already a thing actually. No snark, lol legit look up the camping portable toilets. Some of them look comfy XD
MegaVel91
@Ralizah I’m the opposite. SMT V actually lost me… Namely due to the difficulty spikes later on, and the massive time lapses between story beats due to the massive areas made it hard for me to stay interested. Not even SMT IV/Apocalypse was this bad about it…
Dr_Lugae
@Sora181 Cyber Sleuth boring monochromatic “cyberspace” dungeons, unbalanced grindy gameplay with blatantly superior techs like piercing ones that could never be competitive, and either a poorly translated or poorly written story.
It’s the same DQ clone it was on Nintendo DS with a new coat of paint. Survive shows how they struggle with gameplay.
Pokemon is at the top because it has an unique compelling gameplay structure, coherent world to explore. Its gameplay systems work both as single player and multi-player. The monster designs are universally appealing.
If it was the other way round and Digimon had the better gameplay the other games in the list would be copying Cyber Slueth, Digimon Story DS or Digimon Dusk/Dawn mechanics. Even if they were pitching themselves as a Pokemon game
Sora181
@Dr_Lugae
Poor story? Were you just mashing A through all the cutscenes? Cyber Sleuth/Hackers Memory have better stories then any Pokémon game.
Pokémon is at the top because it’s popular and it was the first. It’s world design has been garbage since Gen 6 and it’s gameplay is brain dead easy.
Also I’m confused by your points. You bring up what I assume is Dragon Quest Monsters for the DS, which is different than both Digimon and Pokémon, then talk about Survive, which is a completely different genre done by a different team. Neither had anything to do with my points about Cyber Sleuths being better from a gameplay and story perspective.
DarkScythe13
I would consider Cyber Sleuths combat more ‘pokemon-like’ than Digimon Survive. But that said, Survive has a very good story and I actually prefer that side of it even over Cyber Sleuth. Combat-wise I prefer CS though.
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