Monster-catching games have captivated gamers for decades. While Pokémon reigns supreme, there are dozens of other titles that offer unique and engaging experiences within the genre.
We’ve listed the 15 best Pokémon-like games below.
15 Best games like Pokémon
15 – NeoPets (1999)
Neopets is a beloved virtual pet website that has been around for over two decades. It’s still going strong after all these years because it’s still so fun to keep your pets alive and balling. You can collect pets for yourself and your pets (and their pets). You get to feed, groom, and play with their Neopets, building a strong bond with them.
If you’ve never played, you’re missing out. It’s definitely worth at least trying out.
14 – Bakugan: Battle Brawlers (2009)
Bakugan: Battle Brawlers follows the adventures of Dan Kuso and his friends as they battle with their Bakugan partners.
Like Pokémon, Bakugan features a world filled with creatures that players can collect and train. However, instead of capturing Bakugan in Poké Balls, players in Bakugan must first summon them from BakuCores. Yes, it’s essentially a Pokémon rip-off. However, the game’s battle system is a blend of turn-based and real-time elements. Whether you watched Bakugan or not, you’ll enjoy this take on the game.
13 – Spectrobes (2007)
Spectrobes is an older game that’s a captivating blend of genres, from monster-collecting to action RP to, exploration that immerses players in a vibrant and engaging world. The Spectrobes are its monsters; each feels unique and loveable. Its exhilarating battle system allows you to control Spectrobes to perform thrilling combos and strategize like a military commander.
The game’s real-time battles and excavation mechanics give players a way to interact with the monsters in ways even Pokémon never has. Its unique Spectrobe creatures are revived from fossils and offer a refreshing twist on the concept.
12 – Fossil Fighters (2009)
Dinosaurs are back and you can collect and train them in Fossil Fighters. Instead of capturing Pokémon in Poké Balls, players in Fossil Fighters must first find and excavate fossils to revive these ancient creatures, known as Vivosaurs, which can be fused to create even stronger fighters.
Fossil Fighters recently underwent a bit of a revival after YouTuber Jaiden Animations dubbed it “The most underrated game ever.”
11 – Yokai Watch 3 (2019)
Yo-kai Watch 3 is a bit different than Pokémon but the formula is the same. The world of Yo-kai Watch 3 is filled with spirits that players can befriend and form bonds with. The spirits, known as Yo-kai, can be used in battle, and each has its unique abilities. It’s Pokemon with ghosts, essentially.
10 – Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu (1999)
I played Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu as a kid, and I believe this game would dominate today if it were to be remade. The world is inspired by Japanese mythology, where the player forms pacts with Monsters with their magic flute…thing. This pact is formed by combining the player’s spirit with the monster’s, creating a unique bond between the two.
You can merge monsters to fight alongside them as you become the hero of your village.
9 – World of Final Fantasy Maxima (2018)
World of Final Fantasy Maxima is a blend of classic Final Fantasy elements and monster-catching gameplay that offers a charming and engaging experience.
Like Pokémon, World of Final Fantasy Maxima features a world filled with chibi creatures that players can capture and train. These creatures, known as Mirages, can be stacked on top of each other to form powerful towers. A much-appreciated twist to the traditional monster-battling formula.
While the game’s battle system is also more strategic than Pokémon’s, World of Final Fantasy Maxima’s adorable chibi art style will enchant you through the end of its fascinating story.
8 – Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth (2015)
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth takes place in the world of Digimon. The lore of the universe is incredibly hard to explain, and this story doesn’t do much to help. However, it is incredibly intriguing and fans of the Digimon shows will like it.
The game’s story is set in a world where the digital world and the real world are intertwined. Players take on the role of a hacker who must investigate a series of mysterious events that are taking place in both worlds.
The digital world is filled with Digimon that players can collect and train. Once a Digimon is befriended, it can be trained and used in battle.
Related: 16 Best Pokemon spin-offs, ranked
7 – Monster Sanctuary (2019)
Monster Sanctuary is like a monster-catching RPG mixed with a Metroidvania. Monster Sanctuary features a world filled with creatures that players can capture, train, and battle. However, Monster Sanctuary’s monsters are not limited to battling. They can also be used to solve puzzles and explore the game’s world.
Metroidvania elements add a sense of exploration and discovery, as players must use their monsters’ abilities to overcome obstacles and reach new areas. Monster Sanctuary’s battle system is also more complex than Pokémon’s. Players can build teams of up to six monsters, and each monster has its own unique abilities. The game’s type system is also more complex, with each monster having multiple types.
It’s definitely worth trying if you’re tired of the old Pokémon formula.
6 – Dragon Quest Monsters (2023)
Dragon Quest Monsters features a world filled with creatures that players can capture and train. These creatures, known as monsters, can be found in the wild, recruited from other tamers, or bred from existing monsters.
The game’s battle system is turn-based, with players selecting commands for their monsters to execute. It may seem pretty basic, but the story and characters are really what makes this game shine. The game’s world is full of secrets to discover, you’ll encounter a variety of challenges along the way.
5 – Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin (2021)
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin features a world filled with creatures that players can befriend. These creatures, known as Monsties, can be ridden, fought alongside, and even used to travel.
The game’s battle system is a unique blend of turn-based and real-time elements. It also has a story that is as good as other Monster Hunter games. You will definitely grow to love your Monsties in a really earnest way.
4 – Ooblets (2020)
Ooblets is a blend of life simulation and a monster-catching RPG. Like Pokémon, Ooblets features a world filled with adorable creatures that players can collect. The big difference is that instead of battling, Ooblets engage in dance-offs, making it a bit friendlier than Pokémon.
In addition to collecting Ooblets, players can also farm, decorate their homes, and mingle with townsfolk. The game’s laid-back atmosphere and focus on community-building make it a perfect choice for players looking for a relaxing experience. This is Pokémon for anyone who isn’t interested in making their pets fight for money.
3 – Monster Crown (2021)
Monster Crown is a lot like early Pokémon games but with a twist. Monster Crown’s monsters are not as cutesy as their Pokémon counterparts. Instead, they are often inspired by mythical and legendary creatures, giving the game a darker and more mature tone.
Monster Crown’s battle system is also more complex than Pokémon’s. In addition to traditional attacks, players can also use items and abilities to gain an advantage in battle. The game’s breeding system is also incredibly deep, allowing players to create truly unique and powerful monsters.
2 – Temtem (2022)
Temtem is doing a great job of giving Pokémon a run for its money. It’s a monster-catching MMO that captures the essence of Pokémon while adding plenty of fresh ideas.
The core gameplay is what you expect: explore a vibrant world, capture and train Temtem, and battle other tamers. However, the game takes it a step further. For example, all Temtem have stamina, which is consumed when using techniques. This forces players to carefully consider their moves and avoid overexerting their Temtem.
Temtem also features a unique dual-battle system. In each battle, players control two Temtem at once and can swap between them at any time. This adds a new layer of complexity to the combat, as players must carefully manage the positioning and abilities of their Temtem.
There is also a huge world that is fun to navigate. It’s like taking Pokémon to a new region but not being restricted to the same overdone themes the series has. It’s definitely worth trying if you haven’t.
1 – Coromon (2022)
Coromon looks a lot like Pokemon but offers a modern spin on it’s tried and true formula. Its world is teeming with unique Coromon to discover, each with its own distinct abilities and designs. The battle system is what you’d expect, turn-based and Pokémon-inspired. Like Pokémon, Coromon features a compelling narrative that drives players forward on their journey.
Coromon is a must-play for any fan of monster-catching RPGs. It captures the essence of what makes Pokémon so beloved, while also offering its own unique innovations. If you’re looking for a new Pokémon adventure, try out Coromon.
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