Looking for the best way to combine your love of Pokémon with your love for the Nintendo Switch gaming platform? You’ve come to the right place. In this ranking, we’ve researched and reviewed the 15 best Pokémon Games for Switch to play. From traditional Pokémon themes to twists and updates on the tried-and-true formula, there’s likely a game here for you.
Let’s get started!
Best Pokémon Games for Switch
Did we catch ‘em all? Keep reading and find out. The best Pokémon games for Switch are coming up next.
Pokémon Café ReMix
- In-game purchases (includes random items)
- Free-to-start puzzle game
The first Pokémon switch game in our list is Pokémon Café ReMix. This game could be the best choice for anyone seeking a Pokémon puzzle challenge. In it, you’ll solve puzzles, gather Pokémon, and build and operate your very own café.
There are Pokémon’s Café skills to learn and utilize. We also like how each Pokémon can be outfitted in their best café clothing. Can you remember each one’s specialty and each one’s speciality for an even easier route to solving puzzles?
Fans call this update on the original Pokémon Café cute and fun, but do warn there are paid monthly events. Certain levels become too challenging to complete without some pay-to-play items, others report. The character and food designs are appealing, though.
The physics are a bit finicky, we learned. But for a puzzle game blending everything you love about Pokémon with a good deal of strategy and forethought required to win, then Pokémon Café ReMix is likely the best choice for you.
- Mild fantasy violence
- Set on Tumblecube Island
Pokémon Quest is the next Pokémon game for Switch we reviewed. It takes place on Tumblecube Island with a design something like Minecraft meets the Pokémon universe. The objective is pretty basic: gather as much loot as you can. In doing so, you’ll team up with the Pokémon cast of characters of your choice, working to attract more to your Kanto region basecamp as gameplay goes on.
Goodies you’ve gathered can be used to cook meals for you and your friends. Or instead, you can use certain items to level up your team while you sleep — then, head back out for a day’s adventuring even more powerful than before.
Power stones allow the most character customization, we learned. Fans call the simple game great, with a cycle of expeditions to gather supplies, evenings spent cooking up delicious meals with what you’ve gathered, and new friends attracted for the next day’s adventuring.
As easy as that sounds, there are challenges, others warn — so don’t let your guard down. Some call it too much of a grind-fest that requires simple luck to be successful.
- Everyone 10+
- Competitive multiplayer
- 5-on-5 team battles
Up next in our ranking of the best Pokémon Games for Switch is Pokémon Unite. In this competitive multiplayer app, players go 5-on-5 in team battles. Whoever scores the most points within the timeframe of the battle wins.
Other available features in the game like all-new unite moves, the ability to advance rank on a leaderboard, and voice chat, make Unite a great Pokémon game to play with friends. We like the selection of characters to choose from and how customizable each character is.
The game takes place in Zacian’s weald, with some UI issues and bugs reportedly fixed. There’s also Boss Rush in which you and your teammates go head-to-head with formidable boss challengers.
Fans call the game fast paced, with enjoyable battles and a broad selection of Pokémon to choose from. Bugs and lag were reported in earlier versions but those have largely been fixed, based on feedback — otherwise, get ready for fast-paced action with great animation.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!
- Connect via Pokémon GO app
- Battle and trade local and online
Like most Pokémon RPG games there are two versions of Let’s Go to choose from: Eevee! and Pikachu! The first Let’s Go game we reviewed is Eevee!. Similar in most aspects to Pikachu!, Eevee! is set in the Kanto region. In both versions of the game, transfers are possible via the Pokémon GO app.
Otherwise, you can customize and style your Eevee just how you like it. The primary differences between Eevee! and Pikachu! are in the exclusive Pokémon available. This version has Ekans, Arbok, and Vulpix, among others.
There are also a number of exclusive Eevee! partner moves, from water-type like bouncy bubble to psychic-type, Glitzy Glow, among others. As fans of the original Gameboy version of the game will remember, Eevee! was never available early on, so that’s a nice update in and of itself. Let’s Go, Eevee! fans comment this is how a remake should be done. It keeps the essence of the original and adds to it.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!
- Battle trainers, gym leaders, and team rocket
- Poké Ball Plus accessory sold separately
Be the best Pokémon trainer possible in the next Pokémon Switch game we reviewed, Let’s Go, Pikachu!. In the game you’ll face Team Rocket, and a number of other trainers and gym leaders.
Set in the Kanto region, the objective is, of course, to catch ‘em all. To do so, you can use either the Joy-Con controller or the Poké Ball Plus accessory (sold separately) — or instead, just use the button controllers on your Switch.
In Kanto, you’ll see the familiar Brock and Misty, well-known residents of the region. Be sure and look out for Jessie, James, and Meowth. We like how customizable Pikachu is in the game, and the ability to trade with other players, both local and online.
Fans call Let’s Go a must-own Switch game. Some found it a bit too easy, though, the only real objective being to collect and level-up as many Pokémon as possible. The Pokeball Plus throwing motion is a great add-on — just make sure the wrist straps are tightened!
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
- Mild cartoon violence
- Dungeon crawling format
Every dream of blending a dungeon-crawling style game with Pokémon? The next game we reviewed, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX lets you do just that. In the game, you’ll explore deep dark dungeons, with hundreds of available Pokémon by your side.
In addition to dungeon exploration, there are aspects of base-building as players gather or construct all what they and their Pokémon friends need. The battles are turn-based as players select the best Pokémon for strength and special abilities.
Play Mystery Dungeon online or offline through a password system. When you find yourself in trouble in the dungeon you’re exploring, call on other rescue teams to come to your assistance. A remake of the Pokémon mystery-style game format, Mystery Dungeon offers players the chance to see items as you enter a dungeon, unlike earlier versions.
There’s also the freedom to share experience with non-participating Pokémon, which players liked. The mechanics are overall greatly improved, we found out.
Pokkén Tournament DX
- Everyone 10+
- Fantasy violence
- New battle modes
The first Pokémon game ever for the Switch, Pokkén Tournament DX is the next game we reviewed. Different from other Pokémon games in format and structure, Tournament DX is set in the Ferrum region. Winners are crowned champions of the Ferrum league.
Players otherwise pick from one of 21 different Pokémon fighters to go head-to-head against other Pokémon in an arena setting. Entry-level players begin with Lucario. From there, three play modes are available to choose from: standard, special mode, and triple battle, where three Pokémon fight on one team.
Meanwhile, two additional fighters are available in the DLC version of the game. Overall, fighting mechanics are similar to Tekken, we found out. Also part of Tournament DX gameplay, other Pokémon can be called upon to fight on your side.
Look out for the burst attack among other new modes of fighting. Known for tight gameplay and incredible control, the game has incredible graphics and fluid motion. Some wish there was just a bit more story, though.
- Comic mischief, mild cartoon violence
- Assignable Poké jobs
The sister game to Pokémon Sword (up next in our ranking) Shield offers many of the same features, with an exclusive selection of Pokémon. In addition, there’s Gigantamax for new looks and powerful G-Max moves, only available in certain Pokémon types.
There’s also extra-strong Dynamax Pokémon to battle, and all new Galalarian forms. Exclusive Pokémon gym leaders in Shield include Allister in Ghost-type games, and Melony in ice-type gyms. Meanwhile, Shield’s exclusive rival is Avery, with a psychic-type Pokémon speciality.
Don’t miss the Shield-exclusive Gen VIII Pokémon like Appletun, female Indeedee, and Eiscue. The Rotom Bike and Corviknight Taxi service are also huge improvements over the old fast-travel system.
Familiar random Pokémon encounters are mostly gone in both Shield and Sword, replaced by visible Pokémon, similar to Let’s Go Pikachu! and Eevee!. Look out for the exclamation point indicating a hidden Pokémon to capture, per usual.
- Comic mischief, mild cartoon violence
- Up to three players local and online
Available for up to three players both local and online Pokémon Sword could be the best Pokémon game to play with friends. Set in the Galar region, you’ll play a Pokémon trainer, with one of three partner Pokémon: Grookey, Scorbunny, or Sobble.
There are two overall objectives in the game. First, solve the mystery of Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazent while you also avoid the meddlesome Team Yell. Camera control is a notable aspect of Pokémon Sword gameplay as you and your friends explore the so-called Wild Area.
Also notable in Sword are the Max Raid Battles, available in co-op mode, both online and local. Some call overall gameplay a bit short, but the game is otherwise improved over older versions.
The Wild Area in particular offers lots of room to explore, and the characters Bede and Peony are particularly fun and innovative, we found out. The loss of a national dex was a drawback for some. Otherwise, the mechanics are great with a colorful cast of characters.
New Pokémon Snap
- Save photos to personal in-game album
- Set in Lental region
Based on the 1999, Nintendo 64 version, New Pokémon Snap is the next Pokémon for Switch game we reviewed. Snap takes place on the islands that make up the Lental region, where alongside Professor Mirror you’ll research a number of Pokémon unique to the area.
The objective being, get to the bottom of what makes them glow, otherwise known as the Illumina phenomena. One cool feature of the game is the ability to save, edit, and share your own Pokémon photos.
Recent updates have included three new areas to explore, such as the Barren Badlands and the Mightywide River. Those who remember playing Pokémon Snap on the old N64 comment on how fun it is to photograph Pokémon rather than capture them.
The new version of the game improves on the original in the graphics, others add. Some call the game repetitive and question the replay value, but overall, it’s everything a Pokémon fan could want and more.
Pokémon Shining Pearl
- Version-exclusive Pokémon
- Version-exclusive legendary monsters
We turn now to Shining Pearl, a slight variation on Diamond, a sister game up next in our list, with version-exclusive Pokémon and legendary monsters.
Other key differences between Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond:
In Diamond, Team Galactic has their sights set on Dialga. In Pearl, their objective is Palkia. Other new additions include the Ramanas Park facility, with fresh legendary Pokémon to catch — among those, Lugia, exclusive to Shining Pearl.
Another notable difference between Diamond and Pearl is in the available fossils. Armor fossil, for example, is exclusive to Shining Pearl, producing Shieldon. There’s otherwise a long list of Shining Pearl exclusive Pokémon, only available via trading with other players.
Fans love the Shining Pearl artstyle, and comment shard digging for gen I through three III Pokémon is particularly fun. The underground revamp with new statues and hideaways gets good feedback.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond
- Mild cartoon violence
- Remixed music
In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, gameplay takes place in the Sinnoh region. As a player, you’ll choose from Turtwig, Chimchar, or Piplup to accompany you on your way. Your objective being to solve the mystery of Team Galactic, face the legendary Pokémon Dialga, and in doing so, become champion of the Pokémon league.
Helping you do so is the explorer kit for the Grand Underground setting, available to be played with friends both local and online.
Also notable, Brilliant Diamond has a number of new locations to explore, such as Pokémon hideaways, and super contest shows, unique to the Sinnoh region. Fans comment on the remixed music and new battle backgrounds.
There’s also a major revamp of the underground, according to reports. Othera add it just can’t compete with the original Gen IV Pokémon. The animations, sprites, and environment all looked beautiful, and some recommend eight Pokémon on your team for an added challenge.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
- Mild fantasy violence
- New regional forms
What’s notable about the next Pokémon game for Switch we reviewed, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, is the blend of action/adventure with RPG, a unique mix in the world of Pokémon. Set in the Hisui region, your base of operation will be Jubilife Village. From there, you’ll build your Pokédex — the region’s first — with Pokémon like Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott to choose from.
Also notable are the new regional forms, like the Wyrdeer, the Hisuian Growlithe, Hisuian Zorua, and Hisuian Zoroark.
Reports tell us Arceus is a refreshing update on the familiar Pokémon formula. The boss battles are satisfying and building your Pokédex matters, with three new ways to get the job done: battle, observe, or catch.
There’s a lot of freedom in the game to explore, which we liked to hear, with twists and turns to keep you interested. The Alpha Pokémon are especially eerie, we found out.
- Version-exclusive rideable legendaries
- Version-exclusive Pokémon
Though overall gameplay is much the same in the next two games we reviewed, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Violet does offer several exclusive legendaries. Meanwhile the professor in Violet is Turo rather than Sada. Other subtle color themes and design differences show up throughout. Violet exclusive Pokémon include Miraidon, Ceruledge, Eiscue, Iron Treads, and Bagon, and all of Bagon’s evolved forms.
Fans of both Pokémon Violet and Scarlet call the IX gen Pokémon and the overall environment in both games well made with strong attention to detail.
Something notable in either game is the Terastallize mechanic, allowing you to effortless move between different “tera” types — ice and fire, for example — strengthening the power of each.
- Mild fantasy violence
- In-Game Purchases, Users Interact
Set in the Paldea Region, in Pokémon Scarlet, the final game in our ranking of the best Pokémon Games for Switch, players pick from one of three stories: Victory road, Path of Legends filled with Titan Pokémon, and Starfall Street with an all-new battle feature.
Fun to explore, Paldea is otherwise filled with lakes, small towns, big cities, and tall mountains, among other environments.
For your partners from the outset, we like the three Pokémon — Sprigatito, Fuecoco, or Quaxly. Otherwise there are new and exclusive Pokémon to meet, and a number of new friends to encounter. Fans of the game call the graphics and story amazing, and the new IX gen Pokémon are especially well done, others add. Reports of some dropped frames concerned us, though.
Join the High Ground!
That’s it for our ranking of the best Pokémon Switch games — thanks for reading! Let us know your favorite Pokémon game in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more gaming news and articles.