Whether you're a seasoned Pokémon veteran, a newbie, or someone who's been out of the game since the days of Red and Blue, odds are that you're well aware that Pokémon is one of the biggest franchises on the planet. Unless you've been living under a rock for two decades, you'll have seen these weird and wonderful battling creatures in every toy shop, gaming store, and claw-machine you've ever cast your eyes on.


However, it was the video game world that spawned Pokémon and, rightfully so, that's where the franchise unveils the new pocket monsters. Also, we would argue that the games carry the heart of the franchise, despite the beloved anime series.

The series is still going strong today, with two huge releases coming out just this year. Nintendo is Pokémon's home, and the contemporary console is home to so many games it's hard to keep track of. In fact, there are so many Pokémon games on the Switch, you could probably only play this particular franchise and still have a decent year of gaming.

If you're a Switch owner who fancies diving into the realm of Pokémon but doesn't know where to start, keep reading this article. We're going to rank the Pokémon games on the Switch from worst to best, so you'll get a decent idea of which is worthy of your time. If you've already played most of them, see if you agree!

11. Pokémon Quest

While the blocky animation of Pokémon Quest is unique and cool, the gameplay isn't quite as riveting as you'd hope. It's a bit of a grind fest, in which sacrificing Pokémon is required to gain exp and evolve (we don't have the heart for that!).

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Like social media, it's very addictive but not all that fun. The microtransactions are tempting at times (never a good thing) because you can easily get impatient building the right team. But it looks adorable. If you want a tactical puzzling game to lose a few hours to, you could find one with a far worse aesthetic than Pokémon Quest.

Looking to buy this one? Good news! You can download Pokémon Quest for free from the Nintendo eShop.

10. Pokémon Café ReMix

This one is a little different, in that it isn't a game about training and battling Pokémon but a more family friendly puzzler. Pokémon Café ReMix is an adorable game for the whole family to casually dip into whenever. The setting is a café (if you hadn't guessed), where a variety of Pokémon work together in various mini-games like mixing drinks.

Weak points are the micro-transactions and the fact that it's touch-screen only. But the artwork is lovely and the addictive puzzles are pretty rewarding!

Download Pokémon Café ReMix, free on Nintendo eShop.

9. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

Like Pokémon Quest, the biggest selling point of this 2020 release is its art style. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a remake of the DS games Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team – the crossover between Pokémon and the roguelike Mystery Dungeon series.

The painterly style is beautiful, but the gameplay is pretty repetitive and the dungeons uninspired. You're not getting much more here than in the 2005 original.

Buy Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX from Amazon (£39.95).

8. Pokémon Unite

Pokémon's foray into the MOBA genre wasn't quite as exciting as Pokémon-loving DOTA or League of Legends players would have hoped it to be. One could call it MOBA-lite, with a similar format to the aforementioned games but dialled down a little. Perhaps this is due to the Pokémon theme (aimed at younger ones).

However, it's free-to-play, and not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Download Pokémon Unite, free from Nintendo eShop.

7. Pokken Tournament DX

This port from the WiiU is just as weird and unusual as it was in 2015. Developed fittingly by Bandai Namco, this fighter borrows heavily from Tekken but, well, replace Paul Phoenix and Heihachi with your favourite Pokémon.

It was only a matter of time before a Pokémon fighting sim was released, because we're sure there are plenty of fans of the franchise that don't have the patience for turn-based combat. You can have fun with this one, but the gimmick wears off after a bit. It's not as good as actually playing Tekken.

Buy Pokken Tournament DX from Amazon (£39.99).

6. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

This one is more than fresh in our memories because it's still an ongoing news story — you can read our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet review, if you like. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is one of the most controversial releases, due to its glitchy gameplay and lacklustre graphics. There's no excuse for either; previous Pokémon games played just fine, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 shows how beautiful open-world games can look on the Switch.

All issues are clearly a case of too much game, not enough time for the developers. Despite everything, it's ambition is admirable and if you can ignore all the technical issues, there is magic to be found here.

Buy Pokémon Scarlet and Violet from Amazon (£41.99).

5. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Another remake of a DS game from the noughties, but we think this one's more successful than Mystery Dungeon. To some, this remake of 2006's Diamond and Pearl was a little too faithful – in that it didn't do anything new – but we think of it as a fitting homage.

It reminds us how how simple Pokémon used to be, and we hope it goes back to these humble basics with future releases. We know how being too ambitious can be with the release of Scarlet and Violet.

Buy Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl from Amazon (£49.99).

4. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!

We understand that remakes are a good business model, the sheer amount of Pokémon remakes on the Switch is a bit much. Thankfully, Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! hold up pretty well.

This is probably because the game they're based on dates back from 1999 (Pokémon Yellow) so the update is ultimately a different game. Like Yellow did all those years ago, it ties in the game world and anime world perfectly.

Buy Pokémon: Let's Go from Amazon (£49.99).

3. New Pokémon Snap

This sequel to the iconic 1999 rail-snapper is an absolute must for budding photographers (or indeed pros who don't mind games based on their vocation). New Pokémon Snap much like the original, but this time set in the Lental region with later generations of Pokémon ready to be snapped up.

For a lot of us, taking pictures of cute creatures is far nicer than battling them. And with acres gorgeous scenery, a huge cast of creatures, and the ability to view them at different times of day, New Pokémon Snap is the ideal game with which to unwind.

Buy New Pokémon Snap from Amazon (£49.99).

2. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Set in the Hisui region, based on the island of Hokkaido, in Japan's Muromachi period, Acreus gave the franchise exactly what it needed – a breath of fresh air. As we saw with Scarlet and Violet, fortune doesn't always favour the bold, but with Acreus that old phrase rings true.

Set in a historical period with entirely new mechanics, it's only thanks to the badly rendered world that this title doesn't grab the top spot. Read our Pokémon Legends: Arceus review for more!

Buy Pokémon Legends: Arceus from Amazon (£49.99).

1. Pokémon Sword and Shield

The first in the mainline series to be released on a home console, not handheld, also happens to be one of the strongest in the entire franchise – never mind just on the Switch. Previous activities deemed tedious were streamlined for this release, and even though cutting previous Pokémon proved controversial, Sword and Shield were extremely well received by critics.

Gamers in the UK will recognise the Galar region as influenced by our own little island, and we just love the steampunk setting. Released back in 2019, Sword and Shield still holds up.

But Pokémon Sword and Shield from Amazon (£49.99).

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