Pokémon has continued to thrill children and adults for more than 25 years, and that hasn't changed one bit on the Nintendo Switch. In fact, the handheld/console hybrid has received a dozen video games for the catch 'em all creature so far, providing plenty of choices.


From remakes and remasters to new entries and the first-ever open-world Pokémon game, the Switch has a treasure trove of wonderful adventures. On top of everything else, Nintendo has brought back four classic Pokémon games to Nintendo Switch Online for subscribers to enjoy at any time.

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With so much choice and now upwards of 1,000 Pokémon to catch, there are naturally some high and low moments for the JRPG series. No matter if you're looking to spend hours exploring, catching and training Pokémon, want to fight in a 3D fighting arena or fancy some photography of Pokémon in the wild, the Switch has you covered.

Taking this all into account, we've rounded up all 12 Pokémon games on Nintendo Switch and ranked them from worst to best. Head below to find out what game has earned the title of being the very best, like no game on Switch ever was.

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12. Pokémon Quest

pokemon 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!).

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.

Download Pokémon Quest free on Nintendo eShop.

11. Pokémon Café ReMix

Cafe 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

10. Detective Pikachu Returns

Detective Pikachu Returns

An unlikely sequel to an unlikely 2016 3DS game about a crime-solving, coffee-drinking, talking Pikachu that somehow got the live-action film treatment instead of any other Pokémon IP. Once again, Pikachu and Tim Goodman are detectives in Ryme City - investing the case of Detective Pikachu's missing partner Harry Goodman, who just so happens to be Tim's dad.

Detective Pikachu Returns received mixed reviews when it launched in late 2023. Some critics and fans alike praised it for its unique crime-solving gameplay and appreciated its quirkiness, while others felt it was too easy and shallow.

Buy Detective Pikachu Returns from Amazon

9. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

Mystery Dungeon

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 are uninspired. You're not getting much more here than in the 2005 original.

Buy Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX on Amazon

8. Pokémon Unite

Pokemon 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 on Nintendo eShop

7. Pokken Tournament DX

Pokken Tournament2

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

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

6. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

This one is more than fresh in our memories because it's still an ongoing news story thanks to its new DLC — you can read our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet review here. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet was a bit of a controversial release, 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, its ambition is admirable and if you can ignore all the technical issues, there is magic to be found here.

Buy Pokémon Scarlet and Violet on Amazon

5. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Brilliant Diamond

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 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 on Amazon

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

Let's Go

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 on Amazon

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 on Amazon

2. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon Legends

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 on Amazon

1. Pokémon Sword and Shield

pokemon 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.

Those in the UK will recognise the Galar region as influenced by the 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

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