Debating about the best Pokemon game for the Switch is a topic that will take days.
Pokemon games are part of many gamers’ childhood; people can’t help but have a soft spot for the series for nostalgia alone. Pokemon games usually follow a simple formula in their gameplay structure, and it’s the same story beats in every game.
However, after the release of the Nintendo Switch, the Pokemon series got a plethora of remakes of its previous obscure games. The developers also flexed their creative muscles to make new entries that took the franchise in bold directions.
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Today, we list every Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch from worst to best.
Let’s get started!
10. Pokemon Cafe ReMix
Starting off our list of every Pokemon game ranked on the Switch is Pokemon Cafe ReMix. By far the weakest entry in the Pokemon games, and with good reason. Imagine a Pokemon game without anything that resembles or comes close to it, from gameplay, story, or even free-roam.
Why Is Pokemon Cafe ReMix The Worst Pokemon Game On Switch?
No pokemon fighting, no open environments to explore, no story of a Pokemon trainer’s journey, no strategic gameplay, and a Mobile game on top is the recipe for disaster that is Pokemon Cafe ReMix.
The game is a blatant cash-grab and nothing else, cashing in on the Pokemon franchise. On the plus side, the game has a casual pace and a nice relaxing vibe; the aesthetics aren’t bad. You run a cafe with a Pokemon theme, and that’s it; no high stakes or grand journeys.
You don’t or instead can’t make your Pokemon stronger; hell, you can’t even go outside. There are no exotic locations and caverns to get lost in or treasures to stumble across.
Pokemon Cafe ReMix is the least favorite Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch.
9. New Pokemon Snap
Moving on to another radically different approach to Pokemon games on the Switch, we present New Pokemon Snap. The game is iconic for shaking up the formula.
Someone at the creative studio put their love of photography front and center in a Pokemon game, and it worked out well.
If you enjoy beautiful environments and taking pictures of Pokemon in their natural habitat without disturbing them, you’ll enjoy New Pokemon Snap. On the other hand, if you like the traditional approach to a Pokemon game to remain intact (Like us!), you’ll feel disappointed with New Pokemon Snap.
The story has an exciting hook about investigating the origin of the luminescent Pokemon in the Lental Region islands. The gameplay is solid for a photography game but not enough for a Pokemon game.
Why Is New Pokemon Snap Ranked Low In Our List Of Pokemon Games On Switch?
Critics love new things, and for the most part, we do as well, but Pokemon Snap hasn’t done enough (for us)to justify a high rank in our list.
New Pokemon Snap breaks up the traditional formula by shifting the focus to photography. The game’s main appeal is exploration, which is excellent, but beyond that, the game feels restrained.
There is no combat in New Spokemon Snap, only Pokemon photography. The game’s story is excellent, but without Pokemon battles, the game loses its edge. There is no sense of urgency as the game has a more laid-back approach. The mystery is a slow burn, which is code for boring or, at the very least, not action-oriented.
Players will not stay invested if games don’t go beyond their gimmick, and New Pokemon Snap is guilty of this. This is why New Pokemon Snap isn’t high on our list of every Pokemon game on the Switch.
8. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet are two versions of the same game, so we count them as one. The games had a lot of hype, and there were lots of expectations riding on the games. Sales-wise, the games did more than okay, but fans were left speechless by a couple of design choices.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s story is fantastic, and the gameplay has invigorated the Pokemon franchise. There are no regional restrictions and allowing Pokemon to battle on their own, a vast open-open in its truest sense. The game’s plot lines offer 3 distinct tales that interweave later on for a climactic finale.
Why Are Pokemon Scarlet & Pokemon Violet In The Low Tier Category Of Pokemon Games On Switch?
To explain why Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet aren’t higher up on our Pokemon list, consider the two game’s scope. Both games offer players freedom, and there is no linear exploration. Legendary Pokemons assist the players in traversal and travel while also tying into the narrative.
The problems with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet start when you look at the graphics. The games aren’t bad-looking, but Nintendo’s other open-world games look more visually appealing. Plus, with Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet, it’s a case of over-deliverance. Too much of a good thing at the same time is also not good. Players felt overwhelmed.
7. Pokemon Tournament DX
Pokemon Tournament DX lets players control the Pokemon’s movements and fighting moves in real time. The game appeals to fighting game fanatics but not as much to fans of traditional Pokemon games. The visual aesthetic is unique, and the option for customizing the appearance of Pokemon’s ring gear is a fantastic addition.
The game’s two-phase combat is a nice touch to get players to at least try and see how it plays. Pokemon Tournament DX is fine for a game played for short bursts but not long stretches. A story-focused tournament would have bumped the game into the upper tiers of great Pokemon games on the Switch.
Pokemon Tournament DX Is A Decent Pokemon Game On The Switch Nothing More
Because of the Pokemon Tournament DX’s limitation of being a fighting game, it’s not as high in our list of best Pokemon games on the Switch.
The gameplay is combat focused, and no story mode exists. The gimmick wears off quickly, and once you’ve tried every character or the ones you want to, the game’s fun factor dies down.
6. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is an excellent example of innovation that resonates with the Pokemon player base. The game combines elements of dungeon-crawling and rogue-like games, mixing them with Pokemon-style gameplay.
The story of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is wild, transforming the protagonist into a Pokemon. Based on the answers to a personality test, the game decides on a Pokemon for the playable character to become.
There are quests to complete, Pokemon to fight, and rescuing Pokemon that can join your team to make dungeons easier. The art style is gorgeous and eye-catching.
If Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Is A Good Game, Why Isn’t It Higher In Ranking?
While a welcome change, the dungeon-crawling and rogue-like elements don’t hide the repetitious gameplay. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is another game that could have benefited from more polish and additional gameplay elements.
The game suffers from the minimal design of its dungeons and does nothing else with the concept of turning a human into a Pokemon. The limitations keep it from being higher on our list of Pokemon games on Switch.
6. Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond & Pokemon Shining Pearl
Alright, so Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shing Pearl are remakes of remakes; it’s not surprising people voiced their opinions loudly. The games offered a traditional 3-D Pokemon experience that got watered down by removing key elements found in similar remakes.
The chibi-style aesthetic was a point of fandom outrage; some adored it, and others hated it. Fierce debates happened in forums about whether the game paid homage or the developers were lazy. The games are decent if you can look past the flaws, but it’s better to skip them if you can’t.
The games followed the traditional Pokemon game design but with a night and day cycle and special events that activate after progression. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl suffer from fan expectations the most out of any other entry in the Pokemon franchise.
The Mediocrity Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Lands It At Number 6 On Our List
The main disadvantage of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl is that they are full of glitches. Game-breaking bugs that ruined the experience on launch and the divisive art style were not good signs. The removal of gameplay elements to streamline the games was the last straw.
All the negatives of the two games allot them the position of mediocrity in our list of every Pokemon game ranked on the Switch.
5. Pokemon Quest
Pokemon Quest is a brilliantly executed game with the most sensible cross-over imaginable for Pokemon. The Minecraft likeness of the game is sure to put off many but attract fans of both series, which is a great outcome.
Pokemon Quest takes a daring and bold step for Pokemon by infusing different elements into the Pokemon formula. The game feels fresh from every aspect, whether base management, exploring the wilderness, or training Pokemon.
Pokemon Quest’s Rank In Our List Of Pokemon Games From Worst To Best For Switch
Pokemon Quest is a fun, charming, and enjoyable game that changed the Pokemon formula for the better. The art style is the only thing preventing Pokemon Quest from being higher in our top-tier game category, as the Minecraft look isn’t everyone’s favorite Pokemon aesthetic choice.
The other 4 games on our list have improved their visual appeal and polished the gameplay mechanics, making them stand above Pokemon Quest. Otherwise, Pokemon Quest can easily stand next to the best Pokemon game on the Switch.
4. Pokemon Legend: Arceus
Pokemon Legend: Arceus is the action-oriented distant cousin of Pokemon games; the game has delivered on all fronts regarding gameplay and story. The 3-D action is crisp, and players are much more involved than in any past iteration of Pokemon games.
The game introduced fast travel in an expansive open world similar to Nintendo’s other giant franchise Legend of Zelda. The traversal in the game is incorporated brilliantly, and exploration is a crucial aspect that Pokemon Legend: Arceus focus on.
The plot of Pokemon Legend: Arceus is intriguing, as it involves time travel. Chronologically the game predates Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl. The feudal theme of Japan is present in the game, which is a nice change from the modern-day fictional setting of most Pokemon games.
What’s The Status of Pokemon Legend: Arceus On Our Ranked List Of Pokemon Game For Switch?
Pokemon Legend: Arceus is a masterpiece; the game has brought innovation that Pokemon games need dearly. The fast pace action and involvement of players in Pokemon battles is a drastic change and adds a new dynamic to the gameplay. Players must strategize every fight and plan things before entering dungeons and caves.
The exploration and traversal are grand in scope, and players can lose track of time during gameplay sessions. The visuals are breathtaking, and seeing Pokemon behave differently is a treat. Each Pokemon’s behavior depends on its place in the Pokemon hierarchy, highlighted by its nature.
Some Pokemon are aggressive and will attack players; players have separate HP, which requires constant maintenance. The game has many positives and no negatives aside from being too big. Hence, Pokemon Legend: Arceus is number 4 on our list.
3. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! & Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee!
When it comes to throwback nostalgia and executing it well, Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu, and Let’s Go, Eevee! have no equal. The formula structure of the games isn’t open-world like some of the other games on our list, but that is actually a good thing.
Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu, and Let’s Go, Eevee provides players a unique gameplay experience by incorporating the Nintendo Switch’s joy-con controls. The gameplay is linear, but the visuals are a massive upgrade from Pokemon Yellow, and there is enough variety to keep things interesting.
The starting Pokemon, Pikachu, or Eevee will not rest inside Pokeballs; instead, they will accompany our character on foot. If an item or a Pokemon is nearby, its tail will wiggle, which indicates something in the player character’s vicinity.
How Do Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Let’s Go, Eevee! Hold Up On Our List?
We’re guilty of falling for nostalgia bias in our rankings; hence Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu, and Let’s Go, Eevee rank at number 3 on our list of Pokemon games for Switch. However, nostalgia is part of the reason; the other part is the solid foundation of the gameplay.
Incorporating joy-con controls in the game is a fantastic design choice that uses the Nintendo Switch’s hybrid capabilities. The story is a classic retelling of a classic with upgraded visuals, and the linear gameplay pays homage to Pokemon Yellow. The games are fantastic for newcomers and veterans of Pokemon games alike.
2. Pokemon Unite
Pokemon is such a big household name, and people are crazy about it that they’ll buy anything with its name on it; Pokemon Unite was a successful experiment. The runner-up position on our list of Pokemon games for the Switch is Pokemon Unite; yes, we know its a Mobile gaming, and we’ve made it clear we’re not fond of those games. So, then what’s different about Pokemon Unite?
The answer is simple; Pokemon Unite is a freaking awesome game! We have a Pokemon brawl melee from start to finish in a battle royale setting. The story, cohesive exploration structure, and journey aspect are absent, but Pokemon Unite makes up for those with its intense combat-focused gameplay.
Team battles are the core focus, and the pairing can range from 5 on 5, 4 on 4, or 3 on 3. The Pokemon are weak at the beginning of each round but get stronger with each win. The Pokemon’s fights remain fairly balanced through a system that uses the weakness of Pokemon. Some are strong against a particular type while weak against other types.
How Good Is Pokemon Unite To Be Number 2 On Our Ranked Pokemon List For The Switch?
Pokemon Unite has an addictive quality that overshadows any flaws people might detect. The solid gameplay mechanic of fast-paced team brawling is a brilliant combination with Pokemon characters. With nothing else to focus on, players can go into a match, have a great time with friends, and brag about their wins later.
Pokemon Unite is a genuinely fun game that people shouldn’t sleep on; we had a blast playing it, and even non-MOBA fans will have a similar experience. The game is so good that we’ve placed it at number 2 on our list of Pokemon games for the Switch.
1. Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield
Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield are the definitions of a grand adventure of Pokemon, giving new players an excellent way to familiarize themselves with the game pattern. The gameplay is still rooted in Pokemon game mechanics most players know about, but with new additions that make things extremely enjoyable.
Temporary size and form morphing is a new way to play the game, and it provides players the perspective of Pokemon as they explore the Wild Area for raiding. Aside from that, customization for character’s appearance and Pokemon interactivity is much more focused than in previous Pokemon games.
Why are Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield The Best Pokemon Games For The Switch?
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield transcend the standard formula of Pokemon games but retain their essence. Innovation and staying true to the roots of a series is always hard for game developers, but with Pokemon Sword and Shield, the devs managed to strike the right balance.
All the factors mentioned plus many more, including gorgeous graphics, make Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield the best games on our list of Pokemon games for the Switch.
We hope you enjoyed seeing our ranked list of every Pokemon game for the Switch. Let us know if you agree or disagree with our choices entirely. If you like to see our other ranked list of games, here is our Ranking All Harvest Moon Games.