You’ve finished Pokémon Legends Arceus and anxiously await the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet later this year. And you’ve just heard the news that Pokémon-like MMORPG Temtem is finally hitting 1.0 this fall.
What’s a monster-battling fan to do in the meantime? We’ve got four worthy Pokémon-like RPGs to check out until your next big genre favorite comes out.
Designed by: TRAGsoft
Available on: PC, Switch, mobile
For fans of: Old-school Pokémon, GBA graphics
Of all the games on this list, Coromon most resembles an old-school, Game Boy Advance era-Pokémon RPG, complete with pixel-era graphics. Coromon’s main difference is a sci-fi setting rather than pastoral fantasy, but otherwise it’s pretty much the exact same gameplay as an early 2000s Pokémon RPG: travel from town to town, battle and collect over 100 different monsters, and construct a powerful team while working to collect ’em all.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Designed by: Capcom
Available on: PC, Switch
For fans of: Monster Hunter, longer battles
Even if you’ve never played a Monster Hunter game, but enjoy Pokémon, the Monster Hunter Stories series is well worth checking out. Expertly blending the two series, MHS distills the tense, challenging battles of Monster Hunter into lengthy, tactical, turn-based battles. Exploit elemental and weapon weaknesses, analyze the monster’s attacks, and break parts for bonuses. Then, grab the monster’s egg and hatch your own ally! Use other monsties to enhance your favorites, providing an excellent reason to grab as many eggs as possible.
The original game released on 3DS and remains a great RPG, but you can safely jump into the Switch (or PC) sequel, Wings of Ruin, without any story issues, and enjoy much better graphics and lovely cinematic cutscenes.
Designed by: Moi Rai Games
Available on: PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox
For fans of: Metroidvania, skill trees
Monster Sanctuary looks like an SNES-era platformer. The 2D, pixelated side-scroller is a far cry from most Pokémon-like RPGs. But this is a true monster battler, with a deep turn-based battle system within a sprawling metroidvania map.
Upon finding eggs as rare drops from defeated monsters, you can hatch your own allied monsters to bring into battle. Up to six monsters can join your team, with three monsters battling at a time. Every monster has a multiple skill trees and dozens of skills to unlock, leading to a ridiculous amount of customization. In addition, each monster can also equip items to boost certain stats. For fans who love diving into the nitty gritty skill trees and synergy of their monsters, Monster Sanctuary delivers an excellent indie package.
Shin Megami Tensei V
Designed by: Atlus
Available on: Switch
For fans of: Mature story and themes, a tougher challenge
Megami Tensei fans may balk at the comparison. The JRPG series predates Pokémon by a decade. Pokémon undoubtedly lifted the concept of using enemy creatures against themselves from the Megami Tensei series, which is explores an apocalyptic invasion of demons and mythological monsters.
Shin Megami Tensei 5 is the latest in the series, exclusively released on Nintendo Switch. It sticks to the successful formula of challenging turn-based battles, a gritty post-apocalyptic world, and demons that have to be convinced to join your cause. Allied demons can fuse together to become stronger, passing on their skills, and you’ll need the most powerful monsters to survive.
It’s important to note that while Shin Megami Tensei (and it’s more popular spin-off series, Persona) is an awesome monster battling series, it’s not aimed at the youthful Pokémon crowd. SMT5 is rated M for Mature, with Violence, Blood, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, and Strong Language.