With Pokémon being such a hugely successful franchise, it’s no wonder other developers want a piece of the pie.
Since the first Pokémon game became a worldwide hit, studios around the world have tried to capture the same magic, with varying degrees of success.
While it’s unlikely anything will ever topple Pikachu’s position atop the mountain, there are plenty of games that Pokémon fans will enjoy thanks to their similarities.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin & Eternal Punishment
You can’t talk about JRPGs without mentioning Persona. This series has created a wide variety of weird and wonderful monsters for almost as long as Pokémon.
In each game in the series, you go out and fight shadows and eventually adopt them as your Persona to use in battle.
It’s got turn-based combat, a bunch of different elemental types with varying effectiveness, and a big ol’ dose of addictive collection.
Also, you will get great life simulation and romance game alongside your monster fighting.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
If you want to stay in the Nintendo bubble for your Pokémon-like games, look no further than the Paper Mario series.
The bright and colorful style will be familiar to all Pokémon fans, but in terms of gameplay, The Thousand Year Door comes closest.
You can wander the world in this game to find a variety of different battle partners. They all fit your abilities in different ways, and tweaking your battle strategy is all about making the most of what your partner has to offer.
Final Fantasy 7
While the recent Final Fantasy 7 remake for PS5 is great, it’s the original game we’re talking about here.
The active-time battle system — a twist on the traditional turn-based battle system — isn’t like Pokémon, but what you can do with it most certainly is.
As you dive deep and learn things like stat-boosting moves and items, you’ll quickly realize how complex a system is and how easy it is to hide if you know what you’re doing.
If you like the overall tone and upbeat vibe of the Pokémon world, but want a much richer story, then Xenoblade Chronicles is the perfect series for you.
Though you can’t capture the monsters, there’s a wide variety of weird and wonderful monsters to fight, some of which make even the worst Pokemon of all time look pretty.
Then in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 you can mix and match your blades based on element and weapon type to perfectly optimize your combat performance.
Ni no Kuni
Cute art style? Check. A bunch of crazy monster designs? Check. The ability to tame them and use them in battle? Check.
Ni no Kuni is a charming game that borrows heavily from Pokemon. However, it still ensures that it adds its own twist to the fight.
If that’s not enough, then an engaging story set in a warm and welcoming world should do the trick.
Yakuza: Like a dragon
Yakuza certainly isn’t the first franchise that springs to mind when you say “Pokémon,” but this turn-based entry into the franchise takes a lot of references to Pikachu and friends.
Random encounters, recruiting members for your party, elemental strengths and weaknesses, this game has it all, plus the more mature presentation of the Yazuka series.
Digimon: Cyber Sleuth hack memory
Pokémon and Digimon are two franchises that will always be linked throughout the story, even if they don’t have much in common broadly.
However, you may see some of the Digimon that look like fake Pokémon designs.
In this game, you’re fighting a whole party of Digimon at any one time, and things like evolution are rewards for success during battle rather than permanently changing your partners.
While it didn’t make it big in the West, in Japan, Yo-Kai Watch is a massive series, releasing a whopping 19 games in just seven years.
The yokai themselves are all demons based on famous Japanese ghost stories, making them an excellent way to learn about Japanese culture.
It may seem pretty grim, but Pokémon is no stranger to terrifying demonic creatures that feed on human souls, so why not give it a try?
Written by Ryan Woodrow on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.
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