11 Best Pokemon Games That Aren’t Pokemon Games

Looking for a twist on the Pokémon formula? There’s a lot of awesome games where you can capture creatures and battle, and all of them offer something unique that the Pokémon games lack. There are more Pokémon-likes than you might realize, and in honor of the early-access success of Temtem, we’re going down the list of the very best Pokémon-like games ever made.

Some of these games are new, and others are older than Pokémon itself. They’re all awesome games, and well-worth checking out if you’re a Poke-fanatic, or just looking for a new flavor of catch-and-release fun. There’s a lot of variety here, and some of my most nostalgic memories come from games that tried to capitalize on Pokémon’s immense success — they’re all special in some way, and some you might not even know have Pokémon features if you’ve never touched them.

Let’s go down the list — here are the 10 best Pokémon games that aren’t Pokémon games.

Persona 5

While you don’t directly control demons in Persona 5, a major part of the gameplay is all about capturing these tricky creatures. Once you get them, you can equip them, which determines what special attacks you can unleash — and acquiring them is totally unique.

Instead of throwing a Pokeball, you have to beat them down, then negotiate to talk them into joining you. It all makes sense in this dark world about Phantom Thieves exploring the metaphysical mental palaces of their real-world enemies. It might not look very Pokémon-like, but this game series is older than Pokémon itself.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch

Ni No Kuni is a much brighter, cuter affair featuring Studio Ghibli artwork that really sets it apart from other anime-inspired games. And, of course, you’ll be collecting lots of creatures here too. Familiars are the beings you’ll capture and send out in battle. Your companions can do the same, replacing themselves with creatures you’ve found in the vast RPG world.

The sequel totally removes the creature-battling aspect of the game, making this a unique one-off — and one of the biggest Pokémon-like games in terms of scope and storytelling. Like Persona, capturing a creature is a little different this time around. You’ll need to serenade the creature, and hope little hearts appear of their heads. Then they’ll willingly join you for the ride. It seems nicer, but you’re still beating them up in battle, so it all evens out.

Discover more of the best catch-and-collect games of all time on the next page.