Yokai Watch 2
Another 3DS gem, and one that mirrors Pokémon even harder — Yokai Watch is a kid-friendly multimedia brand at this point, with two mainline titles in the series to check out. Instead of weird animals, you’ll be hunting ghosts — Japanese Yokai — in paranormal adventures. Yokai aren’t even exclusive to Japan, as the sequel takes you to America, where you’ll find some very different spiritual beings prowling around the Texas-like environment.
If you’re a fan of Japanese mythology and want to capture your very own giant starving skeleton, you can do that in Yokai Watch. If you’ve played Nioh, you’ll recognize lots of these folklore monsters — lovingly rendered in charming 3DS graphics. Like Monster Hunter Stories, this is another extremely common cart, even if the 3DS has been surpassed by the Nintendo Switch.
World of Final Fantasy
It’s Pokemon, but with Final Fantasy characters! Really, the gameplay is closer to something like Persona, where your main characters do all the fighting, and your captured critters back you up with special skills. World of Final Fantasy is a JRPG (naturally) that’s more traditional than any of the recent Final Fantasy games, with turn-based combat and random battles as you explore.
It’s a high-quality product on PS4, and if you have fond memories of characters and creatures from Final Fantasy, and want to collect cute versions of Cloud, Chocobos, and all the other classics, then you might consider tracking this little gem down.
Mega Man: Battle Network
One of the most prolific collectible games on Gameboy Advanced, the Mega Man: Battle Network games also featured pretty unique turn-based gameplay. Instead of pitting two sides against each other in standard JRPG fights, Mega Mn moves on a 6×3 grid, and pulls moves from a deck of Battle Chips. Instead of collecting creatures, the game is all about getting as many Battle Chips as you can.
It’s a pretty unique spin on Mega Man and JRPG battles in general — mixing card-based battles with Pokémon-like collecting classic characters from the franchise. There are 6 games (not counting spin-offs, or even the variant releases) total, so there are plenty of Battle Networks to choose from.
That’s all our favorite Pokémon-like games — what did we miss? There’s got to be more, so let us know your favorites!