5 best Pokemon games to play in 2023

The Pokemon Franchise remains strong and profitable over 15 years after its debut.
There is certainly no lack of Pokemon games to enjoy in 2023 (Image via The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon has been one of the most valuable franchises in the world since its inception in 1996, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy it in 2023. Aside from the animated series and other multimedia projects, its video games continue to be released at regular intervals.

The franchise's bedrock is its video game series, and as such, plenty of funds are funneled into numerous projects every year. From the main series to its memorable spin-offs and mobile games, it is always gunning to welcome new fans into the fold.

More than 15 years after Pocket Monsters first hit the scene, there are still plenty of games worth checking out.

Note: This list is subjective and solely reflects the opinions of the writer


TCG Live and other great Pokemon games you can play on modern hardware in 2023

1) Pokemon Stadium

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One of the most beloved console spin-offs has returned to modern Nintendo hardware with the advent of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

After adding the ability to play N64 titles on Nintendo's in-house emulation software, trainers can once again enjoy the intense battles and minigames of Pokemon Stadium. This Nintendo 64 title was a huge hit upon its initial 1999 release and spawned into a series that would capture plenty of fans' attention over the years.

In Stadium, players can take on the competitive series of stadium tournaments, challenge the Gym Leader Castle, engage in free battles with friends, or just spend time relaxing with entertaining minigames. Thanks to being upscaled for Nintendo Switch Online, the visuals of the first entry in the Stadium series still hold up surprisingly well.


2) Pokemon TCG Live

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Digital trading card game video games have been on a roll lately with the arrival of games like Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel and Magic The Gathering: Arena. Not to be left out, the Pokemon franchise has released its own iteration known as Pokemon TCG Live, allowing fans to enjoy the thrills of the long-running trading card game on their PC or mobile device.

In TCG Live, players will collect virtual cards, assemble decks, and take on opponents in one-on-one battles. Even better, trainers who play the physical version of the TCG can redeem their products in TCG Live and get booster packs for free.


3) Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

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The first remake of a Pocket Monsters game outside of the original series, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a remake of the original Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue Rescue Team titles for the Game Boy Advance.

The title introduces a painted art style while also improving on the originals by adding Mega Evolution, auto-saving, and more. Here, players will turn into a Pocket Monster determined by a personality quiz at the beginning of the game. They'll then explore the world through the eyes of the creature while making allies along the way.

Along with their partners, players will explore dungeons, rescue missing creatures, and complete jobs to raise their rank. Combat is fairly similar to other Pocket Monsters games. However, there is also a food system to be aware of to ensure players are well-fed as they travel through multiple floors of the game's dungeons.


4) Pokemon Unite

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Pokemon Unite blends some of the most beloved creatures in the franchise with intense team-based MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) action. It is an excellent free-to-play title that can be accessed on mobile and on Nintendo Switch, complete with cross-progression for player accounts.

In Unite, players join battles of five-on-five on various maps and pick a Pocket Monster of their choice to control in order to defeat opponents and score points for their team. The team with the highest point total at the end of the battle wins. There are also fun variations on the game's Unite Battles to explore, including 3v3 Mode and Boss Rush.

If gamers are searching for an accessible and entertaining MOBA title, Unite may very well be worth a shot.


5) Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

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The latest entries in the mainline series, Scarlet and Violet are Nintendo Switch titles that should appeal to longtime fans and newcomers alike. Although the games were racked by performance issues after their initial release, most of the problems and glitches have been addressed.

Players in these two titles will explore the Paldea region. They will attend classes at Naranja/Uva Academy while collecting Pocket Monsters, battling gym leaders, undertaking raids, and learning about the secrets of the Terastal phenomenon and mysterious species that have arrived from elsewhere in time.

Scarlet and Violet have been lauded for their many quality-of-life improvements and the implementation of plenty of post-game content. These games may not be for everybody, but the sales figures between them surely speak for themselves, and the upcoming DLC should interest more than a few fans as well.

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