Gotta Play Them All.

Ah, Pokemon. Just about every kid, teenager, and adult forty or younger have probably played some iteration of Nintendo’s beloved and incredibly successful video game series. The Pokemon Company has developed quite a formula to enrapture players with addicting gameplay. Catching, growing, and battling your little monsters can be infinitely entertaining for many, and the longevity of the Pokemon franchise proves that point yearly. Still, there is a full 12 months between releases (two years for original content), so if you’re addicted to monster catching games and want to try some new ones, here are a few to consider. Of course, there are more than just these few – feel free to let us know your favorites below.


5. Persona Franchise

The Persona series is about as beloved as Pokemon itself, but if you’re not familiar with the fantastic JRPG franchise, now’s your time. In the Persona games, the player and his/her allies befriend and utilize the various monsters in the game to advance the story. Depending on the game you’re playing, the recruitment process can vary, making each entry in the series a fresh iteration of the Persona formula. The best part of Persona, however, is the accompanying storyline and character building that is guaranteed to go with each game. Don’t believe me? Try out Persona 4 Golden on the Vita (or PS2), and tell me it isn’t one of the greatest games you’ve ever played.


4. Dragon Quest Monsters

Dragon Quest, the popular JRPG finally receiving a new western release in its 11th iteration, features one of the most popular cult monster catching games. In Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, for example, your task is to scout out and convince various monsters to join you as you compete in a tournament to see who wields the strongest monsters (all the while as you perform a mission for your father’s organization). Fans of Dragon Quest will love the Monsters games, as they feature the same classic gameplay that we came to love in the original saga. Let’s just hope XI does enough to convince Square-Enix to bring more games west.


3. Monster Hunter Stories

This one is new for me, but it’s one of my favorites. In Stories, you play as a monster rider, a rare individual who bonds with monsters. After your town is ravaged by a Nargacuga afflicted with the black blight, you become a rider and venture off to stop the creeping blight. In order to catch your monsters, you’ll have to raid their nests, battling ferocious beasts in the process. The gameplay is a bit more strategic than other games of the genre and requires a knowledge of what each monster can and will throw at you, along with their attack patterns. There’s plenty to love about Monster Hunter Stories, and you’ll find yourself sinking tens, if not over 100, of hours into the game. Plus, your little mosters are called monsties. What’s better than that?


2. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is one of those severely underrated games that is well worth your time. Ni No Kuni tells the tale of Oliver, a young boy whose mother tragically passes away after saving his life. The doll she gifted him is actually Mr. Drippy, Lord High Lord of the Fairies, who takes young Oliver back to his world, where Oliver becomes a wizard capable of utilizing familiars in battle. There are quite a few monsters to capture in this game, and each comes with quite a few techniques and two different branches with which you can evolve them. If you’re looking for a console monster catcher game, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is exactly what you’re looking for.


1. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

If Pokemon ever had a rival when I was a child, Digimon played the role. Now about, what, two decades later, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth graced our consoles. This in depth monster catching JRPG offers players well over 60 hours of gameplay (endless amounts, really, just like all these games) and features similar advancements and evolutions in monsters that we’ve come to love and expect from games of this genre. Plus, fans of Digimon finally have a game worthy of the name and can count on two very solid games from the franchise.

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