Apparently, Pokémon is the largest media empire currently in existence, so even though it seems that “PokéMania” has considerably died down, there’s still plenty of lifeblood left in the franchise (though that might change after the ensuing controversy regarding Sword and Shield.)
Despite its widespread popularity and profitability, there’s a HUGE portion of the video games in the Pokémon library that have become so obscure, few remember that they exist at all. Coincidentally, that’s exactly the topic we’re going to be discussing today in our comprehensive list of 20 Pokémon Games You Definitely Forgot Existed.
Now, just as a preface: just because many of these of have begin forgotten by the majority of fans, it doesn’t mean that none of them are “good.” In fact, quite a few of them are excellent, so if one of them catches your eye, you should consider tracking a copy down!
20 Pokémon Conquest
Arguably one of the most bizarre and out-of-the-blue crossovers in gaming history, Pokémon Conquest takes your favorite Pocket Monsters and plops them into the hardcore tactical strategy world of Nobunaga’s Ambition.
While this is… unexpected, to say the least, the final product is a satisfying and well-executed spin-off that successfully pleases both Pokémon and tactical RPG fans.
19 Pokémon Channel
More of a surreal tech demo than a fully-realized game, Pokémon Channel is a strange mishmash of genres that essentially all revolve around “watching” the in-game TV.
Unlike other titles on this list, Pokémon Channel isn’t a “hidden gem,” so it’s hard to recommend that anyone should seek it out… unless, of course, they’ve got a taste for collecting truly bizarre items.
18 Pokémon Magikarp Jump
Magikarp Jump isn’t necessarily a bad game, nor is it a game that did anything wrong to deserved being forgotten. In fact, the one reason that no one remembers this game is because of its massively, overwhelmingly popular family member: Pokémon GO!
This cute, little title never stood a chance when compared to the unstoppable juggernaut that is Pokémon GO, and that’s something of a shame.
17 Pokémon Trozei!
Despite its status as an RPG, the Pokémon franchise has a slew of puzzle game adaptations, with the Trozei! series being a relatively forgotten entry.
The first game is a variation of standard puzzle game set-ups and features truly adorable Pokémon heads for the pieces, but the second game, Pokémon Battle Trozei, is a far more unique experience, particularly due to the inclusion of battle mechanics.
16 Pokémon Pinball Series
There’s been a number of pinball spin-offs for all kinds of franchises, including Metroid, House of the Dead, and Kirby, but this particular entry is focusing on the two Pokémon Pinball titles.
Ingeniously incorporating the thrill of catching Pokémon by turning the pinball into a Pokéball, these two titles are more fun than they should be, especially if you’re a fan of the series.
Plus the first game has a rumble feature built into its cartridge, which is nuts.
15 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Series
The “Mystery Dungeon” moniker is actually the name of a series of roguelike games spearheaded by the co-creator of Dragon Quest.
Interestingly, they’ve developed a few licensed games using the gameplay and name of the “Mystery Dungeon” series (like the ones featuring Final Fantasy’s Chocobo) and the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series is one of them.
While popular enough to spawn a franchise, the games were never particularly highly regarded in the West, and have since fallen into relative obscurity.
14 Pokémon Puzzle Series
The Pokémon Puzzle games are actually a ton of fun to play, but they’re rarely ever brought up in conversation as “must-haves” or even remembered as existing in the first place..
If you’re a Pokémon and puzzle fan, it’s worth your time to seek out copies of these two copies, as you’ll be intellectually and aesthetically pleased. One even features a fully-animated cutscene on the N64!
13 PokéPark Series
The plot summaries of the PokéPark games read like products resulting from fan fiction written by children, with the first being about Pikachu getting in-touch with Mew and being tasked with acquiring parts of the so-called “Sky Prism,” which protects the titular PokéPark, and the second following the misadventures of the electric mouse and his pals visiting a park from which there is no escape (dun-dun-DUNNN!)
Likewise, both games in the series were savaged by critics and fans, meaning it’s best that these stay forgotten.
12 Pokémon Dash
Pokémon Dash is a 2005 Nintendo DS racing game that incorporates the touch screen and stylus into its gameplay by having players use it to influence the actions of their on-screen Pikachu.
The game was met with a less-than-stellar reception, most of which was focused on Pikachu being the only playable character, the sloppy “controls,” and overall lack of meaningful content.
11 Pokémon Ranger Series
Despite their unique elements, the main Pokémon games are still JRPGs at their core. The Pokémon Rangers series is a JRPG at its core, too, but contains plenty of unique elements and mutations that separate it from the mainline entries and standard genre concepts.
Interestingly, catching Pokémon doesn’t permanently add them to your team, and the action itself is done through use of the stylus, rather than PokéBalls.
10 Pokémon Box: Ruby And Sapphire
Does anyone remember the Game Boy Advance Link Cable for the Gamecube? No? Well it’s no surprise that Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire isn’t exactly on the tip of anyone’s tongue, either.
As its title implies, Pokémon Box isn’t exactly a game, but a way to store your Pokémon on a Gamecube memory card using the GBA Link Cable.
That said, you can breed your Pokémon and interact with them, so the game is technically more than a mere organizational tool.
9 Pokémon Shuffle
The final puzzle-based Pokémon spin-off on our list, Pokémon Shuffle made its debut on the 3DS back in 2015, and has since gone on to appear on phones.
… and that’s the key word, right there: “phones.”
Like Magikarp Jump before it, Pokémon Shuffle was lost in the shuffle by the all-consuming Pokémon GO.
8 PokéROM Gotta Learn ‘Em All
First off, we have to give props to Mattel for the admittedly perfect and deliciously clever-yet-cringey title for these ten (ten!) mini CD-roms.
Aside from being “collectible” (because of course), each disc contains a few mini-games, utilities and even educational content.
If you somehow found yourself intrigued by this entry, you can seek out the “Premier Series Collection Limited Edition Box” that houses all ten mini-CDs. You’re welcome.
7 Learn With Pokémon: Typing Adventure
Like many kids who grew up in the 90s, Mario, Luigi, and Peach helped to teach us how to type during computer class, but the beloved Pocket Monsters made their own attempt in Europe, Japan, and Australia… on the DS, of all things.
Bizarrely (or perhaps not), the game was an impressive success in Japan, while it comparatively floundered in the West.
6 My Pokémon Ranch
A WiiWare title released in 2008, My Pokémon Ranch gave players the ability to transfer up to 1500 (!!!) of their Pokémon into the game. While similar to Pokémon Box, My Pokémon Ranch had a few more bits of extra functionality and content to it, such as quests given to you by the rancher, Hayley, and light progression in the form of expanding the in-game location.
5 Pokémon 2000
No, we’re not talking about the movie, we’re talking about the promotional, first-person adventure game that was created for the sole purpose of hyping up The Power of One.
Played through a browser, this game let you explore 3D environments and use your Pokémon to overcome obstacles (which actually sounds pretty cool) but, unfortunately, contractual issues led to the game being pulled quickly from the service, with most of it being lost forever in cyberspace.
4 Pokémon Trading Card (Video) Game
Believe it or not, the widely popular Pokémon Trading Card Game actually got a digital adaptation for the Game Boy Color, which featured a streamlined version of the gameplay found in the series’ mainline entries.
Obviously, instead of catching Pokémon you’ll be collecting cards, but you’re still battling “trainers” and earning Gym Badges.
All in all, it’s a fantastic game, and well worth playing… especially if you never figured out how to play the physical card game.
3 Pocket Monsters Stadium
No, we’re not suggesting that you (or anyone else, really) forgot about Pokémon Stadium 1 & 2, or even the subsequent spiritual successors.
We’re actually talking about Pocket Monsters Stadium, the FIRST game in the Stadium series, and one that was kept in Japan.
Simply put, it was a barebones version of the game we eventually got, and there’s a reason few remember it ever existed in the first place.
2 Pokémon Snap
This is a special case, because unlike basically everything else on this list, fans aren’t the ones who have forgotten Pokémon Snap. Instead, it’s Nintendo, Game Freak, and the rest.
For years (decades at this point!) we’ve clamored and begged for a sequel, remastering or whatever regarding Pokémon Snap, but it seems like no one with enough power is even vaguely interested in throwing us a bone.
1 Detective Pikachu
It’s not that Detective Pikachu wasn’t well-received or popular in its own right, it’s just that the recent live-action movie so thoroughly eclipsed it that when people hear the words “detective” and “Pikachu” in a sentence, their minds immediately conjure up images of the theatrical film rather than the practically unrelated game that shares its name.