Nintendo Switch 2 needs these Pokemon games

Nathan Ellingsworth
A Nintendo Switch is shown playing Pokemon Let's Go

Nintendo has announced it is set to reveal new hardware in the near future, and Pokemon games are sure to follow. So, what Pokemon games can fans expect to see on Nintendo Switch 2?

Nintendo consoles and Pokemon games go together like Ash and Pikachu. At launch, the original Pokemon Red & Blue release helped to reinvigorate the Game Boy’s sales. Basically, every 90s kid on the playground had a grey brick, a link cable, and the mission to ‘Catch ‘Em All’.

Now, after seven years of Nintendo Switch and several Pokemon titles, fans are finally getting ready to welcome new Nintendo hardware into the world, and inevitably, that will mean new Pokemon games.

With that in mind, we’re taking a look at what Nintendo’s future could mean for Pokemon, both the expected and the unexpected, as we explore the Pokemon games we expect to see on Nintendo Switch 2.

5. Pokemon Legends Z-A

A screenshot from Pokemon Legends Z-A shows a wireframe version of Lumiose City

The only Pokemon game currently announced, Pokemon Legends Z-A is likely set to continue the free-roaming experiment that began with the excellent Pokemon Legends Arceus, and a lot of fans are thrilled about a return to Kalos’ Lumiose City.

One area where Pokemon Legends Areus struggled, however, was visuals, as while the game went to great lengths to deliver a stable framerate and performance, the textures ended up occasionally being a murky mess when examined for longer than a moment.

With that in mind, and with the announcement of Pokemon Legends Z-A set to be released in 2025, it seems like it would make sense for the next Pokemon game to take advantage of more powerful hardware. Or, at the very least, it could be a cross-generation title that Nintendo can tell fans plays better on the swanky new Nintendo system.

4. Generation 10

The Pokemon Seviper explores Paldea

The Pokemon series is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2026, and with Pokemon Legends Z-A currently set to occupy 2025, it would be poetic for The Pokemon Company to launch Generation 10 the following year to coincide with such a momentous occasion.

Now, there are 140m Nintendo Switch consoles in the world, and by 2026, it would be almost impossible for a potential Switch 2 to match that number, and The Pokemon Company wants mainline games in the hands of as many customers as possible.

What could happen, similar to what many imagine for Pokemon Legends Z-A, is a Switch game that plays better on a Switch 2. Think of Pokemon Gold and Silver; they were perfectly playable on Game Boy, but a Game Boy Color brought them to life.

Still, Nintendo is operating under a lot of goodwill, and as long as their next console provides a similar but improved experience, we can’t see any reason for Generation 10 to skip it. With any luck, The Pokemon Company takes the leap and gives fans a graphically impressive generation on new hardware.

Plus, we’d almost certainly expect it to line up with a smaller version of the Switch 2, much like the Switch Lite to appeal to younger audiences.

3. Pokemon Let’s Go Johto

A Nintendo Switch is shown playing Pokemon Let's Go

If you can cast your mind back several years, you may remember that Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee were the first mainline Pokemon games to grace the Nintendo Switch, after Pokken Tournament DX and Pokemon Quest warmed the console up in 2017.

Arriving a year after launch in 2018, the gorgeous reimaging of Kanto blended elements from the mainline games with those of Pokemon Go and, outside of New Pokemon Snap, are likely still the best-looking Pokemon games on Switch.

Despite strong sales, no Let’s Go sequel has arrived just yet, so perhaps The Pokemon Company is holding this particular idea back until a new console can make a romp through Johto as much of a graphical showcase as the original one.

Fans certainly love Pokemon Gold & Silver, and with the Nintendo Switch feeling like a rebirth both for Nintendo and Pokemon as a whole, the second iteration feels like a natural home for the Pokemon series’ second adventure to return.

2. Pokken Tournament 2

Pokken Tournament DX is shown playing on a Nintendo Switch

Pokemon fans have been eating well on Nintendo Switch, with two different generations of mainline games, a fantastic spin-off with Pokemon Legends Arceus, and either new entries, ports, or remakes of popular titles from the Snap, Mystery Dungeon, and Pokken series.

It’s the latter we’re most interested in, though. The original Pokken dates all the way back to the Wii U, and Japanese arcades before that, so it’s nearly a decade since the arena fighter was first released.

Pokken Tournament DX on Nintendo Switch is a gorgeous port, featuring some stunningly detailed character models, gorgeous screen-filling battle animations that accentuate every Pokemon move, and even an expanded roster.

Is it greedy to ask for more? Maybe, but as developer Bandai Namco has just released Tekken 8, the team presumably has a few more staff members to play with. What better statement of a new console’s graphical prowess than a fighting game?

Leaner, with only a few set locations and a small selection of Pokemon, Pokken manages to outclass the visuals of almost every Pokemon, mainly thanks to the fact it doesn’t have to worry about packing in hundreds of different characters.

Expand the roster, include some new fan-favorite Pokemon like Iron Valiant or Raging Bolt, and add some new features to expand the experience. Pokken is already a great series with just one entry. It’d be a huge shame if it never returned.

1. Pokemon Red & Blue

Promotional art shows Pokemon Red & Blue

Alright, it’s time to get serious. We have already spoken at length, asking for Pokemon to bring their classic games to Switch, but at this point, it seems like it’s not happening any time soon.

But, in short, given the prevalence of emulation devices and the widespread use of Pokemon ROMs even on devices like an iPhone as of late, the longer Pokemon hold back their classic games, the less money they make.

Anyone who wants to play a classic Pokemon game is doing it for free on the nearest device they have, and you can’t buy them on 3DS anymore even if you wanted to. So whether it’s for the series’ 30th anniversary in 2026 or not, we need the classic Pokemon games on Switch 2.

Given the strength of the Nintendo Switch ecosystem and the rise in digital purchases, it seems fairly certain that any new Switch console will carry over user’s accounts. So, if Nintendo Switch Online is moving wholesale from one console to the next, what better way to get people to move to a new console than finally adding Pokemon Red & Blue?

Sure, there’s no reason they can’t also be on Nintendo Switch. Honestly, The Pokemon Company probably would release them on both to make the most money, but with the Switch era winding down, it might be smart to wait for the excitement of a new console to finally unleash the most lucrative ROMs in the world. Also, just put Pokemon Emerald on Switch. Is that too much to ask?

Nintendo fans will have to wait quite some time for any answers, as right now the only confirmation of a new console comes from Nintendo President Shintaro Furukawa’s promise of an announcement in the current financial year.

But at least we have Pokemon Legends Z-A to look forward to, and eventually, it’s likely that The Pokemon Company will once again deliver something fans had no idea they wanted until they knew it existed.

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