Pokémon brought monster-collecting to the masses with its first generation of games in 1996, but the monumental, blockbuster series didn’t do it first. In fact, many monster-collecting games exist from other massive franchises like Digimon and Persona.
In no particular order, these best monster-collecting games showcase wrobhat the RPG genre offers outside of the usual Pokémon titles. Developers worldwide created many strategic and thrilling games worthy of any Pokémon fan’s attention, and these best monster-collecting games represent the most robust options.
1. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition
Digimon always draws comparisons between it and its direct competitor in Pokémon. Though the former often wins in the anime department while the latter succeeds in games, this collection represents the finest gameplay Digimon has to offer.
The Digimon-collecting feels phenomenal with the ability to evolve and devolve monsters as players desire. It also has spectacular, fast-paced strategic combat and an excellent storyline.
2. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
The third mainline entry in this beloved Atlus franchise took it to the 3D realm. It features a sinister and dark post-apocalyptic setting quite different from what Game Freak makes. Players collect demons based on real-world religions and folklore for an engaging, grimmer take.
3. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Monster Hunter sees players hunt down various famous monsters, but this spin-off game lets players collect them for turn-based battles. Classic monsters like the Rathalos dragon and more offer plenty of strategy in this colorful and thrilling world.
4. Pokémon Uranium
Though this sports the Pokémon name, it has almost no existing Pokémon in it. This ROM hack fan game has almost nothing but fake, fan-made Pokémon with the usual exploration and combat. These Fakemon look fantastic, and the additional Nuclear typing gives it a fascinating twist.
This 2D adventure feels like the best of the classic-style monster-collecting indie games. It looks great, and the unique titular Coromon also has solid designs across the board. It feels fluid and fun enough to play, especially for fans of the first few generations of Pokémon.
This game offers players an MMO take on monster-collecting games. It has a brilliant art style and tons of players running around, collecting monsters, and battling them together in double battles. It has some grindy elements to it, but the community gives this game a boost.
7. Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince
Dragon Quest has a wide selection of fantastic enemies and monsters, and this massive 3D game lets you collect many of them. Players collect more than 500 monsters from the series, including Sabrecubs, slimes, and dragons, to defeat their character’s evil father.
8. Persona 3 Portable/FES
Atlus broke new ground with the third entry in the Shin Megami Tensei spin-off series. It continued the engrossing element of collecting Personas but with phenomenal versions of fusion and the Compendium. Plus, it has many other neat features, such as the best cast and storyline in the series.
9. Loomian Legacy (Roblox)
This Roblox game takes cues from Game Freak’s own franchise for a free-to-play turn-based experience worth players’ time. It has some solid monster designs, and the monetization system works well without forcing players to spend money on crucial features.
10. Shin Megami Tensei IV
The fourth mainline game in this series offers the finest 3D graphics on the Nintendo 3DS. It has a massive world to explore, full of thrilling dungeons with plenty of demons to collect. Its turn-based combat feels meaningful with the Press Turn system.
11. World of Final Fantasy
The Final Fantasy series has plenty of classic monsters, such as Behemoth and Moogles, and this spin-off game for the whole family lets you collect some of them in an all-ages turn-based experience. It feels a bit easy at times, but the colorful characters and story help anyone enjoy it.
12. Persona 4 Golden
The fourth game in this Atlus series expanded upon the past games with better graphics and even more Personas to collect. The cast stands out as one of the best in the series, and the lighthearted storyline has some genuine laughs amongst the race to find a serial killer in a small town.
This indie game sees players collect the titular Ooblets to participate in less violent dance battles. It also has some other elements of other games, such as farming mechanics, to give players more varied and intriguing gameplay than most similar titles.
14. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
This direct sequel to the fourth game outdoes it in almost every single way, though both players should experience both titles. It has the same graphics, combat, and many of the same demons as before. But it also includes a much better story and cast, almost worthy of the Persona series.
15. Monster Crown
This 2D indie game looks pretty close to the Generation 1 Pokémon titles. The only differences remain its massive emphasis on fusing together its monsters and the disturbing, serious storyline. It has some gameplay flaws but works pretty well otherwise.
16. Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal
This underrated PC RPG sees players collect fairies and demons instead of the usual monsters. It also features more arena FPS-style gameplay than the usual turn-based experience. It remains worth a shot for its experimental combat.
17. Pokémon Revolution Online
Sure, this has the usual Pokémon fans know and love, but this didn’t come from Game Freak or any official sources. Instead, this fan game takes the regions players love from across the series and mashes them together in an excellent free 2D MMORPG. It has some wondering how it even exists still, but it does so play while it remains available.
18. Soul Hackers 2
This more experimental title from Atlus stands as a sequel to a classic 1990s dungeon-crawling game, but it sets itself apart as a lighter, cyberpunk version of Persona. It may not reach the depth of the other Atlus games, but it comes close with its sleek aesthetic.
19. Yokai Watch 4
One of the best games in this genre only has support in Japanese at this time, but that could change someday. It has a beautiful Studio Ghibli-like aesthetic with decent monster designs known as Yokai. Its speedy combat feels much better than past games in the series.
20. Persona 5 Royal
This game represents the epitome of the monster-collecting genre and JRPGs as a whole. Persona 5 Royal feels like a masterpiece in every way, from the Persona-collecting to the swift combat to the wonderful characters and balanced story.
21. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
This Level 5-developed JRPG takes inspiration from Pokémon and Studio Ghibli alike. It has possibly the best art style out of any game in this genre and some excellent turn-based combat. It may feature kids as the protagonists and look lighthearted, but it also has some dark and twisted moments that show what some children, unfortunately, go through in life.