Pokémon turns 25 this year and it’ll be a massive celebration. The franchise has a massive legacy, and Nintendo is set to honour that in 2021 with brand new announcements, merch and more.
We already know about some future projects, like Katy Perry’s musical collaboration with Pokémon and Universal Music Group, and the release of a new TCG ‘First Partner’ set. There’s also rumours about remasters set to be announced this year, but outside of these we don’t know a whole lot about what’s coming.
That doesn’t mean we can’t speculate, though. Here’s a bunch of Pokémon goodies we want to see in 2021.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Remasters
Let’s start with the most recent rumour doing the rounds. According to popular Spanish news site Centro Pokemon, Nintendo is currently working on full remasters of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for Nintendo Switch. These games are often considered the absolute best of modern Pokémon so if there’s any games ripe for a revisit, it’s these.
Beyond telling brilliant stories, these games were the first to let you just hang out with friends in social play. The Underground was a fantastic little area, and you could spend hours excavating treasure together and visiting your individual Secret Bases. In 2021, it’s exactly the game we need.
While it hasn’t yet been confirmed by Nintendo, Centro Pokemon believes it has a credible source and that the reveal will take place in February. All we can do until then is wait patiently. If we do get these remasters, it’ll be a real treat.
Pokémon Let’s Go 2
Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu were massive successes for Nintendo. Beyond selling more than 12 million copies, the games were also the best reviewed modern Pokémon titles, with particular praise heaped on the new combat-less capture system which made for a more friendly and fun experience.
It’s unlikely Nintendo will gift us with two major Pokémon adventures in 2021 but if it’s not Diamond and Pearl, it absolutely should be another Let’s Go entry. Logically, the next game in the series would be new remakes of Gold and Silver but Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby would also be perfect for the Let’s Go formula.
It may be that Eevee and Pikachu were one-offs, but it would be a shame to see this great series go defunct. Here’s to hoping Nintendo still has plans for it in future.
The surprise launch of Pokémon Unite
Pokémon Unite was first unveiled in mid-2020 with no release date in sight. While trailer footage showing off a MOBA-style game disappointed fans expecting another mainline story game, Pokémon Unite has a tonne of potential.
Since its initial reveal (and the closed beta available in China), fans haven’t heard much from Pokémon Unite.
Outside of leaks showing new costumes and gameplay footage, there hasn’t been any official updates in eight months. That’s likely to change in 2021. Expect to hear more about the game shortly, or an announcement of a full release this year.
The Return of PokéPark
In 2021, we need more wholesome entertainment. We need video games that delight and inspire us. This year, we need a new PokéPark.
If you’re unfamiliar, this spin-off series (originally for Wii) features cutesy mini-games and adventures with your Pokémon pals. Both games received middling critical reviews for their lack of purpose and repetitive gameplay, but the vibes in PokéPark are immaculate. Sometimes you just want to sit down, pet a Pikachu and play a few little games while wander.
It would be great as a Nintendo Switch Online perk, or even as a new mobile title. With New Pokémon Snap being one of the most anticipated video games this year, it’s clear there’s still an appetite for smaller, more self-contained games. Just look at Pikachu’s smile. You could be that happy with a new PokéPark adventure.
Detective Pikachu 2
In the lead up to the Detective Pikachu film release, Nintendo announced a sequel to the original 3DS title for Switch. This was way back in early 2019, and everyone seemed to forget about it soon after. Outside the initial announcement, no gameplay footage has surfaced. No screenshots, no news, and no major developments.
It could be that the title has been secretly cancelled but given how popular the film ended up being and the praise heaped on the original game, it’s likely Nintendo has something awesome brewing in the works.
Detective Pikachu will be back. It may not be this year, but what better time to release a sequel than now? Bring on the investigations.
What do you want to see from Pokémon‘s 25th anniversary celebrations? Excited for the rumoured Diamond and Pearl remasters? Want to see Pokémon Stadium 3 instead? Tell us about it in the comments below.