Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield Reviews Summary

Summary: Despite some alleged controversy, Pokemon Sword and Shield is a highly appreciated entry for the series. Making its home console debut on Nintendo Switch, the series maybe could've taken a bigger step forward, but it's still the best entry in years according to most.

New Ways to Catch 'Em All

Wild Areas and Dynamax creatures are a fun new twist on the formula.

Complex Combat

Game Freak has modernized the battle system for the better.

Plays It Safe

Not without new features, some were expecting a bigger leap for the series' first home console entry.

Rating Summary

Based on 120 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

Based on 120 critic reviews
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4 / 10
Jun 15, 2020
Pokemon: Shield (2019) Review 4/10 video thumbnail
8.2 / 10.0
Jan 15, 2020

Overall, Pokémon Sword and Shield is stunningly good. It might not make everyone or every fan happy but I enjoyed every minute I spent with it. For a series that’s 23 years deep with very little innovation, Pokémon Sword and Shield feels like a good first step towards finally shaking up what a Pokémon game can be.

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No Recommendation / Blank
Jan 9, 2020

Pokémon Sword and Shield are cheaply produced, antiquated in every regard and no longer come even close to living up to the great name of the brand. "It's Pokémon" can no longer be an excuse - it's exactly the fact that it is Pokémon why it has to be more than what it is. And right now, Sword and Shield are one thing above all else: two really bad video games.

Review in German | Read full review

8 / 10.0
Jan 2, 2020

Although there are few minor, annoying details, Pokemon Sword & Shield is an ultra fun Pokemon experience. It seems like experience will get even better with new content and surprises to come.

Review in Turkish | Read full review

7.5 / 10.0
Dec 28, 2019

An enjoyable Pokémon adventure for fans new and old. Slightly let down by an unwieldy multiplayer front-end and poor budget choices.

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75 / 100
Dec 24, 2019

Pokémon Sword and Shield are titles that polish the base gameplay of Pokémon in a fantastic way but make a series of inexplicable mistakes that tarnish an experience that should have been magical.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Dec 20, 2019

The multiplayer issues, short and forgettable story, and the removal of so many Pokémon, moves and mechanics all add up to make Pokémon Sword and Shield a rare disappointment for the series.

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Dec 16, 2019

All and all I had a great time with Pokémon Sword. The game runs very well docked or in handheld mode, online features work great aside from the slowdown and the gameplay is quite addictive. I loved all of the characters and some of the theme music is the best I’ve heard in a long time. I felt like the game was easy enough for a casual player to get into, while it still had plenty of depth for veteran players to explore. This is exactly the balance you want in a game like this. I played this for around 55 hours for this review and finished the main story and bit of post game content. I feel like this game is well worth $60 price tag. There is plenty of content and I feel like old and new players will find a lot to love here.

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7 / 10
Dec 15, 2019

While there are certainly moments that dazzle, and over two-dozen hours of joyful fun to be had here, Pokémon Sword & Shield feels fairly standard and lukewarm.

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8 / 10.0
Dec 14, 2019

Even with the controversy surrounding Dexit, I still find Pokemon Sword and Shield to be a fun romp. While certain features still feel like they’re not quite fully fleshed out, I appreciate all the quality-of-life improvements as well as the new things Game Freak added to change things up. Pokemon Sword and Shield feels fresh and new, something I haven’t felt in the series since Diamond and Pearl. It may not be the very best like no Pokemon game ever was. But it’s promising, which makes me look forward to what comes next for the series.

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