UPDATE: Nintendo Just announced Pokémon Stadium 1 & 2 are coming to Nintendo Switch Online and Expansion Pack members on Wednesday, 12 April 2023!
Back in the 90s, a good Friday afternoon with the homies had GoldenEye 007, Mario Kart 64, WWF No Mercy, and other legendary N64 multiplayer games, and a couple of those games happened to be Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Stadium 2.
Sure, you can use the transfer pack to see the pokemon you captured on GameBoy in Full 3D battles. But for the more casual pokemon fan that only knew Pikachu from the animated series and a few others from the Super Smash Bros. pokeballs, the minigames available here were a nice break from the more serious multiplayer-oriented titles on N64.
The best mini-games in the Pokémon Stadium series on Nintendo 64 had simple controls, yet addictive gameplay and they were cute to look at, most of them featuring the more pet-looking and cuddly pocket monsters.
Some entries on this list are a little more complex in gameplay and last longer than Mario Party minigames. With that said, let’s take a look at
The Best Pokemon Stadium Mini Games Ranked
This has to be the lamest mini-game in Pokemon Stadium. The more simplistic, bland to look at, featuring the most useless and “least cute” pokemon. You only press “A” to jump and hit the counter and… Nothing much.
Yeah, you may not be able to reach the full height of your jump if you let go of the button, like in any platformer game since Super Mario Bros., but there’s nothing fancy here.
Just a “filler game”, much like Magikarp itself. NEXT
Run, Rattata, Run
A Forrest Gump Reference?
This game has you tapping A repeatedly to run on the treadmill and pressing up on the D-Pad to jump over hurdles that will appear at random.
Since the obstacles appear at different times for all Rattatas and the camera is moving around the stage, sometimes is easy to get confused and don’t jump on time.
But this is one of the more forgettable minigames, and these rat monsters are just not as popular as Pikachu, so you may skip this one, or play it only once every now and then.
Featuring the Pokemon cartoon mascot and probably the most famous of them all, electrocuted Mario in the first Smash Bros. and even got its own movie, Pikachu needs your help tapping the A or B button like mad in order to fill a battery and thunder shock the other yellow mice.
Nothing much besides tapping the correct button. But since it features the original chubby Pikachu, kids may have played it more often than the previous entries on this list.
Also, it’s a good way to know who among your pals is better at imitating a sewing machine needle.
Dig! Dig! Dig!
Another tapping game but here you must alternate between L and R shoulder buttons. And if you overlap them and press both at the same time Sandshrew will stop digging.
Also, the water-flowing animation and the armadillo pokemon winner celebrating at the end are nice to watch.
Here you are a Drowzee that must cast Hypnosis on the others when the pendulum is right in the center.
At first it is pretty easy to get the timing right, but after a while, the pendulum will go back and forth faster than your eye can see.
It certainly beats rapidly tapping minigames, since you can beat your friend with the fast fingers if you get the timing just right. And the animation of the winner falling asleep at the end always gets me.
In Rock Harden you take control of Metapods and Cocoons, and you perform Harden by pressing A to avoid getting flattened by falling rocks.
The trick here is by making yourself resistant as a steel beam, you also consume HP, and the objective is to use harden as least as possible. So when 2 rocks are about to fall on you, is better to harden 2 times for a split second than to keep the button pressed the whole time.
It is a good-timing game that doesn’t need players to be experienced with a controller. And it is a good way to incorporate this pokemon skill in a way that it’s fun and useful. At least is better than Magikarp’s splash.
One of the more complex mini-games in the Pokemon Stadium. Here you have Resident Evil 2 Lickers in a cute pink form eating sushis the same way Yoshi eats Koopas. By launching its long tongue at the target like a chameleon.
You can see which dishes earn you the most points at first, but that’s pretty easy to forget. And you earn more points if you eat the same sushi in sequence, but the other Lickitung won’t make that an easy feat.
If you try to grab a dish but get nothing, the idle animation will make you lose precious seconds, and your opponents can block your path to better food.
The Japanese voice and stage music also adds to the ambiance and makes you feel like in a traditional far east restaurant. It is one of the best games on this list and worth several plays among pals.
Ekan’s Hoop Hurl
The Pokemon’s take on Ring Toss, but instead of rings you throw an Ekans forming a circle shape by biting its tail, and have Digletts coming up from the ground to serve as poles.
Sometimes a Diglett will be shiny, and if you land your Ekans around it you’ll earn more points.
The controller here is different since the strength and direction to throw the snake depends on how far you pull down the analog stick.
Digletts aren’t around for too long, and you need to be precise and fast to react since another player can get it before you do. A good game worth a few tries.
This may be extremely simple to play, but it is the best one here. Everything about this minigame has been made to perfection.
The classroom setting, the teacher Ms. Clefairy, and the students that get smacked on the head when they miss a move.
The objective of this minigame is to memorize the arrows on the board and press the sequence correctly. It seems easy at first when you only need to remember 4 moves, but when you have to press the D-Pad in 12 directions and have only 3 seconds to learn and then input the sequence, things get hard.
And it’s always funny to see your pals get whacked in the head with a rubber hammer.
This mini is so popular it has been turned into memes recently.
The Best Pokemon Stadium 2 Mini Games Ranked
A very simplistic and boring racing game, where you just run around a corral in circles for 9 laps that feel like an eternity, and the only thing that adds a little bit of depth to the mindless running, is that you leave a dust cloud to slow down opponents.
The minigames in Kirby Air Ride are way more fun to play, and even those didn’t have me entertained for more than 15 minutes in my GameCube days. This is a minigame you can skip.
A hundred eggs fall down and you press L or R button to move to the sides and collect them with the little pink pokemon that’s always with nurse Joy in the anime.
Voltorbs also fall down and make you lose 5 eggs if you catch ’em, so be quick in your reflexes and avoid them.
There’s an Italian look and music in this minigame, which sets this game apart from the others, but it is not very exciting to play.
Clear Cut Challenge
Here you control either a Scyther or a Pinsir and must chop a tree log right in the white line when it falls down or cut it as close as you can to the line, without going above it, or you will lose points.
Timing is everything, just press the A button at the right time… Which is hard to see if you get a Pinsir, a scyther cuts right in front of its eyes.
This game has the vibe of Samurai Kirby from the SNES game Kirby Super Star, even in music and presentation, but with 4 players earning points, instead of chopping each other. Have to keep it family-friendly.
Pichu’s Power Plant
Like the Pikachu minigame in the 1st Pokémon Stadium, with the variation that players must press and hold the direction of the lamp that appears with the D-Pad, besides tapping A or B depending on the color of the lamp.
It is slightly better than Thundering Dynamo, and the end animation of the losing Pichus getting zapped is funnier than with their evolved version.
Another racing minigame, but probably the best on this list. This is an obstacle course where Togepis run downward and can go over a blue arrow to gain turbo, or stumble with rocks and jump over logs along the way.
Also, Digletts appear from the ground at random, making you trip if you crash into them.
Overall it deserves more plays than the Rattata and Phanpy minigames.
Here you tap A repeatedly to fly upwards and move to the sides with the stick, so it isn’t just a mindless “press as fast as you can” minigame.
The objective here is to collect hearts that appear from the right of the screen or hit another Golbat so it drops one of its collected hearts and steal it.
Magnemite also appear on the screen and can zap you making you lose hearts, so you need to be careful of lots of other pokemon by the time you’re about to exit the cave.
This minigame is perhaps the most complex on this list gameplay-wise.
Taking advantage that it kinda looks like Santa Claus, here you have to gather presents on the bottom of the screen and carry them to the top. The more presents you have on your sack, the slower you’ll walk, and on your way, you may crash into a Swinub passing by.
Is cool to see that GameBoy and Nintendo 64 Hey You Pikachu Edition are among the things you can take.
And the way you can fit a piano into your sack it’s amusing to watch. A nice game, among the middle gameplay-wise in the fun factor of this list.
Furret’s Frolic in Pokemon Stadium 2 is a cute free for all game with cute ferrets, which recently became a meme with the “Furret walk” song.
The rules are kinda like the classic board game Hungry Hippos, but in reverse, since it’s about taking pokeballs to your turf, but the Furrets are in the middle of the stage and only throw the ball forward by pushing it with their nose.
Here you use the D-Pad, keep pressing one arrow to stay there and release it to go back to the center.
The small regular red and white pokeballs are worth just one point, and the huge purple master balls give you 5 points.
With a TV Game Show presentation, this counting minigame starts out pretty basic, but later on, it is mayhem!
It gets really hard to count the pokemon they ask you to, especially since Magneton is a single pokemon made out of three Magnemites, and they run alongside them to confuse you.
Later you need to count a yellow pokemon like Pichu, and other yellow Pokemon run with them so they camouflage along the way. And when the stampede comes and you need to count all of them, your observation skills are tested to the max.
Is like a 4 Player variation of Pong, but with Mr. Mimes using barriers as paddles.
What makes this interesting is that you get 1 point if you score, but lose one point if an opponent scores a goal in your court. The first one to score 5 points win.
You also press A to hit a Smash, and the Pokeball you hit around doesn’t have a predictable trajectory. This keeps the game more competitive and can get as hardcore as a mini hockey arcade play.
Kinda like a Beyblade but with Hitmontops instead of cool anime spinning tops. You don’t know what Beyblade is? Well, the objective is to knock your rivals out of the circular ring. And the first player to get 5 points to win.
You move around with the joystick and press A to perform Rapid Spin, but sometimes another Hitmontop can give an opponent the final push right at the edge of the ring, earning the point instead.
It’s a very fun game and a cool alternative to spinning tops battles if you lost the ones you owned when you were a kid.
A very entertaining reflex-based minigame with rules that remind you of musical chairs. Eevees walk around a circle that has fruits covered by an Aipom, and when the music stops and the monkey pokemon uncovers the fruit, you dash to the fruits pressing A.
You can mess with your opponents and fake a dash by pressing B, making someone else crash into the lid by mistake and perhaps losing the chance of getting fruit.
Not only that but Aipom can also fake taking off the cover, making the Eevees strike the lid face first. Besides, sometimes a Pineco is under the lid, and you lose fruit if you take it.
Eevees collect fruit depending on the time they took to get to them. So everybody has a chance to get a few even if they didn’t reach the center first.
After 5 rounds, the one with the most fruits wins.
It is a very fun game to test your reflexes and it beats Clear Cut Challenge and Rock Harden by having a lot more things to consider instead of just timing. And Eevee is the 2nd most popular pokemon, so the appeal of this game is great for many plays.
That’s everything, from worst to best for Pokémon Stadium 1 and Pokémon Stadium 2. At least in this gamer’s opinion.
Nintendo should think about creating a bundle of Pokémon Stadium 1&2 minigames for mobile devices with these featuring modern visuals, I’m sure it’ll be a hit. As big a hit as Pokemon Go? Who knows… I’d play it.
When is Pokémon Stadium coming to Switch?
The Pokémon Stadium games will be released for Nintendo Switch on Wednesday, 12 April 2023. Both Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2 will be available on Nintendo Switch Online and to Expansion Pack members.