Monster Rancher is back, and it's on Steam

Monster Rancher port 2021
(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

PlayStation-era cult classic Monster Rancher is on its way back, announced Koei Tecmo earlier this year, and it's now set for a release on Steam on December 8, 2021. The creature-collecting game has been ported to both PC and Nintendo Switch. The updated edition is a collection of the first two games in the series, and is called Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX.

The game will have online features allowing you to trade and fight with others globally. It also incorporates "some of the most requested improvements" from series fans over the years, most of which are UI changes, but also integrating the minigame that was played on ultra-weird PlayStation peripheral PocketStation. These versions also have new monsters, and include the creatures originally absent from the Western release in the 90s.

Known at the time primarily for its gimmick of having players insert CDs into their console to generate new monsters, Monster Rancher was long seen in the west as an also-ran to the much more popular Pokemon—all the way down to the tie-in anime series.

Rather than using CDs in your computer, you'll now be able to use a music database within the game to generate new monsters by searching CD titles. I'm not sure it'll have the same charm as raiding your parents' CD collection for weird creatures like we did in the 90s, but there are apparently some 600,000 songs to choose from.

You can find Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX on Steam.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.