New trainers and DMs always want to play the best Pokémon games, being captivated by these cute (and sometimes scary) little monsters. And, for over 25 years, developer Game Freak has found a way to reinvent the Pokémon franchise for every new generation of gamers.
Maybe it's the desire to catch them that keeps players coming back. Or maybe it's just how adorable these pocket monsters can be. Whatever the reason, players keep coming back or exploring the Pokémon franchise.
Each game has a pretty consistent feel. Each one follows the previous one, but increases the Pokémon world a little more. With each new iteration of Pokémon, new features and Pokémon are brought to the table. While veterans may find each game familiar to the previous one, each contains a slightly new and immersive way to bring players into the Pokémon world.
And it looks like the next new Pokémon game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, could break the mold entirely with a new open-world game that looks a bit like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The long-awaited remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl is also scheduled to be released later this year. This franchise definitely knows how to keep gamers coming back for more!
So, here we will bring you the best Pokemon games!
As the Game Freak has been around for a long time and has produced so many different versions of Pokémon, we decided to share which Pokémon games we think would be best for newbies. We've also included some of the best Pokémon game remakes so new players can explore this vast world in different ways. It's important to remember that, in the Pokémon world, “better” and “worse” are relative. Every entry on this list is great, but if you're looking for a good entry into the universe, this is what we suggest.
- Best Pokemon Games
- Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal
- Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow (1st generation)
- Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald Pokémon (3rd generation)
- Pokémon Sword and Shield (8th generation)
- Ultra Sun/Moon Pokémon (7th generation)
- Pokémon X / Y (6th generation)
- Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum (4th generation)
- Pokémon White/Black and White/Black 2 (5th generation)
Best Pokemon Games
1. Pokémon Gold / Silver / Crystal (2nd generation)
Starting Pokémon: Chikorita, Cyndaquil or Totodile
Pokémon Gold and Silver added 100 Pokémon to the original 151, including arguably the best trio of beginners the Pokémon has ever seen. In addition to adding Pokédex, the second generation has made great strides in several areas over the original. For starters, you now had to think about the time of day when trying to catch new Pokémon, as the day/night cycle added a layer of depth to your time spent in tall grass.
Gold and Silver added the Kanto region to the map, connecting Johto with the landmass that started the phenomenon. With 16 Gym Leaders to beat, Gold and Silver remain the deepest and longest Pokémon games ever created, and are among the best Pokémon games ever.
Adding to the systems seen in Pokémon Yellow, generation two leaned towards both types, allowing you to make a more varied and strategically diverse team to bring into battle. The Johto region is also our favorite to explore and has the best legendary birds (Lugia and Ho-Oh). This edition also added the three legendary Pokémon puppies – Raikou, Suicune and Entei – that could be found wandering around Johto after an initial encounter.
We would be remiss not to mention HeartGold and SoulSilver, the improved remakes of Gold and Silver for DS, but we'll get to that in our specific remake section below.
2. Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow (1st generation)
Starting Pokémon (Blue/Red): Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur
Starting Pokémon (Yellow): Pikachu
Partly because of nostalgia, partly because of how great these games still look today, the trio of excellent 1st Gen Pokémon games comes in second. To date, the first generation has the best Pokémon collection. We'll never forget the original 151 or Ash's first adventure. From the initial moments in Pallet Town to choosing its first starter, accumulating gym badges, fighting Team Rocket and defeating the Elite Four, Pokémon Red and Blue deserve to be among the best Pokémon games.
Of course, some of the deeper mechanics the series is known for now aren't present in the original games, but there's something about its simplified identity that still brings a smile to our faces. Pokémon Yellow brought the show to all colors, and having Pikachu by our side made us really feel like we were Ash on a journey to catch everyone. The first generation will always have a special place in our hearts. It's magic.
3. Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald Pokémon (3rd generation)
Starting Pokémon: Treecko, Torchic or Mudkip
The third generation is when Pokémon games really started to lean towards natures, EV systems and IV systems, emphasizing not just the species, but the specific member of that species in their group. The power of one of the Game Boy Advance's best games has made every model (of the now 386 Pokemons) more vibrant.
While we think that the 135 new Pokémon as a group don't compare to the 100 added in the second generation, Ruby and Sapphire had one of the most organized regions. The Hoenn Island region looked larger than the previous regions and was generally a more interesting area to explore. A pair of three-generation stellar remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, are available on the Nintendo 3DS, making it one of the best Pokémon games.
4. Pokémon Sword and Shield (8th generation)
Starting Pokémon: Grookey, Scorbunny or Sobble
The latest best Pokémon games are the first top-line titles released as a Nintendo Switch game, and Game Freak has finally fulfilled our long-held dream of having a fully 3D Pokémon adventure on a console. In the British-themed Galar region, you can venture into the new wilderness and capture monsters or follow the defined paths from town to town that have been in the series since the beginning. Anyway, the Pokémon are now out and about, instead of hiding in random encounters, so the frustration is greatly reduced.
With 400 Pokémon to capture and the addition of the Dynamax system to power up your monsters, Pokémon Sword and Shield can keep you busy for hours. However, the removal of long-standing monsters from the game, including Psyduck and Squirtle, means you can't catch them all. Fortunately, with the arrival of Isle of Armor DLC and Crown Tundra DLC, you will have the chance to see new environments in the Galar region, capture new Pokemon and face new enemies.
5. Ultra Sun/Moon Pokémon (7th generation)
Starting Pokémon: Rowlet, Litten or Popplio
Sun and Moon and the improved Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have slightly changed the default Pokémon progression. Passing through the islands of Alola, Sun and Moon introduced players to Team Skull and the Aether Foundation, a group dedicated to protecting Pokémon. Instead of progressing through the gyms of various cities, you had to complete island tests, which usually included a small dungeon and a battle with a powerful Pokémon. After that, you'll be able to fight the island's Kahuna.
The 80 new Pokémon were some of the most interesting to be added since the first games, and the Alolan versions of the original Pokémon seemed inspired. Z-Moves, Ultra Beasts and an expanded version of Mega Evolutions added welcome mechanics to the game. There was even a Pokémon Snap style minigame, making this one of the best Pokémon games you can buy.
6. Pokémon X/Y (6th generation)
Starting Pokémon: Chespin, Fennekin or Froakie
Pokémon X and Y marked the series' first truly 3D experience. The camera's perspective shifted from top to bottom to a closer angle behind the body, which gave the Pokémon world a sense of scope he had never seen before. The French-inspired Kalos region had flair and style, and featured one of the biggest megacities we've seen so far.
Although X and Y only introduced 72 new Pokémon, this marked the beginning of Mega Evolutions. The plot is a bit disappointing, but the high-fidelity presentation provided by the Nintendo 3DS hardware made the Pokémon models really stand out during battle sequences, allowing for sharper fighting animations.
7. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum (4th generation)
Starting Pokémon: Turtwig, Chimchar or Piplup
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum played an important role in the evolution of Pokémon. They looked distinctly better than third-generation Pokémon, thanks to the Nintendo DS, but they mostly showed where the franchise would eventually go. The fourth generation brought a very important feature: online trading and battle. This made filling out the Pokédex, which was then reaching 500 with the help of the new 107 pocket monsters, yet another global effort.
You didn't need to know people with copies of the game to trade. Instead, you can simply go online and trade in for what you need. The online battle lets you really see who was the best trainer for the first time in the series' history. The fourth generation is great because of its technological innovations, but it's one of the most forgettable time periods overall in the Pokémon franchise.
8. Pokémon White/Black and White/Black 2 (5th generation)
Starting Pokémon: Snivy, Tepig or Oshawott
Generation five was a rarity. It was the first in the series to get a direct sequel, with Black 2 and White 2 being released a year after the originals. The sequels rehashed familiar territory, but told a new story and introduced some new areas and new Pokémon. Generation five also holds the record for most Pokémon, with 156 new Pokémon to catch.
Even more than Diamond and Pearl, however, the fifth generation, especially the sequels, seemed like a palliative for the next evolution of the series. Although we consider the fifth generation to be the “worst”, we still think it is very good. It didn't present anything new, but the true sequel concept was intriguing, present among the best Pokémon games.
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Best Pokemon game remakes
When you have a winning formula, it's hard to want to change it. The best Pokémon games have found their audience niche and have managed to keep that audience entertained regardless of the graphics. However, the Pokémon franchise has managed to release some remakes that are worth their time. While these games are almost identical to the games listed above, they have some improvements in each game that make them worth checking out and were generally compatible with the latest release in the main series, allowing for some interesting intergenerational exchanges and battles.
1. Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (4th generation)
starter pokemon: Chikorita, Cyndaquil or Totodile
If you haven't guessed it already, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are enhanced versions of their predecessors, Pokémon Gold and Silver. These games were released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Gold and Silver, which were originally released in 1999. The creators worked to ensure that the game felt like a new game, while respecting the feelings of those who loved the originals.
The games have some new features that only Pokémon Crystal originally had. It is also the first game that allowed the player's group of Pokemons to follow him into the outside world. It was similar to how Pikachu followed you in Pokémon Yellow. There have also been a handful of minigames that have been added. Players can use the Nintendo DS touchscreen to compete in Pokéathlon. Also, GB Sounds was a new item and would change the background music to the original 8-bit Pokémon Gold and Silver music. Therefore, this remake game deserves to be among the best Pokémon games.
2. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (3rd generation remake)
starter pokemon: Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur
The first remakes of Game Freak, FireRed and LeafGreen are the 2004 enhanced remakes of the original Red and Blue. Although they were based on Red and Blue, they are part of the third generation of Pokémon games. The game takes us back to the Kanto region, giving us memories of some of the Pokémon we've seen before.
However, at the end of the game, we're welcome to the Sevii Islands, which is a completely new area that wasn't available in Red or Blue. This island stands out because it is home to Pokémon that were normally unique to the Johto region and has some post-game quests that can be fun. Furthermore, once the quests on the Sevii Islands are completed, players will be able to trade Pokemons with players who have Ruby or Sapphire, making it possible to have Pokemons exclusive to Hoenn as well.
3. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (6th generation)
Starting Pokémon: Treecko, Torchic or Mudkip
Those of us who preferred Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were invited back into the game with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. The game is part of the sixth generation of Pokémon games and was played on Nintendo 3DS. Although the game is a remake, Game Freak has worked to ensure that it has some of the changes from later generations.
We've seen split-type Pokémon from the fourth generation and with unlimited use of TM and triple battles from the fifth generation onwards. They also added features from Pokémon X and Y, such as Super Training and Mega Evolution. One of the new mechanics that stood out was the ability to use Latios or Latias to fly around Hoenn. This is because, when using these Pokémon to fly, we could find “mirage points” that had Pokémon that otherwise weren't available in the Hoenn region. This includes several Legendary Pokémon from previous generations.
4. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (7th generation)
Starting Pokémon: Rowlet, Litten or Popplio
As part of the seventh generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon enhance the original Sun and Moon versions in a way that makes them fun. Critics and gamers were a bit split on the feel of the game. On the one hand, the added features were amazing. On the other hand, it didn't stray too far from the original story, which made it feel like the same game again.
However, we saw some great new features added to the game. Things like Ultra Beasts, new forms of the legendary Pokémon Necrozma, and a new form of Lycanroc. We could also travel around the Alola region to collect Totem Stickers, which would give us a chance to get a Totem-sized variant of a Pokémon.
We also had some new activities: Mantine Surf allowed us to navigate the region's seas, Alola Photo Club allowed us to take pictures with our Pokémon and Ultra Warp Ride allowed us to travel through Ultra Wormholes and encounter Ultra Beasts in their own world. Of course, there were also the new Z-Moves for a handful of Pokémon and the update for Rotom Pokedex, which added Roto-Loto.
So what's your favorite Pokemon game? Tell us in the comments!
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