HomeNewsThe best Pokémon games, ranked from best to worst

The best Pokémon games, ranked from best to worst

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For greater than 25 years, developer Recreation Freak has discovered a approach to reinvent the Pokémon franchise for every new era of avid gamers. Each brand-new Pokémon trainers and seasoned Pokémon masters are captivated by these cute (and typically scary) little monsters. Possibly it’s the drive to catch ’em all that retains gamers coming again. Or maybe it’s how lovable these little pocket monsters may be. Regardless of the cause, gamers proceed to return to or begin exploring the Pokémon franchise.

Between new predominant sequence titles that carry new areas and Pokémon into the combo — like Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, remakes, and spinoffs — there’s an enormous library of Pokémon video games to select from. Everybody has their favorites, however some are arguably higher than others (similar to Nintendo’s long-running Metroid and Legend of Zelda sequence). We divided each Pokémon recreation into a few classes and ranked them accordingly.

The place do you assume the subsequent predominant sequence recreation will rank when it releases? And the place will Pokémon Sleep rank amongst spin-offs?

All predominant sequence titles ranked

1. Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal (era 2)

Starter Pokémon: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile

Pokémon Gold and Silver added 100 Pokémon to the unique 151, together with arguably the very best trio of starters Pokémon has seen. Past including to the Pokédex, era two made nice strides in a number of areas over the unique. For starters, you now had to consider the time of day when making an attempt to catch new Pokémon, because the day/evening cycle well added a layer of depth to your time spent within the lengthy grass.

Gold and Silver added the Kanto area to the map, connecting Johto with the landmass that began the phenomenon. With 16 gymnasium leaders to finest, Gold and Silver stay the deepest, lengthiest Pokémon video games ever created.

Including to the programs seen in Pokémon Yellow, era two leaned into twin varieties, permitting you to make a extra different and strategically numerous workforce to carry into battle. The Johto area occurs to be our favourite to discover as properly and has the very best legendary birds (Lugia and Ho-Oh). This installment additionally added the three legendary canine Pokémon — Raikou, Suicune, and Entei — which could possibly be discovered roaming all through Johto after an preliminary static encounter.

We’d be remiss to not point out HeartGold and SoulSilver, the improved DS remakes of Gold and Silver, however we’ll get to that in our remake-specific part beneath.

2. Pokémon Purple/Blue/Yellow (gen 1)

Pokemon blue and red

Starter Pokémon (Blue/Purple): Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur

Starter Pokémon (Yellow): Pikachu

Partly as a consequence of nostalgia, partly as a consequence of how these video games nonetheless really feel nice right now, era one’s trio of wonderful Pokémon video games take our second spot. To at the present time, era one has the very best assortment of Pokémon. We’ll always remember the unique 151 or Ash’s first journey. From the opening moments in Pallet City to selecting your first starter, racking up gymnasium badges, combating off Group Rocket, and defeating the Elite 4, Pokémon Purple and Blue simply really feel proper.

Certain, a number of the deeper mechanics the sequence is thought for now aren’t current within the unique video games, however there’s one thing about their streamlined id that also brings a smile to our faces. Pokémon Yellow introduced the sequence to full colour, and having Pikachu by our facet made us actually really feel like we have been Ash on a journey to catch ’em all. Era one will at all times maintain a particular place in our hearts. It’s magical.

3. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (gen 3)

Pokmeon Ruby and Sapphire

Starter Pokémon: Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip

Era three is when Pokémon video games actually began to lean into natures, EV programs, and IV programs, emphasizing not solely the species however the particular member of that species in your occasion. The ability of the very best Recreation Boy Advance video games made every mannequin of the now 386 Pokémon extra vibrant.

Whereas we expect the 135 new Pokémon as a gaggle didn’t evaluate to the 100 added in gen two, Ruby and Sapphire had one of many neater areas. The Hoenn island area felt bigger than earlier areas and was typically a extra attention-grabbing space to discover. A pair of stellar gen three remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, can be found on Nintendo 3DS.

4. Pokemon Legends: Arceus


Starter Pokémon: Rowlet, Cyndaquil, Oshawott

There’s some query as as to whether Pokemon Legends: Arceus is technically a mainline title. No matter how you’re feeling, there is no such thing as a doubt that that is an bold and contemporary tackle the sequence. We praised Pokémon Legends: Arceus in our overview for  the way in which it, “…makes daring modifications to the tried-and-true components, efficiently kicking off Pokémon’s long-needed reinvention.” Capturing and battling Pokémon meets a Breath of the Wild-like open world in a recreation that will form the way forward for the sequence for years to return. It’s helped again a bit by the Nintendo Swap’s technical limitations, however the Pokédex system and excellent battling make this a can’t-miss Pokémon entry.

5. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet (gen 9)

The box art for both Pokemon Scarlet and Violet side by side.

Starter Pokémon: Sprigatito, Fuecoco, Quaxly

If it weren’t for its slew of bugs and graphical glitches, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet might very properly have made it into the highest three right here. From a pure gameplay perspective, it’s some of the gratifying Pokémon video games launched up to now decade. That’s because of its actually contemporary open-world strategy, which supplies gamers far more freedom than they’re used to having within the sequence. In our overview, we referred to as it a “actual step ahead for a sequence that’s been locked in a holding sample for properly over a decade.”

Although in fact, its points are arduous to disregard. Scarlet and Violet are a number of the buggiest first-party Nintendo video games ever launched, which has raised some truthful questions concerning the unsustainable tempo developer Recreation Freak works. Whereas these tech points are actually distracting, they don’t take away from a refreshing jaunt by way of the Paldea area, a spot full of maybe the sequence’ most interesting assortment of monsters.

6. Pokémon Sword and Protect (gen 8)

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Starter Pokémon: Grookey, Scorbunny, Sobble

The most recent Pokémon video games are the primary mainline titles launched as a Nintendo Swap recreation, and Recreation Freak has lastly realized our longtime dream of getting a totally 3D Pokémon journey on a house console. Within the British-themed Galar area, you may enterprise into the brand new Wild space and seize monsters, or comply with the set pathways from city to city which have been within the sequence for the reason that very starting. Both method, Pokémon are actually simply out and about as an alternative of being hidden in randomized encounters, so frustration is significantly diminished.

With 400 Pokémon to catch and the addition of the Dynamax system to energy up your monsters, Pokémon Sword and Protect can hold you busy for hours. Nevertheless, the elimination of longtime monsters from the sport, together with Psyduck and Squirtle, does imply you may’t catch ‘em all this time. Luckily, with the arrival of the sport’s Isle of Armor DLC  and Crown Tundra DLC, you’ll have an opportunity to see new environments within the Galar area, catch new Pokémon, and battle new foes.

7. Pokémon Extremely Solar/Moon (gen 7)

Pokemon sun and moon

Starter Pokémon: Rowlet, Litten, Popplio

Solar and Moon and the improved Extremely Solar and Extremely Moon switched up the usual Pokémon development a bit. Set throughout the islands of Alola, Solar and Moon launched gamers to Group Cranium and the Aether Basis, a gaggle devoted to defending Pokémon. Slightly than progressing by way of varied cities’ gyms, you needed to full island trials, which usually included a small dungeon and a battle with a robust Pokémon. Afterward, you’d be capable of battle the island’s Kahuna.

The 80 new Pokémon have been a number of the most attention-grabbing to be added for the reason that early video games, and the Alolan variations of unique Pokémon felt impressed. Z-Strikes, Extremely Beasts, and an expanded tackle Mega Evolutions added welcome mechanics into the fold. There was even a Pokémon Snap-type mini-game, making this among the finest 3DS video games you should purchase.

8. Pokémon X/Y (gen 6)

Pokemon X and Y

Starter Pokémon: Chespin, Fennekin, Froakie

Pokémon X and Y marked the sequence’ first actually 3D expertise. The digital camera perspective switched from top-down to a better, behind-the-body angle, which gave the world of Pokémon a way of scope it hadn’t seen earlier than. The France-inspired Kalos area had aptitude and elegance and featured one of many largest mega-cities we’d seen so far.

Although X and Y solely launched 72 new Pokémon, it did mark the start of Mega Evolutions. The storyline considerably disappoints, however the greater constancy presentation offered by the Nintendo 3DS {hardware} made Pokémon fashions actually pop throughout battle sequences, permitting for crisper combating animations.

9. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum (gen 4)

Pokemon Diamond Pearl Platinum

Starter Pokémon: Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup

Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum served an essential function within the evolution of Pokémon. They appeared markedly higher than gen three Pokémon, because of the Nintendo DS, however they primarily confirmed the place the franchise would finally go. Era 4 introduced a vital function: On-line buying and selling and battling. This made filling out the Pokédex, which then neared 500 with the assistance of the brand new 107 pocket monsters, extra of a world effort.

You didn’t must know individuals with copies of the sport to commerce. As a substitute, you may simply hop on-line and make a commerce for what you wanted. On-line battling helps you to actually see who was the very best coach for the primary time in sequence historical past. Era 4 is nice due to its technological improvements, however it’s one of many extra forgettable Pokémon time intervals total.

10. Pokémon White/Black and White/Black 2 (gen 5)

Pokemon Black and White

Starter Pokémon: Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott

Era 5 was an oddity. It was the primary within the sequence to get a direct sequel, with Black 2 and White 2 releasing a yr after the originals. The sequels did retread acquainted territory, however informed a brand new story and featured some new areas and new Pokémon. Era 5 additionally holds the document for essentially the most Pokémon, with 156 new Pokémon to catch.

Much more so than Diamond and Pearl, although, gen 5, particularly the sequels, felt like a stopgap for the sequence’ subsequent evolution. Whereas we regard era 5 because the “worst,” we nonetheless assume it’s fairly darn good. It didn’t introduce a lot new in any respect, however the true sequel idea was intriguing nonetheless.

All remakes ranked

When you’ve gotten a successful components, it’s arduous to need to change it. The Pokémon video games have discovered their area of interest viewers and have managed to maintain this viewers entertained no matter graphics. Nevertheless, the Pokémon franchise has managed to push out a number of remakes which are value your time. Though these video games are nearly similar to the video games listed above, they do have some enhancements to every recreation that make them value testing and have been normally appropriate with the newest installment in the principle sequence, permitting for some attention-grabbing cross-generation buying and selling and battling.

1. Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (gen 4)

Pokemon heartgold soulsilver

Starter: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile

If you happen to haven’t guessed but, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are enhanced variations of their predecessors, Pokémon Gold and Silver. This recreation was launched to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Gold and Silver, which have been initially launched in 1999. The creators labored to make sure that the sport felt like a brand new recreation whereas additionally guaranteeing that it revered the emotions of those that liked the originals.

The video games maintain a number of new options that initially solely Pokémon Crystal had. It’s additionally the primary Pokémon recreation that allowed the participant’s occasion to comply with them into the outer world. It was just like how Pikachu would comply with you round in Pokémon Yellow. There have been additionally a handful of minigames that have been added. Gamers might use the Nintendo DS touchscreen to compete within the Pokéathlon. Moreover, the GB Sounds was a brand new merchandise and would change the background music to the unique 8-bit music from Pokémon Gold and Silver.

2. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (gen 3 remake)

Pokemon firered leafgreen

Starters: Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur

The primary remake for Recreation Freak, FireRed and LeafGreen are the 2004 enhanced remakes of the unique Purple and Blue. Though they have been made primarily based on Purple and Blue, they’re really a part of the third era of Pokémon video games. The sport takes us again to the Kanto area, giving us reminiscences of a number of the Pokémon we’ve seen earlier than.

Nevertheless, on the finish of the sport, we’re welcomed to the Sevii Islands, which is a totally new space that wasn’t obtainable in both Purple or Blue. This island stands out as a result of it holds Pokémon that have been usually unique to the Johto area and has a number of post-game missions that may be enjoyable. What’s extra, as soon as the missions on the Sevii Islands are accomplished, gamers have been in a position to commerce Pokémon with gamers who had Ruby or Sapphire, making it attainable to have Hoenn-exclusive Pokémon as properly.

3. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (gen 6)

Pokemon Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire

Starters: Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip

These of us who most well-liked Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire have been invited again to the sport with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. The sport is a part of the sixth era of Pokémon video games and was performed on the Nintendo 3DS. Though the sport is a remake, Recreation Freak labored to make sure that it had a number of the modifications from later generations.

We noticed Pokémon with cut up varieties from the fourth era and had limitless TM utilization and triple battles from the fifth era. In addition they added options from Pokémon X and Y, similar to Tremendous Coaching and Mega Evolution. One of many new mechanics that stood out was the flexibility to make use of Latios or Latias to fly round Hoenn. It is because when utilizing these Pokémon to fly, we might run into “mirage spots,” which had Pokémon that weren’t in any other case obtainable within the Hoenn area. This consists of quite a few legendary Pokémon from earlier generations.

4. Pokémon Good Diamond and Shining Pearl

Standing in the secret base full of Pokémon statues.

Starters: Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup

The 2021 launch of Pokémon Good Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl lastly introduced avid gamers a pair of long-requested remakes. The 2 basic Nintendo 3DS titles got here to the Nintendo Swap with up to date gameplay, enhanced visuals, and expanded endgame.

We praised the sport in our overview for faithfully translating Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl in a method that felt genuine to the originals. That may be a little bit of a double-edged sword, because the linear path and lack of difficult gameplay shall be interesting for younger avid gamers, however might flip off sequence veterans. The Underground has been expanded into the brand new Grand Underground. This end-game space now incorporates a sprawling dungeon, the place you may battle and seize Pokémon of assorted varieties. It’s nice for gathering XP or filling out your Pokédex.

5. Pokémon Extremely Solar and Extremely Moon (gen 7)

pokemon ultra sun ultra moon

Starters: Rowlet, Litten, Popplio

As a part of the seventh era of Pokemon video games, Pokemon Extremely Solar and Extremely Moon improve the variations of the unique Solar and Moon in a method that makes them gratifying. Critics and gamers have been a bit divided on how this recreation felt. On one hand, the extra options have been superb. Then again, it didn’t stray too removed from the unique story, which made it really feel like the identical recreation over once more.

Nonetheless, we noticed some nice new options added to the sport. Issues like Extremely Beasts, new types of legendary Pokémon Necrozma, and a brand new Lycanroc kind. We might additionally journey across the Alola area to gather Totem Stickers, which might then give us an opportunity to get a Totem-sized variant of a Pokémon. We additionally had a number of new actions: Mantine Surf allow us to surf throughout the area’s seas, the Alola Photograph Membership bought us to take footage with our Pokémon, and Extremely Warp Experience allow us to journey by way of Extremely Wormholes and encounter Extremely Beasts in their very own world. After all, there have been additionally the brand new Z-Strikes for a handful of Pokémon and the improve to the Rotom Pokedex, which added Roto-Loto.

All spin-off video games ranked

Outdoors of the mainline video games, there are dozens upon dozens of Pokémon experiences. A few of them diverge barely from the core components, and others are solely completely different. Make no mistake about it, the Pokémon franchise has produced loads of duds that felt like money grabs. (Pokémon Thriller Dungeon sequence, anybody?) However some Pokémon spin-offs work fairly properly. Listed here are our favorites.

1. New Pokémon Snap

New Pokémon Snap is the newest launch within the Pokémon franchise and one of many sequence’ finest. Half amusement park experience, half puzzle recreation, New Pokémon Snap duties you with gathering footage of Pokémon as you’re carted round on a self-driving automobile. You earn factors and stars primarily based on the standard of the photographs as you enterprise throughout a number of maps. Getting the right shot usually comes all the way down to cautious timing and studying what lures or actions in your half will get the correct response from the Pokémon. There are hidden pathways to search out, and the wild Pokémon turn out to be more and more snug with you on repeat visits, resulting in much more alternatives to snap an attention-grabbing image. Seeing these lovable creatures of their pure habitat is enjoyable and charming, and New Pokémon Snap is the right recreation to chill out with.

2. Pokémon Stadium

Pokémon Stadium

Pokémon Stadium introduced our associates to 3D lengthy earlier than the mainline sequence when it launched on Nintendo 64. The sport used the usual turn-based battling system, rendering all your favorites from the unique 151 within the glory they deserved.

Working our method by way of the stadium cups and enjoying multiplayer in opposition to associates was a blast. The perfect half about Stadium, although, was the Switch Pak. The N64 controller attachment helps you to insert your copy of Pokémon Purple, Blue, or Yellow to make use of your private assortment within the recreation’s thrilling 3v3 battles.

3. Pokémon Conquest

Pokémon Conquest

Pokémon Conquest for Nintendo DS spun the Pokémon components into an exquisite ways expertise. Set within the new Ransei area, it informed a completely unique story full of warlords and waging factions. Whereas the turn-based ways gameplay wasn’t as deep or difficult as video games similar to Fireplace Emblem and Closing Fantasy Techniques, it was an ideal introduction to the style and contained all of Pokémon’s patented attraction.

4. Pokémon TCG On-line

Pokemon TCG online

Pokémon started its life as a sequence of video video games, however the buying and selling card recreation has taken on a lifetime of its personal. Revealed within the West by none apart from Wizards of the Coast — the identical firm behind what is likely to be the most well-liked buying and selling card recreation on the earth, Magic: the Gathering — Pokémon’s bodily spin-off is straightforward to know however rife with depth. Pokémon TCG On-line is a free, on-line model of the tabletop recreation, match with the newest expansions and a glossy interface. Even higher, every pack of bodily playing cards comes with a redemption code, permitting you to double down digitally.

5. Pokémon Snap

Pokémon Snap

An on-rails shooter about taking candid pictures of Pokémon of their pure habits for Professor Oak? Signal us up. The unique Pokémon Snap as a Nintendo 64 recreation targeted extra on the great thing about these magical creatures moderately than their deft fight abilities. We liked each second of it, particularly once we captured a fully excellent photograph of a fire-breathing Charizard.

6. Pokémon Go


Pokémon Go is essentially the most profitable Pokémon recreation of all time by way of participant rely. The cell sensation helps you to be a real-life Pokémon coach wherever on the earth. Utilizing AR expertise, Pokémon pop up whether or not you’re strolling down the sidewalk or hanging out in your personal yard.

7. Pokémon Unite

Gameplay from the Japanese Pokémon UNITE beta test.

Pokémon meets League of Legends in Pokémon Unite, the first-ever Pokémon MOBA. Customizable trainers battle 5 versus 5, utilizing a number of the hottest Pokémon from the sequence. It has basic assault strikes, evolutions, and lovable outfits for Pokémon to put on. What’s to not love?

8. Pokémon: Let’s Go

Pokemon: let's go

Pokémon: Let’s Go for Nintendo Swap is extremely near being thought of a mainline Pokémon recreation. In any case, it’s a largely trustworthy remake of Pokémon Yellow rendered in stunning 3D visuals, full with battling, the gymnasium badge development, and the Elite 4. The place Let’s Go differs is the act of catching Pokémon.

Utilizing Pokémon Go as an affect, a simplistic catch mini-game commences when working right into a wild Pokémon. Let’s Go additionally depicts wild Pokémon roaming the overworld, so that you at all times know what you’re entering into beforehand. Pokémon: Let’s Go is a superb melding of two varieties of Pokémon video games.

9. Pokémon Puzzle League

Pokémon Puzzle League is basically simply Tetris Assault with a distinct coat of paint, however it’s nonetheless one of many extra entertaining Pokémon video games outdoors of the principle sequence. The sport is straightforward: the participant’s board is on one facet of the display with the opponent’s on the opposite.

Each boards will replenish with tiles and gamers should rearrange the tiles to create traces of three or extra in a row. Doing so will clear the tiles out of your board and ship blocks to your opponent’s board, which they’ll must filter. The sport is simple however difficult and is especially enjoyable to play in opposition to one other individual. The presence of assorted characters from Pokémon additionally provides it a heat feeling of nostalgia.

10. Pokémon Pinball

Pokémon Pinball for the Recreation Boy Colour is surprisingly addictive for a recreation with solely two tables. Hitting sure objects on the desk will trigger Pokémon to look, and gamers can then catch them by hitting them with the ball a number of instances earlier than the time restrict runs out.

Although it’s a fundamental recreation, there are some attention-grabbing elements to it. It has a misshapen recreation cartridge that incorporates a battery-powered “rumble” function so as to add some haptic suggestions. This was a singular novelty for the Recreation Boy when this recreation was launched.

11. Pokémon Café Combine

Pokémon cafe mix

Pokémon Café Combine is a free-to-play recreation that requires you to finish puzzles. The sport stars you and an Eevee, who’re house owners of a café the place Pokémon come and order Pokémon-themed meals and drinks. To satisfy every order, you must full a puzzle to arrange the corresponding merchandise. You’ll have to clear Pokémon icons on-screen by linking them collectively in a hoop. Whenever you end a stage, you’re in a position to improve your café with personalized flooring and designs that draw in numerous Pokémon. After some time, these Pokémon can even turn out to be a part of your workers.

This recreation is just like loads of cell video games in the marketplace. First-time gamers who attempt it out will get the dangle of it pretty rapidly. It’s a enjoyable and treatment recreation for gamers on the go to check out. You’ll be able to play the sport on each the Nintendo Swap and cell gadgets, however the recreation is just supported within the Swap’s hand-held mode. Pokemon Cafe Combine isn’t an revolutionary recreation that can garner particular awards, however it’s a enjoyable recreation for Pokémon followers to play.

12. Pokken Event DX

Pokken Event DX is a Tekken-impressed combating recreation that places you in direct management of your chosen Pokémon, battling your approach to the highest. This deluxe model is an expanded and upgraded port of the 2016 Wii U launch, bringing with it expanded rosters and gameplay modes to the Nintendo Swap.

The motion shifts between 3D and 2D, and efficiently blends Pokémon powers with conventional melee fight. The result’s a recreation that’s welcoming to Pokémon followers however deep sufficient to fulfill combating recreation aficionados. Pokken Event encompasses a single-player marketing campaign however actually shines in its on-line aggressive multiplayer mode.

13. Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu is the primary of its sort throughout the Pokémon franchise. It’s an journey recreation that takes you thru a robust narrative. You play as Tim Goodman, who stumbles upon a Pikachu that he can oddly perceive. We come to search out out that this explicit Pikachu is definitely the Pokémon of Tim’s father, Harry Goodman. We additionally come to study that Harry has disappeared. Now it’s as much as you and your new Pikachu to search out Harry and unravel the secrets and techniques of the Pokémon Complete Laboratory.

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