It’s exhausting to pinpoint the rationale why the Pokémon franchise has remained a worldwide sensation for greater than 20 years. Possibly it actually is the need to catch ’em all. Possibly it’s that the fundamental formulation, of changing into the perfect coach, has remained largely the identical since its debut on Recreation Boy.
A way of consolation and familiarity, whereas implementing sufficient new options to evolve, retains bringing avid gamers again in droves. No mainline Pokémon recreation has been something lower than nice, and all of them have been industrial successes. Pokémon is likely one of the uncommon franchises that each youngsters and adults obsess over.
Pokémon Sword and Protect, the primary core Pokémon experiences for a house console, arrive on Nintendo Change later this 12 months. With that in thoughts, we determined to rank the mainline Pokémon generations from finest to worst — worst being relative as even the final entry on this record is nice. The mainline video games are literally solely a fraction of video video games within the Pokémon universe, so we additionally included our picks for the perfect Pokémon spinoff video games after the principle occasion.
1. Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal (Gen 2)
Starters: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile
Pokémon Gold and Silver added 100 Pokémon to the unique 151, together with arguably the perfect 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 buddies, because the day/night time cycle neatly added a layer of depth to your time spent within the lengthy grass.
Including to the methods seen in Pokémon Yellow, era two leaned into dual-types, permitting you to make a extra diversified and strategically numerous crew to carry into battle. The Johto area occurs to be our favourite to discover as properly and has the perfect legendary birds (Lugia and Ho-Oh).
We’d be remiss to not point out HeartGold and SoulSilver, the improved DS remakes of Gold and Silver. HeartGold and SoulSilver added the Kanto area to the map, connecting Johto with the land mass that began the phenomenon. With 16 fitness center leaders to finest, HeartGold and SoulSilver stay the deepest, lengthiest Pokémon video games ever created. If we might solely play one Pokémon recreation for the remainder of our lives, it’d be HeartGold or SoulSilver.
2. Pokémon Pink/Blue/Yellow (Gen 1)
Starters (Blue/Pink): Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur
Starter (Yellow): Pikachu
Partly resulting from nostalgia, partly resulting from how these video games nonetheless really feel nice right now, era one’s trio of wonderful Pokémon video games take our second spot. To today, era one has the perfect assortment of Pokémon. The unique 151 won’t ever be forgotten and neither will Ash’s first journey. From the opening moments in Pallet City to picking your first starter to racking up fitness center badges and defeating the Elite 4, Pokémon Pink and Blue simply feels proper.
Certain, a few of the deeper mechanics the collection is understood 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 collection to full coloration and having Pikachu by our aspect made us actually really feel like we had 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.
three. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (Gen three)
Starters: Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip
Era three is when Pokémon video games actually began to lean into natures, EV, and IV methods, putting an emphasis on not solely the species however the particular member of that species in your celebration. The facility of the Recreation Boy Advance made every mannequin of the now 386 Pokémon extra vibrant.
Whereas we predict 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 fascinating space to discover. A pair of stellar gen three remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, can be found on Nintendo 3DS.
four. Pokémon Extremely Solar/Moon (Gen 7)
Starters: Rowlet, Litten, Popplio
The newest mainline video games, 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 Staff Cranium and the Aether Basis, a gaggle devoted to defending Pokémon. Slightly than progressing by varied cities’ gyms, you needed to full island trials, which usually included a small dungeon and a battle with a robust Pokémon. Afterwards, you’d be capable of battle the island’s Kahuna.
The 80 new Pokémon had been a few of the most fascinating 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 fashion mini-game.
5. Pokémon X/Y (Gen 6)
Starters: Chespin, Fennekin, Froakie
Pokémon X and Y marked the collection’ first actually 3D expertise. The digicam perspective switched from top-down to a better, behind the physique angle, giving the world of Pokémon a way of scope it hadn’t seen earlier than. France impressed Kalos area had aptitude and magnificence and featured one of many largest mega-cities we’d seen up to now.
Although X and Y solely launched 72 new Pokémon, it did mark the start of Mega Evolutions. The storyline considerably disappoints, although. The upper constancy presentation offered by the Nintendo 3DS made Pokémon fashions actually pop throughout battle sequences, permitting for crisper combating animations.
6. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum (Gen four)
Starters: Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum served an vital position within the evolution of Pokémon. They seemed markedly higher than era three because of the Nintendo DS, however they primarily confirmed the place the franchise would finally go. Era 4 introduced a vital characteristic, although: 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 worldwide effort.
You didn’t need to know individuals with copies of the sport to commerce with. As an alternative, you may simply hop on-line and make a commerce for what you wanted. On-line battling allow you to actually see who was the perfect coach for the primary time in collection historical past. Era 4 is nice due to its technological improvements, but it surely’s one of many extra forgettable Pokémon time intervals general.
7. Pokémon White/Black and White/Black 2 (Gen 5)
Starters: Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott
Era 5 was an oddity. It was the primary within the collection to get a direct sequel, with Black 2 and White 2 releasing a 12 months after the originals. The sequels did retread acquainted territory, however advised a brand new story and featured some new areas in addition to Pokémon. Era 5 additionally holds the report for probably the most Pokémon, with 156 new Pokémon to catch.
Much more so than Diamond and Pearl, although, era 5, particularly the sequels, felt like a cease hole for the collection’ subsequent evolution. Whereas we regard era 5 because the “worst,” we nonetheless suppose it’s fairly darn good. It didn’t introduce a lot new in any respect, however the true sequel idea was intriguing nonetheless.