The 13 best Pokémon games everyone should play at least once
What is the best Pokémon game? Pokémon games are an intergenerational classic. This RPG game, developed by Game Freak, has gone from being a simple game to a full-fledged universe with its own collectible card game, movies, toys, clothes, and more.
With that in mind, it hasn’t been easy to rank the best Pokémon games as there are so many amazing versions out there. From Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon to Pokémon Gold And Silver (GBC) to Pokémon Platinum to different regions such as Alola, Unova Hoenn and Kanto regions, our job was done for us.
However, after digging deep to find the best Pokémon game and its finalists, we’ve put together a pretty good list (if we say so ourselves) of the best Pokémon games of all time.
How to play Pokémon
As long as you have a compatible device, you need to download the game and start playing. You can play Pokémon games on your IOS device (iPhone, iPad and Macbook), Android device, computing device, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 64, and Nintendo Switch.
The 13 best Pokémon games
Here are the best Pokémon games that everyone should play at least once in their life:
- Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (3DS)
- Pokémon X and Y (3DS)
- (EN) Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (3DS)
- Pokémon Black and White (DS)
- (EN) Red and Blue Pokémon
- Pokémon Emerald (GBA)
- Pokémon Black and White 2 (DS)
- (GBC) Fire Red and Leaf Green Pokémon
- (GBC) Crystal Pokémon
- Pokémon Platinum (DS)
- Pokémon Gold and Silver (GBC)
- (DS) Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (3DS)
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is an advanced version of the seventh generation Sun and Moon. It features Ultra Beasts, new story elements, and new forms of the iconic Pokémon Necrozma. In addition to these new highlights, the game allows you to collect Totem stickers, surf, and take photos with your Pokemon.
While Ultra Sun and Moon might not be the best Pokemon game, it’s still a lot of fun to play.
(3DS) Pokémon X and Y
Pokémon X and Y are known as the first pair of Pokémon for Nintendo 3DS, and it ushered in the sixth generation of Pokémon with fully 3D visuals. This version offered players the ability to customize and modify the appearance of their trainer.
It also came with the possibility for some Pokémon to Mega Evolve in a much stronger form. Some battles have been fought in the sky with the Flying Pokémon and Encounters of the Horde, which allow you to take on five Pokémon at once.
Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition (GB)
Pokémon Yellow is the “final boss” version of Pokémon Red and Blue. Players automatically begin the game with Pikachu as the starting Pokémon. Pikachu has been given a personality and a voice and has been with you as you travel across the world map.
Over time, the Pikachu would respond to the player’s actions and their feelings would change. Additionally, Pokémon Yellow featured a new surfing mini-game where players could surf at their leisure on Pikachu’s back.
(3DS) Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is an improved remake of previous Ruby and Sapphire. This entry into the Pokémon universe was released on 3DS shortly after X and Y. It was accompanied by some features of the sixth generation of Pokémon, such as Mega Evolution. There were also some exciting additions like the ability to fly over Hoenn over Latios or Latias.
Pokémon Black and White (DS)
Pokémon Black and White was the pioneer of the fifth generation of Pokémon, and it was praised for its intricate and compelling gameplay plot.
Some of its interesting features included the introduction of Team plasma. This seasonal cycle has visually influenced the game world, the areas players can visit, and the fully animated sprites for your Pokémon in battles. There were also rotational battles, where you could use three Pokémon to fight at the same time.
Pokémon Red and Blue (GB)
Pokémon Red and Blue is a serious contender for the best Pokémon game title. This particular version stepped up the Pokémon movement and ushered in the first 150 Pokémon such as Eevee, Charmander, and Pikachu, which became public favorites. It also introduced several amazing features, such as linking two Game Boys to conduct multiplayer battles and trade Pokémon.
Even today, the model used in this version is still followed. Players can still control characters from a third-person perspective, capture Pokémon in the wild, engage in turn-based combat, and roam an outside world.
(GBA) Emerald Pokémon
Pokémon Emerald is another “final boss” entry. It’s an evolved version of Ruby and Sapphire, and it came with new story elements and restructured locations to capture particular Pokémon. Unlike its predecessors, this entry allows players to capture a larger number of Pokémon.
Pokémon Black and White 2 (DS)
Pokémon Black and White 2 is a special game within the Pokémon franchise, and it was released as a direct extension of an initial entry – Black and White. This sequel occurs two years after the events of Black and White and is set in new locations (wild areas) in the Unova region. In these new locations there are Pokémon that you previously couldn’t catch in black and white (1).
A particularly interesting feature of this version is a side game called PokéStar Studios. In this game you can shoot your movie with Pokémon as movie stars. Another fun feature was the Pokémon World Tournament, where you could battle gym leaders and trainers from previous games (including Misty and Brock).
Fire Red and Leaf Green Pokémon (GBA)
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen is an improved ‘Game Boy Advance’ remake of the quintessential original games. Now you might think we got it confused with Pokémon Red and Blue. But here’s what it is; in the West it was known as Red and Blue, and in Japan the originals were called Pokémon Red and Green.
This new entry has come with greatly improved visuals, an updated user interface, and the ability to connect to multiple Pokémon games to collect over 350 Pokémon.
Crystal Pokémon (GBC)
Pokémon Crystal was Pokémon Gold and Silver’s first ultimate upgrade until another entry took away its crown.
In this first upgrade, players selected their character’s gender for the first time in franchise history. Another novelty – the Battle Tower – allowed trainers to participate in dual battles like the ones that took place in the Pokémon Stadium.
(DS) Platinum Pokémon
Pokémon Platinum is the upgraded version of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, and it featured a “Monster Hunter-like” Wi-Fi slot. This new addition featured several mini-games in which up to 20 players could participate.
Other features included the ability to trade Pokémon anonymously over the internet and recording fights. Most Pokémon have acquired new forms as well.
Pokémon Gold and Silver (GBC)
In November 1999, Pokémon Gold and Silver launched on Game Boy Color, and it featured a clock that kept track of the time and day of the week in the real world. This clock would trigger different events, including the times of day Pokémon would appear. In this version, Shiny Pokémon first appeared, and shiny is one of the few Pokémon alongside Dark Type and Steel Pokémon.
This pioneering entry also contained items that Pokémon could grab to trigger various effects: the Pokégear (or one of the first smartphones) and new Poké balls.
Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver (DS)
The title of the best Pokémon game ever made goes to the Nintendo DS remake of (the second best) Pokémon Gold and Silver – Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver.
This remake was just amazing. It took the awesomeness of its predecessor and made it even more fantastic. It had the new features of Pokémon Crystal and the ability of Yellow to make your Pokémon travel with you.
Even if you don’t play another game on this list, be sure to play Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver and find out why it’s our top pick.
It wasn’t easy, but we did it. We’ve put together a solid list of the best Pokémon games that every Pokémon fan must play at least once.
Where did your best Pokémon game rank on this list? Did we miss it or any other Pokemon game? Share your recommendations and (disagreements) in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This article is the personal opinion of the author, which may differ from “official” statements or facts.
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