What are the best Pokemon Games?
There’s still a plethora of mainline and spin-offs which have come out over the years, even when not considering the latest Scarlet & Violet games and their Teal Mask and Indigo Disk DLCs. Over two decades’ worth of games will make any trainer wonder what the best Pokemon games are. Below are the list of the best Pokemon games, ranked from the best to the least.
1 – Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver (Nintendo DS)
Pokemon Silver and Gold is the best Pokemon Game and was released in 1999 on the Game Boy Color, and was everything a sequel should be: taking what was done so well in Red, Blue and Green before expanding on its building blocks to make the series better than ever. When both games were remade on the Nintendo DS in 2010 as HeartGold and SoulSilver was when the series was made clearer.
2 – Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen (GameBoy Advance)
The Red, Blue and Green’s 2004 remakes in FireRed and LeafGreen are the finest takes on the first Pokemon journey. Nevertheless, the 1996 games will always be held dear in our hearts, as well as the delightful Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.
Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen still hold up as sensational experiences with a perfect level of innovation for all kind of fans. The first iteration of the beloved pokemon formula still looks great in the old but timeless 32-bit art style. Also, incorporating Gen-2 and Gen-3’s improvements followed the original games with new strategies, types and a decent post-game exploraation of the Sevii Islands.
FireRed and LeafGreen is as classic a Pokemon adventure as any with its source material. After choosing your starter; Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle; travel across the land of Kanto, searching far and wide for the original 151 Pokemon, taking down the villainous Team Rocket, battling your way up the gyms, and Victory Road to become Champion.
3 – Pokemon Legends: Arceus (Nintendo Switch)
Arceus injected the reinvigoration the franchise needed needed so desperately needed after twenty-six years in business-being is the absolute best Pokemon game on current-gen hardware by far, after almost a decade of an increasingly stale taste in the new Pokemon games building up to its release Legends.
Introducing mechanics like crafting, Strong and Agile Styles, and Primal Pokemon, Legends: Arceus’ gameplay overall feels packed with features that are just genarational gimmicks like Sun and Moon’s Z-Moves, X and Y’s Mega Evolutions, Sword and Shield’s Dynamaxing and curry-making or Scarlet and Violet’s Tera Raids and picnics. Arceus is made even better when watching and interacting with each Pokeman in its active overworld.
In a unique but fascinating Breath of Wild-style setting and narrative in an ancient Sinnoh, the early 2022 RPG’s honed focus on catching Pokemon – paired with its story mechanic of thinking of Pokemon as wild and dangerous creatures – Legends: Arceus reawakens the sense of wonder that comes with hunting Pocket Monsters. Also by shaking up the whole formula, Pokemon: Legends Arceus took Pokemon back to its roots and in time.
Compared to the technical disaster that is Scarlet and Violet, Pokemon: Legends Arecus is an undisputed masterpiece. It’s agreed that Pokemon Legends: Arceus had a few minor technical issues upon release. Regardless, patches and a nine-month distance now only makes us look back at the Hisui advwnture with a fondness toward the prosperity of advances it brought to Pokemon as a whole.
4 – Pokemon Emerald (Game Boy Advance)
It was not until Pokemon Emerald that the true potential of Gen 3 was established. Some interesting changes first seen in Ruby and Sapphire, from Double Battles and Ability to Pokemon Contests, stat-altering Natures, and full-colour visuals courtesy of the Game Boy Advance was brought in Pokemon’s third generation.
The post-game introduction of the Battle Frontier is the second big improvement of what ranks Emerald amongst the best post-game introduction of the Battle Frontier: To test your skill, you will be asked to take on seven dauntingly difficult Frontier bosses at different facilities. This was the peak of high difficulty if you wanted to be pointed to a time before Pokemon games become too easy with.
Supplementing the campaign in the already great Hoenn region, Pokemon Emerald takes the story to an epic scale by making Rayquza the star legendary – putting you in the middle between Team Magma and Aqua instead of bein pitted against one the other.
Although bubbling with additional third-version improvements like Platinum did for Diamond and Pearl, Emerald majorly delivered major enhancements on Ruby and Sapphire on two fronts: story and challenge.
5 – Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 (Nintendo DS)
Although, Black 2 and White 2 are the only sequels of the same Pokemon generation. The only Pokemon games to ever be given a numbered title, Black 2 and White 2 also serve Black and White as the first connected follow-up to a previous Pokemon game since Gold and Silver did so to Red, Blue, and Green.
When combined with Black and White, Black 2 and White 2 make for the only combination of mainline Pokemon games that make for a consistent and narratively massive Pokemon outing.
Even though based in the same region as its predecessor, Black 2 and White 2 brought an array of new content. This included new areas of Unova, previous-gen Pokemon, and the brutal but awesomely challenging Pokemon World Tournament and Battle Subway. With what we were given, it’s a shame we haven’t had more Pokemon games like this.
All of the above brought an entirely new experience, which only added to what made Black and White so refreshing. By being a direct sequel, the best of Black 2 and White 2 lies in the continuing of Black and White’s story, carrying on N’s unforgettable arc and better connecting the legendary Kyurem with the overall plot.
6 – Pokemon Platinum (Nintendo DS)
It’s 2009’s Pokemon that was and still is the peak of what the modern-day Sinnoh region has to offer, going above many other games that preceded it. However Diamond and Pearl, along with their remakes, are lower-but-passable iterations of the typical Pokemon adventure experience.
To utilize a plethora of improvements through the Wi-Fi Plaza, new Pokemon, the Battle Frontier, additional characters, and a much-improved story – Platinum took the foundations laid out by Diamond and Pearl and constructed one of the finest examples of the words “value for money” from a Pokemon game.
7 – Pokemon Colosseum (Nintendo GameCube)
Even in 2020s, Colosseum stands tall as the most adult and gritty Pokemon game o date, both in tone and narrative.Made for Day One Pokemon fans who were at the time entering their teen years, developer Genius Sonority decided to make an RPG older audiences had never seen from the franchise before.
This Pocket Monsters series has seen many spin-offs, but by far the most interesting is arguably the most overlooked – one profoundly answering the question, “What if you could steal other people’s Pokemon?”. That was the wonderful Pokemon Colosseum.
Although mostly forgotten by gamers, the impact of 2004’s Pokemon Colosseum is still felt today within the literal shadows, with its iconic Shadow Pokemon being an exciting part of Pokemon GO since 2019. As a Pokemon game, it is not only of the most distinct but one of the most challenging, made even better by its vibrant soundtrack. As far as borrowing concepts go, it’s not hard to understand why.
8 – Pokemon Black and White (Nintendo DS)
Exploring an abundance of new concepts with a much more down-to-earth narrative than what we’d seen before, Black and White’s exploration into the moral and ethical implications of catching wild Pokemon through brilliant rival, N, still has Black and White stand out today.
The start of Pokemon’s fifth generation was a time of resurgence for the franchise as a whole. Released fourteen years after the first games; Red, Blue, Green; Black and White saw the return of numerous players who had dropped off during Gen 4, along with a new legion of younger fans.