Which are the best Pokémon games of all time?
It goes without saying that Pokémon games are adored by millions around the world, just based on sales figures alone. And, some fans have even made their own Pokémon fan games!
However, some games are considered better than others, for a number of reasons, so we thought we’d put together a list of the 15 best Pokémon games of all time (ranked), so you can decide which ones you want to play next, or buy if you fancy it!
So, without any further delay, here’s a list of the 15 best Pokémon games of all time (Ranked)!
The 15 Best Pokémon Games of All Time (Ranked)
These are the 15 best Pokémon games of all time:
15. Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Let’s Go Eevee – (Nintendo Switch)
The first Pokémon games on our list are Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee.
Both games are remakes of the 1998 role-playing video game, Pokémon Yellow, and were released by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo in 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.
The games were developed by Game Freak and were the first Pokémon games to be released on home games consoles, as well as supporting connectivity with the mobile game, Pokémon Go.
Upon release, both games received positive reviews from critics, and together, managed to accumulate worldwide sales of 11.76 million by December 2019.
14. Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon – (Nintendo 3DS)
Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon are role-playing video games that are pretty much-enhanced versions of Pokémon Sun & Moon.
The games were released in 2017 for the Nintendo 3DS and follow the journey of a young Pokémon trainer finding his way in the Alola region, which is based on Hawaii.
What makes these two Pokémon games different to Sun and Moon are features like version mascots, new forms of legendary Pokémon, gameplay features, Pokémon forms and an alternate storyline.
Critics were fond of the new features added, in comparison to Sun and Moon, and gave both games a positive overall reception.
Ultra Sun and Moon sold over eight million copies worldwide by the end of 2018!
13. Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 – (Nintendo 3DS)
Next up, we have Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 for the 3DS.
Like the other RPG’s, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are an action role-playing video game that’re part of the fifth generation of the Pokémon video game series and are the sequels to Pokémon Black and White.
Released worldwide in 2012, they’re the first sequel in the series and feature the legendary Pokémon, “Black Kyurem” and “White Kyurem”.
The games are set approximately two years after the events of Black and White and are set in the Unova region. They feature 300 new Pokémon and creatures that were not featured in Black and White.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 received good reviews from critics and had combined sales of 7.81 million by January 2013.
They’re available to play in both single-player and multiplayer.
12. Pokémon Sun & Moon – (Nintendo 3DS)
Pokémon Sun and Moon are role-playing games developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo.
The games were released at the same time in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS and take place in the Alola Region.
The game’s objectives are to try and prevent the schemes of Team Skull and the Aether Foundation, whilst continuing to do battle with numerous Pokémon trainers.
81 new Pokémon were introduced in Sun & Moon, as well as several new features, such as updated battles and training mechanics, powerful moves known as “Z-moves”, and Alolan forms of previous Pokémon.
Pokémon Sun & Moon received praise for their gameplay and became one of the fastest-selling games in Nintendos history, with sales of 16 million copies combined to date!
11. Pokémon Crystal – (Game Boy Color)
Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, Pokémon Crystal is part of the second generation of Pokémon video games and a beefed-up version of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
The game was released in Japan on December 14, 2000, and re-released on the Nintendo 3DS virtual console in January 2018.
Crystal is largely the same as Gold and Silver, however, it includes many new features and is the first Pokémon game to allow players the option of choice when it comes to the sex of their character.
Perhaps the most significant new feature is the introduction of the Battle Tower, which allows players to engage in battles similar to Pokémon Stadium.
Pokémon Crystal received positive reviews upon release and became the second best-selling Game Boy Color game in Japan.
10. Pokémon Emerald – (Game Boy Advance)
Pokémon Emerald is the tenth best Pokémon game of all time.
Released on the Game Boy Advance internationally in 2005, Pokémon Emerald is an enhanced version of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and part of the third generation of Pokémon video games.
With a similar plot to Ruby and Sapphire, Emerald sees players traverse through the region of Hoenn, trying to defeat eight gyms for the privilege of challenging the Elite Four and its champion.
Whilst this is all going on, you’ll also be trying to shut down two criminal organisations that are trying to harness the power of a legendary Pokémon for their own reward.
Upon release, Pokémon Emerald received positive criticism and sold 1.4 million copies in Japan, making it the fourth best-selling game in Japan in 2004.
9. Pokémon Black & White – (Nintendo DS)
The first instalments in the fifth generation of Pokémon video games, are Pokémon Black and White, for the Nintendo DS.
Both games were developed by Game Freak, published by The Pokemon Company and Nintendo, and released in Japan in 2010, with later releases in Europe, North America and Australia in 2011.
Players follow the journey of a young Pokémon trainer as they work their way through the region of Unova. Trainers try to prevent the schemes of the criminal organisation, Team Plasma, whilst training Pokémon to do battle against other trainers.
This version of Pokémon introduced 156 new Pokémon and lots of impressive new features, such as seasonal cycle, fully animated Pokémon sprites and triple battles.
The introduction of the new Pokémon in the game was well-received by critics and Black and White became the fastest Nintendo DS title to sell five million copies ever. It’s also one of the best-selling games for the Nintendo DS.
8. Pokémon Diamond & Pearl – (Nintendo DS)
Coming in at number eight are Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
These two role-playing games are the first instalments in the fourth generation of the Pokémon video game series and were developed by Game Freak.
The games were first released in Japan in 2006 and then North America, Australia and Europe in 2007.
Similar to the previously mentioned games on the list, Diamond and Pearl follow the adventures of a trainer who does battle with Pokémon whilst trying to prevent criminal organisations evil plans.
This version introduces several new features, one of which, allows players to play online using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Others include battle mechanics and Pokémon contests.
The added Wi-Fi feature and gameplay was praised by critics upon release and the game has become one of the most successful Pokémon games of all time!
7. Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver – (Nintendo DS)
The seventh-best Pokémon game of all time is Pokémon Heart Gold and Silver.
Released on the Nintendo DS in 2009, HeartGold and SoulSilver are the improved versions of Pokémon Gold and Silver, which were released in 1999.
Both games were developed by Game Freak and are part of the fourth generation of the Pokémon video game series.
It takes place in the Johto and Kanto regions and the trainer’s goal is to become the best trainer in both regions. Along the way, trainers will capture, raise, battle and catalogue all sorts of Pokémon, whilst defeating their trainers.
After receiving commercial success upon release, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, combined, became the eighth best-selling DS video games of all time!
6. Pokémon Yellow – (Game Boy Color)
Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, was released in 1998 following on from the success of Pokémon Red and Blue.
It’s basically an enhanced version of the Game Boy games, Red and Blue, and is part of the first generation of Pokémon games.
Players will follow the trainer’s journey catching Pokémon, using their Pokémon to fight others and working their way through the region completing entries in the Pokédex.
Pokémon Yellow was received well by critics upon release and became the fastest-selling handheld game of all time!
5. Pokémon X & Y – (Nintendo 3DS)
The next best Pokémon game of all time is Pokémon X & Y.
X & Y are 2013 role-playing video games, developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo.
Both games follow the adventure of a young Pokémon trainer and friends, but this time, it takes place in the Kalos region, which is based on France.
The objective is to challenge the Pokémon League Champion whilst putting a stop to Team Flares criminal activities.
Lot’s of new features were added in both games, for example, character customization, updated battle and training mechanics and 72 new Pokemon species. Both X & Y are independent of each other but do share a similar plot.
The innovations and advancements in gameplay were praised by critics upon release, and Pokémon X & Y was considered a commercial success, selling over four million copies worldwide in its first weekend!
4. Pokémon Sword & Shield – (Nintendo Switch)
Coming in at number four is Pokémon Sword & Shield for the Nintendo Switch.
Sword and Shield were developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokemon Company and Nintendo.
They were officially released for the Nintendo Switch in November 2019, and are the first instalments in the eighth generation of Pokémon video games.
Similar to all previous Pokémon games on the list, Sword & Sheild follows a young trainer on his journey through the new “Galar” region, which is based on the United Kingdom. The trainers main objective is to defeat Leon, the Pokémon Champion, in a large Pokémon tournament, whilst also dealing with Team Yell.
81 new Pokémon have been introduced in Sword & Sheild as well as thirteen regional variants of some pre-existing Pokémon.
Sword & Shield became the fastest-selling game on the Nintendo Switch, selling more than sixteen million copies worldwide by the end of 2019!
3. Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire – (Game Boy Advance)
Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire are role-playing games for the Game Boy Advance, developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.
They’re the first games in the third Pokémon series of games and were released internationally in 2003.
Like the previous RPG’s we’ve mentioned, Ruby & Sapphire follows the journey of a Pokémon trainer who’s main objective is to capture all the Pokémon in the game and defeat the Elite Four.
New features like Pokémon abilities and double battles were added, as well as 135 new Pokémon.
The games were a commercial success overall, despite some initial negative criticism, as they sold over sixteen million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling titles for the Game Boy Advance.
2. Pokémon Red & Blue – (Game Boy)
The second best Pokémon games of all time are Pokémon Red and Blue, for the original Game Boy.
They were the first games in the Pokémon video game series and were introduced to the world from 1996-1998.
The games are played from an overhead perspective and players guide a trainer through the Kanto region to master Pokémon battling.
The goal is to become the champion of the Indigo League by defeating the eight gym leaders and the Elite Four. Trainers must also complete the Pokédex by collecting all 150 Pokémon. Players can trade Pokémon and battle each other face to face using a link cable for the Game Boy.
The concept of trading and the multiplayer options were praised by critics and the two independent titles are considered among the greatest games ever made.
Selling over 300 million copies worldwide to date, Pokémon Red & Blue are noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Best selling RPG of all time”.
1. Pokémon Gold & Silver – (Game Boy Color)
The best selling Pokémon games of all time are Pokémon Gold & Silver for the Game Boy Color.
Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver are the first Game Boy Color games in the second generation of Pokémon games.
The games were released worldwide from 1999 to 2001 and follow the progression of the main trainer, whose name you can choose, as he develops his skills in order to master Pokémon Battling. Both games follow a similar plot but are independent of each other.
If you want to complete both games fully, you’ll need to trade Pokémon with other trainers between Gold and Silver, as well as previous Pokémon games.
Pokémon Gold and Silver received critical acclaim upon release and, are considered by many, to be the best games in the entire series.
Gold and Silver followed the success of Pokémon Red & Blue, and by 2010, sales of Gold & Silver were reported to be around twenty-three million copies worldwide!
Pokémon Gold & Silver are the best selling Pokémon games of all time.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 15 best Pokémon games of all time (ranked).
We can remember when Pokémon Red & Blue were released, and boy, were they the best thing since sliced bread!
It’s no surprise to us, that these Pokémon games have sold so many copies, as they’re just awesome, and a whole lot of fun.
Don’t forget to check out our complete Pokemon games list, covering every game within the main series of the franchise.
Here’s a quick recap of the 15 best Pokémon games of all time (ranked):
- Pokémon Gold & Silver – (Game Boy Color)
- Pokémon Red & Blue – (Game Boy)
- Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire – (Game Boy Advance)
- Pokémon Sword & Shield – (Nintendo Switch)
- Pokémon X & Y – (Nintendo 3DS)
- Pokémon Yellow – (Game Boy Color)
- Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver – (Nintendo DS)
- Pokémon Diamond & Pearl – (Nintendo DS)
- Pokémon Black & White – (Nintendo DS)
- Pokémon Emerald – (Game Boy Advance)
- Pokémon Crystal – (Game Boy Color)
- Pokémon Sun & Moon – (Nintendo 3DS)
- Pokémon Black & White 2 – (Nintendo DS)
- Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon – (Nintendo 3DS)
- Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Let’s Go Eevee! – (Nintendo Switch)
What’s your favourite Pokémon game of all time? Leave a comment below.
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