With 20 glorious years of Pokemon games now behind us, it’s clear that Pikachu and his friends are truly here to stay.

We’ve had seven generations of Pokemon, over 20 main titles, at least 30 other side stories and spinoffs, trading cards, anime series, plushies, and more.

It’s still one of the best-selling game series of all time and the Pokemon Company just gave us Pokemon Sun and Moon.

Read our full Pokémon Sun and Moon review

To celebrate the launch of the games and the hundreds of new Pokemon, we thought we’d revisit the series so far.

Of all the Pokémon games, which set comes out on top? Will it be the original Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow with all 151 Pokemon, or something newer like Pokemon X&Y?

NB: For the sake of clarity, we have omitted remakes such as Leaf Green/Fire Red and Pokémon Omega/Alpha Ruby Sapphire as main entries in these leaderboards, but they will be mentioned in the game’s main entries.

7. POKEMON BLACK AND WHITE (2011)

Following Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, pokemon black and white came as a sort of curve ball. Suddenly, the focus shifted from combat to storytelling, spinning the story of the Unova region.

And that’s what sparked these games actually having direct sequels – Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2.

These games also added new features like the C-Gear, but ultimately felt like a bit of a spin-off from the main series.

Pokemon Black 2, Pokemon White 2

6. POKEMON RUBY, SAPPHIRE AND EMERALD (2002/2004)

Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald

Pokemon ruby ​​and sapphire were considered some of the most polarizing games in franchise history. Although they introduced a ton of new features that would become the heart of the Pokemon franchise, for some they were just a step too far in the wrong direction at first.

These characteristics included natures, effort and individual values, abilities, and new combinations of moves and types. It was also the first to introduce Double Battles, which added an extra element to the complexity of Pokemon matches.

The games also added contests and secret bases outside of battles, which helped assuage some of the fan discontent at the time.

However, looking back, these new features ended up being a big part of why the new games were so great, which was made especially prevalent when they were remade for the Nintendo 3DS in the form of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Pokemon Omega Ruby, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

5. POKEMON DIAMOND, PEARL AND PLATINUM (2006/2008)

Pokemon Platinum, Pokemon Pearl, Pokemon Diamond

On the one hand Pokemon Diamond and Pearl – after that Pokémon Platinum – were the first fully 3D Pokemon games and the first to ditch the link cable in favor of internet commerce and battles. But on the other hand, these Pokemon the games aren’t higher on the list because they haven’t really mixed up the format of their predecessors Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald.

However, these games finally allowed you to play as a girl, added 107 new and still fairly well-known Pokémon, and finally included compatibility with third-generation Pokémon games.

4. POKEMON X & Y (2013)

Pokemon X, Pokemon Y

It’s been a while since we’ve had a brand new one Pokemon game and then came Pokemon X and Y to take the series a bit out of its usual rhythm. Sure, there was still the same basic storyline, but suddenly we had the 3D art style the series had been dreaming about for a few years.

Pokemon X and Y gave the series a much-needed lick of paint, while also making it accessible to a whole new set of fans by introducing a bunch of new features like Mega Evolutions.

We also have greatly amplified online features, a plethora of new mechanics like Fairy type, Super Training, and how you earn XP by catching Pokemon.

3. POKÉMON SUN AND MOON (2016)

Pokemon Sun and Moon Blankets

Pokemon Sun and Moon arrived on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the set Pokemon franchise. He delivered an experience that riffed on the classic Pokemon gameplay traits, but also gave the series a much-needed breath of fresh air. The fresh air of Alola.

The abandonment of HMs and the introduction of Poké Ride, the removal of Gym Battles and their replacement with Island Challenge Trials and more have made the new games feel like the start of a new era of Pokemon.

Throw in even more new mechanics, great Z-Moves, and a ridiculously great storyline and you’ve got the best set of games we’ve had since this batch:

2. POKEMON RED, BLUE AND YELLOW (1996/1998)

Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Yellow

Next we come to the classic Pokemon Red and Blue games that started the whole Pokemon phenomenon. It featured the original and greatest 151 Pokémon and while it didn’t let you run and didn’t have half the features we love about the series today, its story and characters are the ones we know and love. all still love.

After all, who could beat starting in Pallet Town, arguing with Professor Oak, taking out Team Rocket, and finally sticking it to the Elite Four and Gary in the end?

And then you had the adorable pokemon yellowwhich told the original Pokemon story the same way as the anime with your very own Pikachu following you around.

Pokemon Leaf Green, Fire Red

Plus, you then have to enjoy it all again thanks to Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Greenthen again through the reissue of the original Pokemon red, blue and yellow on Nintendo 3DS to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

1. POKEMON GOLD, SILVER AND CRYSTAL (1999/2000)

Pokemon Gold, Pokemon Silver, Pokemon Crystal

While Pokemon red, blue and yellow set the stage for the entire Pokemon series, it was Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal that cemented it as the famous franchise it is today – along with the remakes Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold.

First, it formally introduced two types and second, it introduced a day/night cycle and days of the week which affected events and what Pokemon spawned. Additionally, he developed the friendship/happiness system that GameFreak introduced in pokemon yellow with Pikachu.

Nothing quite gave us the joy of beating Pokémon Gold and Silver and then discovering that you could then replay the original story of the Kanto region and the rulers of the gymnasium again.

We also think 251 Pokémon is a lot!

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