With the recent announcement of Pokémon Let’s Go, Pokémon has once again catapulted to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Few series have had the same amount of longevity and impact as Pokémon, and for many (myself included) it was one of the first video games they ever played.
In honor of my excitement for Pokémon Let’s Go, I decided to count down some of my favorite Pokémon games throughout the years.
1. Pokémon Snap
Let’s be real for a moment: This game was way ahead of its time. Not to mention, it was an incredibly fun take on an already established franchise. Despite the limitations of the N64, this game managed to be creative, fun, and even a little bit challenging for Pokémon fans everywhere. Plus the fact that they partnered with Blockbuster (RIP) was utterly ingenious. This game is probably in the top five of my “please let these titles get rebooted” list.
2. Pokémon Gold and Silver
Pokémon Gold and Silver was a defining moment for the franchise and set the groundwork for future games in the series. It proved that Pokémon games could follow the same formula while making minor adjustments to style and mechanics to maintain the fun. Without the success of these titles, I seriously question whether the franchise would have had the momentum to continue as it did.
3. Pokémon Black and White
I’m not going to lie, by the time Black and White were being released, I had started to suffer from Pokémon fatigue. I still loved the series, but I could feel myself losing interest with each game that was released. When I picked up a copy of Pokémon Black, that all changed. This game was a breath of refreshing air for someone who had been feeling tired of playing the same game over and over again and propelled me back into firmly enjoying the franchise.
4. Pokémon Stadium/Pokémon Stadium 2
Like Pokémon Snap, these games found a way to broaden the Pokémon franchise outside that of the core games. It also had the bonus of incorporating party game elements into the mix. The mini-games available were a steadfast addition to any gathering of friends I had after their release, and even to this day, I have fond memories of playing this game.
5. Pokémon Sun and Moon
Pokémon Sun and Moon were much like Pokémon Black and White was for me: It breathed new life into the franchise. Alola is probably one of the cutest and most creative regions in all of the Pokémon games and takes a unique approach to gym battles, rivalries, and antagonists. Not to mention, Team Skull is hilarious.
6. Pokémon Red and Blue
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the games that started it all. While I know that by today’s standards, these games would be considered glitchy and simplistic, I can’t help but hold these games fondly in my memory. One year, I got a joint Christmas present of both Pokémon Blue and a Gameboy, and it propelled me into a hobby of gaming that is still with me two decades later. Many people I know have similar stories, making these games some of the most enjoyable and meaningful in the Pokémon franchise.
Honorable Mention: Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go was an ambitious move for the franchise, and while it has had mixed results and reviews, I believe it deserves a spot on this list. As technology continues to evolve, new trends will emerge. If video game developers are afraid to take risks and try new approaches, they will get left behind. While Pokémon Go wasn’t perfect, it took a step in the right direction in terms of incorporating augmented reality into mainstream games.
So there you have it! These are my top six Pokémon games. Which games would make your list? Are you excited for Pokémon Let’s Go? Let us know in the comments!