To celebrate the launch of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, we decided to revisit the key games in the Pokémon saga made by Game Freak and list down which ones we consider the best. It’s a fun reminiscence of more than two decades of Pokémon games! 🥳

POKEMON GAME DEVICE YEAR
HeartGold and SoulSilver Nintendo DS 2010
Black and White Nintendo DS 2010
Black and White (Version 2) Nintendo DS 2012
X and Y Nintendo 3DS 2013
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Nintendo 3DS 2014
Yellow  Game Boy 1998
Red and Blue Game Boy 1999
Gold and Silver Game Boy 2001
Ruby and Sapphire Game Boy Advance 2003
Platinum Nintendo DS 2009
Sun and Moon Nintendo 3DS 2016
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Nintendo 3DS 2017
Sword and Shield Nintendo Switch 2019
Legends: Arceus Nintendo Switch 2022
Crystal Game Boy 2001
FireRed and LeafGreen Game Boy Advance 2004
Emerald Game Boy Advance 2005
Diamond and Pearl Nintendo DS 2007
Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee Nintendo Switch 2018
Brilliant Diamond & Shinning Pearl Nintendo Switch 2021

Pokemon: HeartGold and SoulSilver

Along with a completely new look, these updated versions also include a cave, a tower where you may capture legendary Pokémons! Aside from that, there’s the well-known Pokéathlon, which includes more than a dozen games that make use of the touch screen. Last but not least, a Pokéwalker, a form of an odometer that can handle any pokémon, was offered with the games, allowing players to pick up items and acquire new Pokémon via mini-games.

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Pokemon: Black and White

Using 3D visuals and more vibrant backgrounds, this installment also improves the overall pace of the combat, which may now be done in 3 vs 3. The Pokémon Dream World, which lets you enter the subconscious of a dreaming Pokémon to build a habitat and play Global Link mini-games, is one of the game’s most notable new features.

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Black and White (Version 2)

Two years after the events of White and Black, we find a fresh narrative involving an investigation into the criminal actions of the vicious Team Plasma. We quickly notice that the territory of Unova has undergone a significant transformation, with new cities, new districts, new structures, and even unique events.

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Pokemon: X and Y

The introduction of a new type of Pokémon, the fairy Pokémon, signifies a small revolution in the series, the first since the 2nd gen. The major change, when it comes to combat, is the mega-evolution system. It allows you to evolve certain Pokémon in the heat of combat. Last but not least, there are encounters against swarms of wild Pokémon, where we can confront up to five of them at once.

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Pokemon: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Along with 3D visuals, these new versions have numerous features from the previous year’s releases, including the popular X and Y games. These include Pokemon-Amie, Mega-Evolutions, and  Primal Reversion.

In addition, the whole plot is given some complexity by the Delta episode, which may be accessed after defeating the Pokémon League. To wrap things off, let’s take a look at a feature called Soaring In The Sky, which allows you to wander the sky and even participate in combat with other Pokémon.

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Pokemon: Yellow

It was a little over a year after the initial Pokémon games were released that we received an enhanced version of these titles with Pokémon Yellow. New features include Pikachu, the game’s mascot, who may now be seen wherever the player goes. Linking a second Game Boy with a copy of Pokémon Yellow made it possible to play the Pika Cup, Poké Cup, and Little Cup battle modes.

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Pokemon: Red and Blue

All of the fundamentals that will be included in the next generation of games can be found in these installments: turn-based combat with four abilities, Pokémon collection, evolutions, trainer battles, venues, the league, a gang of antagonists.

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Pokemon: Gold and Silver

Pokémon Gold and Silver arrived in 2001, five years after its predecessors. New features were added even though these games drew on the original’s popularity in terms of gameplay mechanics. It’s not just the introduction of the new Pokémon but the addition of a day/night cycle, male and female Pokémon, eggs, and berries as well. After defeating the Pokémon League, the game’s biggest surprise was that the Kanto area could be explored afterward.

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Pokemon: Ruby and Sapphire

The third generation of Pokémon, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, debuted in 2003. The Game Boy Advance version of the series has greater visuals, but most importantly, a more complicated strategy. The game also includes the attributes and special abilities of Pokémon as well as the weather that may have an influence on the combat. Finally, we should mention the availability of Pokémon Contests, which offer a fresh perspective on the game’s mechanics.

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Pokemon: Platinum

In addition to a small visual refresh, this updated edition introduces a new dungeon called Distortion World. It is loaded with mysteries and riddles to solve that lead to the dreadful Giratina, a legendary Pokémon seen on the game’s cover. This version is particularly enhanced in terms of its online capabilities.

In this game, we are now able to share clips of combats, cook with other players, and join a Square Wi-Fi with up to 20 users to engage in polls or mini-games. Finally, we must mention the comeback of the Battle Zone of the Emerald Version, which lets trainers work together online to take on various challenges.

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Pokemon: Sun and Moon

This installment takes place on the Alola archipelago. The least we can say is that the seventh generation of the brand strives to introduce a lot of fresh ideas. Here, there are no badges required for entry into the Pokémon League; instead, a series of tests must be cleared. Regional forms also make their debut in this game, allowing you to explore previously known Pokémon in new and interesting ways.

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Pokemon: Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

The Team Rainbow Rocket and several of its well-known members make an appearance, which is one of the episode’s most interesting elements, as is the alternate ending that puts a focus on Necrozma. In terms of its end-game material, the game is quite rich. The Demanta surf, the combat agency, and the introduction of the photo mode in the Rotom-Dex are just a few examples of the new features that have been added.

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Pokemon: Sword and Shield

With Pokémon Sword / Shield being the first in the main series to be published solely on the Nintendo Switch, the games were highly anticipated. For the first time, the Wild Lands open out to us, allowing us to encounter Pokémon from all four generations.

Using the Dynamax ability against arena leaders can make a Pokémon gigantic for a short period of time. The Lonely Island of Armor and The Snowy Lands of the Crown are the first expansions in the series to be released as separate digital downloads rather than as part of the base game.

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Pokemon Legends: Arceus

The recently released Pokémon Legends: Arceus is another Pokémon spin-off that we’re included on this list since it’s okay to cheat every now and then. Gamers will have more freedom to explore in this new title, as Game Freak attempts to implement the open-world gameplay paradigm. In addition, the territory of Hisui, the old name of Sinnoh that we find in the fourth generation, is more heavily influenced by feudal Japan than the games of the main Pokémon narrative.

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Pokemon: Crystal

This is the first Pokémon game where you have the option of playing as a male or female lead character. There are a few new features in this game, such as the addition of the Battle Tower and the introduction of a new storyline that centers more on Suicune. To wrap things off, the game was re-released in 2018 on the 3DS.

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Pokemon: FireRed and LeafGreen

Obviously, the GBA’s capabilities have enhanced the visuals on these games compared to the originals, giving them a look similar to Pokémon Sapphire and Ruby. There are nine islands in the Kanto region where you can encounter a particular amount of previously undiscovered Pokémon.

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Pokemon: Emerald

In terms of originality, Emerald adds the Pokemon Rayquaza, which is capable of calming Kyogre and Groudon. The Battle Zone has been moved from the Battle Tower to Safari Park’s new Battle Zone, which also has two additional zones.

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Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl

For the first time, Nintendo DS owners may play online with other Pokémon players, whether they’re trading or battling for their favorite characters. These games also took advantage of the device’s features with the lower touch screen allocated to the Poketch and its various functions. Finally, we may find new special features with the Great Underground, which enable us to explore the depths of Sinnoh.

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Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee

Among the most notable modifications in this edition is that the Pokémon are acquired as in the popular mobile game by firing Pokéballs straight without having to enter combat. A more contemporary and self-guided journey that is mainly intended for newbies.

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Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond & Shinning Pearl

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are remakes with some additional features, such as Rosa Rugosa Park, which lets you capture legendary Pokémon.  Naturally, the new edition also benefits from entirely redesigned artwork, which generated a lot of commotion at the outset due to its “chibi” style characters.

Image Courtesy of Game Freak

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