Best Pokemon Games - Appy Pie Design

Best Pokémon Games Of All Time [2023 Pokémon Games List]

By Snigdha | Last Updated on January 18th, 2024 7:01 am

Pokémon, a beloved franchise that has captured the hearts of millions around the world, has evolved beyond its humble beginnings as a video game into a multi-faceted phenomenon. Pokémon is one of the most consistently popular brand names in the gaming industry, with its Red/Green/Blue Version placing among the five best-selling console games of all time in 2021 (Source). In this blog post, we will explore the best Pokémon games of all time, delve into the world of Pokémon characters, and discuss how the fandom interacts with the franchise. Due to the wild popularity of the Pokémon franchise, its presence in the popular culture is intense and is spread across creative media including Pokémon wallpapers, Pokémon memes, Pokémon GIFs, and Pokémon avatars. The good news is that you can also create your own Pokémon fan memorabilia in any of these forms using AI design tools from Appy Pie Design.

The Legacy of Pokémon Games

Before we delve into the list of the best Pokémon games, let's take a moment to appreciate the legacy of this iconic franchise. Pokémon, short for "Pocket Monsters," was created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori and first introduced by Nintendo and Game Freak in 1996. Since then, it has grown into a multimedia empire encompassing video games, trading card games, an animated TV series, movies, merchandise, digital creatives like Pokémon memes, and more. One of the key elements that has made Pokémon games so enduringly popular is their universal appeal. These games are designed for players of all ages, offering both accessible gameplay for newcomers and strategic depth for seasoned gamers. The sense of adventure, the thrill of catching Pokémon and training these unique creatures, and the social aspects of trading and battling have all contributed to Pokémon's longevity.

What Makes a Pokémon Game Great?

To identify the best Pokémon games, we need to establish some criteria. A great Pokémon game should have the following qualities:
  • Engaging Storyline: A captivating and immersive storyline that takes players on a journey through a vibrant Pokémon world.
  • Diverse Pokémon: A wide variety of Pokémon types to capture and train, each with unique characteristics and abilities.
  • Innovative Gameplay: Gameplay mechanics that add depth and challenge to the experience, whether through strategic battles, exploration, or puzzle-solving.
  • Memorable Region: A well-designed and visually appealing region to explore, each with its own unique Pokémon and landmarks.
  • Social Interaction: Opportunities for players to connect, trade, battle, and cooperate with others, fostering a sense of community.

Best Pokémon Games of All Time

Now that we have discussed in detail, the legacy of the popular Pokémon games and what goes into making the best Pokémon games, let’s list out the best games in the Pokémon franchise.

  1. Pokémon Red and Blue (Generation I)
  2. The Pokémon journey began with Pokémon Red and Blue, also known as Generation I. Released for the Game Boy in 1996, these games transported players to the Kanto region, where they embarked on a quest to become a Pokémon Master.Key Features
    • Iconic Starters: Players could choose between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle as their first Pokémon.
    • Classic 8 Gym Leaders: Battling gym leaders like Brock, Misty, and Giovanni remains a cherished memory for fans.
    • Pioneering: These games laid the foundation for all subsequent Pokémon titles, introducing players to the world of pocket monsters, battles, and trading.
    Pokémon Red and Blue hold a special place in the hearts of fans for their role in establishing the franchise's core mechanics and nostalgic charm. In fact, you can still see a Pokémon desktop wallpaper displayed on some of the OG fans!

  3. Pokémon Gold and Silver (Generation II)
  4. Gold and Silver, part of Generation II, were released for the Game Boy Color in 1999. These games introduced players to the Johto region, expanding on the Kanto region from Generation I.Key Features
    • Day and Night Cycle: The introduction of a day and night cycle added depth to the gameplay, with time-dependent events and Pokémon appearances.
    • Kanto Region Return: Players could revisit the Kanto region, making for a unique dual-region adventure.
    • Legendary Pokémon: The legendary beasts Raikou, Entei, and Suicune were introduced, along with the legendary Celebi.
    Pokémon Gold and Silver are celebrated for their rich content, innovative features, and seamless integration of two regions, offering extended gameplay and a sense of continuity.

  5. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (Generation III)
  6. Generation III brought Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire to the Game Boy Advance in 2002. These games transported players to the Hoenn region, known for its varied landscapes and water-themed challenges.Key Features
    • Double Battles: Introduced the concept of double battles, adding a layer of strategy to battles.
    • New Abilities and Natures: Pokémon abilities and natures were introduced, affecting how Pokémon perform in battles and contests.
    • Team Aqua and Team Magma: The introduction of two rival teams, each with a unique agenda, added depth to the storyline.
    Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire are celebrated for their innovations in gameplay and the introduction of Abilities, Natures, and Contests, which expanded the world of Pokémon beyond battles.

  7. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (Generation III Remakes)
  8. As remakes of the original Pokémon Red and Blue games, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen were released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. They offered updated graphics and gameplay while preserving the classic Kanto region.Key Features
    • Nostalgia: A faithful recreation of the original Kanto region and storyline, appealing to fans of the first generation of games.
    • Enhanced Graphics: Improved visuals and animations brought the classic games into the modern era.
    • Wireless Linking: Introduced wireless connectivity for trading and battling, making it easier to connect with other players.
    These remakes allowed a new generation of players to experience the magic of Kanto while offering a fresh experience for longtime fans. In fact, you could see fans looking for Pokémon mobile wallpapers to be displayed proudly on their devices.

  9. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (Generation IV)
  10. Generation IV ushered in a new era with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for the Nintendo DS in 2006. Set in the Sinnoh region, these games introduced numerous enhancements to the series.Key Features
    • Wi-Fi Connectivity: The games made use of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online trading and battling, significantly expanding the social aspects of Pokémon.
    • New Evolutions: Introduced new evolutions for older Pokémon, breathing fresh life into familiar creatures.
    • Underground Exploration: Players could explore the Sinnoh Underground, a new feature for treasure hunting and secret base creation.
    Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are known for their connectivity options and a range of evolutions that expanded the strategic possibilities in battles.

  11. Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (Generation IV Remakes)
  12. HeartGold and SoulSilver, remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, were released for the Nintendo DS in 2010. These games maintained the Johto region while introducing modern features.Key Features
    • Pokéwalker: Included a pedometer accessory, the Pokéwalker, that allowed players to transfer Pokémon and earn items by walking.
    • Return to Kanto: Players could revisit the Kanto region, providing a nostalgic trip for fans of the first-generation games.
    • Exceptional Music: HeartGold and SoulSilver featured beautifully remastered music from the original titles.
    These remakes are adored by fans for their reverence to the original Gold and Silver games, along with the inclusion of modern gameplay enhancements.

  13. Pokémon Black and White (Generation V)
  14. Pokémon Black and White, released for the Nintendo DS in 2010, were set in the Unova region. These games stood out for their unique approach to storytelling and innovation.Key Features
    • Engaging Storyline: Featuring a more complex and morally ambiguous narrative, setting them apart from previous games.
    • C-Gear and Dream World: Introduced the C-Gear for wireless interaction and the Dream World, which offered additional features.
    • Triple Battles and Rotation Battles: New battle formats that added variety and strategy to battles.
    Pokémon Black and White are praised for their ambitious storyline, fresh gameplay mechanics, and the introduction of Triple and Rotation Battles.

  15. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (Generation V Sequels)
  16. Released for the Nintendo DS in 2012, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 continued the story of Unova. These games offered an expanded view of the region and featured new characters and events.Key Features
    • Expanded Unova: The games added new areas, towns, and changes to Unova, providing a fresh perspective on the region.
    • Memory Link: Players could connect Black 2 and White 2 to their Black and White games, unlocking additional story elements.
    • Key System: A unique key system allowed players to access various areas and challenges, enhancing gameplay variety.
    Black 2 and White 2 are recognized for their commitment to world-building and expanding on the foundation set by their predecessors.

  17. Pokémon X and Y (Generation VI)
  18. Pokémon X and Y, released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013, marked the beginning of Generation VI. These games brought Pokémon into the 3D era, offering stunning visuals and innovative gameplay.Key Features
    • 3D Graphics: The games showcased the Pokémon world in 3D for the first time, breathing new life into the franchise.
    • Mega Evolution: Introduced Mega Evolution, a temporary transformation for select Pokémon, adding new strategic dimensions to battles.
    • Fairy Type: The Fairy type was added, rebalancing the type matchups and adding new complexity to battles.
    Pokémon X and Y are celebrated for their groundbreaking shift to 3D graphics, the introduction of Mega Evolution, and the diverse range of Pokémon in the Kalos region.

  19. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (Generation VI Remakes)
  20. Remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2014. They introduced a new generation of players to the Hoenn region.Key Features
    • Soar in the Sky: Players could soar through the skies on the backs of Mega Latios or Mega Latias, exploring new areas and encountering Legendary Pokémon.
    • Primal Reversion: Introduced Primal Reversion for Groudon and Kyogre, amplifying their powers in battles.
    • DexNav: The DexNav allowed players to search for specific Pokémon with unique moves and hidden abilities.
    These remakes combined nostalgia with modern gameplay enhancements, offering an exciting adventure for both new and returning players.

  21. Pokémon Sun and Moon (Generation VII)
  22. Generation VII gave us Pokémon Sun and Moon, released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016. These games took players to the Alola region, where they encountered new Pokémon forms and a different style of gameplay.Key Features
    • Alola Forms: Pokémon in the Alola region had unique Alola Forms, changing their typings and appearances.
    • Z-Moves: Introduced Z-Moves, powerful attacks that could turn the tide of battles.
    • Poké Pelago: A feature that allowed players to develop and interact with their Pokémon outside of battles.
    Pokémon Sun and Moon are notable for their captivating story, Alola Forms, and the introduction of Z-Moves, enhancing the strategic depth of battles.

  23. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (Generation VII Sequels)
  24. Building upon the foundation of Sun and Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2017. These games featured an alternate storyline in the Alola region.Key Features
    • Altered Storyline: The games offered a different narrative with new characters, encounters, and features.
    • Ultra Beasts: Introduced new Ultra Beast Pokémon and explored their role in the Alola region.
    • Totem Stickers: Players could collect Totem Stickers to earn Totem-sized Pokémon for their teams.
    Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon expanded upon the Alola region's lore and gameplay while providing a fresh take on the story.

  25. Pokémon Sword and Shield (Generation VIII)
  26. Generation VIII brought Pokémon Sword and Shield to the Nintendo Switch in 2019, marking the series' debut on the console. These games took players to the Galar region, inspired by the United Kingdom.Key Features
    • Wild Area: Introduced the Wild Area, a semi-open world where players could encounter a wide range of Pokémon, including powerful Dynamax Pokémon.
    • Dynamaxing: The Dynamax phenomenon allowed Pokémon to grow in size and power for epic battles.
    • Galar Region: A region inspired by the UK, featuring diverse environments and Pokémon inspired by British culture.
    Pokémon Sword and Shield are known for their step into the world of console gaming, with the Wild Area and Dynamax battles being key innovations.

  27. Pokémon Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra (Sword and Shield Expansions)
  28. Sword and Shield expanded with the release of two expansion packs: Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. These expansions added new areas, challenges, and legendary Pokémon to the Galar region.Key Features
    • Exploration: Isle of Armor offered a new island to explore, while The Crown Tundra introduced a snowy, tundra environment.
    • Legendary Pokémon: Players could encounter and capture legendary Pokémon from previous generations, adding to the game's depth.
    • Gigantamax Forms: New Gigantamax forms for select Pokémon allowed for unique battles and strategies.
    These expansions enriched the Sword and Shield experience, providing additional content for players to enjoy.

  29. Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! (Pikachu and Eevee Partners)
  30. Released for the Nintendo Switch in 2018, Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! were inspired by Pokémon Yellow and featured integration with the mobile game Pokémon GO.Key Features
    • Pokémon GO Integration: Players could transfer Pokémon from Pokémon GO to Let's Go, enhancing connectivity between the games.
    • Simplified Gameplay: The games offered streamlined mechanics, making them accessible to newcomers and fans of Pokémon GO.
    • Partner Pokémon: The player's partner, either Pikachu or Eevee, accompanied them throughout their journey, with unique abilities and interactions.
    These games served as a bridge between the core series and the mobile Pokémon GO, offering a unique and accessible experience.

  31. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team
  32. The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series offers a different perspective, allowing players to become Pokémon and explore dungeons. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team were released for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS in 2005.Key Features
    • Unique Storytelling: Players experienced a captivating storyline as Pokémon seeking to rescue others in a world inhabited by Pokémon.
    • Dungeon Crawling: The gameplay focused on turn-based exploration of randomly generated dungeons, with strategic battles.
    • Multiple Pokémon: Players could choose to play as various Pokémon, each with its unique abilities and traits.
    The Mystery Dungeon series provided a fresh take on the Pokémon universe, emphasizing exploration and camaraderie among Pokémon.

Pokémon in Pop Culture

Pokémon has left an indelible mark on popular culture. From the iconic Pikachu to the theme song that everyone knows, Pokémon's influence reaches far and wide. the whole adventure of catching and then training Pokémon before battling them has proven to be of enduring popularity. The franchise's impact is seen in various forms:
  • Memes: Pokémon-themed memes and internet humor are widespread, contributing to the enduring relevance of the franchise. You can even create Pokémon memes with AI design tools like Appy Pie Design
  • Merchandise: Pokémon merchandise, from toys and clothing to collectibles, is a testament to the brand's cultural impact.
  • Crossover Media: Pokémon has crossed over with other franchises, including collaborations with companies like McDonald's, LEGO, and more.
  • Community: Pokémon has a vibrant online and offline community, with dedicated fans discussing, sharing, and celebrating their love for the franchise. They share fun media like Pokémon GIFs, memes, avatars, and even Pokémon wallpapers to bond over their common love for the franchise.


The Pokémon franchise has had a remarkable journey since its inception in 1996. From the classic Pokémon Red and Blue to the innovative Pokémon Sword and Shield, each generation has brought something new and exciting to the world of Pokémon games. The franchise's ability to evolve and adapt to new technology and gaming trends has ensured its continued success. As we look ahead, the future of Pokémon is brighter than ever. With new games, mobile apps, merchandise, and even plans for a live-action series, the Pokémon universe is expanding, promising exciting adventures for fans of all ages. As a fan, you can now choose to express your association with the beloved game with Pokémon avatars, memes, GIFs, wallpapers, and more!Whether you're a veteran trainer or just embarking on your first Pokémon adventure, the Pokémon world offers something for everyone. The combination of captivating stories, memorable characters, and engaging gameplay ensures that Pokémon will continue to be a beloved part of our lives for many generations to come.

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