1. Gold/Silver/Crystal/HG/SS, 2. Red/Blue/Yellow/FR/LG/Let’s Go, 3. Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/ORAS, 4. Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, 5. Sun/Moon/US/UM, 6. Sword/Shield, 7. Black/White/BW2, 8. X/Y
Pokémon is a series of video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon media franchise
*Full Reviews Of Each In The ‘Video Games’ Category Of The Site*
1. Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal/HG/SS
Back & better than ever – with the best starters, new creature designs, and feature additions like shinies, day/night cycles, & buddies alongside phenomenal box legendaries, mythicals, rich Kansai/Tokai/Shikoku-inspired Japanese region, and the only game to shockingly include TWO regions for 2x the adventure (+ Post-Game) value, G/S/C/HG/SS are the Greatest Pokémon Games Of All-Time. 10/10.
2. Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow/FR/LG/LetsGo
Overall, Pokémon: Red/Blue/Green/Yellow are some of the greatest video games ever made. Following generations may have better updated individual components by thin margins – HG/SS are the best games, G/S/C have better creatures and starters, R/S/E better legendaries, B/W more depth-filled villain motivations, etc., but none [and arguably: no other video game ever made] have as much legacy or pop-cultural revolutionism.. and owe their very existence in the series as well as nearly every one of the mechanizations of their blueprint to the groundbreaking achievement of R/B/G/Y. The idea of the wieldable power of nature through 151 elementally-reimagined and mythological-origin creatures from our world we can hunt, capture, battle, and become est friends with is quite simply the greatest in the history of fiction and one that took over the world – but might not have done so without the brilliant surgical execution of Generation 1, as can be seen in the failures of VG challengers like Digimon, Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Monster Rancher, Digipets, Bakugan, Magi-Nation, Angelic Layer, Cardfight!, Yo-Kai Watch, etc. Beyond the eponymous title creatures that obviously drove Pokémon’s success by their soulful and life-effervescent designs still as beloved/cherished decades later and whose simplistic naturalism-bases were critical to bridging the gap between our world and theirs, the game’s story and characters [especially rival] are the best in series history, synth-and-white-noise-flip score one of the best ever in gaming, 8-bit visual canvas impressive in scale and charmingly-nostalgic in chibi sprite style, region breathtaking in naturalistic awe and diversification, villain classic in its mafiaic aesthetic and religion/capitlism/animal-abuse allegorical complexity, challenge palpable, and overworld one that wears japanese culture and touches like a heart on its sleeve – all bursting with personality, effervescence, care, and craftsmanship it’s damn-near impossile to find in video games anymore [& especially: first features this probably takes the crown of greatest ever on]. The worldwide pop culture revolution that started it all back in 1996: Pokémon R/B/G/Y is a panegyric to childhood/adventure and one of the greatest, most complete, innovative, failed-to-copy, and sacred video games ever made: RPG, puzzle, fighting, pet, mission, spy, action, mythology, strategy, hunting, collection, science, etc. games in one that took a lifetime to dream and ~10+ years to build, turning $20 cartridges into a $100B+ kingdom with the crown of biggest media empire of all-time. The ultimate fictional idea reimagining nature and mankind/animal relationships to let you command/wield the elements, Generation 1 exemplifies the power of video games to transcend life boundaries for maximum experience – with all the intangibles and magic: a groundbreaking once-in-a-century blueprint/overworld mechanization of pure brilliance decades ahead-of-its-time, 151 iconic pocket monster designs fringed with realism, elementalism, allegory, and soul bridging the gap between our worlds, beautiful region/culture modeled after real-life Japan, highly-diverse customizability whose depth breathes universal gaming allure, nostalgic charm in 8-bit A/V bursting with personality, the best characters and story/villain in the series, and provocative challenge behind every gym, catch, battle, route, and objective on the mission to catch ’em all. 10/10.
3. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/OR/AS
The greatest legendaries of All-Time from Mayan-apocapytic themed gods Kyogre, Groudon, & Rayquaza to our personal favorites Latias/Latios to Regi’s to Deoxys, a breathtaking new (water-surfable) Kyūshū island-based region, new features like double battles and Abilities changing the meta, serviceable Mudkip-led starters & final evolutions, 135 strong new Pokémon, a massive evolutionary leap in graphics from the 8-Bit Game Boy -> GBA, and brand new dual-team villains entirely separating versions with differential storylines based on natural (elemental) awe make R/S/E and their breathtaking evolutions OR/AS the 3rd – and 3rd best – Generation. 9.7/10.
4. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
Expanding the mythology with a beautiful new Hokkaidö-inspired region in Sinnoh, great (but not Emerald-level) legendaries led by brilliant-standout demonization Giratina, a third version that’s far different from its previous two in Platinum, fantastic Empoleon-led starters, gender differences and 3DS Wi-Fi features while reinventing several classic Pokémon evolutionary-lines with clever additions like Togekiss, secret bases, Pokémon contests,& a revamped battle mechanic importantly distinguishing physical and special moves regardless of type, D/P – despite a comparatively-primitive audio track – are another great round of Pokémon adventures. 9.3/10.
5. Pokemon Sun/Moon/USUM
Shaking up the formula with increasingly lush graphics, a breathtaking new Hawaii-based region, brilliance in tropical Kanto forms remixing or redeeming previously-forgotten Pokémon entirely, & the best box legendaries since Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald in royal-luminescent Solgaleo/Lunala, but polarizing Island Challenge motif feeling dramatically un-Pokémon-like & too much condescension in hand-holding, Sun/Moon are a flawed but overall-strong new generation. 8.5/10.
6. Pokémon Sword/Shield
A storybook feel achieved through plush tracking visuals, rich English-themed terrain, Dynamax kaijuism in the perfect gym redesign, and the best starters & new PKMN since G/S/C recapturing the magic of its ’90’s early-series creature designs, but mixed box legendaries & no National Dex: a *massive,* game-breaking omission/betrayal of the foundation of Pokémon as a concept. 7.6/10.
7. Pokémon Black/White/BW2
A peculiar idiosyncratic visual style, compelling social justice animal rights activist-team Plasma, & fine soundtrack can’t save this overall slog that claims the title of worst Pokémon game of All-Time – by the worst new Pokémon of All-Time (ultimately the singular most important thing you come to a PKMN game for) and most boring (literally monotonic) box legendaries ever. 6/10.
8. Pokémon X/Y
Although with phenomenal box legendaries in Xerneas & Yveltal paralleling a life & death motif, polygonal 3D graphics, Fairy-type addition shaking up the meta, and brilliant/game-changing introduction of Mega-Evolutions reinvigorating, improving, or redeeming All-Time classic Pokémon entirely, X/Y are a better-than-B/W but weaker addition than generations-past – by an entirely-forgettable villain team, thin & melodramatic storyline, over-straightforward French Kalos region, muted colors, problematic textures, no Z version for Zygarde, & continually-lazy new creature designs. 5/10.