Five Best Pokémon Games

-by Dylan DiBona

Nothing screams “nostalgia” quite like Pokémon for me. When I first got an interesting green cartridge for my Game Boy Advanced, I was puzzled. I didn’t know what the series was, but the green plastic was “cool” to me as a kid. Over a decade later and I still have the desire to catch ’em all; these five Pokémon games stand on top of the series as not just good Pokémon games, but great RPGs.

 

5. Pokémon X & Y
Image result for pokemon y

After going through the classic “Pokémon is for babies” route, I gave the series the cold shoulder for about two or three years. I fell utterly in love with the 3DS for its console quality games on the go, and sure enough- a Pokémon game came to the system.

Picking up Y was a little weird, I knew the ins and outs of the series- get the badges and fight the elite four. But this new entry had elements I was never familiar with and new monster designs I didn’t bother to check out in trailers. It was like I started over again; Pokémon Y was my reintroduction to the series and I’ll always be grateful. The (then) new three dimensional graphics for main series Pokémon blew my mind, and overall atmosphere of France complimented the game perfectly.

Definitely an underappreciated gem in the series.

 

4. Pokémon Sun & Moon

Image result for pokemon moon

I actually have a small sense of guilt when I think back onto these games. After being absolutely addicted to these new entries more so than any other 3DS game, I completely stopped at the fifty hour mark. Even though I never beat the Alola champion (I will someday), I must commend these games. When thinking of video games that spiced up their series, Sun and Moon should easily come to mind.

Gone are the days of badges, gym leaders and HMs. Hardcore Pokémon fans dropped their jaws when they found this out and for good reason, imagine if Zelda tried dropping dungeons (oh wait). The true icing on the cake was the new Alola region; the Hawaiian vibe felt like the newest idea Game Freak had for a region in years.

 

3. Pokémon Leaf Green & Fire Red

Image result for pokemon leaf green

The original Red and Blue on Game Boy will forever be the most important games in Pokémon history. I wanted to put them on the list but out of a mix of nostalgia and reality: I had to go the remake.

Who doesn’t want better graphics, music and more content?

Pokémon Leaf Green showed me what magic fictional worlds can hold, I wanted to be a trainer more than anything else. I beat the game probably two or three times and wouldn’t even choose a different team of monsters during my playthroughs, I just loved playing the game as is. I owe this game for a lot of reasons, mainly because I may not even be writing this if not for Pokémon Leaf Green.

 

2. Pokémon Heart Gold & Soul Silver

Image result for pokemon soul silver

For the same reasons I put Leaf Green, who doesn’t want a remake of the universal favorite Pokémon game? People love Gold, Silver and Crystal for the new and still fresh Johto region, while still having the Kanto region as a second journey. Sixteen badges is the most in any game of the series and let’s be honest; who wants a good Pokémon game to ever end?

I don’t hold much nostalgia for Heart Gold or Soul Silver, but I appreciate what they do for the series immensely. There’s a good reason these are the most expensive Pokémon games to buy online.

 

1. Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

Image result for pokemon alpha sapphire

Ok so quick story:

I lived about two hours from New York City and one day my family decided to go for a shopping day. One stop was the Nintendo Store and I remember being in awe at all of the merchandise and fun goodies. My dad was somehow aware of a brand new Pokémon and got it for me right there in the heart of NYC. I remember thinking it was just Leaf Green again because of the green cartridge, so I popped it into my GBA during the car ride home expecting a fourth playthrough of my favorite game. But that didn’t happen.

I was greeted with a pixelated drop of dew falling off a leaf and revealing the Game Freak logo, and then I realized an entirely new journey was waiting for me. After beating it, I started not to care about Emerald anymore. I thought Alpha Sapphire would be a fun little side game on the 3DS, but when I saw that drop of dew remade in 3D and that same catchy tune redone- pure goosebumps.

It was then I finally remembered how much I loved Emerald, the monster designs started to get into the series’ modern day cheesiness, but they still had plenty of freshness. The world was more fleshed out than any other entry at the time, diving underwater is still unique for the series. In the remake you can fly on Latias or Latios, the story was better, and Mega Evolutions came back for older Pokémon. It was the absolutely perfect adventure in the magical world I remembered as a kid.

Nostalgia aside, I genuinely believe Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to be one of the greatest entries in the series. I understand why fans may choose the 2nd gen games over this one, but man do I love Hoenn.

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Any serious Pokémon fans here? What’s your top five favorite games? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply! As always, thanks for reading.

 

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11 thoughts on “Five Best Pokémon Games

    • Hah! I grew up in the golden age of Pokemon and I loved everything about it. Went back to play Yellow last year, after X&Y and before Sun&Moon, and so much of it seemed like a slog. BUT – those original 151 are close to the heart. There are very few Pokemon that have any sentimental meaning to me following those original 151. And that’s what Pokemon’s about, right? 🙂

      Must be all the Pokemon Stars rumors lately or something but I’ve been getting crazy nostalgic thinking about going back and playing one of them. I never play Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire – maybe that should be my next goal…

      Liked by 3 people

      • I think for me it is the nostalgia for the original 151, and the gen 2 game included the 1st gens pokemon too.

        But the game really is a slog at times. Especially grinding money for the potions you’d need to beat the Elites at the end

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I had a huge hiatus from Pokemon from right after the boom in the late 90s until about a year and a half ago, when I randomly bought X to play on the 3DS, wanting a fun adventure game. It was so incredible to go from pixel graphics to full 3D playing that game – the music, the “second set” of starters being from RBY, oh man. Just pure perfection. Went back and played Yellow afterwards and.. well let’s just say it’s hard to go back and lose the quality of life upgrades!

    I also liked Sun&Moon but not nearly as much as XY. Too linear for my tastes and didn’t encourage much in the way of exploration.

    Weirdly, I kinda wish they go back to the gym formula for the next installment. I like using gyms to measure my progress into each game.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You neglected to include Generation I or II on your list? There is only one thing I have to say about this flagrant display of heresy: I like the way you think.

    I myself felt Generation III was superior to those that came before, which were good times, but haven’t held up well in hindsight. I didn’t like the inventory management of Red/Blue, and it’s horribly unbalanced in favor of Psychic types. While Gold/Silver was an improvement, the second half felt rushed. It’s understandable because they had apparently run out of space on the ROM, but it’s an issue the remakes addressed and fixed, so I totally advocate putting them on the list over the originals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked your story with Alpha Sapphire! I love the series, having invested hundreds of hours into each generation. I have a lot of nostalgia, so my list will be very classics-heavy. Don’t get me wrong though. I love the newer generations. My top 5 would be (and this list changes depending on my mood):

    5. X/Y
    4. Black/White
    3. Sun/Moon
    2. Gold/Silver
    1. Red/Blue

    Liked by 1 person

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