Pokémon is one of those phenomenons that seems to have evolved from fad, to a franchise with actual staying power. The series of games just celebrated its 20 year anniversary, and Sun and Moon have just been announced, meaning that there are even more creatures to catch and battle.
Pokémon, which is the shortened form of “pocket monsters” has inspired a legion of clones, parodies, and spin-offs. That said, nothing can match the games themselves, which have provided countless hours of fun for several generations of people, and have inspired many to try to “catch ’em all.” Which games, however, should you revisit?
The first and still one of the best, the first generation of Pokémon games has a ton of staying power and replayability, featuring great music, creatures, gym battles, and fun. Despite the technical limitations of the original Game Boy, the games manage to immerse the player in a world where children forcing creatures to battle each other is normal, rather than sort of strange.
Generation II is also an essential game, since it really does represent a huge technical leap for the games. Finally featuring full color, 100 new creatures, and a time mechanic, the game builds on the original in subtle, but significant ways. It also is twice as long, which means that this cartridge is jam packed with hours of fun.
Skipping ahead a bit, though Pokémon Generation III is great, it’s Generation IV that features 3D and internet battling/trading. The games are still immersive, and the transition to the DS proved to be every bit as successful as the other platform versions. Later games on the platform including the Black and White games and their sequels were also technically impressive and lots of fun.