All Pokemon Games In Order [As Of 2022]

Pokemon is perhaps one of the most popular role-playing video game franchises in the world. The first core Pokemon games – Pocket Monsters Red and Green – were released in 1996. Since then, a total of 38 games (in Japan) have been released under the franchise, excluding DLCs. It is also the largest and best-selling Japanese role-playing game franchise, with about 380 million sales around the world until 2021.

The franchise’s core games are divided into different generations. Each generation introduces new Pokemon species and other gameplay elements. These games are published for various Nintendo consoles, including Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, DS, and Switch.

Below is the list of main series Pokemon games in order of their release from the very first to the most recent title.

19. Pokemon Red Version and Blue Version – 1996

Pokemon red and blue

Platform: Game Boy
Generation: First
New Pokemon Introduced: 151

Copies sold: More than 31 million

The first Pokemon video games were released in Japan in February 1996. They were titled Pocket Monsters: Red and Pocket Monsters: Green. A few months later, Pocket Monsters: Blue was released as a special edition title available exclusively to comics subscribers.

Due to their popularity, both the games were later released in major markets outside Japan (including Australia, Europe, and the United States) as Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue in 1999.

Pokemon Red and Blue are played in third person, a top-down perspective where you navigate the main character in a fictional region Kanto. The main objective is to defeat all Pokemon trainers and Gym leaders in the region and the Elite Four to become the champion of the Indigo League. A secondary objective is to complete the Pokedex by collecting all the 151 available Pokemon.

Both the games have the same story but are independent of each other. However, to obtain all the available Pokemon, players are required to trade between the two games, a theme that will be followed by future Pokemon games.

18. Pokemon Yellow Version – 1998

Pokemon yellow

Platform: Game Boy, Game Boy Color
Generation: First

Copies sold: More than 14 million

Pokemon Yellow is an enhanced version of Pokemon Red and Blue games and was released in the United States in 1999, about a year after its initial release in Japan. The game has two objectives: to defeat Gym Leaders and the Elite Four to become the new champion and collect all the available Pokemon. Like the original Pokemon games, Yellow is played from an overhead perspective.

Throughout the gameplay, the player toggle between three different screens: an overworld, a settings interface, and the battle screen. When you challenge a Pokemon trainer or a wild Pokemon, the overworld screen automatically switches to a different screen where your Pokemon engages in a turn-based battle.

Pokemon Yellow features several notable changes and gameplay improvements. One such change is the Pikachu as the only starting Pokemon. Pikachu is also given a unique personality in the game. Initially, the Pokemon has no particular opinion about the player’s character, but it gradually changes to love or hate based on the player’s actions.

In 2018, Nintendo released an enhanced version of Pokemon Yellow, called Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokemon Yellow. Its story remains nearly the same as Pokemon Yellow but includes more advanced gameplay features.

17. Pokemon Gold Version and Silver Version – 1999

Pokemon Gold

Platform: Game Boy Color
Generation: Second
New Pokemon Introduced: 100

Copies sold: 23.7 million

The second generation of Pokemon video games began with the release of the Pokemon Gold Version and Pokemon Silver versions in 1999. The games introduced a hundred new species taking the total to 251 unique Pokemon. Both the games were later released in the United States (2000) and Europe (2001).

Pokemon Gold and Silver are set three years after the events of previous games in the fictional region of Johto. While the games kept all the basic mechanics introduced in the previous generation, i.e., battling and capturing Pokemon, they added new features that significantly affect the gameplay.

It includes a time system that facilitates in-game time tracking. The availability of certain missions and Pokemon appearances are controlled by this new mechanic. Moreover, Pokemon are now able to carry items (one at a time) that have health or cure effects.

Gold and Silver games introduced two new types of Pokemon – Dark-types, and Steel-types. They also feature legendary Pokemon such as Raikou and Entei.

Both the games have the same story or plot but can be played independently. However, to collect all the available Pokemon and complete the Pokedex, players a required to trade between the two games and the games in the previous generation.

They are one of the best-selling games in the entire franchise.

16. Pokemon Crystal Version – 2000

Pokemon Crystal

Platform: Game Boy Color
Generation: Second

Copies sold: 6.4 million

Pokemon Crystal is an upgraded version of Pokemon Gold and Silver games released in December 2000 for Game Boy Color. While Crystal’s gameplay is largely the same as the original titles, it does introduce new elements.

The game allows players to choose the gender of their character, the first core Pokemon game to do so. There are additional storylines that involve rare and legendary Pokemon Unown and Suicune.

The most notable addition in the game, however, is the Battle Tower – a unique location where Pokemon trainers battle each other under a set of special rules. It also allows players to battle with legendary Pokemon. Losing in the Battle Tower doesn’t affect your progress in the game.

In 2018, Pokemon Crystal was re-released worldwide on Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.

15. Pokemon Ruby Version and Saphire Version – 2002

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire

Platform: Game Boy Advance
Generation: Third
New Pokemon Introduced: 135

Copies sold: 16.2 million

The third generation of Pokemon games started with the release of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire in November 2002. The gameplay remains largely unchanged from previous titles as the player control and navigates the main character from a top-down perspective.

The main objective is to defeat the eight gym leaders and then overcome the Elite four to become the undisputed champion. Players are also tasked with completing their Pokedex by collecting all the available Pokemon by capturing and trading. There are several side quests that you can perform throughout the gameplay where you help NPCs. The most important of them involve stopping Pokemon crime syndicates – Team Magma and Team Aqua.

Apart from the 135 new Pokemon introduced in the third generation, the two games bought several new features and changes. The most notable change was their improved battle mechanics. Players can now use two Pokemon at a time and engage in multi battles. In multi battles, two trainers fight on each side with one Pokemon each. In Ruby and Sapphire, the nature, innate abilities, and condition of a Pokemon also play a huge role in battles.

With more than 16 million copies sold worldwide, Ruby and Sapphire are the best-selling games for Game Boy Advance, way ahead of Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen. However, the sales are considerably lower when compared to the previous generation of Pokemon games.

An enhanced remake of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, titled Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire, were released for Nintendo 3D in 2014.

14. Pokemon FireRed Version and LeafGreen Version – 2004

Pokemon FireRed

Platform: Game Boy Advance
Developer: Game Freak
Generation: Third

Copies sold: 12 million

After two years of Ruby and Sapphire, in January 2004, Nintendo released Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen for Game Boy Advance. The games are based on the original Pokemon titles – Red and Blue. FireRed and LeafGreen were released in the United States in October 2004.

As with all other handheld console-based Pokemon games, FireRed and LeafGreen are played from a top-down perspective. In both the games, players navigate the main character on an overworld map, capture and train Pokemon, and engage in turn-based battles.

Pokemon battles take place on a different screen where players select the next moves or items and swap Pokemon. A battle ends when a Pokemon, from either side, exhaust all its hit points and faints. Your Pokemon will gain a set number of experience points after every successful battle.

FireRed and LeafGreen are compatible with Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable that allows players to connect and trade Pokemon from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire and Pokemon Colosseum. The games can also be played on the home video game console GameCube using the GameCube-GameBoy Advance Link Cable.

13. Pokemon Emerald Version – 2004

Pokemon Emerald

Platform: Game Boy Advance
Developer: Game Freak
Generation: Third

Copies sold: 7 million

Released in 2004, more or less 18 years ago, Pokemon Emerald remains one of the best games in the franchise. Pokemon Emerald is an upgraded version of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. The story and most of the gameplay in Emerald are the same as in the original games.

The player’s objective is to navigate the Hoenn region to defeat the eight Gym Leaders and the Elite Four to become the champion. Another objective is to capture wild Pokemon using Poke Balls. In order to complete the Pokedex, players are required to trade with other third-generation Pokemon games, including Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, and LeafGreen, by connecting two GameBoy Advance systems.

Pokemon Emerald supports two-on-two battles with two trainers on each side. The trainers could either support their partners or battle their opponents separately. Certain Pokemon moves in the game can affect two or more opponents simultaneously.

The game features all the Pokemon from Gold and Silver games that were not present in Ruby and Sapphire, including rare Pokemon such as Lugia and Ho-oh. Players also come across legendary Pokemon, Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza during the conflict between Team Magma and Team Aqua.

Emerald also include ‘Battle Frontier,’ an expanded version of the Battle Tower introduced in the Crystal version. It offers several new challenges to players.

12. Pokemon Diamond Version and Pearl Version – 2006

Pokemon Diamond Version

Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Game Freak
Generation: Fourth

Copies sold: 17.6 million

The fourth generation of core Pokemon games began with the Diamond and Pearl versions. Like its predecessors, the games require players to navigate a certain region in the Pokemon universe, in this case, Sinnoh, battle and capture different Pokemon, and put an end to the villainous acts of a criminal organization – Team Galactic.

Diamond and Pearl are one of the best-selling games in the core series and definitely a fan favorite. This is partly due to new additions to the gameplay. Perhaps the biggest change was the use of an enhanced day-night cycle mechanic, which now includes morning, day, afternoon, evening, and night, as compared to just day and night in Gold and Silver games.

Additionally, the games reclassified Pokemon moves into three new groups: attacks that make physical contact are classified as “physical” moves; those that do not make physical contact with an opponent but deal damage are called “special” moves; the moves that do not deal any damage are called “status.” The games added 107 new Pokemon.

Other new additions include Pokemon Contests and backward compatibility with third-generation Pokemon games – Ruby and Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen.

11. Pokemon Platinum Version – 2008

Pokemon Platinum

Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Game Freak
Generation: Fourth

Copies sold: 7.6 million

Two years after the release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, Nintendo published an enhanced version of the games called Pokemon Platinum in 2008. As expected, the story and gameplay settings of Pokemon Platinum are largely the same as the original titles.

Players begin their journey with a single Pokemon and capture more as they progress. When challenged by other trainers or a wild Pokemon, the screen changed to a battle screen where the Pokemon battle in a turn-based manner. If your Pokemon manages to defeat its opponent, it will receive experience points or XP. After reaching a certain amount of XP, the Pokemon will level up and may eventually evolve.

Platinum added several new elements into the gameplay. It includes the Wi-Fi Plaza, a special area on the map where players can join using the to play mini-games, and a battle recorder. The Battle Frontier also made a return.

Unlike Diamond and Pearl games, which focus on Pokemon Palkia and Dialga, the main plot in Platinum involves Giratina, a dual-type legendary Pokemon. It is also the game’s mascot. Moreover, the game introduced new forms of several Pokemon, including Giratina and Rotom.

10. Pokemon HeartGold Version and SoulSilver Version – 2009

Pokemon SilverSoul

Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Game Freak
Generation: Fourth

Copies sold: 12.72 million

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are, without a doubt, one of the best games in the Pokemon franchise. HeartGold and SoulSilver are enhanced remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver games. They were released in 2009 and are the final games in the fourth generation of Pokemon games.

They take place in the Johto and Kanto regions of the Pokemon Universe. The main object of the games is to become the Pokemon champion by defeating all the opponent trainers. In order to do that, players must capture and train various Pokemon.

Though the core gameplay of HeartGold and SoulSilver are largely the same as the original titles, they did introduce new elements. One of the most noticeable additions was that the player’s initial Pokemon can now follow them while they navigate the overworld. It is similar to the mechanic Pokemon Yellow, where the player is followed by Pikachu. The games also allow players to interact with their Pokemon.

A minigame called Pokeathlon is also added. It is an athletics Pokemon contest that features track and field events such as relay races and hurdling.

9. Pokemon Black Version and White Version – 2010

Pokemon Black and White

Platform: Nintendo DS
Generation: Fifth
New Pokemon Introduced: 156

Copies sold: 15.6 million

Pokemon Black and White are the first installments in the fifth generation of Pokemon video games for Nintendo DS. They were released in September 2010 in Japan and March 2011 in the United States. Both the games take place in the Unova region, a fictional Pokemon region based on New York and New Jersey area.

As expected, the core gameplay of Black and White remains largely the same as its predecessors. The player character begins with a single Pokemon and must navigate the region to capture more wild ones. Black and White introduced 156 new Pokemon species, the most in any generation.

Throughout the journey, you will battle Gym leaders and other powerful trainers in order to become the new Pokemon champion. You’ll also come across Team Plasma and its nefarious plans, which you must subdue.

Some of the most notable changes introduced in Pokemon Black and White include a season cycle that affects the availability of certain Pokemon and two new types of battles – Triple Battles and Rotation Battles. A special battle element – Combination Moves, is also added.

8. Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 Version – 2012

Pokemon White 2 Black 2

Platform: Nintendo DS
Generation: Fifth

Copies sold: 8.5 million

Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, as the name suggests, are direct sequels to the Pokemon Black and White games. The games are set two years after the events of Black and White and take place in the Unova region.

Generally, when the initial pair of games in a new generation is released, they are followed by a third title that introduces elements that were not included in the original games. It is the case with Generation I, II, III, IV, VII, and VIII. However, Nintendo broke this tradition with the release of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2.

The games now allow players to transverse previously restricted locations in the region. The criminal organization Team Plasma also makes a comeback as Neo Team Plasma.

Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 introduced an element called the ‘Unova Link’ that allows players to unlock certain items throughout the gameplay. Another notable addition is the Pokemon World Tournament, where the player can battle Gym leaders and trainers from previous games.

7. Pokemon X and Y – 2013

Pokemon X and Y

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Generation: Sixth
New Pokemon Introduced: 72

Copies sold: 16.58

Pokemon X and Y are sixth-generation Pokemon games launched in 2013. This generation introduced 72 new Pokemon species, including the new Fairy-type Pokemon. The games take place in the Kalos region, where the player character must defeat other Pokemon trainers in turn-based battles.

As you win more battles, your Pokemon will gain experience, learn new moves, and may eventually evolve. Of course, you can also capture wild Pokemon using Poke Balls after wearing them out in a battle. Since only certain Pokemon are obtainable in either Pokemon X or Y, players must trade with each other to collect all available Pokemon. Some of the new Pokemon that were introduced in these games are legendary Yveltal and Xerneas.

Pokemon X and Y introduced several new features, including an upgraded battle mechanics and more enhanced character customization options that allow players to choose the gender, skin tone, and overall appearance of their Pokemon trainer. However, the most notable change is the use of fully 3D graphics instead of 2D bitmap or sprites used in previous-generation games.

Pokemon X and Y are fairly popular among devoted Pokemon fans due to their refreshing and enhanced graphics and online play.

6. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – 2014

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Generation: Sixth

Copies sold: 14.4 million

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are advanced remakes of third-generation Pokemon games – Ruby and Sapphire. Though much of the story and gameplay settings of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are the same as the original games, they keep all the important changes bought in later generations. It includes triple battles, mega evolution (introduced in Pokemon X and Y), and the use of unlimited Technical Machine or TM.

The games take place in the Hoenn region, where the player character starts their Pokemon Trainer career after successfully rescuing Professor Birch from a wild Pokemon. They are then tasked with defeating the gym leaders and the Elite Four to become the new Hoenn League Champion.

As with the original Ruby and Sapphire games, the player would also encounter criminal organization – Team Magma in Omega Ruby or Team Aqua in Alpha Sapphire. There is also a bonus mission called “Delta Episode,” which requires you to catch the legendary Pokemon Rayquaza to stop an imminent meteor crashing into the planet.

5. Pokemon Sun and Moon – 2016

Pokemon Sun and Moon

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Generation: Seventh
New Pokemon Introduced: 88

Copies sold: 16.2 million

Pokemon Sun and Moon were released in 2016, two decades after Nintendo published the first Pokemon games. The games feature improved 3D graphics, customization options, new starter Pokemon, and several minor changes in the core gameplay. Like any other handheld Pokemon games, Sun and Moon are played from an overhead perspective.

The games are set in the Alola region, where the player character battle against powerful Pokemon trainers in a turn-based manner. Winning battles allow your Pokemon to gain experience and learn new moves. Sun and Moon introduced 81 new Pokemon species along with Alolan forms (one of the three regional forms) of certain Pokemon from the previous generation.

They also feature a special type of move called Z-Moves. It combines the energies of a Pokemon and its trainer to release a powerful attack. Z-Moves can only be performed once per battle, and it is exclusive to the seventh generation games.

Critics largely praise Pokemon Sun and Moon for their overall improvements in gameplay compared to their predecessors. However, fans have mixed reactions to the games. Many have criticized the games for too many tutorials and a boring opening, strictly linear gameplay, and a bad online gameplay experience. Sun and Moon are one of the least replayable games in the franchise.

4. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon – 2017

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Generation: Seventh

Copies sold: 9 million

About a year after Pokemon Sun and Moon, Game Freak released their enhanced versions called Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon. The gameplay of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon remains largely the same as the original Sun and Moon titles. However, there is an alternate storyline that now includes Ultra Recon Squad, a unique organization that investigates mysterious Ultra Wormholes and Ultra Beasts.

The games introduce several new Ultra Beast Pokemon, such as Blacephalon, Stakataka, Naganadel, and Poipole. Two new forms of legendary Pokemon Necrozma – “Dusk Mane” and “Dawn Wings” are also added. These forms can be attained by consuming Solgaleo and Lunala. Certain can also perform new Z-Moves.

The Ultra versions are well-favored by most Pokemon fans compared to the original Sun and Moon games.

3. Pokemon Sword and Shield – 2019

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Generation: Eighth
New Pokemon Introduced: 89 (96 in total)

Copies sold: 23.9 million

Pokemon Sword and Shield are the first titles in the eighth generation of Pokemon games released in 2019. Along with Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, which were released a year before, Sword and Shield are the first two games launched on the Nintendo Switch gaming console.

Although the eighth generation introduced a total of 96 Pokemon, Sword and Shield only feature 89 of them. The remaining seven species were added to the Pokemon Legends: Arceus. The games also added regional forms of several Pokemon.

As with other core Pokemon games, the main objective in both the games is to become the Pokemon champion of the Galar region after defeating Gym Leaders and other trainers in the region. During your journey, you’ll also face Team Yell and other criminal entities, who will try and disrupt your quest.

Keeping up the tradition of almost every new entry in the series, Sword and Shield introduced several changes in the gameplay. It includes; Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, which allow certain Pokemon to temporarily grow in size; the Wild Area, an open world for players to explore; and cooperative raids.

Pokemon Sword and Shield are complemented by two DLCs – The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra, which were launched under an “expansion pass.”

2. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl – 2021

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: ICLA
Generation: Eighth

Copies sold: 13.97 million

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the only core Pokemon games that were designed by a company other than Game Freak. They were developed by ILCA, a small game developer in Japan. The games, along with Pokemon Legends: Arceus, was announced by Nintendo for the 25th anniversary of the Pokemon franchise.

Brilliant Diamond and Shinning Pearl is set in the Sinnoh region. Their gameplay is almost similar to the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl games and their remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Though, ILCA made several crucial changes in their gameplay over the original titles.

One of those changes is the use of modern Exp. share mechanic, which allows all your Pokemon to gain experience simultaneously irrespective of whether they were used in a battle or not. While this feature greatly saves time and makes the gameplay shorter, it also allows you to easily overlevel your Pokemon, making your battles against gym leaders unchallenging.

It takes between 20 and 30 hours to complete the entire gameplay of Brilliant Diamond and Shinning Pearl compared to about 40 hours in the original titles.

1. Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Game Freak
Generation: Eighth

Copies sold: 6.5 million

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is the most recent addition to the long list of core Pokemon games. It was released in January 2022. Nintendo first announced the new game in February 2021 during the 25th Pokemon Anniversary event.

Legends: Arceus is a prequel to Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and is set in the ancient Sinnoh region, when it was known as Hisui. The core gameplay of Arceus remains largely the same as its predecessors. However, there are several noticeable changes.

Arceus has no Gym leaders or trainers for you to defeat; instead, there are five powerful noble Pokemon that have surfaced after a mysterious rift in spacetime. Your main objective is to complete the Pokedex by capturing all the available Pokemon in the game, including many legendary Pokemon.

Rather than being treated as companions, Pokemon in the game are regarded as wild animals. Player characters can themselves be attacked and hurt by a wild Pokemon.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many core Pokemon games are there?

Pokemon games can be broadly categorized into core or main series and spin-off games. There are a total of 122 Pokemon games known so far, out of which 37 games are core titles.

Can you play Pokemon games on PC?

Unfortunately, no official main series Pokemon game have been released on PC to date. Though this business strategy is understandable on the part of Nintendo since it wants to increase the sales numbers of gaming consoles, Pokemon fans who own desktops can’t help but feel envious every time a new Pokemon game is released.

However, there is one official Pokemon game you can play on PC called Pokemon TCG Live. It is an online trading card game where you collect Pokemon cards and battle with other players online. The game is also available on iOS and Android.

If this card game doesn’t satisfy your urge to collect Pokemon, you can always use emulators to play almost any core Pokemon games on your PCs.

Read More

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12 Most Powerful And Strongest Pokemon Ever

Written by
Bipro Das

Biprojit has been a staff writer at RankRed since 2015. He mainly focuses on game-changing inventions but also covers general science with a particular interest in astronomy. His domain extends to mobile apps and knows a thing or two about finance. Biprojit has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delhi, majoring in Geography.

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