13 Best Pokemon Games to Play In 2022

In late 2016, Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game, took the mobile gaming world by storm. It single-handedly popularized location-based AR and promoted physical activity as the game required players to explore their real-world surroundings to find and capture different Pokémon. There was a time when Pokémon Go frenzy gamers were everywhere.

The game quickly became a global sensation. Within a week of the game’s release, Nintendo’s share price hiked by 50 percent. By the end of 2016, the app had more than 500 million downloads worldwide. It reached over a billion mark by early 2019. The game grossed over $6 billion in revenue in 2020.

Pokémon Go was a new experience for many of its users. However, what many people don’t know is that the Pokémon universe is way more than just one game. In fact, it is so big that it is almost always overwhelming for newcomers. Sometimes even experienced players get confused.

The Pokemon video game series has been primarily developed by Japanese developer Game Freak for Nintendo and The Pokemon Company since 1996. Pokémon (owned by The Pokémon Company) is perhaps the world’s highest-grossing media franchise, with over $110 billion in revenue.

Below is our list of 13 of the best Pokémon games to play in 2022. If you’re a newcomer to the Pokémon universe and don’t know where to start, this list will help you find the suitable game without much effort. We have included only the core games and popular spin-offs.

13. Pokémon Trozei

Pokémon Trozei

Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Puzzle

Metacritic score: 75

Trozei is basically Tetris for Nintendo with Pokémon. Instead of blocks of different colors, you have a Pokémon box falling off the top of the screen. All you have to do is make a match of Pokémon blocks (Trozei Chance); four same types of Pokémon in a row will make those blocks disappear.

The game has a side mission in which the player has to complete the National (Poke)Dex. It can be done by matching blocks of every Pokémon in any mode.

Even though the game isn’t groundbreaking or some sort, it is generally considered a moderately challenging game.

12. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon

mystery dungeonImage Courtesy: Youtube

Platform: Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, 3DS
Genres: Roguelike, Role-Playing

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is an entertaining spin-off of the main Pokémon series, where you play as a Pokémon rather than a human. In most versions of this game, the player has to take a short personality test before the start to determine which Pokémon they should be.

After you start playing as your assigned Pokémon, you gradually form a small team of other Pokémon while navigating the dungeon to take on different missions. Since its release in 2005, the game has sold over 13 million copies worldwide.

11. Pokémon Ranger

Pokemon ranger

Platform: Nintendo DS
Genres: Action RPG

Metacritic score: 69

Pokémon Ranger is a role-playing action game released in the United States in October 2006, about seven months after its initial release in Japan. It has an entirely different gameplay than the traditional RPG-styled Pokémon titles.

Here, you control a Pokémon Ranger (the main character) and catch Pokémon using a device called “capture styler.” The captured Pokémon can be used to accomplish various tasks such as puzzle-solving and capturing new Pokémon.

Set in the Fiore region, the game has ten primary missions and several sub-missions. After these missions, players are free to roam and do almost anything. There are also a few bonus missions you can enjoy in which the player character must capture three legendary Pokémon – Celebi, Deoxys, and Mew. You may also get the chance to find Manaphy Egg during the special Manaphy mission.

The game allows you to export Manaphy Egg (if found) to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, HeartGold, and SoulSilver games.

10. Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go

Platform: Android, iOS, iPadOS
Genres: Augmented Reality, location-based

Metacritic score: 69

Pokémon Go is one of the recent additions to the long list of Pokémon games, core or otherwise. It is developed by Niantic, a U.S-based app development company, in collaboration with Nintendo.

Pokémon allows users with GPS-enabled devices to locate, capture and battle different Pokémon in augmented reality. Unlike most Pokémon games, players in Pokémon GO are not required to battle wild Pokémon to catch them. Wild Pokémon may be captured in the game by throwing a Poké Ball toward them. However, successful capturing of a Pokémon depends on certain factors, such as timing and the type of Poké Ball used.

Initially, the game featured about 150 different species of Pokémon, which increased to over 700 in 2021.

While the overall concept of Pokémon Go is widely praised and is one of the main reasons why it became a worldwide sensation in such a short period of time, the game is often ridden with technical problems, frequent server outages, and common authentication errors.

9. Pokémon Snap

Pokemon Snap

Platform: Nintendo 64, Wii, and Wii U Virtual Console
Genres: First-person, Simulation

Metacritic score: 77

Pokémon Snap is one of the first console-based spin-off games of the original Pokémon series. It is a first-person simulation game where the main character, Todd Snap, moves on a rail. His objective is to take images or snaps of Pokémon he encounters – the better the quality of the images, the better will be the scores after the end of each round.

The game is fairly old, being released in 1999, but it still has its charms. Pokémon Snap became the fourth best-selling game in Japan the week it was released in March 1999. Within just three days of its release in the United States, the game sold more than 151,000 copies.

In April 2021, a sequel of the game was released by Nintendo called New Pokémon Snap with the same basic gameplay but several new features.

8. Pokémon Generation V – Black and White

white and black

Platform: Nintendo DS
Genres: Role Playing

Metacritic score: 87

The fifth generation of Pokémon games started with the release of Pokémon Black and White in 2010. This time around, about 156 new Pokémon species were introduced in the Pokémon universe, the most in any generation to date.

The games introduced many new features such as triple battles, rotation battles, and battle tests where trainers can battle it out with each other and train their existing Pokémon.

Two years later, two direct sequels of the core game were released titled Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, both featuring several new Pokémon that were not available in the previous game. Overall, both the games were fun and engaging.

7. Pokémon Generation VII – Sun and Moon

generation VII

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genres: Role Playing

Metacritic score: 87

For the newcomers who are not aware, all core Pokémon products are chronologically divided into generations. Whenever a new official game in the main series is released with new Pokémon or with other significant features, that sequel is considered the beginning of a new generation.

In 2016, the Pokémon Company announced the seventh generation of Pokémon video games with the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon games. The two games and their ultra follow-ups (Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon), which were launched a few months after their original one, are perhaps the most graphically intense games in the entire series.

Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced 81 new Pokémon and several new features, such as improved battle mechanics, character customization options, and more language support. The games also added Alolan forms (one of the three regional forms of certain Pokémon) of Pokémon from the previous generations, mysterious alien creatures called Ultra Beasts, and Z-moves, a powerful move that can be used once during a battle.

6. Pokémon Generation VI – Pokémon X and Y

generation VI

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genres: Role Playing

Metacritic score: 87 (Pokémon X), 88 (Pokémon Y)

Pokémon X and Y were launched in 2013 as the sixth-generation Pokémon games with 3D polygonal graphics instead of the two-dimensional bitmap (sprites) used in previous titles. The new 3D graphics not only enhanced the visuals but also allowed players to carry out more lively action during battle sequences.

The games introduced 72 new Pokémon species, including Fairy type and Mega Evolution Pokémon, and several new gameplay features such as character customization and improved battle mechanics.

Read: 36 Best GBA Games OF All Time | Bring Your Childhood Back

Other notable features that were introduced were enhanced trainer customization and three new battle modes; Horde Encounters, Sky Battles and Inverse Battles. Pokémon X and Y were also the first games to be compatible with Pokémon Bank. Nearly two years after the arrival of X and Y, Nintendo launched the second main series game of the sixth generation titled Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Pokémon X and Y received mostly positive reactions from critics. However, the story was pretty disappointing for a single-player RPG.

5. Pokémon Conquest

conquest

Platform: Nintendo DS
Genres: Tactical role-playing game or TRPG

Metacritic score: 80

Pokémon Conquest remains one of the most popular spin-off titles of the core Pokémon games. The game is basically a crossover between Pokémon and Nobunaga’s Ambition, another famous Japanese video game series.

The player character starts with a single Pokémon, Eevee, and travels across the Ransei Region to battle different warlords in a turn-based manner. The main objective is to defeat all the opponents and unite the region. Warriors and leaders will join your side as you defeat them and give you access to their Pokémon.

Pokémon Conquest demands a higher level of planning as it is not simply a trainer vs. trainer game. The game was widely appreciated by critics at the time of its release. One of the game’s weak points is that only a few selected Pokémon are available here.

4. Pokémon Generation III – FireRed, LeafGreen, Emerald

generation III

Platform: Game Boy Advance
Genres: Role Playing

Metacritic score: 82

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, FireGreen and LeafGreen, and Emerald constitute the third generation of Pokémon games. This generation introduced 135 new Pokémon species bringing to total tally to 386 Pokémon.

The main objective in all three games is to defeat gym trainers and the Elite Four in a more detailed environment. There is also a side story that involves crime syndicates – Team Aqua and Team Magma (Team Rocket in FireRed and LeafGreen).

This generation, however, left out some of the features that were present in the earlier games, such as the day-night system, and it also somewhat restricted the total number of Pokémon that a player can catch. A revamped version of Ruby and Sapphire named Pokémon Emerald was launched right after the original one.

Despite having the same gameplay as Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon Emerald made subtle changes that were well received by the fans.

3. Pokémon Generation IV – HeartGold, SoulSilver, Platinum

generation 4

Platform: Nintendo DS
Genres: Role Playing

Metacritic score: 85 (Diamond and Pearl)

The fourth generation of Pokémon games includes Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (released in 2006), Pokémon Platinum (2008), and HeartGold and Silver (2009). In this generation, a total of 107 new Pokémon species were introduced. Pokémon Platinum remains one of the fan favorites despite its age.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl have the same overall gameplay as their predecessors. Among the most notable additions in the games are Nintendo WiFi Connection (now discontinued), the day-night cycle, and the use of 3D elements. Pokémon HeartGold and Silver are remakes of second-generation games Pokémon Gold and Silver with upgraded features.

Read: 18 Best Nintendo Switch Games You Should Play In 2022

The fourth generation of Pokémon games are well-designed and have engaging and robust gameplay. However, they failed to offer anything fresh in terms of storyline.

2. Pokémon Generation I – Red, Green, Blue

generation i

Platform: Game Boy
Genres: Role Playing

The first-ever Pokémon game released by Nintendo was Red and Green in 1996. What many don’t know about these games is that it was never released outside Japan, however, an enhanced version of the game, Pokémon Blue, was introduced for international release. The first generation introduced all the original 151 species of Pokémon, from Bulbasaur to Mew. Quite frankly, catching all those is still a challenge.

Pokémon Yellow was the last of the first generation games and was also a memorable one. The game was largely based on the Pokémon TV series and also featured the Team Rocket. In addition, it had Pikachu that would follow the player.

1. Pokémon Generation II – Gold and Silver

Platform: Game Boy Color
Genres: Role Playing

It’s not that the first generation of Pokémon games wasn’t good enough, the real reason Pokémon game fanatics love the second generation more than anything is its intensity, and it is where the entire game series started to open up. The second generation introduced about 100 new Pokémon species, like Chikorita and Celebi, reaching a total of 251 Pokémon to collect and train.

Read: 26 Easy Pokemon To Draw In 2022

It also introduced the day and night feature for the first time, which had a significant influence on the gameplay. Now, certain types of Pokémon could only be caught in a specific time slot. Other features include upgraded inventory, an improved user interface, and two new Pokémon types (Dark and Steel). Moreover, the Pokémon breeding feature was also introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Pokemon game is the best?

Ranking games in a franchise as big as Pokémon is always very difficult. Every avid fan has their own opinion and bias. However, some games are, without a doubt, better than others. With much-acclaimed Pokémon titles such as Gold, Silver, and Platinum, many consider the second generation of Pokémon games the best in the history of the franchise.

Pokémon Platinum remains one of the single-most celebrated games in the franchise. It improves on every major aspect of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. There is no doubt that HeartGold and SilverSoul are one of the best games the franchise has ever offered, with great background music, Pokémon selection, and replay value.

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and their upgraded version Pokémon Emerald are also good entry-level games.

Which is the hardest Pokémon game?

Although Pokémon games are generally not recognized for their difficulty, there are few titles in the franchise that are considerably more challenging than the others. Among all the core games, Pokémon Platinum has to be the hardest. The game feature revamped battle mechanics and harder opponents. You may even find yourself stuck in certain parts of the game.

Which is the highest-selling Pokemon game?

The first generation Pokémon games – Red and Green/Blue remain the highest-selling Pokémon games of all time, with 31.3 million copies sold worldwide. They are followed by Pokémon Sword & Shield at 23.9 million copies and Pokémon Gold and Silver at 23.7 million.

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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1 comment
  • Nice article you got there. I remember playing Pokemon Crystal on my Gameboy Color. I also had Pokemon Red but Crystal was without doubt, the best.
    By the way, for the fifth entry “Generation IV”, you have used Pokemon HeartGold and Soulsilver image.
    Thanks