Your top 10 Pokémon games and why

Inspired by a discussion from the Unpopular opinions thread, I am curious to hear about others' top ten Pokémon games and a brief reasoning why they rank them that way. If you can't think of a top ten you can shorten it to five or three or whatever, but try to avoid just stating your #1 favorite as most of us have that and it's a little too easy. Also, be sure to post a brief reasoning for your ranking to foster some discussion and prevent this thread from being overly PC++ against OI rules. With that said here's my list and reasoning:

Deluxe tier
1. Platinum
2. Emerald
These are ambitious, standalone games that have rich maps and regional dexes, even pacing, enough but not too much of a challenge, "save the world" plots done without being too over the top, and robust post games complete with a Battle Frontier. They both follow a similar formula; ultimately, I give it to Platinum for beating Emerald in all of the aforementioned categories in terms of quality, aside from only the Battle Frontier perhaps.

Sequel tier
3. HGSS
4. B2W2
Both sequels are great. However, HGSS suffers from poor execution and uneven pacing, with much of the game being a sleep walk aside from Lance who is the worst difficulty spike in the franchise. Red is also rather poorly executed with his bloated levels rather than giving him quality Pokémon, making him a less effective final boss than Cynthia and Steven for example, who spotlight their respective regions' pseudo legendaries. B2W2 suffers from not being great as a standalone game, leaning heavily on BW's narrative in order to appreciate its main campaign. HGSS in fairness is the most beautiful game in the franchise in my opinion which vaults it high on my list, and B2W2 has the best regional dex and an excellent postgame battle facility in PWT which keeps it from falling any further.

Elementary tier
5. BW
6. FRLG
The two games I would introduce to a newcomer of the franchise. BW's simplistic (if overly simplistic) map and rehashed Kanto regional dex (I say this as a good and bad thing) give it a very elementary nature well suited for beginners. And the climax of this game against N gives it high points in my book. FRLG also has a great endgame, particularly if you go all the way to the Elite Four rematch, but is also perhaps too bland in its regional design like the original Unova, which ultimately keep it from measuring up to richer maps like that of Platinum and Emerald. And also keep it from measuring up to the sequels especially with their post game battle facilities. But it's enough to keep these games ahead of everything else.

Basic Hoenn tier
7. ORAS
8. RS
Ruby and Sapphire did a great job of introducing the Hoenn region even on a new system (GBA) as compared to the job Diamond and Pearl did for Sinnoh on the DS. Hoenn itself is a great region and there's not a whole lot wrong with RS, it just lacks the content to compete with the other games above it. And while I'm not a huge fan of many post Gen 5 game mechanics, ORAS is objectively the best of the lot and takes a good baseline of RS and enhances it even further. Lack of postgame battle facility Battle Frontier or great climax prevent these games from climbing further on my list.

Basic Johto tier
9. Crystal
10. GS
For their time, these games were excellent and they still hold up pretty well today. The sprite work is what really helps these games earn spots in my top ten. Crystal's animations give it a slight edge, though there isn't a huge difference really. The games are hurt by a lot of the execution issues of HGSS like level curve and Pokémon availability, only to a worse extent which puts them below the rest of the top ten. But they fixed a lot of RBY's glitches and AI which resulted in a very good overall product.

That was a long post to hopefully spark some discussion. Very curious to hear what other people's thoughts are.

Edit: strike-through
 
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Bull Of Heaven

99 Pounders / 4'3" Feet
is a Pre-Contributor
Honourable mentions (in order of release): Platinum, BW2, all of the Alola games.

10) ORAS: I never really felt like we needed Hoenn remakes. I can still play on my RSE cartridges as long as I don't need any clock-based events. But I like Hoenn and these remakes did a nice job of revisiting it.

9) Yellow: It's like RB except it's a little more colourful and you're guaranteed a weak starter. The anime references are nice but would be better if they had gone further.

8) RB: Let's give some respect to the games that started it all. Obviously very broken in many ways, but having played them again recently, they can be kind of refreshing in their simplicity compared to recent games.

7) BW: Nothing but current-gen Pokemon in a gen that doesn't always have the strongest designs. But an interesting region and (cold take) the best story in the series so far.

6) FRLG: It's Kanto but not horribly broken. What's not to love?

5) RS: Hoenn is one of the best-developed regions in the whole series, with or without too much water. It felt noticeably more vibrant and lived-in than the regions before it, and still holds up well today. The Pokemon designs are solid too. The childhood nostalgia is also starting to kick in a bit, as I spent many a night exploring the idea that "bedtime" might only be a suggestions while surfing around the eastern ocean.

4) HGSS: Yeah, I'm a big sucker for Johto. Keep reading and see.

3) GS: Silver was my first game, so this is peak childhood nostalgia. But even when I go back now, I love everything from the GS-era sprites to the small-scale plot to the simple-but-not-as-broken-as-RBY battle mechanics.

2) Crystal: It's GS but a little more advanced.

1) Emerald: Peak Hoenn. RS but, in various ways, just a little bit more. Love the both-evil-teams plot. Love the original Battle Frontier.
 
Cool idea. I posted my ranking for all main series games in the unpops thread about half a year ago, but that post was very rushed and not super-well-written. This is an excellent opportunity for me to write a revision for what I said back then (for my top 10 games at least). I think the two most important things in Pokémon games are gameplay and content, so those are the main things I will talk about here. I also consider the post-game to be more important than the main game, I usually spend 80-90% of my playtime in the post-game, so that also plays a part. I think some of my choices and placements are pretty unpopular, others probably less so. There’s also a tie on my list. I wasn’t sure how to handle that at first. In the end, I decided to do a top 9 but with 10 games. I decided to not do any super-long explanations because I don’t really feel like I have the time for it. But this got quite long in the end anyway… why am I so bad at being brief? Oh well.

Here we go!

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1. B/W + B2/W2
B/W and B2/W2 are tied as my favorite Pokémon games. They are also some of my all-time favorite video games. When it comes to the things I consider important in Pokémon, they do practically everything right and basically nothing wrong. I think they are the only games in the series which excel in both gameplay and content. For me, their flaws are extremely minor at best. For a more in-depth explanation about everything I like with these games, see here.

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2. X/Y
X/Y are my second favorite Pokémon games. Gameplay-wise, I think they are amazing and actually better than Gen 5 in several areas. However, they are a bit lacking in content, which drags them down to second place. Fortunately, the content they have is very fun and properly executed, so that’s great. They have a few other small issues too, but I think their very large number of positives are more than enough to make up for that. For a more in-depth explanation, see here.

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3. OR/AS
OR/AS are next. They are almost as good as X/Y since they have equally excellent gameplay but even more content. So why are they not higher than X/Y? The reason is that most of the features they have to offer were things I had already experienced in R/S/E and X/Y. Very little was new, which drags them down. There’s also the fact that they are remakes, which are my least favorite type of Pokémon games. And while I like them better than R/S/E as I feel that they improved upon the original Hoenn games in many ways, they could have improved upon them even further. They still have some of the Hoenn flaws, the most notable being the bad variation on the water routes. They are still excellent games though. I think they are solid remakes as well, easily the best Pokémon remakes in terms of gameplay and content.

On a somewhat different note, I really wish there were big minisprites for Primal Groudon/Kyogre.

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4. US/UM
To me, US/UM are a solid improvement over S/M. They improved upon the base games in many areas and downright fixed some of their issues while keeping most of their positives. I think their gameplay is pretty good in general, and I’d say they are the third best games in terms of content. However, I think they could have improved upon S/M even more, many issues still remain. Still really good though, definitely the best Alola games if you ask me.

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5. Platinum
Platinum is a great game that did many improvements over D/P while still keeping most of the good things from the base games. It has solid gameplay and I’d say it is the second best in the series when it comes to content, beaten only by B2/W2. That said, while I think Platinum is good at everything, I don’t think it is the best at anything. Regarding everything that Platinum does, I think there’s one or several other games which do the same thing but better or just as good. So that’s why I don’t rank it higher than this. But I still think it is very good, best 4th Gen game and best Sinnoh game without a doubt.

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6. Sword (with DLC)
Why is Sword as high as sixth place? Why is it even on the list at all? The answer is that despite dexit and other issues, I honestly had really fun with Sword. Going into the game 90% blind was a great decision, I loved being surprised by the majority of the new Pokémon (and several other things). The game was just a ton of fun to play, I think it has solid gameplay overall. It still had some issues though. Fortunately, I think the DLC improved upon it a lot, it fixed some of my issues with the base game as well. Plus, it added more content, which was great. Before the DLC, Sword was tied with S/M, but after the DLC, I’m ranking it above S/M. That said, even with the DLC, several issues still remain. The most notable being that ¼ of all existing Pokémon are still unobtainable in the game. The Battle Tower and how nerfed it is compared to past Battle Facilities is another big issue. It is easily the biggest step down for Battle Facilities in the history of the series. Still, I had tons of fun with Sword and I feel very satisfied with Pokémon on the Switch after playing it. I even feel that I can probably wait until Gen 9 before playing another new Pokémon game, though that depends on whether they will be able to convice me that SP and/or L:A are worth getting (at the moment, it is looking unlikely). For further reading about my thoughts on Sword, I made a long post with my initial thoughts on the game after beating it, that post can be found here. I also posted my initial thoughts on the DLC packs which can be found here for the IOA and here for the CT.

Why is Shield not here alongside Sword? Because I haven’t played Shield, and I decided to only include the games I have actually played this time around.

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7. S/M
I have a weird relation to these games. Looking back, I feel that I have been too harsh towards them in the recent past, and too mild towards them in the more distant past. While they are far from my favorite games, I still like them and I think they are good games. They were especially good for their time, I had fun with them back in 2016-17. However, they have some big issues. Their gameplay was a step down from the greatness of Gen 6, while I think they are only tied with X/Y in terms of content (good, but definitely not among the best). The two biggest issues I have with them are the lack of good training spots during the post-game and the lack of a National Dex (the latter which ended up becoming a new trend in the series, sadly). And nowadays, I consider them obsolete because of US/UM which I prefer in every important aspect (except one, which is the Rotom Dex). I also had way too high expectations on S/M before they were released, which made them feel like a disappointment in many ways when I played them. I also feel that despite everything they try to do differently and everything they actually do differently, they didn’t feel very different from past games. Still, they were fun for their time and that makes them earn the seventh place on my list.

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8. D/P
I like D/P. Far from the best games in the series, but also far from the worst. I think they are similar to S/M in many ways, so maybe it isn’t surprising that I’m ranking them right behind S/M. D/P certainly have their flaws, but I had a lot of fun with them back in 2007-08, when they were the newest games. They have decent gameplay and very good content, I’d say they are tied with B/W as the first pairs with the best content in the series (excluding the S/S DLC). Still, they have issues. The slowness and the mediocre regional dex being two of the biggest ones. They are also obsolete because of Platinum, which is better in every way. Still solid games for their time though, and to my own surprise, I actually found the slowness tolerable when I played them for a bit earlier this year. This was because I felt that it became less notable if you play D/P for a while without comparing them to anything else.

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9. Emerald
When it comes to the Hoenn games, I think OR/AS are the best. Emerald is still good though. I liked it a lot and it is actually the Pokémon game I have spent the most time on (over 900 hours). Most of that time was spent on traditional breeding (not very fun) and on training various Pokémon to level 50 or 100 (much more fun). Emerald has pretty solid gameplay like all Hoenn games, and it is pretty good in terms of content too. Like many other players, I liked the Battle Frontier and had tons of fun with it. However, I do not consider it to be the ultimate post-game experience or the most important thing in Pokémon. And it is basically the only big thing Emerald has to offer during the post-game. Without the Frontier, it would only be marginally better than R/S in terms of content. I like Emerald, but I don’t think it is the very best in the series. Still good though.

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Honorable mentions: R/S & FR/LG
Those are good games as well, but for me, they are not quite good enough to get a place on my top ten.

That’s my list. Ask if you have any questions or if there is anything you want me to elaborate on.

I also wanted to include some extra things (mostly related to this subject), just for fun.
First of all, here’s how I rank the Pokémon generations (based purely on the games):
5 > 6 > 7 > 4 > 8 > 3 > 1 > 2

And here’s how I rank the games themselves:
B/W = B2/W2 > X/Y > OR/AS > US/UM > Platinum> Sword (with DLC) > S/M > D/P > Emerald > R/S = FR/LG > Crystal > R/B > G/S > Yellow > HG/SS
Unranked: LGP/LGE, Shield

I also made a new tier list, it is slightly updated compared to the one I posted back in January.



Sword is ranked as B+ with the DLC included. Without the DLC, it would be B.
LGP/E and Shield are unranked since I haven't played them.
And that’s it.
Basic Hoenn tier
7. ORAS
8. RS

-snip-

Lack of post game battle facility or great climax prevent these games from climbing further on my list.
R/S has the Battle Tower, while OR/AS has the Battle Maison and Battle institute. Just saying.
 
1) Emerald: Peak Hoenn. RS but, in various ways, just a little bit more. Love the both-evil-teams plot. Love the original Battle Frontier.
I liked the two evil teams plot of Emerald too because it went together well with the Hoenn region. The west half of the map is heavily land based while the east side is highly water based. The overall nature theme of Hoenn also lent credence to the plot, which would have felt pretty ridiculous anywhere else.

Cool idea. I posted my ranking for all main series games in the unpops thread about half a year ago, but that post was very rushed and not super-well-written. This is an excellent opportunity for me to write a revision for what I said back then (for my top 10 games at least). I think the two most important things in Pokémon games are gameplay and content, so those are the main things I will talk about here. I also consider the post-game to be more important than the main game, I usually spend 80-90% of my playtime in the post-game, so that also plays a part. I think some of my choices and placements are pretty unpopular, others probably less so. There’s also a tie on my list. I wasn’t sure how to handle that at first. In the end, I decided to do a top 9 but with 10 games. I decided to not do any super-long explanations because I don’t really feel like I have the time for it. But this got quite long in the end anyway… why am I so bad at being brief? Oh well.
I should probably state my criteria too. I judge the games in two parts, rather equally, in terms of main campaign and post game. In the main campaign I'm looking for a rich map, solid regional dex and distribution (more thoughts on that here), good rival(s), good villain team/plot, even pacing/challenge, and a strong final boss. May have left some things out but that's mainly it.

I really need a Battle Frontier for the post game to feel complete for me. Notice how my top three all contain one. And fourth place has the PWT and Black Tower/Whitetree Hollow which is the next best thing. Ideally, there's also an extra part of the region to explore in the post game (ie Battle Zone, Sevii Islands) but that is heavily outweighed by the presence or lack of a solid battle facility.

R/S has the Battle Tower, while OR/AS has the Battle Maison and Battle institute. Just saying.
I was literally about to edit this. I guess I'm looking for a full Battle Frontier or PWT in a game before I vault it too high on my list.
 
For me it's really hard to make a Top list since my opinion changes significantly by certain small things. But I will try to get what I think of the top of my head that is the best.

1. Pokemon Stadium 2
There is so much immediate content in this game. There are a viarity of challenges to master, you can use Pokemon from RBYGSC for the Gym Tower and the Academy that taught me a bunch of competitive stuff I didn't know back in the day. It was also a mean where I could put my own Pokemon against each other and battle without going through stupid stuff like in PBR where I have to keep updating stuff from my game and you don't need a mainline games to enjoy the game or get a full experience, it only enhances it.

2. Pokken Tournament
I don't play it as much but I honestly enjoy it probably more than the mainline games. If I weren't a complitionist of getting all the Pokemon or a full competitive team, I would play this game more often.
Pokken Tournament is the game I always wanted from the franchise since I was little.

3. Pokemon BW2 (alongside BW to get the most out of the experience)
This game can stand on it's own, but I feel to get the most out of it I have to rate it alongside BW.
My opinion on BW has become more sour over the years, but I still liked that there were only new gen Pokemon in the main game. BW2 does the opposite by giving us a massive dex and show how the region changed.
You had a difficulty setting (even if it was awful). You could get rewarded for doing various missions. You get rewarded for actually filling the National dex giving you access to Shiny Haxorus. You can get another shiny Dragon.
But man, what I loved even more is the PWT. That was the best thing we have gotten from Pokemon Mainline Games in terms of Post Game. And getting Tutor Moves was probably the easiest that Generation.

4. Pokemon Crystal (GBC version)
Generation 2 is my second favorite Generation for a reason. You can travel through 2 regions, new Pokemon felt special and what I liked the most about Generation 2 in general is the infrared feature that allows you to get Mystery Gift and allowing you to battle your opponent's current team and vice versa in Veridian City. That is one of the reason the remakes disappointed me. Yes, it's petty, but that thing kept me entertained for several years. I never touched HG once I beat it. I may play it if I owned it but that's just for breeding and transferring like I do with Diamond (a game I actually don't even like).
The reason I put Crystal above GS is the additional content and that you don't need to hunt down more than 2 legendary "dogs". And Raikou doesn't look like a dog made out of slime.
The VC version would be next on the list, but I don't like listing the same game twice. The VC version has Celebi which makes it arguably better.

5. Pokemon Emerald
The game I actually play right now. I don't like RS but Emerald's Battle Frontier is the shit. It took me forever to beat it and I love the amount of challenges various facilities put you through. Yes, there is RNG involved and it can be bothersome to lose to Haxrain, but overall there is a big satisfaction once you beat it. It took me 13 years to get all the Gold Symbols (mainly because I sucked and breeding is a pain in Gen 3).

6. Pokemon XD Gale of Darkness
First 3D homes console Pokemon game where you can safe anywhere. I enjoy the challenge and the bosses in that game. Also it allows you to use a viarity of Pokemon you normally couldn't use in other games. I can use Ariados, Shiftry and Flareon (in the same team) and not feel like they are shit Pokemon.
Also love the Battle CD's.

7. Pokemon Colosseum
The story is what sells me Colosseum over XD. There is a more limited pool on Pokemon and it's much harder to get the Pokemon you want into the team and there are only 2 Time Flutes (not counting the 3rd since the grinding isn't worth it).
But man, you are getting Umbreon and Espeon at the start. I used to struggle to get these 2 back in the day. And I love to get access to both from the start.
And you can get a doggo early on into your team. Using Entei in-game is so satisfying.

This is as far as I can rank the Pokemon games and be satisfied. Now I struggle if I should put BW next or GS. RBY aged awfully, but the hidden mechanics like the gym boosts and stuff make it more intriging over the objectively better FRLG.
HGSS is still a good game, but it just bores me. Honestly enjoyed ORAS more. And there is also Pokemon Snap.
 

Texas Cloverleaf

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Not as hard as I expected tbh

1. Pokemon Emerald
2. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team
3. Pokemon Platinum
4. Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness
5. Pokemon Heart Gold
6. Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
7. Pokemon Trading Card Game
8. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time
9. Pokemon Blue
10. Pokemon Gold

Emerald is the end-all, be-all for me, I've put in countless hours into replaying that game, just about everything you can get is usable in some form, the game itself is well balanced to be a challenge at the casual level, the volume of water isn't really that bad, and the Battle Frontier is the single best thing to ever be done in a Pokemon game.

Red Rescue Team is the best story Pokemon has ever done, aside from being a legitimate challenge in the post-story dungeons. A legitimate tear-jerker.

Platinum is a worthy spiritual successor to Emerald, improving in every respect on the strong foundation from DP, while HGSS proved similar from the Pokemon Gold game I ran into the ground as a child. Blue was my very first and will always hold a place on my lists for that reason.

Gale of Darkness is a joy to play at every level, interesting story, wide selection of mons, much better polish than Colosseum (which I also like) and a legitimately interesting playstyle with the wide range of doubles options opened up to you. A challenge at the end game to boot.

Shadows of Almia is perhaps the most unlikely inclusion but it's really good! Great story, mechanics of the game itself are strong, you get a Manaphy out of it and it's generally fun to play to completion, even on a repeat. Singular downside is the wear it puts on the touchpad.

I know of many who prefer Explorers of Time/Darkness to Red/Blue Rescue Team and I can understand why, the Grovyle plot line is genuinely deep and complex and pays off in unexpected ways. Doesn't hold a candle to the personal investment of the originals for me, but is a fantastic game in its own right.

edit: Oh yes if you've never played the Pokemon TCG go emulate it right now, 10/10 fun
 
Skipping games I've yet to finish. If you're wondering why Pt isn't on the list, blame my younger self that didn't see the point in getting multiple games for one region.

1: Emerald. Contains much of my nostalgia since it was my first mainline game, though it does also hold up without that. Has the best battle frontier, and I value postgame content highly.

2: MD DX. I know Explorers is standardly considered the top of the subseries, but I don't have info on Sky specifically and I honestly prefer how the original and its remake structure their main quest. I often focus on mons other than my starters, so I appreciate the ability to bring in non-story allies to most story dungeons and that most of the post-credits quests don't even require the starter to be there at all. Other than a nitpick about not being able to change mons for walking around town, I haven't found much in the original that the remake doesn't at least do equivalently.

3: BW. I honestly don't care much about the plot (not that that's exceptional for me), but I actually really like a lot of the mon designs for gen 5 (objectmons are underrated imo). I can also thank the Battle Subway being so early that it also needed to adjust levels up for really getting me into teambuilding (since I didn't believe I needed to grind at all as a result of not knowing about EVs at the time).

4: MD Red/Blue. Described why in the #2 entry.

5: HGSS. The game I have info on with the gen 4 frontier. I also recall enjoying the pokathlon minigames in my first playthrough, though I don't think I've done anything with them since. That said, the main game isn't that great, but it's not where I usually spend a lot of time anyway.

6: Conquest. I like turn-based strategy games, particularly ones with an emphasis on getting a 'build' up between battles. Does have a lot of unexplored potential though, really needs a sequel for that.

7: ORAS. I don't really mind gen 6 that much. It had good multiplayer features, the best gimmick mechanic, and the right conditions to actually get me caring about EVs: an obvious training method in super training and also an effective training method in hordes. ORAS is noticeably better than XY in the feature department, with Dexnav as a standout. Actually giving a bonus to having encountered/caught a mon is something the pokedex needed a long time ago. Missing the battle frontier is a really big downside though, would almost certainly be higher with that..

8: RB. They're so ridiculously broken, and that's the main reason I view content on them. Seriously, look up a full dex speedrun (as in, all 151 on one cartridge without trading), they're amazing. Yellow isn't included because in addition to me not liking the main anime, it also has a lot of completely different mons for numbers 152-255.

9: MD Explorers of Time/Darkness. As mentioned earlier, I don't have direct info on Sky. Even though I'm not as much a fan of the main story structure, there is a lot of interesting mechanics here. I really should do a deeper dive here one of these days, I basically stopped as soon as I recruited Darkrai due to being frustrated with earlier story segments (i.e. needing to brute-force spacial rift until I got like 8 level-ups because I had no other options).

10: USUM. I hear they ruined the plot for this one. You know what's more important than the plot? Actually getting to see the credits roll with the mons you were most excited about getting. Earns the slot mostly for being the game I feel I have the most freedom to make my stupid gimmick teams. Still not over that that honour isn't going to a current-gen game.
 
Oh gosh, huge post time! This post is going to be weird and is...partially tied to how I started on Smogon as a whole, but matter of circumstance guess. BIG DISCLAIMER: I haven't sat down and fully beaten a good chunk of these games in years because maybe I'm just growing up at this point (or I'm just lazy). On the other hand, I like almost all of the games. If you have a different opinion, more power to you! But whatever let's do this!

1. Pokemon Black / White.
Wow these games are so, so good. It's an RPG I can recommend to anyone, new or old to the series. Fast battles? Check. Refined mechanics? Check. An actually usable new Pokedex (seriously, even stuff like Elgyem or Escavalier can work if you give them a chance) that lets you experiment and still have fun (blah blah earlygame is limited)? BIG CHECK. A story that doesn't waste your time getting into the game while being moderately thought-provoking (though I still have my issues with it)? Check. Mostly balanced difficulty (aside from the last three gyms, lul)? Check. I won't deny the Black and White in-game tier list had an effect on my love for these games. But at the time of the original release, roughly around the time (when BW2 came out, at least) that I started actively replaying the games and doing Nuzlockes and the like. Tangents aside, I think these games hold up amazingly well and are the pinnacle of the franchise. They look great, sound great (best OST only beaten by BW2) and are just amazing games. If I had to criticize anything, it's the Seven Sages and Anthea and Concordia doing literally nothing but whatever.

2. Pokemon Black and White 2
That's right, I actually put these games at number 2. Now before you stop reading, let me explain some. I know this opinion is definitely unpopular and I totally get why people like BW2 more. Yes, it gives you more bang for your buck, yes postgame is amazing, yes big huge regional dex boogaloo. But the one area it falls flat for me is pacing. For the first six gyms, this game is paced wonderfully. No major location is too far apart from each other, you get badges at a reasonable pace, etc....

and then it craps the bed.

In all seriousness, I don't like how there is a whole lot of nothing happening after Mistralton City. They try to make it important by sprinkling in minibosses but...it's just not fun. Way too many side areas around Undella, followed by way too many Plasma Grunts - sure, Colress and Ghetsis are fun battles, but by the time I'm on Route 23 I'm like "am I at the credits yet?" Yes random trainers are optional but I still think it's a bit much - I remember disliking this even when the games were new. On the other hand, we get by far the best OST in the series. I love the unique gym music, the Plasma Grunt Battle theme saves them from being trash tier (seriously Neo Team Plasma is boring and literally Team Rocket tier otherwise), Colress and Ghetsis battle themes are great, Black / White Kyurem music is great seriously this music is just...SO GOOD AAAAAAAAAAA

But yeah. I honestly think similar to Derivative they are more or less equal to BW1. I just prefer my experiences more concise.


WARNING: extremely hot take

3. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon / Sun and Moon (actual tie)

Yeah, top 3! Let's get the big bad out of the way. Yes, these games are intrusive with their story. But are they still good games? Definitely! In the case of USUM, it's by far having EXCELLENT boss battles across the board. I love how they aren't really that many breather bosses in these games. Every one save maybe Hapu and some of the Elite Four feel very well balanced, giving you a fair challenge without smashing you over the head. While OG SM aren't as challenging they obviously have superior story on their side which balances it out. These games are the only thing stopping me from saying Pokemon as a franchise has declined completely because I honestly still see some talent in Game Freak and these games are why, even if USUM's revamped story is dumb. Pretty good soundtrack too!

4. Platinum
Not much to say here, honestly. I think Platinum is a good game marred by some noticeable design issues. This was right before we got the in-game movepools mostly fixed through Unova, so you get the occasional stinkers like Thunder Fang Luxray, the travesty of Drapion, Meditite's drought till Force Palm at like 29, Yanma's everything...if you look closely at these games a lot of mons are TM reliant (though not nearly to the extent of RBY). Perfectly playable however. My other issue is that well...a few Sinnoh mons besides the obvious early route stuff just...don't really stack up all that well. Wormadam, Lumineon, Lucario with its horrid availability, Glaceon, Gliscor forcing the EQ TM on, Bronzor hitting like a baby despite Extrasensory, Toxicroak's only natural Fighting STAB being Revenge...on the other hand, things like Ambipom and Mamoswine really helped the dismal pre-evolutions so hey, kinda balances out. HMs are truly awful and prevent you from enjoying Platinum's expanded dex. Good difficulty but I think it was a little bit much sometimes, particularly with Fantina and Wake. I know I've said a lot negative, so I will say this: the in-game selection feels a lot less bland than RSE where almost everything felt average.

5. Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness
Top tier spinoff and my favorite spinoff. Yes the game drags toward the end but it aged soooooooooooo much better than Colosseum which was terribly designed difficulty simulator constantly. Actual variety in mons that don't suck, good music, fun locales...please play this if you haven't (if you can find a cheap copy LUL). The double battles aren't for everyone but I think it holds up pretty well, especially considering the physical / special split wasn't introduced yet aside from a couple Shadow moves, oddly. Not much to say, just a solid game even if the atmosphere was strangely lighter coming off Colosseum.

6. Pokemon RSE / ORAS
I'm not a mega fan of ORAS and I haven't finished Emerald in a hot minute but let's talk about them anyway. I don't like ORAS's changes with Wally and everything involving Zinnia, but I think the solid movepool changes make for a good experience on spite of it being easier than the originals. I like the unique Gym Battle backgrounds in ORAS, which is something good from XY I'm glad they kept. Despite starting the series with Emerald, I...don't actually have much to say on RSE! I haven't fully beaten them in a long time and I'm not sure why. That said, I think Emerald's difficulty is pretty good (roughly on par with Platinum but screw Emerald Brawly seriously). As for Hoenn as a whole, I think it's one of the blander regions in terms of mon usability. There's nothing super exciting, everything mostly has very shallow movepools. I think both sets of Hoenn games tend toward slightly above average, the original plot in RSE being boring as crap doesn't help - but hey, it has some pretty decent scenery variety, before the water of course.

7. Pokemon Red / Blue / Yellow and FRLG
The originals are dated but I think they are still decent as long as you go in without huge expectations. I love the 8 bit music. While the Ai has the brains of a potato and the mon usability is hilariously awkward (literally almost everything needs TMs) I think there is some fun to be had. Not much to say honestly - everybody knows how primitive these games are so I won't waste your time. I prefer RBY over FRLG solely because of the 8-bit music. I like how nonlinear Kanto is, I feel it's better executed than BW2's messy endgame.

8. GSC / HGSS
Despite being number 8 out of 10, man I can't stand so many design decisions in these games. Mon usability is stupid, getting elemental stones is stupid, rematches with basic trainers is "what were you thinking?" levels, the level curve is a joke and a half and yet...I kinda embraced it? Honestly I could recommend XY and SWSH a bit more than these games because you don't have to pull your hair out to play them, but I've kinda developed Stockholm Syndrome at this point - these games at least feel like they have some semblance of identity and aren't playing the tropes of the series dead straight. GSC is better than HGSS imo. They are fine if you know what you're getting into, but the second you look below the surface everything falls apart. I think it's mostly a "you had to have been there back when it was new" for GSC as it really did introduce a lot of new things to the series. I know I wasn't super positive but...yeah. Sorry Johto fans.

9. Pokemon XY
These games are...okay. They brought a lot to the series but Alola did everything they were trying to do better. Mon usability is great as is the fancy new THIRD DIMENSION but aside from that, these games are very soulless, an unfortunate consequence of being on a new system with new models. I do appreciate the strides they took to streamline preparation for competitive battling however, as this is where I got into competitive.

10. SWSH
I...don't know. These games have good moments here and there but feel very shallow, to the point where I didn't bother getting the DLC in spite of the good reception it got. I don't think they are AWFUL (as it's hard to screw up Pokemon being fun) completely but they were exceptionally forgettable, which is a shame after we got all that great stuff in Alola that proved the series could still be interesting.
 
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10. X/Y - Back when these games first came out, I remember finding them extremely disappointing. Other than the new visuals (that aren't really that new anymore), the PSS, and the improved breeding mechanics, I found very little to be excited about. But after replaying X earlier this year for the first time in about 4 years... they're somewhat better than I remembered. Lysandre and AZ are surprisingly deep characters, Professor Sycamore is one of the better professors out there, Lumiose City isn't quite as cumbersome to navigate as some people make it out to be, and the Battle Maison is... decent. However, I still think the main story is pretty lackluster, the region basically just puts all of its eggs into the Lumiose City basket, the postgame is the emptiest in the series after RBY, and several other features like Pokemon-Amie and the visual presentation were done better in the other 3DS games.

9. Platinum - If I only look at the good stuff, this would be in my top 5 for sure. It's honestly a real shame that I have to put this so low, because Platinum has a lot going for it. Its postgame and villainous team climax are among the absolute best in the series, and the Sinnoh Underground and Wi-Fi activities were fun while they lasted. But what knocks this game down so much is that not everything Platinum has going for it is good. To name a few of the biggest issues: fog, getting stuck in mud and snow, "Saving a lot of data", an extremely anticlimactic final stretch, and a level curve that, while not as bad as Diamond/Pearl's or the Johto games', still requires more time spent level grinding than I'd like to spend. Individually, none of these issues would be enough to knock this game out of my top 5, but combining all of them together really brings the game down a substantial amount.

8. FireRed/LeafGreen - I haven't played LGPE and haven't touched RBY in about 20 years, and these games are why. I don't exactly need those other games when I can get just about everything substantial that they have to offer in FRLG. Plus, I can also get the Sevii Islands, adding far better locations to explore and some much-needed postgame content. I don't think the region's layout needs to be almost pixel-by-pixel identical to how it was in the original games; Kanto was always rather bland and lifeless, but when you have more advanced visuals, it seems like it could be somewhat more different. Also, you could remove both Flash and the Rock Tunnel, and I would shed no tears (but the same can be said for every other game that takes place in Kanto as well). But overall, if I want to replay "Gen 1" that badly, I'd just assume pick up these games instead.

7. HeartGold/SoulSilver - If I were putting this list together a couple of years ago, I'd have most certainly placed these games in my top 5. I remember having a blast experiencing the glorified nostalgia trip they provided back in 2010. Not to mention exploring both the new and returning areas, using the Hoenn and Sinnoh Sounds on the Pokegear to find mons from gens 3 and 4, and honing my mastery of the Pokeathlon. So why is it only number 7? Well, in hindsight, going all in on the "discovery" aspect may not have been best for these games' longevity. Having played HGSS 3 times since my initial playthrough, I just can't be wowed by all of that the same way anymore. Like the games they're remakes of, HGSS blow their load in the first playthrough, so while it was easy for me to be awed by them the first time I played them, that veneer started to wear off on subsequent playthroughs, and once it did, what was left was pretty unimpressive. The main story is banal, the much-vaunted second region is boring even with the extra gyms, and it's all wrapped up with a level curve that's still as annoying as ever. I still enjoy coming back to them from time to time, but really only to revisit the Pokeathlon or Battle Frontier. For more on what I think of the Johto games as a whole, I refer you to this post.

6. Pokemon Conquest - The first of 2 Spin-Offs on my list. Let's be honest, we all used to imagine what would happen if you paired Pokemon with the samurai of feudal Japan. And now we have our answer, and it's pretty awesome. I like how you have a full battlefield instead of just a stadium to work with, and how a Pokemon's typing can also influence what it can do on said battlefield (e.g. Fire-types can cross lava, Ice-types don't slip on ice, Flying-types can... well, fly over everything). Plus, each warrior or warlord has their own powers which can also sway a battle. I don't think every Pokemon needs to be limited to one attack, but that's really the only nitpick I have with it. Also, unlike any main series game, you can replay every warlord's story as many times as you want without resetting your game, so the replay value is absolutely infinite.

5. Sword/Shield (with DLC) - This is gonna make some heads roll, isn't it? Not just because they're on the list, but because they beat out other common favorites like Platinum and HGSS to get here. Well, it certainly isn't a new phenomenon for the most polarizing generation at any given time to be the most recent one. Let's get a few things out of the way first: the infamous tree trunks aren't exactly eye candy, the pop-in can be annoying from time to time, and the Darkest Day should've been the postgame instead of the Sordward/Shielbert bullshit we got instead. And aside from that... the rest of the games were pretty good. I liked having the gym battles take place in front of large crowds, which helped to drastically increase their memorability. The rivals were pretty good as rivals, Leon was awesome as a champion, the rest of the region had some interesting locations to visit, and the Wild Area was a lot of fun to explore (at least the first 20 times or so that I did). So on their own, the base games are basically upgraded versions of X/Y, and would probably be around number 8. But it's the DLC that pulls it all together for me. I had a lot more fun exploring both new areas than I did the Wild Area, the new Legendary mons are amazing, and the Galarian Star Tournament is my favorite new battle feature since the PWT. It seems to me that about 95% of the backlash to SwSh is either because they didn't provide any big structural changes the same way other franchises did when they moved to the Switch, or because of the dumbfuckery that is Dexit. I could go on for days about the latter, but I have four more games to talk about, so let's leave that for another time.

4. XD: Gale of Darkness - So here's the other Spin-Off, although since it more or less maintains the same structure as a main series game, I'm not really sure how much of a Spin-Off it truly is. Having said that, I don't think there has been a more improved sequel in this franchise. I hated Colosseum for its difficulty spikes, inability to save your game except at a PC, and lackluster usage of the Shadow Pokemon mechanic (okay, that latter one was after I saw what XD did with it, anyway). None of these problems exist in XD. Plus, XD has about twice as many usable Pokemon, takes the Shadow mechanic to the hill, and culminates with an epic final segment in Citadark Isle that blows every Victory Road a mile out of the water.

3. Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon - And now it's time for another somewhat hot take. I could probably put either set of Alola games here, but I think USUM improved enough from their non-Ultra counterparts to warrant sole possession of this spot. I enjoyed the main story of the games, Alola is gorgeous and fun to explore, the level curve actually makes use of the new Exp. Share, and... am I the only person on the planet who actually prefers Z-Moves over Mega Evolutions? While I can agree that the opening tutorial is a bit long, I don't think it's that bad. One thing I will say, however, is that both Ultra Megalopolis and Team Rainbow Rocket were huge missed opportunities. The former was basically just a hallway and a tower, and the latter should have done a hell of a lot more than just take over Festival Plaza and Aether Paradise. Had the games done more with them, I could have potentially put these games at number 2.

2. Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire - You'd probably be seeing Emerald here if these games didn't exist, but since they do, you get to see them instead. Gen 3 holds a special place in my heart, since it was the point at which I began to start enjoying the games as games (e.g. more intricate stories, more expansive regions, more memorable characters, etc.) rather than just being glorified trophy cases to show off what you caught. As for ORAS, they brought back about virtually all of the awesome stuff the first games provided*, added a fun new postgame excursion in the Delta Episode, did for Mirage Island what XD did for Shadow Pokemon, giving the player the ability to Surf through the tOo mUcH wAtEr at twice the normal speed with a Sharpedo (why yes, I do relish any opportunity to shit on IGN, thank you), and even kept the PSS from X/Y. I'll fully admit I probably wouldn't like these games as much as I do if I hadn't already loved Gen 3 to begin with, or conversely if I was some diehard Gen 3 purist. But I do and am not, so I love them. (*Notice I said "awesome".)

1. Black/White 1 and 2 - BW has my favorite main story of any game thus far, complemented by my favorite final climax in any Pokemon game to date. Meanwhile, B2W2 has my favorite postgame, with a ton of areas both new and old to explore, several legendary mons to catch, and of course, the PWT. And both games have some of the best battles, most memorable character rosters, and the smoothest pacing in the series, as well as my favorite region to date (especially B2W2's version). I do have a couple of nitpicks with both (see the post I linked just above to see them), but they're pretty minor and certainly don't stop me from enjoying them. If I had to pick between the two sets of games, I'd probably pick B2W2, just because I think it does nearly everything aside from the main story better than BW1 does, but they complement each other so well that I think it's justified to put them both at the number 1 spot.
 
Some really nice rankings and reasonings. One comment I want to make is that I like that BW is getting some love, either tied with B2W2 or ahead of it. Even though I personally disagree, I think both are terrific and make my top five. I do find BW gets lost in the shuffle of the B2W2 praise. B2W2 certainly has a lot going for it, namely the almost perfectly executed regional dex and its tremendous postgame battle facilities, but BW's story and climax are absolutely amazing and deserve to be praised and viewed as amazing games in their own right, not overshadowed as I find they often are by B2W2.
 
1. HeartGold/SoulSilver. They have well designed region - Johto is tightly packed with many areas so exploring it is both fast and interesting. The available postgame is one of the best to this day - instead of grinding in facilities, you can continue your journey. The remakes have beautiful visuals, fix some problems (mainly Kanto) and add tons of stuff I appreciate (following Pokemon, Cameron the Photographer, Pokeathlon, Safari Zone, Appricorn Box, gym leaders appearing outside of gyms etc.). Johto feels more alive thanks to those changes.

2. Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team. The storyline is very immersive and treats you and your partner rather maturely. The spritework in these games is simply brilliant - Pokemon, dungeons and miscellaneous elements (like interface) are beautiful. The gameplay is fast and pleasant thanks to great dungeon design. The soundtrack is a joy to my ears. Friend Areas are the last reason why I consider Rescue games the best in the series - their variety and visuals motivated me to recruit all Pokemon.

3. Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Sky. Similar reasons to Rescue Team. Beautiful visuals and great soundtrack. Explorers made some aspects of the gameplay better (by removing a few weird requirements for dungeons, making moving through menu faster and allowing easier recruitment), however it also made some worse (by nerfing gummis for example). It has better characters but storyline feels a bit annoying at times. Sky is a better version than Darkness and Time thanks to additional plots and new areas.

4. Black/White. Simply terrific town designs (I love how settlements focus on different aspects of human productivity - they include airports, warehouses, lunapark etc.). Great Pokedex, that is not afraid of omitting old Pokemon, makes journey more unique. The characters are complex and the storyline is interesting. Some gameplay changes like unlimited TMs, smaller focus on HMs and easier levelling (thanks to Audino and access to Lucky Egg) make the campaign better. The postgame is great, I love exploring new areas.

5. Black 2/White 2. Despite having flatter characters, dumber storyline and worse campaign, these sequels added so much content, it's honestly overwhelming. There are tons of additional activities (completing Habitat List, beating Funfest Missions, clearing PWT etc.) and postgame areas to check. Aside from that, I loved how BW2 expanded on old characters and added some gimmicky elements like importing your save file from BW.

6. Sun/Moon. I have a love-hate relationship with these ones but I want to focus on the positives. Alola presents some unique and fun stuff - its culture is interesting, the trials are a pleasure to overcome, the characters are well developed and the storyline can be charming, epic or dramatic. Aside from those immersive elements, I am fond of some new features like Z-moves, Poke Ride and Poke Pelago which make standard gameplay faster and more varied.

7. Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. These remakes did the impossible and fixed Hoenn. Water routes are less obnoxious. Team building is not severely limited. Time once again flows and you can explore at night. Secret bases, contests and other elements are more fun to check out. Old characters are more fleshed out. Aside from all of that, ORAS include many convenient features from XY and have even more stuff on top of that (soaring, Dexnav, early access to National Dex).

8. X/Y. I absolutely adore Kalos. It's a simple but very pleasant region to explore (similarly to Johto). The soundtrack in the game is definitely one of the best. A few changes (e.g. simplified breeding and easier leveling) as well as additions (PSS, Friend Safari and Super Training) motivated me to trade and battle online more. The storyline has interesting characters like AZ and Lysandre whose motivations and backstories are honestly great.

9. Platinum. Once again, I love the presented region. Sinnoh is less pleasant to explore (due to overabundance of HMs and caves) but it has varied areas, amazing Pokedex and probably my favourite set of gym leaders. Team building received some good changes in fourth generation (bigger TM pool, better learnsets and more sensible categorization for attacks). Finally, Platinum is one of the better "enhanced" versions because it changed most of the visuals on top of adding new features (Distortion World, Battleground, new characters etc.) and fixing some of its predecessors' mistakes (mainly battle speed).

10. Snap/PokePark 2 Wonders Beyond. Not sure which one, honestly. Both have simple but very satisfying gameplay styles. Both have relaxing soundtracks. Both have varied areas to explore. Snap has funny Oak and addicting scoring system. PokePark 2 has 3D free roaming with controllable camera I wanted in a series for a while.
 
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This is my most current main series tier list as of August 23rd, 2021, designed with a website link I'll be adding into this post shortly after this goes live. The cutoff line for my top 10 based on this tier list (which for the record only uses each game's first version since I rarely have a preference) is somewhere in the average tier, higher than XY but below Platinum. Here are some important things to consider.

(Update: Here is the link. https://tiermaker.com/create/pokemon-mainline-games)

1. Extremely hot take, but the Battle Frontier isn't enough to push Emerald into the top tier. I've never been too much of a fan of the place anyways, but I get why some people are, and it's definitely memorable for them. Outside of the Frontier, Emerald still has one of the worse post-games alongside its first two versions, at least to me.

2. Another hot take, but despite me technically growing up in the DS/Wii era's later years, I'm honestly not the biggest fan of the Sinnoh region games, although Platinum could make its way into high tier on my next list if you can convince me of it. The problem with Sinnoh isn't the post-game or the difficulty or even DP's horrible game speed (although it certainly doesn't help). The real issue I have with Sinnoh is how it feels so much like a second attempt at the Hoenn region. PM (private message) me if you want to hear more, but this isn't the thread for that.

3. In a sharp contrast to Gen 3 Hoenn, I actually think ORAS has one of, if not the best designed post-games in the entire series. The Delta Episode is the main highlight, but other features like the DexNav, the return of the PSS, having access to both bikes at once, and a slew of Legendary Pokémon alongside the new Soaring feature are all extra little cherries on top. The Battle Frontier being gone was a blow for many, but the Battle Resort is still better than vanilla RS literally only having the Battle Tower. Features from the originals like Secret Bases and Pokémon Contests go from average to excellent with the new features of Gen 6. Even the main story stands out among remakes for actually being slightly different than the originals. If ORAS didn't exist, the other Hoenn games would likely be ranked higher.

4. Pokémon Let's Go falls into a steep hole here, where the game itself would be ranked higher if it wasn't for one massive flaw- the catching controls. The concept for the game is really neat, and I absolutely adore this game's art style. But when the main component of the game becomes much more annoying due to the required motion controls, the game quickly becomes hard to play for an extended period of time. This in tandem with content cut from previous Kanto titles pushes Let's Go into the low tier for now.

5. I really don't hate the Galar region. There are so many good things going for it, but the gameplay is downright horrible compared to older titles for veteran players. Despite the National PokéDex changes, the initial regional PokéDex is still one of the best in the series in comparison, and the quality of life features for competitive players is a welcome addition. So what's the problem? Oh, let's see. Barely any returning extra features from older games, a laughably forgettable post-game, the inability to disable the Exp. Share... really, anything that's already covered here. The DLC adds more fresh content but fails to address the base game's main issues, thus solidifying the game's place as my least favorite to date.
 
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pokemon game tier list maybe.png

All right, using bdt's tier list as a guide, here is a roughish guide to how I view the main series (and LGPE, since it was there) games. Other spin-offs like PMD are not on here, but I'm not going to bother to add them and figure out where they are placed. Just know that games like PMD2 would definitely rank higher than at least some of my B tier, if not some in A (maybe some S as well? Really don't know here.). Without further ado, let's cover all the basic entries in this list, shall we?

S (Amazing) tier:
HGSS:
Yes, they have some problems. Yes, they didn't fix enough issues. But still, at the end of the day, I don't care too much. Wonderful remakes, wonderful aesthetics, lots of content, nice added things/features/places/etc., some actual fixes to the OGs, etc. Just the best of the best, overall.

Platinum: Platinum fixes up DP and makes a game that is truly nice and holds up pretty well. The game has an actual semblance of difficulty, which is something you just don't get these days in this series. There's plenty of of content, ensuring you'll have things to do to extend your playtime/value of the game. The aesthetics, while not as good as HGSS's or some others', are still nice. All in all, just another amazing entry in the franchise and definitely going to stay the definitive Sinnoh experience.

BW2: These games far out do their predecessors in my opinion. There's more to do in them than the story, which is nice. There's a fuckton of features and content (seems to be sticking point for me, no?), more than probably any other main series game, which is a nice feat. They somewhat fix the lacking aesthetics of BW1, another thing I appreciate. They're also the least cynical "extra games in a Gen that aren't a remake" games in the series, being actual sequels instead of just another "enhanced" version. While these games aren't good as the aforementioned S tiers, they're still amazing.

A (Great) tier:
Emerald:
Expands on RS in a very nice way. Some people might dislike fighting both Aqua and Magma, but for me it's like,"I like fighting villainous teams... bring it on!". Increases the difficulty of the OGs, something which is always nice. The Battle Frontier is a neat addition and the other expanded content is always appreciated. Combine this with the nice aesthetics of Gen 3 Hoenn and you've a nice game. And the definitive version of Hoenn.

Crystal: Gen 2 is where I landed into this series. I started with Gold, but Crystal is just "GS, but better". I'm a nostalgia driven man it seems, and these games of course hit the spot. Nice aesthetics, nice graphics/sprites, nice music, content, and more.... these games have quite a bit. Add in Crystal's expanded content, and well, you've a nice game.

GS: Already covered most of them in the Crystal entry. It's just that they're not Crystal, so yeah.

B (Good/Solid) Tier:
DP:
I don't remember hating these games like others here. Sure, they're slow, have an over reliance on HMs, have a shit regional Dex, and more, but still. The Sinnoh region is expansive and has lots to do, even in these games. Plus, these are the games that introduced the physical/special split, one of of the best changes in the franchise, bar none. As stated numerous times in the past, these games are just rendered obsolete by Platinum.

FRLG: Honestly, I don't know whether I prefer these games or RS. I guess these games should rank higher though for not being rendered obsolete by a later game, if anything. Anyways, FRLG are pure and uncomplicated games: they're just solid all around games and not bad remakes. They just don't do enough to "wow". But don't let that be too much of a knock on them. Add the expanded content and I'd call this the definitive version of Kanto (for most players).

RS: Not much to be said here. Solid games, nice aesthetics, etc. Just outdone by Emerald.

RB: The OG of the OG. The ur Pokemon games. These games might be old, poorly designed, and buggy, but I can't help but get some endearment and wonder from them. They really are a trip to the past. And while they're jank, they're a sort of fun kind of jank, you know? And the buggy mess helps their charm as well. Definitely beaten out by all the previous entries in this post, but I don't hate them and they definitely have a sort of nostalgia to them.

Yellow: With better sprites, graphics, boss teams, etc. you'd think this game should beat out RB, right? I dunno, they're basically equivalent, but Pikachu, (wo)man.

C (Average) Tier:
BW1:
Most people here seem to adore these games... I'm not one of them. These games really where my unquestioned liking of Pokemon started to wane. And these games really did seem to take it from from high to low quickly, with just themselves. I remember being hyped for these games, but when they came out, I just didn't feel it. Coming from the highs and content richness of Platinum and HGSS to BW1, where all there is is the story, and well, you get disappointment. They also just lack aesthetically. Not even a replay years later could change my opinion much. They're definitely not bad games, but they just don't click with me. One of two games that taught me to not blind hype for things.

E (Bad) tier:
(Yeah, we skipped D. These next games are so bad in comparison to the previous entries that they need the skip.)
USUM: USUM and me are complicated. On one hand, I made a hard mode hack for UM. On the other hand, these games are just bad. The typical modern Pokemon BS, with long, poorly written, unskippable cutscenes every two seconds; poor world design; tons of broken ass mechanics; dumbing down of the game; etc. You name it. And USUM has the problem of being the most cynical of "enhanced" versions by far, being obvious bait. In USUM's defense over the next entries, it has more content and difficulty. And I made a hack for UM. And I prefer Gen 7 slightly to 6, so yeah. Stockholm Syndrome is a bitch.

SM: Take USUM, remove content and some difficulty, but improve the writing and story, and you've got SM. Not much else to say here, barring that adding Hyper Training was long overdue.

ORAS: These games are just laughable in comparison to the OGs. Aesthetically, they look much worse (really not a fan of Gen 6's aesthetics). They take the already not very high difficulty of RS and make it far easier, with the usual busted ass mechanics. Sure they add some content, but Emerald did it better, and without insulting my intelligence. Really, these games are forgettable and thoroughly beaten out by what came before. Only strength they have at the end of the day is the P/S split.

F (Fail) tier:
XY:
Remember how the E tier games where bad? Well, these games manage to be even worse, somehow. They look and play bad, have some of the most lifeless writing I've ever seen, are piss easy, started the introduction of most of the busted ass mechanics I mentioned, and more. These games physically and mentally hurt me to play, something I cannot say for all the previous entries on this list. Yes, they've some good points, like finally making getting competitively viable Mons not such a pain in the ass to get, but it pales in comparison to the bad.

G (Garbage) tier:
(I have not played the games in this tier.... but do not plan to anytime soon.)
LGPE: Easily the worst rendition of Kanto. Extreme dumbing down of the games with gimmicky Pokemon GO capture mechanics. A giant meme.

Sw(i)Sh: These games really are the straws that broke the camel's back for me. XY began the strain in earnest, but ooh boy, these games took any Stockholm Syndrome I had for modern Pokemon and broke it. Pathetically easy, outrageous removal of content, nothing to do, Movexit, Dexit, more busted ass mechanics, etc.... I could go on. They didn't do the "enhanced" version this time and added Nature Mints and stuff, I guess.... but meh. Those won't have me play these piles of excrement.

So yeah, that's a rough tier list... with all the good and the bad.
 
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Top 10
1. Black 2 (and White 2)-loved most of the changes including all the extra stuff made Black and White even better
2. Emerald-still love the Battle Frontier to this day.
3. Platinum-almost as nice on the BF stage
4. Colosseum-it took me a while to get double battling down but this game really let me experiment with Pokemon I never used before.
5. Black and White-if B2/W2 didn't exist, it would be higher
6. XD-not quite as fun as Colosseum but still a lot of fun and I loved Shadow Lugia.
7. X and Y-for whatever reason I just loved Maison. Shauna was also adorable (the other two could have been dropped though)
8. OR/AS-almost entirely for Delta Emerald
9. FR/LG-the first time I really played the originals without all the junk tied with it.
10. Sun/Moon-they had their moments
 

Yung Dramps

awesome gaming
Oh boy lookie here it's the tier list thread I didn't have the balls to make! Thanks OP

SM is a goated game for a goated console. A gorgeous region with so many side-quests and lore bits, a star-studded cast of lovable characters, a brilliant usage of a small new Pokemon cast to make each and everyone stand out at some point on top of just being amazing designs on their own (5/10 fav Pokemon of mine are from Alola btw), amazing music even for this series' standards aided further by the glorious return of nighttime tracks, aaghghhh I love SM I love it I love it. Did I mention this game's fuckin beautiful btw? Probably tied with HGSS for my favorite visuals in the series, the colors are so bright and varied with locations that show them off. Sorry sorry I just fanboy hard over this region. As for stuff I don't like uhh... Mt. Lanakila was kinda anticlimactic? But then again Vast Poni Canyon is basically Victory Road already, and Lanakila has Drampa so it's one of the best locations in the series regardless actually. Totem Vikavolt was also a bit of an oopsie. Yeah I got nothin else lol, Alola forever

ORAS is a funny story for me. If I had made this tier list a little under 2 years ago it would've gone in B tier. Since then I've given it a solid replay and in the process realized slightly younger me either got brainwashed by the dreaded Battle Frontier propagandists or was just a dumb bitch, because now it's the incredibly close second to god-emperor SM. Honestly from an objective game design standpoint it might be the better of the two, the polish and content is off the charts. A lot of cynics say "oh it's only decent cuz RSE is already good" and I'd have an easier time believing that if this game didn't also have so many much-needed revamps and expansions to places those games fell short on, including but not limited to:
-Mirage Islands being made cool to discover and explore
-Previously lukewarm locations like Mauville City, Sea Mauville (formerly Abandoned Ship), Scorched Slab and some of the water routes being facelifted, which reminds me that Sea Mauville is the best optional location in the entire series and in this essay I will
-RS' disaster of a plot somehow being made comestible and endearing (If you actually make me kinda like the generic player character counterpart rival y'know you've done good, also obligatory Maxie/Archie daddy mention <3<3<3)

As for bad things not using the Emerald teams as the basis for gym leaders was a pretty big L I'll concede, also I'm not particular crazy for Hoenn dex but it's not like that's ORAS' fault. Finally I wish they had made Metagross catchable in the main story for once, that was an unfortunate holdover from RSE but ultimately a pretty minor one


Platinum's this close to being an S rank game, hell maybe S-/A+ would be a more appropriate ranking for it. Much like ORAS it has a fun campaign with an expansive region jam-packed with extra content, and the Pokedex in particular is super slept-on and conducive to tons of creative teambuilding avenues even with half the raw Pokemon count of newer generations. Boss design is also at a franchise high in this game with tons of memorable and exciting battles from Gym Leaders to final Cyrus to Barry to Cynthia herself. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention soundtrack is in the same big daddy tier as SM. All that said, Platinum has a few bigger flaws that keep it from the top. While it's not the dirge that is DP, the general game speed is still not ideal to the point where I found myself having to turn off battle animations, something I don't feel compelled to do in any other game in the series I've played. There's also the matter of the cast which, while making for fun fights as said earlier, never really stuck out to me as characters other than Rowan, Looker and maaybe Barry. Finally, BDSP made me internalize Underground sucks ass in this game and I've never been able to bring myself to spend meaningful time with it unlike ORAS Secret Bases so that's not cool.


This is the middle of the road tier, the stuff that makes me go "Yup, this is most certainly a Pokemon game."

First up, XY. This is my 2nd most recent Pokemon replay, and man you better believe I was desperately hoping for an ORAS-tier surprise masterpiece. And I'll give it this, there was definitely stuff in here I didn't give it enough credit for initially. The dungeon quality in particular is shockingly good, stuff like Reflection Cave and many of the gyms slap way harder than they have any right to. Having access to the largest dex in the series not counting post-DLC SWSH also makes it really cool for self-imposed challenges. Unfortunately, I can't look past many of the aches and pains many others have called attention to. The difficulty is below par even for Pokemon standards, no other game in the series having such a severe imbalance between NPC and player options (why did they keep the gym leaders to 3 mon squads why why why). The characters and story are similarly dismal, with pretty much zero attracting any sort of affinity from me at best or in the case of Team Flare intense scorn at worst.

As for BW1, nah I'm sorry but this ain't it. It's weird, in theory this game is one of the bolder ones and yet it somehow manages to feel so stale and meh to me a lot of the time? Like XY my biggest praise for it is that a lot of the locations are pretty cool, and I respect the gym leaders being made into people who actually care about what's going on in the region even though some of them are kinda easy. The only new mons dex was a cool experiment, but unfortunately it was marred by it taking way too long to get the good stuff consistently (if the second gym leader's ace is the regional rodent y'know something is wrong), and many of the icons like Golurk, Volcarona and Hydreigon are pretty much unusable due to either coming too late, evolving too late or both. I also think the story has this weird overbearing preachy atmosphere to it that gets on my nerves and generally fails to grasp me. Alder's a chad tho, so that's nice.



Yup, we're skipping a tier for this one. Listen, I understand that DP means a lot to a ton of people. Pearl was not just my first Pokemon game but one of my first "real" videogames that wasn't Reader Rabbit or some other edutainment-type beat, it's foundational to my core as a person for that very reason! It also introduced the region and soundtrack that would go on to make Platinum great. But I'm sorry, if you're placing this game anywhere above a mid-to-low C, you've gotta stop the cap immediately. The Pokedex, the speed, the XY-tier plot and characters, there's so many big picture things this game bombs hard at. It doesn't even particularly look nice!





I own these games, it's just been too long since the last time I played them to trust myself to give them a fair overview, and I'm not racing to give either of them another go-around for reasons only the subconscious recesses of my mind can understand. I'm sure they're both fine idk.
 
Hey guys, I’m back again :) This time, I wanted to give you guys my actual list of top 10 Pokémon games of all time, including spin-off titles. Because let’s face it, I’ll never not be a superfan of my #1 pick. One thing to keep in mind is that spots #10 through #2 are in no particular order as of right now because, although that may change in the near future.

Honorable mention: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (has always been my favorite PMD title as it was also the only one I played through in full growing up, also it’s the most under-appreciated by a long shot. Actual rank falls around #7, only falling out of this particular top 10 list due to a few ties in the rankings bumping this to the #11 spot.)

10. Pokémon Sun & Moon (large bias for the Sun version because of a list of version exclusive fan favorites, such as my boi Espeon, the best Alola form in Vulpix and by extension Ninetales, and so much more)

9. PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond (significant improvement over the original and one of very few older games I was around for at release)

8. Pokémon Rumble Blast (Good lord this game is underrated, Shinies being removed is bleh but with all the new stuff and the full PokéDex in exchange, as well as a surprisingly fun but short storyline? Heck yeah.)

7. Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (I still like Gen 6 Hoenn more than Gen 3 Hoenn, as controversial as that may be. I also enjoy water areas in my video games, to the dismay of game reviewers everywhere. Extra points for preferring one version or the other for specific times and playthroughs)

6. Pokémon Colloseum (I like Double Battles. I love Espeon and Umbreon- see my August 7th holiday for more details. The Totodile line is my favorite Pokémon ever. Imagine a game where I can start a Doubles themed playthrough with all three of those on top of Croconaw being at Level 30 when snagged. And I haven’t even talked about the game itself yet! Underrated plot, very rewarding difficulty curve, and Miror B. is the peak of Pokémon character creation)

5. (Tie) Pokémon Ranger & Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (I love this series with a passion that stemmed from my #1 pick changing my life forever, so much so that I played the entire series in backwards order growing up and STILL managed to enjoy all three games. As for which of these is better to break the tie, the general consensus is that Shadows of Almia is the best one outright, but I think it’s a bit closer, even if Almia gets the slightest of edges. Also, touch the Bidoof)

3. (Tie) Pokémon HGSS & B2W2 (Another tie on the list, I’ve never been able to pick between them. The years ranging from 2010 to 2014 were my peak years as a Pokémon fan, and for all of the reasons everyone else has already mentioned, these were my favorite main series titles during that span)

If you know me well enough, that #1 pick I’ve been teasing tonight should be pretty obvious. I’ll let you guys figure that out for yourself and maybe have a separate post on this thread at another time. Have you found all the signs I’ve been guarding yet?
 
Only #1 of this list would rank on my top 25 of video games overall (discounting simulator play, "which is not a video game" to me in the same sense that online chess isn't).

10. Red / Blue Rescue Team

First roguelike I ever played (long before Rogue) and it was a decent one. Some good music (favourite: Mt. Blaze Peak). Decently challenging for a kid (think escort missions in 99-floor dungeons, Silver Wind, Agility in Monster Houses) until you figure out the arcana such as Zam conquering Purity Forest with ease, thanks to notably good Lv. 1 stats and Teleport.

9. Stadium

Poké Cup Rd. 1, rentals only, no continues: Zapdos / Jynx / Starmie / Persian / Mr. Mime / Nidoking (Nido could have been anything, really, since it never participated, but I wanted some back-up against Jolteon). Prime Cup where rental Exeggutor has Psychic is the one where it all but solos, and the LV15 cup was the one where you couldn't just emulate RBY OU: fun enough. Stadium deserves this spot for pushing battling to the forefront early in the series. The announcer is a hoot when you first hear him, but wears out his welcome rather quickly.

Why it's not Stadium 2:


8. Gale of Darkness

A story mode with all Double Battles: great idea. Then Orre Colosseum ramps up the difficulty with EV/IV-optimized mons against your story veterans. The "Battle CD" scenarios were fun as well. Unfortunately backpedaled on Colosseum's better atmosphere (lack of The Under and motorcycle hurts; lonesome dusty Outskirt Stand is a much better entry point to Orre than the goofy and verdant Pokemon Lab), but kept enough of it intact while bringing much better gameplay. I like how Dr. Kaminko's inventions are presented early, then keep popping up among the Orre citizenry every so often. Contains the most Miror B. in the series, which can only be a good thing (I copied his team back in the day). Favourite room in the game is the storm-making centrifuge on Citadark Isle. Psyche, it's the Krabby Club (with Miror B. taking centre stage, of course).

7. TCG

I love TCGs and this is a wholly serviceable implementation of Base/Jungle/Fossil (of course, nowadays there are platforms more suited to playing BJF with your friends). Murray even has a reasonable deck (Alakazam + Chansey stall) that I'm sure introduced more kids to playing games strategically than RBY ever did. Even when I think "fuck mons altogether", which happens often, this game never suffers because TCGs are a whole different thing.

6. RB

The only games in the series that manage to carry over the Mother influence and never feel formulaic (the spritework attests to that, too). I hold the opinion that Kanto had a stronger "identity" than almost all other regions after it (and that leaving more things to the player's imagination is generally better). The issue is that no Battle Facility exists to propel this game any higher in my ranking and RBY battling has its shortcomings (though its relative minimalism is also good). Adventurous soundtrack. Also great for their exploitable programming.

5. HGSS

Good remakes of the best generation. The GB Player should have been the first item one receives, though; not fond of the remade music. The HGSS Battle Factory remains the most difficult facility in existence, but I find Gen4 Tower rather not enjoyable. Hall is great in concept, but I never got into it. I like Pokéathlon and it makes for funny TAS material. Cameron and gym leaders with glimpses of personal lives were good ideas.

4. Emerald

It introduced the Battle Frontier, and ADV is a great generation for battling. I do like Hoenn's land-water split and absurdly diverse environments as well (the road to Fortree is my favourite, and being shuttled by ferry across routes-to-revisit long before you get Surf -- look, a shipwreck -- was a great idea), but it's double-edged: the Mother influence as such died with RSE; what remained had become part of "the Pokemon formula". Contests are decent.

3. USUM

Battle Tree Doubles allows for interesting teambuilding. Shame I never made a good one. Blatant cash grab after SM, which made me decide I'm not buying/playing any game after gen7.

2. B2W2

Subway Doubles is the best facility. Difficult, too. The rest of the game I don't care for.

1. GSC

Scenes of fleeting life. Ultimately, it's not about gameplay, but atmosphere after all (for me). I think Johto is the one region that eclipses Kanto in having its own "identity" while not being a kitchen sink of set-pieces (Hoenn's strength and weakness), and I love all its cities and all the "empty space" and the Unown and Team Rocket's generator emitting strange radio waves that you can pick up on your gear (this is my favourite thing in Pokemon). And Kurt's workshop. And the dance theatre. To others, original Johto is featureless cave after featureless cave. You don't have to "get it".

Games I played which didn't make the cut: DP (have their moments such as the Snowpoint journey), FRLG (unremarkable remakes except for Sevii Islands), Colosseum (Gale does it better), Channel (Jirachi tax, barely even a game, bizarre idea for one), Super Mystery Dungeon (solid but has some of the worst writing in Pokemon, namely everything after the petrification stuff starts). I've only ever played Snap on department store exhibition consoles, but I'm sure it would rank if I'd owned it.
 
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(I used the same link as the post from August 23rd, which can be found in its corresponding post)

Here's my refurbished main series game tier list, as of August 31st, 2021. My hypothetical top 10 games remains the same as in my previous tier list analysis. I am once again using the specified first version of each pair of games as well (example: Red and Blue/Green). Here's the full list of changes.

1. Pokémon Emerald sneaks its way into the top tiers by virtue of the Battle Frontier and being the most definitive, complete Pokémon game on its hardware. I am still of the controversial opinion that ORAS is the best iteration of the Hoenn games, but putting my nostalgia for Gens 4 through 6 aside helps boost this GBA entry as well.

2. Pokémon Platinum is now a solid high tier, as I was considering in my previous tier list analysis. The increase in tiering placement owes to the Sinnoh/Hisui titles having not been released yet as well as by virtue of fixing many of the original Diamond & Pearl versions' core issues. Do I still think Sinnoh's concepts are a bit copy-pasted from Hoenn? Yes. But does that influence my opinions? Not really.

3. The following games have all seen a singular increase in tiering placement by virtue of lack of competition with other games in its region and extra emphasis on gameplay, soundtrack, and/or story: BW1, XY, and USUM. Pokémon X & Y is especially notable here, as the lack of any other Kalos games as of this point in time makes these games more unique.

4. Pokémon Sword & Shield are now being considered as a full package with the DLC included, with the DLC-less version of the game being bumped from bottom tier to low tier. My reasons for newer Pokémon games jumping a lot in this tier list can be found in this thread, and in the case of Galar, the same logic of XY having no Kalos competition applies here. Finally, likely as compensation for the National Dex controversy, the selection of Regional Dex Pokémon that we do have is probably the best in the franchise so far.

5. Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee will be further tested at a later point in time once I am able to purchase my new Joy-Con controllers and give the game a truly fair chance. In my last tier list, I feel like I was a little bit harsh towards this iteration of Kanto, but we'll see eventually.

Oh, and one more last-minute edit: I'll have a huge tier list for you guys including main series games and spinoffs coming sometime in September, so stay hyped :D
 
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ScraftyIsTheBest

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Hmm...upon reflection I'd have to say this is probably how my Top 10 list would run down:

1. BW1+BW2 (the latter moreso)
Gen 5 collectively speaking has to be my favorite generation of Pokemon so far. The narrative of BW1 was incredibly engaging and I enjoyed the new roster of Pokemon, tons of fun and splashable in-game mons with fun gimmicks and excellent designs. It's linear but it more than makes up for it with its story, which was very good. BW2 is weaker in the storytelling department but makes up for it with an increase of available Pokemon and a lot of post-game content to keep you engaged: many legendaries, PWT, more of the region, Black Tower/White Treehollow, you name it! It's a game ripe with content and is bar none my favorite Pokemon game ever.

2. Platinum
Gen 4 is the most formative generation for me and its games are the Pokemon games of my childhood. Diamond and Pearl were a lot of fun, albeit flawed, but Platinum takes it to another level and makes for an excellent experience. Sinnoh is very diverse and vibrant as a region and boy does it show with Platinum's rendition, it's wonderful aesthetically and the adventure is all round awesome while the game is reasonably challenging and while there's still a need for grinding in this game, the Vs. Seeker, Pokemon Center Trainers, and whatnot make grinding genuinely fun in Platinum. It's all round excellent with the Battle Frontier, Super Contests, the Battleground for Gym Leader rematches, and the Villa, and whatnot, plus a handful of legendaries to find and not to mention the Underground was fun at the time. Cynthia is bar none one of the best Champions in terms of how fun her battle is even now.

3. Sun and Moon/USUM
I really like Gen 7 and it was a very fun to play and a great way to end off the 3DS era of Pokemon. While it's very different from the DS era I think the Gen 7 games excel in different ways. I love the Island Challenge, and it was a creative new spin on the old League formula, and the Totem Bosses were genuinely well thought out, with clever movesets, good use of items, making use of the SOS feature and calling in good teammates and it really entices genuine strategy to get through this game. I put SM and USUM together because I think their strengths are different in certain fronts.

Sun and Moon has a great story, I feel, especially with Lillie's character arc throughout the game and watching her character develop from a fairly timid girl to someone more confident who stands up to her own mother (who is evidently insane), was wonderful, while the likes of Hau and Gladion were great characters as well, and it was just a wonderful journey. USUM is weaker in the storytelling department, but it makes up for it by delivering a much stronger Island Challenge, in other words: it's better designed as a game. The new Totem Bosses are better, stronger, and more well designed than in SM, and Poni Island actually has a full Island Challenge this time around with Mina having her own trial (Ribombee) and not to mention a fleshed out Mount Lanakila with Trainers in it. Plus the Rainbow Rocket arc was fun and a nice shoutout to past gens, Ultra Space while not having much depth was fun to look for non-Alola native Pokemon and legendaries, and all in all it was a great experience. Gen 7 is up there as a favorite generation for me. Not to mention Pokemon Refresh being a fun little variant of Amie that is implemented nicely into the game.

4. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
ORAS was pretty great imo. Despite some disappointments (namely the Frontier unfort) it was a very good game and it excels as a remake in its own ways. I think my favorite thing about ORAS is that it fleshes out the characters of RSE wonderfully and takes a barebones and outdated narrative and makes it genuinely compelling and great, the characters are more engaging and real this time around. Soaring in the sky is a beautiful mechanic and it was absolutely beautiful to see Hoenn from a sky view. Not to mention getting to catch past gen mons via Mirage Spots, plus many legendaries, plus the Delta Episode was a nice little post-game story and battling Deoxys in space was absolutely surreal to witness. Did I not mention Contest Spectaculars? Those are even better now than they were in Gen 3 and I really love partaking in those. Secret Bases are back now and better than ever too. Not the most perfect game by any means, but it's one that I really like and it carries Gen 6 pretty hard.

5. HeartGold and SoulSilver
HGSS Johto takes Johto and makes it even more pleasant. Johto is already a beautiful region aesthetically, HGSS takes it and makes it look even better. Plus the sound effects every now and then just makes it feel so alive, you know? And it's very memorable, plus it's got a lot of nice content from GSC like the Bug-Catching contest and Pokeathlon which help make the game have some fun little activities to do. The sheer amount of stuff you can do in this game makes it so that you can invest lots of time: lots of legendaries, Gym Leader rematches, trainer rematches, and while the Battle Frontier is merely ported from Platinum it's still good on its own. While ORAS excels in story, HGSS excels in content.

That said, I unfortunately have to drag this game down a few notches for a couple of reasons, which is that this game is marred by glaring flaws as it did little to fix any of GSC's problems. GSC's flaws to start were easy to forgive because they can be described as games for their time, but HGSS sadly does not have that excuse. The jank level curve still sucks, the lack of viable options without resorting to tedious grinding is still apparent, and Kanto is still fairly bare-bones despite being close to its original iteration (then again that may just be because Kanto is, y'know, Kanto). Not to mention the bad game design with several bosses, Lance chief of all who is just bullshit, unlike Cynthia or Leon who actually have well rounded teams.

6. Emerald
Emerald is basically the blueprint for all of Gen 4 and while Gen 3 as a whole is kind of eh, Emerald really carries the generation hard. It combines the narratives of Ruby and Sapphire and creates a fun experience all in all. The first Battle Frontier of the series and this is a great place, even though Scott is kind of creepy in how he invites you to it. It has a lot of content, which makes it fun, plus Gym Leader rematches, and a lot of content that RS lacked, but the execution isn't that great unfortunately. That being said, Emerald is still very good and it laid out much of the groundwork that Platinum would ultimately perfect.

7. Sword and Shield (With DLC)
Okay, yeah, this is a controversial one. I know, Sword and Shield is a very, very flawed game. But I still love it all the same. While it's weaker in narrative than Sun and Moon, Sword and Shield was incredibly fun in many ways. The characters are all very fun and three-dimensional, and Hop, Bede, and Marnie all go through some good character arcs. The Gym Leaders are fun and have a lot of personality, especially Piers, who makes a bang as the series' first Dark-type Gym Leader with a ton of neat character to boot, and Leon is one of my favorite Champions in the series. The League Cards just add to that, and help in making Galar feel incredibly alive. The Gym Challenge feels like an even bigger deal and it was so cool having it be a formal sporting event. Plus the region while short in routes was very aesthetically pleasant and diverse and it was fun to journey through it. The Wild Areas most of all are my favorite thing about this game, getting to explore an open place and catch some Pokemon or do Max Raid battles makes it a great time, especially with the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra, which solidifies my love for Sword and Shield as they are even better, with IoA's massive biome diversity that is very cohesive, plus the Dojo arc, while the Crown Tundra was vast and had many legendaries to discover, not to mention Dynamax Adventures is an absolutely fun side activity to do. Not to mention Klara/Avery, Mustard, and Peony are all memorable characters, and the Galarian Star Tournament in addition to the Champion Cup was memorable. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but it's still an incredibly fun and memorable experience that I cherish, and I will happily replay it when I feel like it because it's just an incredibly fun game to relax and chill with.

8. Gold, Silver, and Crystal
I still enjoy Johto a lot and this was a great and simple experience to have on the Game Boy. They're very much games of their time and everything I said about HGSS mostly applies here, with Johto working really well with the Game Boy's 8 bit aesthetic, plus the music just really helps in Johto giving off the perfect vibe of adventure that makes Johto awesome. They haven't aged super well in recent times but they have their charm, even if they're dragged down by having an incredibly scuffed Kanto and some glaring flaws and bad game design.

9. Red and Blue
Glitchy as hell, but it's simple, fast, and a fun retrogame experience. while it's very glitched, that doesn't hurt Gen 1's playability as the glitches are actually part of the game's charm. They give Red and Blue a distinct vibe that no other Pokemon game will have simply because they're so messy yet so simple.

10. X and Y
I like these games still, and honestly it's hard to dislike any Pokemon game, but they have a lot of untapped potential. On one hand, it's very ambitious in features for the first 3D entry in the series, with Pokemon Amie and its minigames being cute as hell, Lumiose City is wonderful, and Kalos is a pretty pleasant region, not to mention the 8-directional movement for the first time. But on the other hand, it's easy to be dissatisfied with this game. People give this game shit for being easy as hell, but that's not the sole gist of it. I don't really care about difficulty, as while Platinum and USUM excel in this regard, I enjoy SwSh in spite of it being easy because it's incredibly engaging in characters and the Wild Area. But X and Y suffers from not only being easy but unfulfilling. The Gym Leaders are just there, with barely any personality to boot (compare this to Kanto, Sinnoh, Unova, and Galar whose Gym Leaders are infinitely more memorable), and are bar none the most unmemorable Gym Leaders in the franchise. The rivals except Calem/Serena (who is just okay), or to be more accurate, the friend group, is boring, as Shauna, Tierno, and Trevor are just one-dimensional caricatures and any attempt at a character arc is short lived for them. Lysandre is memorable but for the wrong reasons, as he and Team Flare are so horribly written it's comical (Team Skull and Yell are way better later on because they're non serious and embrace it), Diantha is the most forgettable Champion not just because she's pretty easy to beat, but because she does absolutely nothing in the story and has no impact whatsoever. The adventure is fairly straightforward and is just your typical Pokemon adventure. The post-game has a good story arc, which is ironically better than the main game itself. It had potential, but it really needed a Pokemon Z. I have to say that while it had ambition and good ideas, ORAS and Gen 7 did what it was trying to do better in the grand scheme of things.

Just a run down of my ranking of the games. RS and DP are excluded because their third versions more or less rendered them obsolete, I never played Yellow or Let's Go, and while FRLG is good it lacks the distinct charm of Gen 1 Kanto, and wasn't rebalanced around Gen 3's mechanics making it a fairly tedious experience instead of an improved one like it should've been. A long list but this about sums up my opinions on my Top 10 games in this series thus far (I do expect myself to really like BDSP and Legends, especially since I adore Sinnoh).
 
After an entire month of delay, it's finally here. the moment we've all been waiting for. I have created a tier list composed over every single Pokémon title up through whenever this other tier list format was created (sometime in 2018, if I'm not mistaken). You all have waited long enough. Here's my official picks, categorized by release dates in each category.

E6D5B69C-0C24-464F-B9A0-4686327869C6.png
 
My favorite Pokemon Games:

#1: Platinum
Great story, great graphics, great improvement over the already good Diamond and Pearl, and it's got Giratina (my favorite Pokemon) on the box art. The battle frontier and all the legendaries make for good post game content.
IF YOU LIKE HACKING: Buy an action replay and this game gets a trillion times better! If you don't like hacking... You don't know what you're missing but again it's a personal choice.

#2: Sapphire
Excellent to play this before Platinum. Hoenn is great and just like Platinum the Pokemon are good. Also, Sapphire's female player character is May, my favorite Pokemon trainer!!! This one's good for some of the same reasons as Platinum but it's got it's unique qualities too.

#3: UltraMoon
UltraMoon was an excellent and well needed improvement over Sun and Moon. This one's got every Pokemon and mechanic to that day and had the best metagame. Also, the Battle Agency is a fun way to team up with friends, and the Alola Photo Club was a fun way to take pictures with your Pokemon. People say it was only a repackage but no it's honestly better!

#4: Black 2
With the PWT, Pokestar Studios, and Challenge Mode, this is a very tough game to fully conquer both in hardness and amount of content. However, I enjoy that exact kind of game. This one was great; I get to take my Generation III/IV-caught Pokemon for a new adventure in the foreign Unova region and fight tough opponents; not to mention Unova has so many super strong and cool Pokemon (Volcarona, Haxorus, Kyurem, Cofagrigus, etc)

#5: Crystal
By far my favorite Johto game. Also the center of the plot revolves around Suicune, my favorite Johto legendary. It's also got a battle tower that allows legendary Pokemon (Mewtwo, Mew, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Celebi) but too bad it's not a game that includes my favorite "forbidden" legendary Pokemon like Giratina or Kyogre, or perhaps Necrozma and Kyurem. Well least I get to conquer the Battle Tower with my Suicune!
Also Mt. silver cave is fun to explore and I like the super tough champion at the end to fight. Level 81 Pokemon?! Excellent. One of the very few opponents worthy of challenging me.
 

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