For this list, I’ll be ignoring the spin-offs, focusing only on the mainline generations of the Pokémon series. Remakes, too, will be ignored in favour of only the true entries. Let it be known, however, that I love every entry in this series and always will. The order is worst to best.
7: Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire
I’ve always considered Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire to be the black sheep of the Pokémon franchise. The new graphics were a little odd, the world kind of disjointed and the story a little worse. I still liked the game a lot, but it is the weakest of the lot.
6: Pokémon Red/Blue
At the risk of vitriol heading my way, I do think that the Pokémon series has mostly improved since the originals. Leaving Red and Blue this low down on my list may be considered sacrilegious in some circles, but the series has moved on since, adding in features I’d miss if I were to return to Kanto.
5: Pokémon X/Y
The first game in the series to feature fully 3D graphics featured one of the finest worlds the franchise has ever known. There were too few new Pokémon and it did feel a little safe at times.
Pokémon Y is a very good game, I am unsure if it will stand the test of Pokémon time, but the improvements and visual enhancements made are vast, creating a wonderful world to explore brimming with content and life – it’s a joy to behold despite the lacklustre story and relative lack of new Pokémon.
4: Pokémon Black/White
Black and White saw the first time since the original where we were given a whole new Pokédex, with over 150 new Pokémon. We got outstanding graphics, a large, detailed world and fully animated Pokémon sprites in battles. It was the biggest, boldest Pokémon title until Pokémon Sun and Moon.
3: Pokémon Sun/Moon
If you thought Black and White or X and Y felt new, wait until you play Sun or Moon. The seventh generation builds on the 3D graphics of X and Y and puts you in a Hawaiian world without Gym leaders or HMs. This is a new, exciting, but familiar form of Pokémon that should pave the way for the mega-franchise’s future.
2: Pokémon Gold/Silver
Pokémon Gold and Silver are the only games in the series that let you travel through two regions. Not only did you get to explore Johto, but Kanto, too. It built expertly on the original, making it feel fresher, even to this day. I have a lot of love for the second generation monsters, too.
1: Pokémon Diamond/Pearl
It may be routinely heralded as one of the weaker Pokémon games, but this is for no good reason. Diamond and Pearl are huge, gorgeous RPGs full of wonderful places to visit and Pokémon to discover. I spent over 160 hours in Sinnoh and don’t regret a single second. As far as Pokémon goes, generation four is the best, containing a brilliant mix of both old and new design.