In celebration of the much-anticipated release of Pokémon (Sun/Moon) we here at Link-Cable decided to do something a bit special and bring you not one but two Top 10’s, counting down the best and wort of the storied franchise respectively. So after you’re down reading this list of the Top 10 Best Pokémon Games click here to check out the list of the worst!
When coming up with a list of the best Pokémon games it can be easy to stick to the mainline games since they are (typically) heads and shoulders above the rest of the series. Well we wanted to give some time in the spotlight to games that didn’t necessarily come in multiple versions based on different colors or elements. That’s not to say that mainline games aren’t on this list but only the very best (like no one ever was) are allowed to be here. Oh, since we haven’t had time yet to fully complete Pokémon (Sun/Moon) we’ve left that one out of this list but check back next week for our full review. So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Best Pokémon games of all time!
10 – Pokémon Go
Pokémon started out as a worldwide phenomenon back in the late 90’s and in the mid-2010’s it came roaring back thanks to Pokémon Go. The game managed to bridge the gap between gamers and non-gamers and give the franchise a shot in the arm it desperately needed. Not only that but it significantly changed the perception of what a game is exactly by having players head out and explore the real world. We’ve covered Pokémon Go pretty intensely here at Link-Cable (check out all our coverage here) and it’s easy to see why it earns it’s spot as on of the best games in the series.
9 – Pokémon (Red/Blue)
We have to give props to the original. 20 years ago when we were all glued to our Game Boy’s and connected by link-cables we knew that we were part of something special. Exploring, battling and trading with friends is one of the most memorable moments of my childhood and something that no other Pokémon games has been able to recreate despite all the new technology available to developers. There’s simply no beating the original.
8 – Pokémon Snap
I never would have thought that so many people loved photography! If you’ve ever spent just a moment on a Pokémon or Nintendo forum or message board you’ll see tons of demands for a sequel to Pokémon Snap. And it’s easy to see why since the game was a charming view into the world of wild Pokémon that didn’t involve any battling or capturing. Instead it was like being on a virtual safari through the world of Pokémon and that’s a school trip I think we would all like to take.
7 – Pokémon Puzzle Challenge
Pokémon and puzzles go together like Ash & Pikachu and the best of these is the underrated Game Boy Color title, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge. In this Poké-skinned version of Panel de Pon you must work fast to clear blocks by matching the colors and shapes. What sets the game apart from its contemporaries is the ability to capture Pokémon as well as battle gym leaders to earn badges and conquer the puzzle league.
6 – Pokémon Stadium
Today inter-connectivity between games and systems is old-hat but back in the late 90’s consoles and handheld rarely interacted in a meaningful way. And then there’s Pokémon Stadium which thanks to its special Transfer Pak accessory allows you to use the Pokémon you’ve captured in Red, Blue and Yellow and have them duke it out on the big screen. But it’s not just battling on offer here as you can also play mini-games and head onto an adventure of your own against powerful trainers. Oh! You can also play your Game Boy games directly on the TV too! Talk about innovation!
5 – Pokémon Trozei
I remember when this game first came out on the Nintendo DS I didn’t think much of it. ‘It’s just another Pokémon themed puzzle game I thought’, how wrong I was. Turns out Pokémon Trozei is a deep, addictive game that has the uncanny ability to pull you in. Minutes turn to hours when you’re playing this game and before you know it your DS is telling you the battery is empty and time to set it aside. Simply put, this is one of the best puzzle games I have ever played.
4 – Pokémon Trading Card Game
Like most kids growing up during Poké-mania I collected the Pokémon trading cards and like most kids of the time I had no idea how to actually play the game. But then came along Pokémon Trading Card Game (the video game) and it all made sense. The mechanics were easy to understand and battles became fast-paced affairs that rivaled battling the Pokémon (Red/Blue). But this game is so much more than card battles as you there’s also an in-depth story that in and of itself is arguably better than gen 1’s story.
3 – Pokkén Tournament
What will likely go down in history as one of the last great Wii U games, Pokkén Tournament actually has very little to do with the Pokémon formula since it takes it’s combat mechanics from the Tekken series, but that doesn’t stop it from being an exceptional fighting game in its own right. This is largely in part to the game’s diverse (and growing) roster of playable characters, each of which brings something unique to the table. It’s a shame the Wii U never took off because this could have been a fighting game to rival Smash Bros. if it ever found its audience.
2 – Pokémon Conquest
One of the most criminally underrated Pokémon games is also one of gaming’s most unlikely cross-overs, bringing together the turn based style of Pokémon battles and the tactics-oriented gameplay of Nobunaga’s Ambition. Somehow both these worlds meshed perfectly together and gave the Nintendo DS one of it’s better games. If you’re a fan of Pokémon or tactic-heavy games then you need to check this game out. It might just be your favorite.
1 – Pokémon (Gold/Silver)
Credit where credit is due. Pokémon (Gold/Silver) took what was already a great game and improved on it in ever conceivable way. More Pokémon, more gyms, more battles, more options, more regions and more strategy was what greeted players when they took off with either Chikorita, Cyndaquil or Totodile on their adventure. Not only that but the game also got an equally excellent remake with Heart Gold/Soul Silver proving once and for all it’s timelessness and why it deserves to be called the best Pokémon game of all time.
What are your favorite Pokémon games? Let us know in the comments below!