9. Pokémon Red and Blue (GB)

Pokémon Red and Blue (GB)Pokémon Red and Blue (GB)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 30th Sep 1998 (USA) / 10th May 1999 (UK/EU)

Sandwiched right in the soft and gooey centre of this list is Pokémon Red and Blue, the game that kickstarted the Pokémon phenomenon. It introduced the first 150 Pokémon, including series favourites Pikachu, Charmander, and Eevee, and included awesome features for the time, like allowing you to link two Game Boys together to perform multiplayer battles and to trade Pokémon.

What's surprising today is how little the formula's really changed over the years. You still control a character from a third-person perspective, explore an overworld, perform turn-based battles, and catch Pokémon in the wild. Sure, features have been bolted on since then, but the core formula remains the same.

Will we say the same next year when Pokémon Sword & Shield launches?...

8. Pokémon Sun and Moon (3DS)

Pokémon Sun and Moon (3DS)Pokémon Sun and Moon (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 18th Nov 2016 (USA) / 23rd Nov 2016 (UK/EU)

Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced the seventh generation to the franchise with a wonderful, Hawaiian-themed tropical paradise world known as Alola to explore. This is where those Alolan forms for your favourite Pokémon come from too.

This is where Z-Moves made their introduction, too. These are particularly powerful moves that you can only use once per battle, to help turn the tide.

7. Pokémon Emerald (GBA)

Pokémon Emerald (GBA)Pokémon Emerald (GBA)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 30th Apr 2005 (USA) / 21st Oct 2005 (UK/EU)

Pokémon Emerald is the ultimate version of Ruby and Sapphire, and it was more evolution than revolution. It included new story elements, updated where you could catch certain Pokémon, and allowed you to catch a greater pool of Pokémon than in its predecessors.

6. Pokémon Black and White 2 (DS)

Pokémon Black and White 2 (DS)Pokémon Black and White 2 (DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 7th Oct 2012 (USA) / 12th Oct 2012 (UK/EU)

Pokémon Black and White 2 is an intriguing entry in the franchise, as it served as a direct sequel to a previous entry, which hasn't happened before or since. It takes place two years after the events of Black and White in brand new locations in the Unova region, which feature Pokémon you couldn't capture in the previous entry.

New features include a side game known as PokéStar Studios, which had you filming your very own movie using Pokémon as actors and Pokémon World Tournament, which saw you battle trainers from previous games (including Brock and Misty!).

5. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (GBA)

Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (GBA)Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (GBA)
Publisher: The Pokémon Company / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 9th Sep 2004 (USA) / 1st Oct 2004 (UK/EU)

Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen is a Game Boy Advance enhanced remake of the classic original games. Wait, but that was Pokémon Red and Blue, right? In the west, yes! Over in Japan though, the originals were known as Red and Green.

New in this entry was vastly updated visuals, the ability to connect to various different Pokémon games to collect over 350 Pokémon, and an enhanced user interface.

4. Pokémon Crystal (GBC)

Pokémon Crystal (GBC)Pokémon Crystal (GBC)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 29th Jul 2001 (USA)

Pokémon Crystal was the ultimate version of Pokémon Gold and Silver, until another version came along and dethroned it. More on that later.

It allowed you to choose the sex of your character for the first time in Pokémon history, Pokémon sprites were animated, and a brand new feature – the Battle Tower – made an appearance. This allowed trainers to take part in fights that were just like in Pokémon Stadium.

3. Pokémon Platinum (DS)

Pokémon Platinum (DS)Pokémon Platinum (DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 22nd Mar 2009 (USA) / 22nd May 2009 (UK/EU)

Pokémon Platinum is the enhanced version of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, and it introduced a Monster Hunter-like Wi-Fi Plaza to the mix. This included a bunch of mini-games that up to 20 players could participate in – a first for the series. You could also record battles, trade anonymously over the internet, and many Pokémon received new forms.

2. Pokémon Gold And Silver (GBC)

Pokémon Gold And Silver (GBC)Pokémon Gold And Silver (GBC)
Publisher: The Pokémon Company / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 15th Oct 2000 (USA) / 6th Apr 2001 (UK/EU)

Pokémon Gold and Silver was released on the Game Boy Color back in the early noughties, and introduced a real-time clock to the mix that would keep track of the time and day of the week in the real world. This would trigger a variety of events, like when Pokémon appeared.

This is also the game where Shiny Pokémon first made an appearance – rare Pokémon that are different in colour to their normal variants – and Steel and Dark type Pokémon.

Also included were items that Pokémon could hold for various different effects, brand new Poké Balls, and the Pokégear, which is effectively an early smartphone.