Not too long ago we asked you, the Nintendo Life community, to vote for your favourite Pokémon games, in order to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the franchise; to say that the voting was close would be an understatement.
As for the rules, only 'main' or 'core' games were included, which was nevertheless a lengthy list courtesy of multiple versions and variations. You all had the option to vote for up to three games, and as a reflection of the franchises' popularity across generations it became an extremely close battle for the top spots.
The top five were extremely close together, and below are the final results from your votes.
One of the games to kickstart the sixth generation, Y featured the new Legendary Pokémon, Dark/Flying-type Yveltal. What this entry and its compatriot truly delivered, though, was a fairly dramatic evolution for the series. There was a new 3D graphics engine, for one thing, and the limited number of new Pokémon was somewhat offset by the introduction of Mega Evolutions. Other features are listed below, for obvious reasons.
These 3DS titles are clearly popular among Nintendo Life readers, with X and its own Legendary 'mon - Fairy-type Xerneas - just nipping ahead of its fellow sixth-gen release. Xerneas was a clear representation for another new addition, Fairy-types, while the PSS spruced up the online component as you could see and interact with others simply by tapping them on the touch screen. These entries also included the Pokémon Amie feature, where you can pet your Pokémon and bond with them to get various bonuses.
This goes way back to the first generation, and perhaps reflects the renewed appreciation for this release as it makes its debut on the Virtual Console. This one made some use of the brand new Game Boy Color (as it was in 1998), and focused on Pikachu following you outside of its PokéBall - it matched the anime series at the time and had sprite work based on the art style of the show.
Well, these DS remakes of the second generation originals have struck a chord with many of you. HeartGold and its partner release brought those games up to the graphical and mechanical standards of Generation IV on the DS, and added a variety of features including the special Safari Zone and the Pokéthlon mini-games.
In the battle of these remakes, SoulSilver takes the nod. These titles often seem to come up in conversations as they struck a key age group, with the timing of release on the hugely popular DS bringing these Game Boy Color titles to a new audience. The Kanto region was improved, and combining the upgraded mechanics (and online features) along with an extensive endgame evidently enthralled a generation of players.
An incredibly tight outcome in the community vote, all told. Debate the results below!
I still love DPPt the best.
Really? HeartGold and SoulSilver? Call me weird, but I never quite 'got' those games. I'm much more of a Gen. III and IV guy myself, so I'm a tad disappointed they didn't get in. Still, you can't get everything! At least X is in!
Generations 2 and 6 are my favorites so far, so that's a nice surprise!
I'd like to play HeartGOld/SoulSilver. But I don't see how you can put two games which are essentially the same at different points in a ranking system, though.
Er, why aren't versions grouped? 3rd games on their own I can kinda understand, but this list is horribly unfair.
@Tsurii I'm not. I really enjoyed X and Y as well. It's a matter of taste and personal experience.
How dull. Maybe you should've grouped same-game versions together to get a bit more variety on the list.
Soul Silver is still my fav pokemon game so I can totally agree. platinum and alpha sapphire are my 2nd and 3rd favs.
It's a bit unfair that you've put X/Y and SoulSilver/HeartGold as separate games when they essentially are the same games.
A fairly solid list, but I'm in agreement with others; I think the pairs should have been grouped together to allow for more variety.
Soulsilver and Heartgold just felt the most nostalgic. For both old and new Pokemon trainers. It's up there for me in my list next to Diamond and Ruby.
I've played yellow,ruby and y. Yellow is my favourite mainly because I had the cards watched the cartoon and then got the game so knew all the Pokemon and there abilities before playing. Ruby annoyed me a little,too many HMs and steel Pokemon? Meh. Would like to try the remake master though
too bad gen 3 didn't get any love. those were always by far my favorites. though it might be nostalgia
Lol. What a terrible list. You guys here have terrible opinions.
@abbyhitter Doesn't everyone?
@GloverMist Soul silver has always been my fav!
I wonder how many votes got green....
@EverythingAmiibo Like I said, I'm just weird for not liking it! I mean, I don't like Black and White, either, buteveryone else loves them.
Black 2 and White 2 are the best.
HeartGold/SoulSilver I completely understand, those two are very good games. Interesting that SoulSilver came out on top though.
@GloverMist. Uh, HG/SS ARE Gen IV. XD I know what you mean, but those two are still technically Gen IV.
I'll be interested what this list looks like in a few years' time. X and Y are among the newest games, so they'll be the games that the majority have played recently. XY was ok, but, I dunno quite what it is about them, but the Kalos region feels... emptier? I guess? Less fine-tuned than ORAS or Gen V, certainly. I know some rank it as their favourite, (evidently. XD), but it never rose above good for me. I'm evidently missing something. XD
Yeah I agree they have grouped HGSS and XY.
I don't remember there being a poll for this, but I don't understand why they wouldn't have put X and Y in one category and Heart Gold and Soul Silver in their own, instead of the top 5 being made up of 2 sets of games that are basically identical to each other.
Only one of my games made the list Yellow. I didn't vote for Heartgold even though it was one of my favourite game but I agree XY & Heartgold/ SoulSilver should have been together.
Sweet, SoulSilver is my favorite Pokemon game! Caught my first shiny in SoulSilver, too.
Why not group pairs together? It makes more sense and allows for more representation. I know some people might treasure one gem over another, but it's kind of the same issue you didn't have with remakes on your Zelda list, so it doesn't make sense here. Either way, I'm excited to know the staff vote, hopefully coming soon
Yay, my favourite Pokemon game won the poll (granted it's just as good as Heart Gold, but I prefer Lugia to Ho-Oh). Heart Gold and Soul Silver had many brilliant optional features, and 2 regions to explore.
I'm surprised X and Y were on the list. They were decent, but a bit basic and lacking in some features like a Battle Frontier or contests.
Really hard choice for me. I had equal amounts of fun with all main entries of pokemon I managed to get my hands on. But Sapphire was the first that really called to me and made me say "wow" as soon as I first booted it up. I've been with the series from Pokemon Red and haven't stopped. But for some reason, Sapphire just had this new and unknown charm to it. It was probably because I managed to grab the guide books to Red and Silver before it. But with Sapphire, I went in completely blind and came across some of my favourite pokemon which I still hold in high regard today! And let's just say that Kyogre itself sealed the deal for me.
Sapphire also helped me bond with another kid in a year below mine at school who seemed to get into it as much as I did. I even let him play it and start the game from scratch (which was a big issue for me at the time). So in a way, I not only made a great friend through pokemon, but I also got to re-experience it through the eyes of someone who'd never been lucky enough to try/own a game of their own. Let alone pokemon. That magic came back full swing when I was able to use my experience to guide him on where to go and what moves to use at the right times. And that turned out to be just as much fun as me playing Emerald outside of school. I ended up giving it to him as a birthday present and I never saw him stop playing in the short time that I knew him. It was awesome to see, really - made me proud to know I'd contributed to his first experience of video games.
@TheXReturns I completely agree when it comes to X and Y, whilst they were still enjoyable, I always felt like they could have done more with them, especially the post-game material, which was severely lacking IMO.
Huh. Silver, Red, and Y were my picks. In that order. The results pretty much matched my top three considering this list is more of a top 3 than a top 5.
@TheXReturns Good point! Of course, I meant Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. Guess I just wasn't any good at using Foresight!
...no, wait, that joke doesn't work.
Disappointed with the results! Really should've put x/y together and Heartgold and Soulsilver together! I'm especially disappointed that platinum didn't make the list as it's my all time favourite game! Oh well maybe next time :-/
Can we get another list with same gen games grouped together? I'm curious to see the full results too. Glad to see Yellow made it!
I agree, X and Y then HG and SS should be paired. There are very few differences between the two.
Tell us the runner ups to x and y and Heartgold and Soulsilver so then I have some idea of a top 5 haha
They all have great aspects, but my all time favourite is Soul Silver.... and Alpha Sapphire, and X..... and Y.... and Yellow, and.... all of them. Hahaha
They all have great aspects, but my all time favourite is Soul Silver.... and Alpha Sapphire, and X..... and Y.... and Yellow, and.... all of them. Hahaha
I'm ok with these results honestly. Although X and Y don't deserve top 4, soul silver and heart gold can take 1 and 2. I would've been insanely disappointed if any of the trash black and whites got any of these spots.
@Zoda_Fett black/white and black 2/white 2 are my least favourite
HeartGold & SoulSilver were great! Great choice everyone!
Black&White were my favorites, closely followed by Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald.
@adam9431 same here. In my opinion I just feel like gen 5 was really really bad. It actually made me stop playing Pokemon because of how stupid it looked. I actually didn't even know they made sequels because I was that disappointed. Got back into it after announcement of X and Y but was still iffy. Went back to play black/white one and two so I can actually judge not just by looks, and let me say the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" was an exception. 1-4 will always be perfect. X and Y was a nice attempt but eh.
@Mr_Wright they were more focused on introducing Megas, that's why I think the potential to do more with X and Y would probably be a really bad fail. Introducing this new, real huge feature immensely changed the way we battle. That's why I never resented them due to how they worked more on that so the next games can be more focused on story and areas ect
I JUST finished Black 2 the other day. It was ok, but not even close to any of the others.
@Zoda_Fett You can have your own opinion and that is fine but I'm confused with what you mean when you say "it looked stupid". Do you mean the pokemon were not well designed or you didn't care for what was going on?
For me personally while some of the pokemon were duds (garabador) there were many well designed ones like hydreigon, haxorus, samourout, zoroarck, etc.
Also I feel the games of fifth generation were some of most well put together presentation and game play wise. You got all the added gameplay elements and tweaks introduced by generation four without any of four's sluggishness with a good story and unique characters and areas to put it all together.
@dadajo "whatever you say dude. I just find it funny how people try and defend gen 5"
Sorry lemme rephrase that because after reading your comment again I realize I responded in a childish way. By "looks stupid" I meant the way the game was portrayed. I cannot argue with you on the haxous and hydro and ect. There was a few good Pokemon but overall the game just wasn't me. I found the story to be horrible along with the characters. It was a downgrade.
@Zoda_Fett I find it funny that people like you just come on to bash other people's opinions. Little insecure there? Heheh..
Anyway, Gen 5 was definitely the best Gen, but that aside.. I'm going to have to agree with everyone else. The not pairing things was really dumb.
HG/SS and Yellow were good choices though.
@Zibene999 the fact that you think gen 5 was the best, proves you know nothing about Pokemon. Also, after seeing your comments, you're actually the one who has been "bashing" people's opinions. I just stated mine. Your ignorance is beyond fixable. Please stick to five nights at Freddy's or something lol
I've played Pokemon since release, thank you.
Uh, I don't even know much about that game you mentioned, or games like it.
Is that how you see Gen 5? Because that's really backwards.. wow.
I feel kind of sorry for you, to be honest..
Gen 5 has a great story, amazing characters, fun Pokemon designs, good music and is overall a good game. Yeah, I feel sorry for you that you can't experience all of those things. Oh well though, whether you miss out or not isn't my problem.~
On the other hand, this has gotten me in the mood to play some Pokemon.
@Zibene999 no it doesn't. You cannot deny gen 5 had some of the most obsurd designs. The only ones that were decent are: haxrous, hydreigon, volca(best Pokemon of that gen, he goes on my competitive team), Reuniclus, and victini. The rest were so poorly done it was a joke. The characters were dry and the story felt like a seven year old fan put it together. No, I'm not saying this because rubbish looks like rubbish, I'm not saying it because we got a friggin ice cream cone as a Pokemon, I'm saying it because it's true. These games brought nothing special to the tables. Red and blue: the start of it all. Gave us the series along with some amazing starters and the og area of Kanto. Silver and Gold: gave us two regions, along with the aftermath of team rocket. Crystal: more information about Suicune and just a little redo of Silver and Gold. Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald: gave us a lot of unique legendarys. We also got an easy lovable location. Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum: finally sets the difficulty a bit higher making it more challenging(you can disagree if you want but I found the elite four in this one the most challenging. It's not about skill, I just found it being pretty tough, along with a lot of others who agree). Along with all three great starters! Black and white one and two: we got.... Crappy Pokemon. X and Y: mega evolutions.
You have a lot of misdirected hate for Gen 5, I wonder why.
I don't understand how you can say Gen 5's story is bad when it's the story with the most depth so far in the Pokemon series, only maybe rivaled by X and Y or SS/HG.
Your opinion is not true, it's simply an opinion. Many people would disagree with you, which is a statement that is actually true.
You can blindly hate something all you want, I guess.
The fact is Gen 5 is known and respected for having a good story, considered by many to be the best out of all the gens, your opinions on the Pokemon are just that, opinions, just because you don't like something doesn't mean everyone else does.
You forgot to mention in X and Y we also got the Fairy Type. I thought you knew about Pokemon? Also, I've never attacked anyone on this website, if you're referring to Rex, that was a general misunderstanding, so please don't slander someone, it's not nice. ^_^;
I love Gen 5 because it does have a great story, that focuses on reexamining the nature between Pokemon and Trainers and does it right. The characters felt real, they had real issues I and many others could relate to. You felt for Bianca and her plight with her father, you understood how N came to be the way he was, how he thought the way he did, the gym leaders were unique and quirky, just like all the others, and on top of that they also had that classic Pokemon charm, as do the Pokemon. The OST has some of my favorite tracks, including Unwavering Emotions and Nimbasa City.
I love Darumaka, and Snivy, and Oshawott, and Munna, and Cinccino, and so many others, because they were wonderfully designed Pokemon, and some of them even call back to the first and second generation's designs.
It had fun and unique areas like the sandy Route 4, a giant unfinished highway road that was fun to explore, the giant Castelia City, filled with people and towering skyscrapers, and even the little towns like Anville Town and it's train hub and beautiful scenery, Village Bridge, a place where you can actually actively change the background music by exploration and interaction.
Generation 5 was and is an amazing, genuine Pokemon experience, which brought joy to me and many other fans for good reason, and that's really all I have to say. That's why I find it a little sad when someone misses out on something so enjoyable.
I don't see why they didn't just put X/Y, Ruby/Sapphire etc. as just one option on the poll. That would have made the results more diverse.
ok. I have been playing yellow a bit and I have to say, It is to old. I am all for nostalgia and Where are those running shoes dab nab it?
I picked no.s 4,3&2! I'll be losing my special unicorn status at this rate 🦄
@Zoda_Fett I think that mega evolutions are undoubtedly the best thing X and Y brought to the series, they make battles even more tactical and enjoyabl. However, other generations in the series had similar if not better innovations to the gameplay, but they did not suffer because of it. I don't think you can excuse the faults in X and Y just due to the slight change they introduced to the battle formula.
I've never not enjoyed a Pokemon game so I can't relate to those who say X and Y were duds or the series died in Gen VI. I mean there are some less than memorable generations but I distinctly remember enjoying them at the time I played them and I'm sure if I went back I'd enjoy them again. I never played yellow and now that I can on the VC it's just like it was a brand new Pokemon game for me.
I don't really get why the paired versions were separate, but I am in full agreement HeartGold and SoulSilver are the best ones. Not only did they provide a way to experience what was still the best Pokémon quest all over again, they also worked amazingly well as remakes by incorporating the new elements from Crystal as well as putting back in scrapped areas that originate in Red, Blue and Yellow.
People will always say that the new games are terrible and the games that they grew up with or played the most are the ones that are the best. Just look at Genwunners, it's nothing new. In a few years time there will be people who think that their current generation is the worst one and Gen VI is the best.
This is kind of a stupid ranking system. You should be categorizing generations in the list, not individual versions. X & Y and Soul Silver & Heart Gold are nearly the same games, it's a waste of slots to pick individual favorite versions. Just have a list of the six generations in order of favoritism, it makes more sense.
@River3636 Gotta play Yellow Version on Pokémon Stadium, with Dodrio Tower mode, that's where the "running shoes" are. (More like rocket shoes...)
@Zibene999 Gen 5 is the only one that actually questions the player's motives, going beyond the existentialist exploration and environmentalist messages of previous generations. It's also the only generation where the protagonist is genuinely faced with the threat of death/murder.
That said, it also had some of the worst designs/back stories for the new Pokémon in the entire series. (Magnemite/Voltorb/Grimer lines don't count, because they actually have a back story. The mechanical Pokémon were manmade energy generators/regulators that were abandoned by humanity when Kanto's energy infrastructure renounced centralized power, and Grimer/Muk is an experimental biological weapon based on factory effluence that was an abandoned project after Mewtwo destroyed the lab on Cinnabar Island, and military funding got cut/the truth got covered up)
@PlywoodStick There is no running shoes in Yellow or rocket shoes? I don't remember I was like 9.
There is no @#cking shoes in Yellow. There is a bike.
@River3636 If one used the transfer pak to play on Stadium 1&2, the first two gens had access to double and triple speed modes. This was particularly easy for 1st gen, since Stadium 1 only needed Round 1 of Gym Leader Tower and Stadium tournaments to access triple speed mode. It was much harder for gen 2, needed to complete Round 2 of Stadium 2, and by that time the faster travel is kind of pointless.
@PlywoodStick If one had those games and a GBC then maybe it would work. I'm playing the VC version and I have to say, I'm not caring for nostalgia that much.
@Mr_Wright fairy and mega evolutions were a game changer. You're right though, that doesn't justify them, I just think it is a valuable excuse. But as you said it doesn't fully excuse them. I agree with you 99%, I just try and give them that you know? I feel like Sun and Moon will really be a game changer. Maybe we'll get a dragon eevee like I've been wishing for since ever!
Honestly X and Y were bad Pokemon games, it was only the hype of the moment they came that anyone holds fond memories of them.
@CreamyDream Yeah, this poll was really terrible because they listed each version separately instead of grouping similar games together. The fact that 4 of the Top 5 games on this list are 2 sets of pairs just shows how poorly designed the poll was and doesn't really tell us much.
I love how the list is the two core games from Gen 6, the 1st gen 3rd release definitive title, and the two Gen 4 remakes of Gen 2.
Well rounded out as it covers core, remake, and third entry definitive versions.
Honestly, what a messed up list. G/S are NOT separate games neither X/Y, you can't compare both and say "this one is better than the other" because they're nearly the SAME EXACT GAME with a few exclusive monsters and that's it. You simply can't. There's a bit of sense when you put Crystal next to G/S and compare them, Crystal improved some stuff and brought the gender choice, there was a few changes in the story and more content, the same applies to Yellow next to R/B/G and so on.
You have a top 5 with 3 games. Bravo Nintendolife. Bravo.
@Tsurii I was really surprised with X and Y because of the post game content. Maybe because it's still a relatively new game it got more votes.
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