Over the years, I have had many debates with fellow Pokemon fans about what the best game in the series is. I’ve heard the tirades of perpetually stubborn genwunners, citing Red & Blue as Pokemon’s joint magnum opuses; I’ve listened as would-be scholars of story and structure touted Black & White as narrative masterpieces; and I have grimaced while stalwart defenders of Kalos claimed that X & Y aren’t the worst Pokemon games ever made.

Through it all, the only comfort I could find lay in my own undying conviction that HeartGold & SoulSilver are not just the best Pokemon games of all time, but are among the elite pantheon of gaming’s greatest triumphs. So what gives, eh? Why aren’t Pokemon’s most excellent games playable on a modern console?


Related: Why Do We Always Play As The Most Boring Pokemon Trainer?

If you haven’t played Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver, I a) feel very sorry for you and b) envy you with a jealousy so ferocious that I am on the verge of spontaneous combustion as I type this. I’ve just had to open a window to cool down. That’s how good these games are – if you haven’t played them yet, I’m not sure whether I should order you to rectify that immediately or warn you that you’d be best off saving something this good for a time when you really needed an infallible pick-me-up. HGSS is the only tangible proof we have of sorcery. I’d say it belongs in the Louvre if not for the fact it deserves better.

For those unacquainted with the best Pokemon games ever made, HeartGold & SoulSilver are remakes of the original Gen 2 entries – Gold, Silver, and Crystal. HGSS launched as part of Gen 4, which most people will remember as the generation with Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. To be honest, the reason I’m writing this is because those Gen 4 games are now being remade as Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl for Gen 8 and are all set to launch in a couple of weeks’ time. This reminded me of HGSS both because a) it came out just after those titles, and b) is the series’ best remake, as well as its best pair of games. I can’t for the life of me stop thinking about the joys of Johto.

This appears to have become a sort of running theme with me. Just last week, I wrote about how 20 years later,…


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