For more than 25 years, developer Game Freak has found a way to reinvent the Pokémon franchise for each new generation of gamers. Both brand-new Pokémon trainers and Pokémon masters are captivated by these cute (and sometimes scary) little monsters. Maybe it’s the drive to catch ’em all that keeps players coming back. Or perhaps it’s how adorable these little pocket monsters can be. Whatever the reason, players continue to return to or start exploring the Pokémon franchise.
Each game has a pretty consistent feel to it. Each follows the one before it but builds a little more into the Pokémon world. With every new iteration of Pokémon, new features and Pokémon are brought to the table. Even though Pokémon veterans may find each game familiar to the last, each holds a slightly new and immersive way of bringing players into the world of Pokémon. And it looks like the next new Pokémon installment, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, might break the mold entirely with a new, open-world game that looks a bit like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A long-awaited remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl is also set to release later this year. This franchise definitely knows how to keep players coming back for more!
Since Game Freak has been around for so long and has produced so many different versions of Pokémon, we decided to share which Pokémon games we think would be best for newcomers. We’ve also included some of the best spin-off Pokémon games and Pokémon game remakes so new players can explore the vast world of Pokémon in different ways. It’s important to remember that, in the world of Pokémon, “best” and “worst” are relative. Every entry on this list is great, but if you’re looking for a good entry into the universe, these are what we suggest.
1. Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal (generation 2)
Starter Pokémon: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile
Pokémon Gold and Silver added 100 Pokémon to the original 151, including arguably the best trio of starters Pokémon has seen. Beyond adding to the Pokédex, generation two made great strides in multiple areas over the original. For starters, you now had to think about the time of day when trying to catch new Pokémon, as the day/night cycle smartly added a layer of depth to your time spent in the long grass.
Gold and Silver added the Kanto region to the map, connecting Johto with the landmass that started the phenomenon. With 16 gym leaders to best, Gold and Silver remain the deepest, lengthiest Pokémon games ever created.
Adding to the systems seen in Pokémon Yellow, generation two leaned into dual-types, allowing you to make a more varied and strategically diverse team to bring into battle. The Johto region happens to be our favorite to explore as well and has the best legendary birds (Lugia and Ho-Oh). This installment also added the three legendary dog Pokémon — Raikou, Suicune, and Entei — which…