Which games are the most fun? It was hard to put these classic games in order because so many of them are among the best games for their console generation. So we changed our existing list of rankings and asked Nintendo Life readers to rate each game in the series. This is what we got.
To be clear, this only includes the mainline games, which are the ones that added a new generation of Pokémon, as well as their sequels, ultimate versions, and remakes. But Pokémon Smile and other spin-offs that aren’t part of the main series aren’t here.
Like our other reader-ranked lists, the order of the games below is based on each game’s User Rating in our games database. This means that the order can change even after the list is published. Users who have signed up for Nintendo Life can still rate the games by clicking on the stars next to the titles and giving the game(s) a score out of 10. Think one of these games should be higher on the list? If you get ratings, you may be able to change the order of the items below in real time.
So, keep reading to find out what you think are the best mainline Pokémon games ever…
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (Switch)
Some of the slow parts of the original games have been fixed in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and The Grand Underground makes up for the relatively weak Pokédex. However, the new art style and a few other mistakes make this pair of games a somewhat disappointing retread of Generation 4. If the goal of these remakes was to stay true to the original Gen 4 pair, we wish they had kept the pixel-art style.
These remakes of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are very similar to the originals, which some players will probably like. However, besides The Grand Underground and the fact that they connect to the other games in the series, there’s not much reason to play Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl instead of your original DS copies.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! (Switch)
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are beautiful remakes of a classic video game. They update a 20-year-old game in ways that make it much more accessible and user-friendly for a modern audience, while keeping the magic that was first found all those years ago. On the other hand, the motion control system is fun, but it isn’t perfect. To get the best experience, you have to switch from one way to play to another. Still, the game does a great job of striking a balance between being easy for newcomers to get into and having just enough post-game challenge and competitive play elements (and nostalgia, of course) to please series veterans. As a result, these new titles really do have something for everyone, which isn’t always true of the mainline Pokémon games. Even though they might not be perfect, Poké-fans should definitely give these a try.
Pokémon Sword and Shield (Switch)
Pokémon Sword and Shield does bring some new ideas to the table, but there are still some places where it could go further. What’s done right is done right, but some parts feel like they came from a design document from ten years ago. There are parts of it that are the best the series has ever been, but sometimes these happy parts are ruined by other parts that make us sad. It was a mixed bag, from the pure joy and wonder of seeing a brand-new Pokémon in a stadium full of cheering fans to the boring and drawn-out dialogue we just wanted to skip. The best part of exploring the Wild Area is how it feels like the series has really grown.
Overall, Pokémon Sword and Shield was a great start to the HD generation of Pokémon games, but there are still some things that could be done better.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (3DS)
There were already some great Pokémon games for the 3DS, like X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, but Pokémon Sun and Moon felt like a fresh start for people who had maybe stopped playing RPGs for the sake of collecting them. The return of fan-favorite Gen I pocket monsters in new Alolan forms helped excite both longtime fans and people who only remember the first 151. Character models and customization were improved, and powerful Z-moves were added. These Ultra versions are the most “complete” because they have more forms, moves, and things to do than the other versions.
Even though it’s a shame we didn’t get to see our favourite monsters in stereoscopic 3D, this is the best Pokémon game on 3DS in the traditional style.
Pokémon Sun and Moon (3DS)
Pokémon Sun and Moon are two of Game Freak’s best Pokémon games ever made. Poké Pelago, the side quests, and the absolutely gorgeous way everything is put together are all pure joy from the start to the end. Game Freak was able to add new game mechanics in a way that didn’t completely ruin things for the most dedicated fans. It has tonnes of content, a much more interesting story than some of the previous games, and rewards exploration in a way that no other game in the series had done up until that point.
This should be in your 3DS library if you like Pokémon, no matter how long you’ve been a fan.
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl (DS)
We’ll try not to quote Prince songs, but what can we say about Pokémon Diamond & Pearl? The core gameplay is just as good as it was back then, and at the time, these games were the best Pokemon games ever made. As is the case with many video games that were popular enough to spawn a never-ending series of sequels, each game will eventually be pushed down by the ones that came after it, shrinking over time until they’re nothing more than fossils. They’re worth collecting, keeping, and remembering, but are they worth playing when they’ve been changed so many times since?
That’s a hard question to answer, and we guess it’s the price of success and progress. However, Diamond and Pearl are still great Pokémon games that deserve to be taken off the shelf and played from time to time, even if they don’t have the same level of polish as later games. They will make you a happy boy or girl, no matter who you are.
Learning with Pokemon: Typing Adventure
Learning with Pokemon: Typing Adventure is the first game, and it is a learning game. The Nintendo DS Wireless Keyboard is needed for the game. This means that if you want to buy a wireless keyboard, you will have to pay more. You can think of the game as a learning tool that helps you get better at typing.
You just have to type the letters that appear on each level. Even though it sounds easy, the later levels can be hard and a lot of fun. You can play this game if you have a copy of it and a wireless keyboard.
Some places call Pokemon Trozei! Pokemon Link instead of Pokemon Trozei! The game came out in 2005, and it is a puzzle game. It does have a story to follow, but the puzzles are a bit like Tetris, except you have to match Pokemon icons. The game can be fun, and there are different ways to play it. Online, the players can also play against each other. Back in the mid-2000s, it wasn’t very common to go online and compete against other people.