The Nuzlocke challenge is by far the most popular way to keep playing Pokémon games after you’ve finished them the normal way. In general, the Nuzlocke challenge is meant to make you use Pokémon you wouldn’t normally use. You can only use the first Pokémon you catch in each area, and if any Pokémon faints, you lose forever.
With these rules, Pokémon games can be harder and more fun. Here are what some people think are the best Pokémon games to do a Nuzlocke challenge with because they make things harder while still being fun.
Pokémon X & Y
Pokémon X and Y are good games to start with in the Nuzlocke challenge because they aren’t too hard. The EXP Share is easy to get and lets you use your stronger, safer Pokémon to help your weaker ones get stronger.
Even though gyms shouldn’t be too dangerous, there are a few trainers who might give you a hard time if you’re not careful. It’s a great way to learn how Nuzlocke works without getting too confused.
Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
The Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games aren’t too hard, but the difficulty level has gone up a little bit across the board. It’s a little harder to get a team with a wide range of Pokémon, so sometimes you’ll have to fight with less than ideal Pokémon.
With the helpful EXP Share item in the game, it shouldn’t be too hard to level up those Pokémon. If Pokémon X and Y were the tutorial for Nuzlocke, then Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire could be thought of as the easy mode.
Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen
Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen can be great games for a Nuzlocke challenge because they are remasters of the original Generation I games with some updates and changes. The different Pokémon may be a problem, but TMs can fill in any gaps in coverage and let you set up your team in a lot of different ways.
This is the first game where you can really start to use tactics and strategies that make fights feel like they matter. Plus, the improved graphics and sprites make it fun to look at while you run.
Pokémon Red & Blue
Most people know a lot about the world of the old Pokémon Red and Blue games, which makes them great for a Nuzlock challenge. If you know what bosses are coming up and where to find the many gift and trade Pokémon, you can build a strong team.
Even if you don’t know much about the game, there are both easy and hard fights inside and outside of the gyms. It’s not hard at all, but if you’re not careful, you might lose a Pokémon or two to critical hits. If you haven’t been levelling up properly, the Elite Four can also be a threat, and you probably won’t get the EXP All to help you out.
Pokémon Yellow is, as expected, a lot like Pokémon Red and Blue, but Pikachu is a big difference. This makes the beginning of the game harder because you can’t be sure that you’ll have a good Pokémon to use against the first boss.
So, you get all three of the starter Pokémon from Pokémon Red and Blue. This gives you a well-balanced team of strong fighters to use in the game. Many fans have noticed that this is probably how Red felt on his way to becoming a legendary trainer, making this Nuzlocke challenge an unintentional roleplay run.
Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire
Nuzlocke runs can be seen as the normal mode of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. You start out with a bit of room to build a good team and level up without too much trouble, but after about the third gym, the game gets a lot harder.
The challenge is not in any way unfair, but the main battles can be hard, and you may have to do a lot of grinding to keep from losing Pokémon for no reason. If you don’t like the Nuzlocke challenge requirements for this game, stick to easier games or try something else, because it only gets harder from here.
Pokémon Crystal is its own game, and it has never been remade directly. However, parts of its story and gameplay were used in HeartGold and SoulSilver. Several YouTubers and streamers, like GameXplain, have tried to Nuzlocke Pokémon Crystal and shared their results online. The unique Pokémon you can catch in Crystal and the Suicune arc make it a unique Nuzlocke challenge.
Pokémon Sword & Shield
If you want to turn the Nuzlocke challenge on its head, playing Pokémon Sword & Shield can give you some very subversive experiences. As soon as it came out in late 2019, players were talking about how the game worked and where it took place in terms of a Nuzlocke challenge.
The rules say that you can only catch the first Pokémon you see in a new area, but the Wild Area makes this harder to do. Not only is the Wild Area split up into many parts, but Pokémon are also now showing up on the overworld map, which goes against the “first encounter” rule. Players who are serious about Nuzlocke challenges have found solutions and made their own rules for Switch games. This shows how serious they are about the craft.
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl
Many fans think that Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were made with the Nuzlocke challenge in mind. You can get a good number of Pokémon to build a few teams, the difficulty goes up gradually so you don’t have to grind for hours, and it’s a good challenge.
Cynthia is the main thing you need to watch out for, because if you’re not ready, she can be a big problem. This final battle is a great way to test your strategy, and if you don’t grind hard, you can expect to lose at least half of your team. A sad sacrifice that had to be made to become the Pokémon champion.
Gold and Silver are better than the first games because there are less exploits and twice as many Pokémon in the Pokédex. This gives Nuzlockes a whole new level of strategy. Wild and trainer Pokémon, on the other hand, stay at a shockingly low level for most of the game. This makes grinding harder, but it also means that players won’t face as many hard challenges when they run into other people.