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ALL Pokémon Games in Order of Release Date

Pokémon began as a simple RPG for the Game Boy. Fast-forward 20 years, and it’s evolved into an empire. There are dozens of best-selling Pokémon titles for nearly every Nintendo platform — with countless new projects in the pipeline. There’s clearly something special about those charming pocket monsters. And to find out what it is, we’re going through all the Pokémon games in order of release.

While there are numerous spinoff titles and adaptations, this list of Pokémon games in chronological order covers all the core North American releases with a few other notables thrown in. We’ll walk you through iconic titles from Red and Blue to Sword and Shield. Sound like a plan? Let’s brock and roll.

What type of gamer would like the Pokémon series? Pokémon games fall under the role-playing, turn-based, and adventure genres. As such, they’re ideal for players who prefer immersive storylines and heartfelt journeys. The games on this list are not as suitable for folks seeking fast-paced competitive games or high-stakes battle royales (though there is still plenty of action). We hope you enjoy!

All Pokémon Games in Order of Release

Following Pokémon’s introduction in the late ’90s, the franchise grew extremely quickly. To keep up with demand, Nintendo released new Pokémon video games in rapid-fire succession. There were new regions, new features, new Pokémon, and more. It was a golden age of Nintendo RPGs, and Pokémon was at the forefront of everything.

This list of Pokémon games by generation is a testament to the franchise’s influence. It’s for Poké fans seeking a dose of nostalgia, as well as folks who want to learn more about gaming history. After all, the Pokémon franchise is an integral part of the gaming world, and it’s inspired many of today’s popular titles.

Without further ado, let’s go back to where it all began…

1) Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow

Pokemon Red
Pokemon Blue
Pokemon Yellow
  • Generation: 1st
  • Platform: Game Boy
  • Release Date: September 28, 1998 (Red & Blue) October 18, 1999 (Yellow)

The games that started it all — Pokémon Red & Blue are the first titles in the long-running Poké franchise. First released in Japan in 1996, these two titles hopped the Pacific in 1998 and immediately exploded in popularity.

The premise is simple: choose a starter pocket monster at the beginning of the game, then travel the world, using the monster to battle against other trainers. Along the way, you’ll collect even more Pokémon and compete against all 8 gyms (aka mini-bosses). The story culminates in an epic battle against the mighty Elite 4.

As with all paired games in the Pokémon series, Red and Blue are nearly identical. The main difference between the two? Some Pokémon are exclusive to one version. To catch all 150 Pokémon (a primary goal among trainers), you have to link your Game Boy and trade with a friend. Or… you can grab a copy of Pokémon Yellow.

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Pokémon Yellow is an enhanced adaptation of Red & Blue that was released a year later. The changes? First, players start the game with a Pikachu, just like Ash Ketchum from the anime. Second, Team Rocket’s Jessie and James replace many of the generic team members from the original game. And third, there are several graphical updates and enhancements. Overall, it is an exciting title that brought even more players into the Poké universe (myself included).

These three games are praised for their innovation, exciting RPG elements, and charming turn-based mechanics. They set the bar for future titles and spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise. At the time, the question on everyone’s mind was: could Nintendo release another best-seller?

2) Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal

Pokemon Gold
Pokemon Silver
Pokemon Crystal
  • Generation: 2nd
  • Platform: Game Boy Color
  • Release Date: October 15, 2000 (Gold & Silver) July 29, 2001 (Crystal)

You can only produce so much content based around 150 Pokémon. Nintendo realized they needed to up the ante. So in October of 2000, they released Pokémon Gold & Silver to the North American region. These titles introduce 100 new Pokémon to the franchise, as well as several new Pokémon types, like Steel and Dark. Other significant changes include new battle moves, new items, an internal clock system, and more.

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Following the business model set by the first generation of games, Nintendo released an adaptation of Pokémon Gold & Silver in July of 2001. This title, Pokémon Crystal, featured enhanced graphics and animations.

At this point, we’ve listed all the Pokémon Gameboy games in order. And while these three newer titles are stylistically similar to the first generation of Pokémon games, they take things to an entirely new level. As such, Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal are frequently cited as some of the best RPGs ever made.

3) Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald

Pokemon Ruby
Pokemon Sapphire
Pokemon Emerald
  • Generation: 3rd
  • Platform: Game Boy Advance
  • Release Date: March 19, 2003 (Ruby & Sapphire) May 1, 2005 (Emerald)

Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire debuted in 2003 and introduced 135 new Pokémon, as well as a range of exciting new features like dual battling. They also added Team Magma and Aqua, two opposing factions who threaten to awaken one of the world’s most powerful pocket monsters. Travel back to the World of Pokémon, and see if you’ve got what it takes to become an elite trainer.

A couple of years after Ruby & Sapphire released, Pokémon Emerald hit the shelves. This iteration added an exciting new storyline and reimagined sprites.

Though Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald weren’t as popular as the previous two generations of games, they are still the GBA’s best-selling and most iconic titles. But this doesn’t complete our Pokémon GBA games list. Two more titles snuck into this generation of handheld systems. And boy, do they look familiar.

4) Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

Pokemon FireRed
Pokemon LeafGreen
  • Generation: 1st (remake)
  • Platform: Game Boy Advance
  • Release Date: September 9, 2004

At this point, Pokémon was beginning to wane in popularity. To reinvigorate the fanbase, Nintendo re-released the first generation of Pokémon (Red, Blue, & Yellow) with all-new graphics and features. Introducing Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen.

Head back to the Kanto region to relive the glory days! Starting from Pallet town, embark on your journey to become a Pokémon master and catch all 150 pocket monsters. Train your Pokémon, defeat all 8 gyms, then try your luck at the Indigo Plateau against the ever-fearsome Elite 4.

Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen are the second-best-selling games on the GBA system, behind Ruby & Sapphire. They are also the foundation for many of the best Pokémon fan games, as they blend the series’ original mechanics with newer concepts for a balanced playthrough.

5) Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

Pokemon Diamond
Pokemon Pearl
Pokemon Platinum
  • Generation: 4th
  • Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Release Date: April 22, 2007 (Diamond & Pearl) March 22, 2009 (Platinum)

Following the launch of the new & improved Nintendo DS Lite, the Pokémon team released the first games for the DS handheld: Pokémon Diamond & Pearl.

This new generation of Pokémon included the never-before-seen Sinnoh region, 107 additional monsters, and tons of powerful legendaries. In terms of new mechanics, the 4th gen introduced a slew of network-related features like online leaderboards, trading, and even battling. They were smashing successes.

A couple of years later, Nintendo released a revamped version of Diamond & Pearl called Pokémon Platinum. It added an adjacent storyline, as well as a dueling arena known as the Battle Frontier.

6) Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver

Pokemon Heart Gold
Pokemon Soul Silver
  • Generation: 2nd (remake)
  • Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Release Date: March 14, 2010

Continuing with our Pokémon DS games in order, we get to HeartGold & SoulSilver. Much like LeafGreen & FireRed before it, these remakes take us back a decade to the original Gold & Silver titles.

What’s new this time around?

The better question is: what isn’t new? There are new graphics, sound effects, mechanics, mini-games, and so much more! The Poké team did a stellar job respecting the integrity of the original titles while bringing them into the modern-day. We highly recommend you snag a copy for your Nintendo DS.

7) Pokémon Black and White / Black 2 and White 2

Pokemon Black
Pokemon White
Pokemon Black 2
Pokemon White 2
  • Generation: 5th
  • Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Release Date: March 6, 2011 (Black & White) October 7, 2012 (Black 2 & White 2)

Tired of looking at the same ‘ol Pokémon? Never fearow. Pokémon Black and White released 156 new monsters into the mix!

That’s a lot of catching to do! Not only that, but this generation introduced several distinct mechanics, including innovative battle styles and online networking areas. It was also the first time an entirely new set of games came out mid-generation.

Black 2 & White 2 dropped less than a year and a half after the first two games. They feature the same Unova region and impressive pool of monsters. Naturally, the games received critical acclaim from casual players and critics alike.

8) Pokémon X and Y

Pokemon X
Pokemon Y
  • Generation: 6th
  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: October 12, 2013

3, 2, 1, GO! Pokémon X & Y launched worldwide on October 12, 2013 to widespread anticipation. The games introduced the 6th generation of Pokémon, along with 72 new creatures, complete 3D environments, mega evolutions, and a new typing — Fairy Pokémon!

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Like previous games before them, Pokémon X and Y share many similarities, but are independent games. Inspired by France, they take you through the Kalos Region, a land of culture and history. Embark on your Pokémon journey, fill your Pokédex, and dream as big as you dare. Adventure awaits.

9) Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Pokemon Omega Ruby
Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • Generation: 3rd (remake)
  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: November 21, 2014

For fans of the original Ruby and Sapphire titles, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are long overdue. A full decade after the original titles dropped, this revamped version takes players back to Hoenn.

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Face off against Team Aqua and Magma as you fight to save the world and accomplish your goals of Pokémon mastery. These new versions offer enhanced 3D visuals, new online features, and a bunch of awesome easter eggs for you to discover. They’re on the 3DS platform, as well, and remain easily accessible. It’s a blast to the past and all-around great fun. The team at HGG highly recommends checking them out.

10. Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go
  • Generation: All
  • Platform: Mobile
  • Release Date: July 6, 2016

It was the summer of 2016. Overwatch and Witcher 3 had just hit the shelves and were all the talk of the town. That is, until something unexpected happened.

On July 6, 2016, a new app hit the App Store. By the end of the week, that app had catapulted to #1, with tens of millions of downloads worldwide. Everywhere you went, there were huge crowds of kids and adults alike, staring down at their phones and walking into oncoming traffic. It was no longer the summer of heroes and witchers. It was the summer of Pokémon Go.

Okay, okay — you caught us. Pokémon Go isn’t a core release. But its cultural relevance and popularity are so massive, we couldn’t help but include it on this list.

Pokemon Go Screenshots

What is Pokémon Go, exactly? It’s an augmented reality mobile title designed around the Poké universe.

The premise is simple and (somewhat) comparable to the core entries. Create your own Pokémon trainer avatar, choose your team (Instinct, Mystic, or Valor), and set out on an adventure to catch ’em all. The difference in Pokémon Go? Instead of a game world, the real world is your playground!

Travel around town to find and catch Pokemon everywhere you go, from the grocery store to the local park! Consult the in-game map to find central locations like Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms, where you can buy digital goodies, meet other trainers, and battle it out to see whose Pokémon are stronger! Will you rise to the top or get left in the dust?

Pokémon Go is a groundbreaking, innovative title that’s absolutely worthy of this list of Pokémon games in order. And if you weren’t there in 2016, don’t fret. Even in the 2020s, Pokémon Go is still wildly popular and well worth checking out!

11) Pokémon Sun and Moon / Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Pokemon Sun
Pokemon Moon
Pokemon Ultra Sun
Pokemon Ultra Moon
  • Generation: 7th
  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: November 18, 2016 (Sun & Moon) November 17, 2017 (Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon)

Say Aloha to the Alola region! Inspired after the Pacific Islands, the 7th generation of Pokémon adds 81 new species to the mix, as well as some impressive region-specific adaptations of existing creatures. Start your adventure, become as strong as you can, then take on the Kahuna — an elite challenge that’ll put your Poké skills to the test.

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A year after Sun & Moon launched, Nintendo released a second iteration of games: Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Say hello to new characters and travel across the island once more. Will you ride into the sunset atop your Solgaleo, or perish in Team Skull’s evil scheme? Check Out Pokémon Sun & Moon, and find out!

12) Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!

Pokemon Pikachu
Pokemon Eevee
  • Generation: 1st (remake)
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: November 16, 2018

In 2018, Nintendo of America released another remake of the original Red, Blue, and Yellow games. Journey through Kanto once more, this time with a Pikachu or Eevee by your side. There are no more random Pokémon encounters — now you can see the Pokémon as they roam the world around you!

HGG Switch_PokemonLetsGoEevee_screen_01

Link up to your Pokémon Go account and explore all the exciting new features this generation has to offer. The Elite 4 awaits.

13) Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword
Pokemon Shield
  • Generation: 8th
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: November 15, 2019

Now that we’re nearing the end of our Pokémon games list in order of appearance, there’s only one thing left for you to do — grab your Nintendo Switch and choose your starter: Sobble, Grookey, or Scorbunny!

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Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first entirely new games to come out on the hybrid Switch console. The most noticeable changes here are the new & improved 3D graphics, open-world areas, and Dynamaxing Pokémon. Modeled after England, the new Galar region boasts an industrial theme with 81 undiscovered Pokémon and a ton of exciting new adventures! Pick up a copy today and catch ‘em all.

14) New Pokémon Snap

New Pokemon Snap
  • Generation: 8th
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: Q2 2021

Launched on the Nintendo Switch in 2021, “New Pokémon Snap” transports players from the nostalgic terrains of the Nintendo 64 to the vibrant Lental region. Teaming up with Professor Mirror and his assistant, Rita, players capture the essence of over 200 Pokémon through a camera lens, exploring lush jungles, serene beaches, and enigmatic deserts. But it’s not just about clicking pictures.

New Pokemon Snap NPCs

With the innovative grading system, factors like pose, direction, and Pokémon mood come into play, challenging enthusiasts to capture that impeccable shot. A modern reincarnation of the 1999 classic, this title seamlessly combines adventure, challenge, and nostalgia, making it a must-play for both seasoned fans and newcomers.

15) Pokémon Unite

Pokemon Unite
  • Generation: 8th
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: Q3 2021

Gone are the days when Pokémon battles were turn-based duels; 2021 introduced us to Pokémon UNITE, a strategic team battle game that has trainers worldwide buzzing with excitement. This free-to-start game, available on both Nintendo Switch and mobile platforms, delves deep into the realm of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, with a unique Pokémon twist. Players team up in 5v5 battles, striving to catch wild Pokémon, level up, evolve, and – most importantly – outscore the opposing team in a set timeframe. And with each Pokémon boasting its unique moveset and role (be it Attacker, Defender, Speedster, or Support), strategizing becomes paramount.

16) Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond
Pokemon Brilliant Pearl
  • Generation: 4th
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: Q4 2021

Travel back to the 4th generation to re-experience the introduction of fan-favorite Pokémon like Piplup, Lucario, and Dialga. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl will take you back through the Sinnoh region, where you can experience the old gameplay and top-down graphics with a new 3-dimensional twist!

Pokemon Brilliant DP 1
Pokemon Brilliant DP 2
Pokemon Brilliant DP 3

Seamlessly blending the classic top-down perspective with updated 3D graphics, trainers can once again navigate the challenges of Team Galactic, scale Mt. Coronet, and decipher the mysteries of legendary Pokémon Dialga and Palkia.

For those who reminisce about adventures in Twinleaf Town or the thrill of the Veilstone Game Corner, these titles are a love letter to you. Yet, they’re not just about recapturing the past. With updated mechanics and features that echo the advancements of recent Pokémon generations, they’re every bit tailored for today’s trainer. Ready to relive the Sinnoh saga? Let’s set foot on this sparkling journey!

17) Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends Arceus
  • Generation: Final Gen 8th Core Series Game
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: Q1 2022

2022 ushered in a fresh chapter of Pokémon storytelling with “Pokémon Legends: Arceus,” a groundbreaking expedition into the Sinnoh region’s ancestral roots. Venturing far from the typical Pokémon formula, this title thrusts trainers into an open-world experience, immersing them in the wild landscapes where Pokémon roam freely, and capturing mechanics get an action-oriented twist. The overarching mission? To compile Sinnoh’s very first Pokédex, under the watchful eye of the mythical Pokémon, Arceus.

This game isn’t just another chapter in the Pokémon series; it’s a revolutionary leap. Seamlessly blending action, exploration, and the beloved aspects of Pokémon capturing, “Pokémon Legends: Arceus” offers both veterans and newcomers a tantalizing taste of the Pokémon world’s rich history. With the ancient Sinnoh as your canvas, the legend of Arceus awaits your discovery. Are you prepared for this epic chronicle? The annals of history are in your hands!

18) Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
  • Generation: 9th
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: Q4 2022

As Pokémon continues its legacy as the titan of gaming franchises, 2023’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet offer a conundrum. Set in the sprawling Paldea region, these titles blend the series’ cherished traditions with exciting innovations, such as an expansive open-world and three distinct storylines: Victory Road, Path of Legends, and Starfall Street. These games craft a world bustling with vibrant details, from Pokémon showcasing unique behaviors to the exhilarating Tera raids. Yet, while they invigorate the Pokémon formula and conjure nostalgic memories, they’re marred by technical challenges, from game crashes to glaring performance issues. Let’s not even talk about view distance.

Scarlet and Violet Screenshot

However, the heart of Pokémon persists. Whether you’re soaring on a legendary Pokémon’s back or strategizing in battles using the novel Terrastalizing mechanic, “Pokémon Scarlet and Violet” epitomize the series’ ability to evolve while cherishing its roots. While performance hiccups tarnish the shine, the adventure encapsulates the essence of Pokémon: exploration, challenge, and connection. The titles stand as a testament to the franchise’s enduring charm, albeit with room for polish.

Gotta Play ’em All

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our list of Pokémon games in order. If you enjoyed this list, support us by sharing it on social and subscribing to our email list! Oh, and don’t forget to stick to the High Ground.

Happy Gaming!

 

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