Just last week, the Game Freak company has proclaimed its 25th Anniversary of its video game series Pokemon. The game encourages its players to train and battle wild creatures called “Pokemon” in order to conquer rivals and champions. This gameplay was a hit with 90s and early 2000s kids and has now made almost 800 million dollars! Throughout the years, Pokemon games have improved their graphics and gameplay through its 8 generations and regions. So, in honor of 25 years of “Catching em all!”, here is our ranking of the 8 regions/generations of Pokémon:
#8: Generation 7/Alola: Now, keep in mind that every Pokemon game was very enjoyable and unique. However, compared to the other generations, generation 7 or the “Alola Region” definitely ranks last. Unlike other regions which were only one island, generation 7 composed of various islands that were rather tedious to travel around. The “National Pokedex” was also excluded meaning the player was uncertain if he/she had truly caught all of the Pokemon. The gratuitous number of cutscenes in the story combined with a lack of a special story to begin with felt pointless and frustrating. Not to mention the Pokemon introduced in this generation were very forgettable. When was the last time you heard someone praise Bruxish and Turtonator? Yeah, didn’t think so. Alola was a straight up letdown.
#7: Generation 6/Kalos: For a region inspired by the streets of France, you would think the Kalos region would rank higher on the list. While generation 6 had heavily improved Pokemon graphics, everything else felt quite bland. The story wasn’t too special as fans have seen the gimmick numerous times (though this story was better than generation 7; no spoilers!). Also, generation 6 introduced what fans considered to be the ugliest Pokemon of the franchise. Examples include Malamar, Chestnaught, Barbicle, Avalugg, and Florges. While features such as rollar skates and “Mega Evolutions” to make Pokemon even more powerful were some of the greatest features, the negatives still outweigh the positives and generation 6 will always suffer from its forgetful nature.
#6: Generation 8/Galar: The newest generation of Pokemon managed to fix much of what generations 6 and 7 did wrong. The cutscenes were more bearable and the Pokemon were an improvement as well, such as Corviknight, Cinderace, and Dragapult. Other features include “Dynamaxing” certain Pokemon making their moves more powerful and Wild Areas consisting of Pokemon popping out of the grass, giving trainers the option of what Pokemon they wish to catch or battle. However, once again, the lack of a national Pokedex has sparked much anger and controversy amongst the Pokemon community and we can’t help but understand their frustration. The story and gameplay was also quite lazy and shows that Game Freak is lacking the passion they used to include in their first four generations. Perhaps they are more focused on revenue than creativity. Generation 8 may have been a decent region but its lack of National Dex and its slothful gameplay compared with earlier generations shows that Pokemon may just be declining. Speaking of earlier generations…
#5: Generation 2/Johto: Okay, before you attack us with pitchforks, please hear us out. The first four generations of Pokemon were easily the golden age of the series. The designs, gameplay, features, story and regions were unique and memorable in their own way. However, of the first four generations, generation 2 was the least enjoyable. While the addition of 100 new Pokemon was incredible for its time and the post game was probably the greatest in the series (again, no spoilers), the Pokemon introduced weren’t the best. Examples include Foretress, Dunsparce, Delibird, Unown, and Stantler. Also, the pre evolved forms of generation 1 Pokemon such as Elekid and Smoochum weren’t too special either. Also, the difficulty of Johto was far too easy, especially after playing generation 1. The Pokemon trainer’s Pokemon were very under leveled and, as a result, the battles were pushovers. While Johto is a very memorable region, the simplistic gameplay along with some of the Pokemon introduced keeps it from being ranked higher. It’s a good region, but just overrated and not deserving of the greatest generation in Pokemon.
#4: Generation 5/Unova: A region based around New York City was certainly a change in pace for Pokemon, especially as the series comes from Japan. Generation 5 was a completely different experience from previous generations, as it introduced so many new features such as Triple and Rotation Batting, Pokemon sprites, changing seasons, 3D graphics, TMs having unlimited uses, hard mode, the list goes on. Also, the region consisted of entirely new Pokemon with earlier generations of Pokemon being practically inexistent until the post game. This gave the player more time and options to explore the numerous Pokemon Unova introduced. The Pokemon themselves are still regarded as some of the strongest in battling such as Bisharp, Hydreigon, Landorous, Volcorona, Zoroak, and Krokodile. While all of these features along with others can be overwhelming, it doesn’t prevent generation 5 from being the best “new” generation of the franchise.
#3: Generation 1/Kanto: The region that started it all. The memorable gamplay, the original 151 Pokemon, and the sheer addictive nature of catching and training Pokemon has charmed and enthralled players since its introduction in 1996. The original Pokemon games were certainly some of the more challenging as trainer’s Pokemon always seemed to be over leveled. This made completing the game more satisfying and the Pokemon designs definitely started the series on the right foot. While the glitches and somewhat bland design of Kanto aren’t too special, storage on the Gameboy was limited so these were incredible features at the time. We may not all be genwunners, but we are certainly aware that Kanto was a gem that would be used as a blueprint in subsequent generations.
#2: Generation 3/Hoenn: Generation 3 added better graphics and features to its gameplay. While its not as advanced as generations 6 through 8, generation 3 does not present itself as too eccentric unlike the newer generations. Rather, it focuses on passion and gamplay, and it definitely shows in this region. The Pokemon introduced are some of the best in the series such as Salamence, Metagross, Blaziken, Camerupt, Dusclops, Sharpedo, Latios and many more. The “Double Battle” features along with natures and abilities to make Pokemon even more powerful really shows the creativity Game Freak poured into the game. Th only complaint we can give about Hoenn is its gratuitous amount of water routes meaning the player will be encountering a lot of the same Pokemon and being bombarded with Pokemon every few steps can be quite annoying. Still, the region itself is incredible along with the story and the Pokemon introduced. Still, no generation can be better than number 1…
#1: GENERATION 4/SINNOH: In our opinion, there is no generation that will ever beat Sinnoh. Everything about generation 4 from the region to the story to the Pokemon to even the soundtrack is completely distinguished from other generations. The story, especially in Pokemon Platinum, is easily the best in the entire franchise, consisting of an evil team trying to awaken a beast from the depths of hell to conduct laboratory experiments and take over the world. The region was beautiful and very diverse with cave routes, rainy routes, and snowy routes, and the music was the greatest in the series. Sure, the game could feel slow at times, but with such awesome gamplay, we are not complaining. Features included the physical and special move split creating more variety in battles and being able to battle with people online. Generation 4 IS Pokemon and there’s only one thing left to say: GENERATION 4 REMAKE: NOW!
While every generation of Pokemon had its level of enjoyment, nobody can deny the impact it has had on our childhoods. The world of Pokemon would change the video game world and inspire other franchises as well. So, here’s to 25 years and counting of “Catching em all!” Happy battling, everybody!