I have played a lot of Pokémon recently. In total six mainline Pokémon games the last 5-6 months. This ranking won’t be super scientific, it’s just how I feel, may it be clouded by nostalgia or not. I don’t care.
8. Generation 7 – Sun/Moon
The first Pokémon generation that I played on release. Also the second new game in the series I played after I got back to the franchise in 2015.
I was looking forward to a new Pokémon adventure, but I got something else. I wanted something more conventional but it tried to be something else. I enjoyed it at the time, but after playing more games in the series I have noticed I like the regular formula more than Gen 7.
7. Generation 5 – Black/White 1 & 2
The most recent generation I’ve played. Just finished the second game minutes ago. The last games on the NDS for the series, it’s the most advanced games on that platform for sure. However, fancy technology doesn’t do anything if the story is outdrawn and rather dull. Felt more forced than other entries.
6. Generation 4 – Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
The last game before they tried to spice things up. This meaning it’s a good games, but very conventional. Something I actually enjoy when it comes to Pokémon. Not the strongest entry, but far from the worst.
5. Generation 3 – Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald
The series first and only venture on the GBA for the mainline series. A logical next step from Gen 2. Grand stories isn’t my favorite when it comes to Pokémon, a smaller scope is preferred.
3. Generation 6 & 8 – X/Y & Sword/Shield
Skipping number four and having an joint third position instead. Gen 6 was my first newer Pokemon game. My reintroduction into the franchise. Gen 6 is inheriting a lot of quality of life features from Gen 5, but for me it feels like a homage to Gen 1, which was a excellent new start for me.
Gen 8 felt very linear, which it is. The region is very well executed with its British influences. They even managed to include the football craze. With the additions of the two DLCs the game was vastly improved, especially with the two open areas.
2. Generation 1 – Red/Blue/Yellow
Where everything started. A good foundation to build on. Very iconic, very nostalgic for me. A fantastic pokémon roster, memorable characters and history is made. Still a good entry, even though it’s very glitchy.
1. Generation 2 – Gold/Silver/Crystal
Where a simple formula was refined and improved on in every aspect. Two more types, which balance out the overpowered Psychic-type. 100 brand new Pokémon with personality. The introduction of baby pokemon and breeding.
My favorite thing about Gen 2 is the connection to Gen 1 with Kanto being available after the Elite Four. In my youth I managed to collect all 251 pokémon. Unfortunately, the battery in the cartridge died so I have no proof of it. Still, it’s a very important game for me and will probably always be my favorite.