ByRob Harris, writer at Creators.co
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

Pokémon Red and Green hit Japanese shelves in February 1996, sparking an international phenomenon that continues to surge in popularity today. But what is the best Pokémon game ever ranked by international sales figures, Metacritic's review aggregates and, of course, the fans themselves?

Nintendo and Game Freak have built their hot property into the second bestselling video game franchise oall time, shifting more than 279 million units as of last year. That amounts to around $57.65 billion, some of which was of course sent home to mom for safe keeping.

Watch 20 years of Pokémon in 20 seconds:

Many fervently argue over the best game in the series, but which installment does the entire Pokémon community, grouped as a mass market whole, consider the crowning jewel of the franchise?

We're only counting the core RPG games that appeared on Nintendo's handheld platforms, of which there are 15. What follows is every one of those versions ranked in order of popularity.

The Best Pokémon Games Of All Time, Ranked By Sales, Reviews & Popularity


So, you want to see the very best? Let's start with the worst.

15. Pokémon Emerald — 6.32 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2005
  • Critical Metascore: 76/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.8/10

14. Pokémon Crystal — 6.39 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2001
  • Critical Metascore: N/A
  • Metacritic User Score: N/A

13. Pokémon Platinum — 7.60 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2009
  • Critical Metascore: 83/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.5/10

12. Pokémon Black And White 2 — 8.52 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2012
  • Critical Metascore: 80/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.5/10

11. Pokémon Omega Ruby And Alpha Sapphire — 11.84 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2014
  • Critical Metascore: 83/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.4/10

10. Pokémon FireRed And LeafGreen — 12.00 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2004
  • Critical Metascore: 81/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.7/10

9. Pokémon HeartGold And SoulSilver — 12.72 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2010
  • Critical Metascore: 87/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 9.1/10

8. Pokémon Yellow — 14.64 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 1999
  • Critical Metascore: N/A
  • Metacritic User Score: N/A

7. Pokémon X And Y — 14.70 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2013
  • Critical Metascore: 88/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.5/10

6. Pokémon Sun And Moon — 15 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2016
  • Critical Metascore: 87/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 7.8/10

5. Pokémon Black And White — 15.60 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2011
  • Critical Metascore: 87/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.1/10

4. Pokémon Ruby And Sapphire — 16.22 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2003
  • Critical Metascore: 82/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.7/10

3. Pokémon Diamond And Pearl — 17.63 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2007
  • Critical Metascore: 85/100
  • Metacritic User Score: 8.3/10

2. Pokémon Gold And Silver — 23.10 Million

[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
[Credit: The Pokémon Company]
  • Year: 2000
  • Critical Metascore: N/A
  • Metacritic User Score: N/A

1. Pokémon Red, Blue And Green — 31.38 Million

  • Year: 1998
  • Critical Metascore: N/A
  • Metacritic User Score: N/A

Was there ever going to be another winner? Even after the all the near-yearly iterations, the original still proves best.

Take a look at the same sales figures arranged in this handy comparative bar chart:

Do you agree with your fellow gamers? If not, what's your favorite Pokémon game?

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