Subjects, it has come to my attention that a great many of you never really played Pokémon! I should have you flogged and put in the dungeons! I’d rather use the dungeons for my afternoon naps though. Quite cool and not a lot of light equals quality napping and this princess needs her beauty sleep! So instead I will spend the time until said nap to inform you how to get into Pokémon, what game can you best start with! So prepare yourselves for a wonderful journey across some amazing games in the radiant presence of yours truly.
Starting Point number 5 : Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu.
The game that was designed to get more people into pokémon is indeed in my top 5 but barely so! Some might find this controversial but I do not care about those feelings! Iamwright, my Aipom agrees with me. In let’s go you control a trainer of a new generation. Living in Pallet Town in the Kanto region , you’ll soon catch a super special Eevee or Pikachu to travel with on a journey to get 8 gym badges to challenge the championship known as the Pokémon League. Meanwhile you stumble onto the evil Team Rocket who is trying to capture the ultimate Pokémon. Featuring only 153 pokémon to collect this is definitely one of the least daunting games on this list. However this one is this low on the list because it enforces a lot of the stereotypes about Pokémon, nor does it truly reflect what it’s like to play a main line game. This game feels very mechanical and somewhat arcade like. Chaining together catch combo’s of 30+ to gain levels and shiny chances reduces the impact of a capture quite a bit.
It is super streamlined and sleek but the capture and improvement system is so slimmed down that it will result in the main games feeling odd. Now don’t get me wrong this is a fair choice to make if you do not want to be overwhelmed..but let’s be honest if you are reading this you have most likely past the age of 10 a decade or so ago at least. So we can handle a bit of depth. Lets go isn’t deep at all, it is a very shallow dive into Pokémon but a very charming one. Seeing your partner Pokémon interact and react to you is nice.
Dressing it up in a matching outfit to you has its charm as well. Eevee and Pikachu really shine as your partners..but they do shine a bit too much. They are infinitely powerful and get all sorts of moves they normally would not get. Pikachu gets a lot of weakness covering attacks and can breeze by every gym by himself. Eevee gets attacks of each and every one of it’s Eeveelutions ..and those moves are brokenly OP. With Kiddy names like Glitzy Glow and Bouncy Bubble and Zippy Zap it’s not that surprising people stereotype it as a kids only game. In truth it really isn’t. The game is a great trip down memory lane, it’s sweet and charming..but if you really want to know what Pokémon is about .. this is not it. If you are looking for some low brow , quick to finish Pokémon fun where you can catch them all in about a week or so, this IS the game for you.
Starting Point number 4: Pokémon Red and Blue
Available both digitally as well on the original cartridge the first games would be an obvious plays to start. Sharing the exact same story as Let’s Go.. with the twist that you can actually pick three starters it the form of Bulbasaur Charmander and Squirtle. In this game you have to work yo catch them all and you aren’t hoarding a million and one captures you have to train (or glitch) them all up the hard way, catching them is harder and getting them all is more rewarding on it’s own. However nostalgia tends to blind people and in truth, the originals could be a bit of a broken mess. Special Defence and Offence weren’t split yet, abilities and held items were not a thing and the Ai and a lot of the NPC things were quite busted. It isn’t that hard to break this game and create infinite loops , glitch your game into forcing a hard reset and others things.
Now these can have their charms and contribute to the retro feeling, but this isnt a list about the most fun to play Pokémon games. It’s a list on where best to start. For the dedicated completionist who haven’t tried this yet , but t I doubt there are any of those. here, this would be the place to start. If you want to do anything in chronological order this would be the place to start as well. Gold and Silver would be the best classic game to start , in truth were it not for one thing I had to mark it down for. They break. Gold and Silver cartridges can become unplayable because the internal battery can dry, the game will not start if this is the case. Pokémon Crystal is on digital marketplaces but do NOT buy Gold or Silver original cartridges it could get you into a lot of trouble.
Red and Blue however are safe to buy regardless of what media you buy it on, going back waaay to the beginning you will miss out on a few new types but you get a mostly enjoyable experience that was improved upon for next generations. I only recommend this one if you really want to start at the beginning! I do however think that starting at the beginning is very natural for a lot of people so that’s why this one takes the number 4 spot. Be warned though, unlike every other game of this list, this one has 0 post game. Well… there’s one thing.
Starting Point number 3: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (ORAS)
This one would be my ‘The Empires Strikes Back’ of the Pokémon franchise. The holy grail and shining beacon of the franchise. One of the best Pokémon games ever in quite possibly the best region. To me only trumped by Heart Gold. With the remake taking part in the 6th generation you have every typing available and you even have access to new features like Mega-Evolution which..for now.. is an important element in the games after. The story takes you through the Hoenn region as the child of a gym leader you want to make your father proud. Once you hear the cries of professor Birch and help him out, you get that chance by going on a journey with your newly acquired friend Mudkip, Torchic or Treecko, one of the best starter sets throughout the series. Hoenn is plagued by two criminal teams. Team Magma and Team Aqua, who want to use ancient creatures to reshape the earth. Team Magma wants more land and Team Aqua wants more water. You quickly find out that both these options will not do the world any favors and have to stop these teams from creating a cataclysmic event.
The game has a great journey from receiving your starter to claiming the title, quite possibly the best elements in every pokémon game are present (though I miss trainer customisation in this one..that’s more because I just love outfit stuff). It has an amazing post game story revolving around a meteor coming to end the earth. We have Wally, who takes the number 1 spot in my favorite pokémon battles. (ORAS holds the entire top 3) The music is spectacular. As a special character in this remake we have Zinnia. The Dragon Type trainer who named her Whismur after her deceased daughter.
ORAS shows Pokémon can be both cute but also can be a bit more serious and has a great diverse set of Pokémon. This would have taken the number one spot of it didn’t skip over some important game elements. The game little in terms of explaining HM’s , Mega-evolutions and some other elements. It’s not THAT hard to figure out as you are given some clues but you can tell this was designed as a bit of a follow up game. Definitely the best game in the series so far but less user friendly than number one and two.
Starting Point Number 2: Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (USUM)
This one might be a bit of an odd pick for a number two spot , because this isnt exactly the most beloved game. However all gripes with the game come on how similar it was to the regular Sun and Moon and if we are talking about a great place to start, you wouldn’t have played those.. so that argument is invalid. USUM has a much more epic conclusion, better post game content and more pokémon so I do not see a point in recommending the originals over it. In this game you play the nephew or niece of professor Kukui, Pokémon professor of the much more traditional Alola region. As you came from Kanto you inspire KuKui to host the Pokémon League for the first time ever, but trainers would have to prove their worth by taking on the island challenge, which consists of a series of trials followed by battling the four Kahuna’s of the Alolain isles. Meanwhile you stumble upon a mysterious young girl named Lillie who is fleeing from something. She carries a mysterious smoke cloud pokémon she named Nebby..which doesn’t like to stay in it’s bag around and all you know her pursuers want Nebby for some reason or another. While you travel you discover there are.. for the lack of a better description, eldritch abominations dwelling in a realm named Ultra Space. These so called Ultra Beasts are different from Pokémon and you will have to stop the evil that is trying to bring them into Alola, but that is not all from Ultra Space comes a group of people saying that there is an even bigger threat in this timeline as they warn you for Ultra Necrozma which has the power to devastate the world.
This game by far is the most cinematic one. Lot’s of dramatic scenes which leads to tons of character development. The journey we see Lillie take as well as the roles we see your rivals named Hau and Gladion fulfill are all top of the bill. Rarely has a Pokémon game felt this alive. The second time you play through you’ll be annoyed as frizzlesticks because of all the cutscenes.. but again.. that doesn’t hurt it’s spot on THIS list
The trials and fights against totem beasts are a bit easier to get into than the classical gym battles and offer some nice variation, the lack of Hidden Machines or HM moves allow to get more creative when teambuilding, trainer customisation is neat.. but a lot better for a female trainer (but Ultra improved options for boys as well compared to regular sun and moon). The setting is very comfy to play around in as well, an adventure on subtropical islands is more compelling than seeing a reimagination of a very specific japanese region.
. This game is this high on the list because it does an excellent job on explaining mechanics. It also hands new players some proper tools to deduce which types are effective against other types. It will display which moves are super effective or are not very effective against a type. Not from the get go however, you have to discover it by trying stuff out against certain types or dual types. Once more featuring great music, fun new mechanics and a lot of support for the player this game will be THE game to pick up if you want to get into Pokémon right now and if you like to follow a narrative. It also will display symbols on maps where you need to go so unlike the other games you will never really get lost if you miss over some dialogue It also offers you a fair bit of challenge with the Rainbow Rocket challenges or the Ultra Necrozma fight for example. It will show of most villains throughout the show and overall is a very good choice to start with..
Starting Point Number 1: Pokémon Sword and Shield
Now my loyal subjects , I know it is weird to recommend a game that hasn’t event come out yet but here me out on this one. Sword and Shield has a lot going for it already to be a great starter game. First of all is the whole Dexit controversy, the region based on Britain will not have the full Pokédex and people are going mad over it. However it will have a fair chunk. However this is exactly why it will be a great starting point. You can collect around 500 to 600 pokémon rather than a daunting 1000 or so. What’s more , the new game will feature raids meaning you can play alongside friends who can help you get better and get better pokémon. The Job system will make it easier to EV train, the lack of HM’s will give you the ability to run a team in the way you want too. Battling will be held in tiers meaning you might even be able to enjoy a bit of the competitive side without being forced to spend a million hours on breeding.
Max Raids , which once more you do tackle with friends, offer pokémon with better natures and abilities already so it won’t be too hard to actually learn. The biggest reason I put it on this spot is actually how much of the game will change. Mega Evolution is gone, enter dynamax and gigantamax. Z-moves are no longer a thing but are replaced by Max Moves. We don’t know much about the story yet but it seems to be quite deep, with several rivals and an evil team that doesn’t seem THAT evil implying there surely is more evil lurking somewhere else. The rules of Pokémon are changing quite a lot as it would seem in this game with new options to play with and against others players it’s the perfect moment to learn alongside the veterans or show your skills against other rookies.
Being released on switch which doubles a home console and handheld only makes this easier. The displayed effectiveness of attacks makes it return as well as well as new cleaner menus being easier to manage. On the 15th of november we are entering a new phase of pokémon and you can be part of those pioneers which discover Galar… this time we can explore together……sortoff!
Of course these are only the main titles, there still is plenty other content to explore, such as the mystery dungeon series, the pokémon ranger games and even the Nobunaga inspired Pokémon Conquest. You can play Pokémon Puzzle League or Brawl it out in Pokken. Just as easy, potentially just as fun. Regardless of your preferred genre there more than likely is a Pokémon game out there for you as well. Though there isn’t a pokémon financial sim just yet. Let me know what type of Pokémon game you would like to play..or which game you would recommend to a starting adult or just write something nice in the comments and remember.
I am not weird! Just very pink!
Until we read again.
Time for a dungeon nap!