If you are one of the die-hard fans of Pokémon series and love playing the games, then here’s a list of all the Pokémon games in order that you are absolutely going to love!
Pokémon is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and no matter who you are, where you live or how old you are, you must know of it! I highly doubt that there will be people who don’t know about Pokémon or at least have never heard of it. As expected, Pokémon is one of the most popular series across the globe and it has a tonne of comics, manga, trading cards, and of course, video games dating back to 1990. It’s no surprise that the Pokémon video game series is widespread as it has eight generations with a load of main (core) series games as well as spin-offs.
Here, I have listed all the eight generations of Pokémon games series as well as all the games that make up these generations in order of their release dates. I hope this article gives you everything you need to know about all the Pokémon games in order of their releases, their sales volumes, the introduction of Pokémon, and features among other details.
All the Pokémon Games In Order (2021)
There are a lot of Pokémon games developed by Game Freak for Game Boy, Gameboy Color, Nintendo DS, and other systems. Technically, all the Pokémon games are divided into generations and each generation commences with an official sequel that brings new characters, gameplay, Pokémon, and all the anime, spin-offs, manga, and trading cards (among others) are included in the respective generation. Currently, we are in the eighth generation, and here are all the details you need to know from the First Generation to the current Eighth Generation.
First Generation (1996-1999) [Game Boy]
The first generation of Pokémon commences back in 1996 after Satoshi Tajiri created role-playing video games based on Pokémon with an element of strategy for Game Boy.
1. Pocket Monsters: Red and Green (1996)
Release Date: February 27, 1996, in JP
Both Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green were released as RPG games in the first generation developed by Game Freak for Game Boy. Some of the exclusive Pokémon seen in Red were Oddish, Gloom, Arbok, Growlithe, Ekans among others. On the other hand, Green had exclusive Pokémon like Meowth, Ninetales, Vulpix, Bellsprout, and more.
Both games are also known as Pocket Monsters Red and Green respectively in Japan. The latter was translated for worldwide release with the title “Pokémon Blue”. In a Japanese poll, both Red and Green have been voted as the most popular in the franchise. According to the last aggregate sales, 31.37 million units were sold since its release. It is undoubtedly one of the favorite titles according to many expert gamers.
2. Pocket Monsters: Blue (1996)
Release Date: October 15, 1996, in JP
Pokémon Blue was released in 1996 and it was developed by Game Freak for Game Boy. For context, Pokémon Blue is a special edition RPG game translated worldwide and it is a revised version of the first installments in the core series The game introduces a redesigned Kanto and more. The game would later arrive as Pokémon Red and Blue outside Japan.
3. Pokémon Red and Blue (1998)
- September 28, 1998 (NA)
- October 23, 1998 (AUS)
- October 5, 1999 (EU)
Developed by Game Freak for Game Boy, Red and Blue is another installment in the Pokémon-based RPG games launched outside Japan where it was earlier known as Pokémon Blue.
Some of the exclusive Pokémon in Red is Gloom, Growlithe, Arcanine, Electabuzz and more while Blue had Weepinbell, Victreebel, Meowth, Persian, and other Pokémon. These two games were the first international Pokémon releases. The game has also made it to Hong Kong as Red, Green, and Blue as well as in Taiwan with the said name.
4. Pokémon Yellow (1999)
- September 12, 1998 (JP)
- October 19, 1999 (NA)
- June 16, 2000 (EU)
The third installment in the international series and the fourth (and last) in the first generation of Pokémon games, the Pokémon Yellow (also known as Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition) was the first to allow Pokémon to walk alongside the player. The game has electric, grass, fire, and water-type Pokémon on board.
The game was developed by Game Freak and it is available for Game Boy and Game Boy Color. It is also available in single-player and multiplayer options and has accounted for over 14.64 million units sold as of April 2017.
Second Generation (1999-2002) [Game Boy Color]
Just as with the previous generation and others thereafter, the Second Generation brought 100 new species of Pokémon and now, there are 251 Pokémon on board. The games here include a day-and-night system that reflects the real-world timings. It also brings two new types of Pokémon i.e. Steel and Dark.
5. Pokémon Gold and Silver (2000)
- November 21, 1999 (JP)
- October 13, 2000 (AUS)
- October 14, 2000 (NA)
- April 6, 2001 (EU)
- April 23, 2002 (KO)
Pokémon Gold and Silver made their debut in 1999 in Japan and soon, both the games were released internationally. Developed by Game Freak for Game Boy Color, the games introduce 100 new species of Pokémon. Both the games have almost identical plots although run almost independently.
The game introduces a new Elite Four with champions having Dragon-type Pokémon. According to the estimated sales figure by 2017, both the games sold 23 million units cumulatively.
6. Pokémon Crystal (2001)
- December 14, 2000 (JP)
- July 29, 2001 (NA)
- September 30, 2001 (AUS)
- November 2, 2001 (EU)
Pokémon Crystal is the sixth game in the main series and third in the Second Generation of Pokémon video game series. The game was released as an exclusive for Game Boy Color and gave the series its first female playable character Kris. The plot is almost similar to Pokémon Gold and Silver.
Pokémon Crystal uses mobile-related linking technology including a pedometer to reward items on walking. It was later released on Nintendo 3DS VC on January 26, 2018. Pokémon Crystal recorded a sales volume of 6.39 million units as of March 2019!
Third Generation (2002-2006) [Game Boy Advance]
The onset of the Third Generation of Pokémon games brings five new titles for Game Boy Advance and commenced in 2002 and ended in 2006. The Third Generation offers 135 new Pokémon from Treecko and Deoxys that makes it a tally of 386 species. There are a few spin-off titles based on games in the third generation such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, and others.
7. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (2002)
- November 21, 2002 (JP)
- March 18, 2003 (NA)
- April 3, 2003 (AUS)
- July 25, 2003 (EU)
Set in the Hoenn region, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire is the first installment in the third generation of Pokémon games. It brings 135 new Pokémon species along with Double Battles, Pokémon Contests, and more. There are Weather effects and the Pokémon now have abilities to perform which is a major upgrade over the previous installments.
It is available for Game Boy Advance and available internationally along with Japan as well. The game has both single-player and multiplayer modes as well and introduces new Steel-type Pokémon as well. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire have recorded almost 16.22 million units sold as per its aggregate sales as of January 2019.
8. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (2004)
- January 29, 2004 (JP)
- September 7, 2004 (NA)
- September 23, 2004 (AUS)
- October 1, 2004 (EU)
Both Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen are enhanced remakes of Pokémon Red and Green that were released back in 1996. Both FireRed and LeafGreen were first released in Japan followed by other markets the same year and offer turn-based battles, an overhead perspective of the player character aka third-person view, and a new region of Sevii Islands.
The game is backward compatible with Ruby and Sapphire allowing players to trade Pokémon. As per the data available for the sales volume as of January 2019, about 12 million units of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen have been sold since its release back in 2004.
9. Pokémon Emerald (2005)
- September 16, 2004 (JP)
- April 30, 2005 (NA)
- June 9, 2005 (AUS)
- October 21, 2005 (EU)
Developed by Game Freak for Game Boy Advance, Pokémon Emerald was released in 2004 in Japan and was later released in other countries. The game gets the ability to train and evolve Pokémon as the game progresses. There are some changes to the graphics as well. Emerald recorded over 6.32 million units sold by March 2007.
Pokémon Emerald brings new green-color outfits for the characters as well as a new subplot that has two criminal organizations that players need to beat.
Fourth Generation (2006-2010) [Nintendo DS]
The fourth generation of Pokémon games has five titles and commenced in 2006 with Diamond & Pearl. It features games for Nintendo DS and introduces 107 new species of Pokémon from Turtwig to Arceus taking the total count to 493 Pokémon. The new series brings 3D graphics in the core game series with concepts such as online multiplayer trading, a move-classification system, and others.
10. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (2006)
- September 28, 2006 (JP)
- April 22, 2007 (NA)
- June 21, 2007 (AUS)
- July 27, 2007 (EU)
- February 14, 2008 (KO)
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl was introduced back in September 2006 in Japan followed by its launch in other countries. The game is the first installment in the fourth generation that has an online multiplayer system using WiFi. The games are set in Sinnoh which is a massive mountain range covered in snow.
The game comes with 107 new Pokémon species and and has five different time periods ranging from morning to night. The game has since recorded 17.67 million units sold worldwide as of September 2017.
11. Pokémon Platinum (2008)
- September 13, 2008 (JP)
- March 22, 2009 (NA)
- May 14, 2009 (AUS)
- May 22, 2009 (EU)
- July 2, 2009 (KO)
Developed by Game Freak, Pokémon Platinum was released in Japan and it was soon released in other parts of the world for Nintendo DS platforms. It is an enhanced version of its predecessor Diamond and Pearl. You can even trade Pokémon using its GTS system over WiFi. The game had a total of 493 Pokémon as per its instruction manual. The title has so far recorded 7.06 million units sold as per aggregate sales volume by May 2010.
12. Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (2009)
- September 12, 2009 (JP)
- February 4, 2010 (KO)
- March 14, 2010 (NA)
- March 25, 2010 (AUS)
- March 26, 2010 (EU)
After making a few enhanced remakes, Game Freak went on to develop remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver and was later named HeartGold and SoulSilver to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the latter. The game introduces a new female character named Lyra who replaces female lead Kris from Crystal. There are over 493 Pokémon in the game including the Shiny-type Pokémon.
It introduced the ability to talk to Pokémon as well as a new mini-game called Pokeathlon. The game reported an aggregate sales volume of 12.72 million units by September 2017.
Fifth Generation (2010-2013) [Nintendo DS]
13. Pokémon Black and White (2010)
- September 18, 2010 (JP)
- March 4, 2011 (EU)
- March 6, 2011 (NA)
- March 10, 2011 (AUS)
- April 21, 2011 (KO)
In this list of Pokémon games in order, Pokémon Black and White takes place as the first installments in the fifth generation of the series and it comes with improved graphics compared to previous iterations. The games brought 156 new species of Pokémon which is 5 species more than the previous record holder.
The game is set in the Unova region and has multiple features including speech clouds above characters, seasonal cycles, triple battles, and more. The players will be competing against the schemes of Team Plasma through the two versions of games. Both Pokémon Black and White reported an aggregate volume of 15.64 million units as of April 2017.
14. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (2012)
- June 23, 2012 (JP)
- October 7, 2012 (NA)
- October 11, 2012 (AUS)
- October 12, 2012 (EU)
Both Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are sequels of Pokémon Black and White released earlier and follow the events after the end of the first installments. There are over 300 new Pokémon in these two versions of games. Team Plasma, the evil corp, has returned as Neo Team Plastic and players must thwart their schism.
Both Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 introduced a number of features such as Hidden Grottoes, Key system, new cities, and more. As of September 2017, the game reported an aggregate sales volume of 7.63 million units combined.
Sixth Generation (2013-2016) [Nintendo DS]
The Sixth Generation was announced in December 2012 and Pokémon X and Y were the first installments in the series. The game introduced a few key features including full 3D graphics, new player types, 72 new Pokémon, and new regions to discover. The game has new battle modes such as Horde Encounters, Sky Battles, Inverse Battle among others. The generation ended in 2016!
15. Pokémon X and Y (2013)
Release Date: October 12, 2013 (Worldwide)
Another masterpiece by Game Freak (developer), Nintendo & The Pokémon Company (publisher), Pokémon X and Y are the first two installments in the sixth generation of the series. There are 72 new Pokémon species including new Fairy-type Pokémon as well as updated training mechanics, polygonal 3D graphics rendering, and character customization among others.
There are 30 evolutions available in these two versions and as always, both the games are independent of each other although with the same plot. The games were released for Nintendo DS and offered both single-player and multiplayer options. Both Pokémon X and Y recorded sales volume of 16.45 million units as of October 2017.
16. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (2014)
- November 21, 2014 (AUS/NA/JP)
- November 28, 2014 (EU)
The last installment in the sixth generation, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire bring on board 9 new Pokémon along with new characters – Zinnia, Lisia, and Aarune. The game is backward compatible with X and Y although with some exceptions.
Omega Ruby had some exclusive Pokémon like Seedot, Nuzleaf, Ho-Oh, Kabuto, and others. Alpha Sapphire had some exclusive Pokémon as well including Lotaf, Kyogre, Omanyte, Dialga, and others. By sales volume, these two versions reported over 14.27 million units sold as of October 2017.
Seventh Generation (2016-2019) [Nintendo 3DS & Switch]
The Seventh Generation was announced in Feb 2016 with Pokémon Sun and Moon. The games included in this generation were backward compatible with all of the previous-gen games. Developed for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch, this generation brought 88 new Pokémon as well as Festival Plaza, Alolan forms, Z-moves, among others. Five new Pokémon were added mid-generation, and the generation consists of six-game versions with the last being a remake of the Gen-I game Pokémon Yellow.
17. Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016)
- November 18, 2016 (JP/NA/AUS)
- November 23, 2016 (EU)
Released in 2016, Pokémon Sun and Moon arrived for Nintendo 3DS and is the first installment in the seventh generation of video games. The game welcomes 81 new species of Pokémon along with features like Ultra Beasts, Z-Moves, and others. The game has better graphics, training and battle mechanics, and other moving parts when compared to its previous iterations.
It reported over 16.25 million units in sales as of March 2021 making it the 3rd best-selling Nintendo 3DS title only after Mario Kart 7 and Pokémon X and Y. It also outsold Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on GameStop after its release.
18. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017)
Release Date: November 17, 2017 (Worldwide)
Next up, there’s Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon developed by Game Freak for Nintendo 3DS gaming devices. As the name suggests, it is an enhanced remake of Sun and Moon released a year earlier. The game brings new storylines for its characters as well as features such as Ultra Beasts, new forms, a new mini-game called Mantine Surf among others.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon made an emphasis on Necrozma which is a legendary Pokémon. The game recorded an overall sales of 8.98 million copies as of March 2021 becoming one of the best-selling Nintendo 3DS titles of all time.
19. Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Let’s Go, Eevee! (2018)
Release Date: November 16, 2018 (Worldwide)
Launched as a title on Nintendo Switch, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee became the first game to be released for a home game console. The game showcases 115 original Pokémon as well as evolved forms of those listed in many previous games. There is a tonne of features including Pokémon Gyms, Pokke Ball Plus peripheral, cooperative multiplayer mode, and so on.
This game reached massive popularity with more than 116K units sold in physical retail sales in the first weekend while the total units sold reached 13 million by the end of December 2020.
Eighth Generation (2019-)
This is the last and the current generation among the Pokémon games in order that commence in 2019 with games for Nintendo Switch. This generation saw its first installment called Pokémon Sword and Shield to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the massively popular franchise where all started back in 1996.
20. Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019)
Release Date: November 15, 2019 (Worldwide)
Pokémon Sword and Shield was released worldwide and received a massive response with over 21.10 million units sold as of March 2021. The first installment in the eight-generation introduces 81 new Pokémon species along with additional forms of pre-existing Pokémon. Apart from that, the features as seen in the previous-gen Sun and Moon and Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee.
Sword and Shield also offer version-exclusive content and expansion packs along with features like Wild Area, Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, Camp mode, and so on. Pokémon Gyms are available in Sword and Shield after their absences in a few previous iterations.
21. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (2021)
Release Date: November 19, 2021 (Worldwide)
As the name suggests, both Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes of fourth-generation Diamond and Pearl Pokémon games and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first installment of the franchise. The game is set to launch on November 19, 2021, worldwide and will be available in nine languages: Italian, Korean, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, French, Spanish, German, English, and of course, Japanese.
It is also the first-ever game that Game Freak isn’t developing but instead, ILCA is looking after it. It will enable 1 to 2 and 4 player support on-board.
22. Pokémon Legends: Arceus (2022)
Release Date: January 28, 2022 (Worldwide)
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the upcoming game in the Pokémon video game series slated to arrive on January 28, 2022, worldwide and in nine languages similar to the previous installment in this generation. It is a premake title that brings the events before Diamond and Pearl occurred back in 2006 and will be available on Nintendo Switch after its launch.
With that, we have concluded the list of all the Pokémon games in order of their release in the core series right from 1996 to the upcoming games set to release in 2022. I hope you enjoyed it!