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Pokémon Generation Rankings: CoG Version

Pokémon is one of my favorite franchises of all time. I grew up playing generations three and four. I remember my first games were Pokémon Emerald (a game from generation three) and Pokémon Diamond (a game from generation four). The series has grown exponentially ever since the Red and Blue days. The difference between the first generation and seventh generation games is dramatic; additionally, these dramatic differences show how far Pokémon has evolved in gameplay, battle mechanics, story, and graphics.

So, what is my favorite generation of Pokémon from worst to best?

pokémon red and blue

Generation 1:

Generation one introduced the first 151 Pokémon. Each creature only had five stats: attack, defense, speed, special, and HP. There were also 15 types of Pokémon: Bug, Dragon, Electric, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock and Water. The starters in Red and Blue were Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander. However, if you had Pokémon Yellow, Pikachu would be your starter. In Yellow Version you can also walk around with your Pikachu.

In terms of plot, generation one was very straight forward. The player simply needs to defeat eight gym leaders, the elite four, and the champion. The main villains, Team Rocket, are just small-time crooks that create problems. Outside of being small crooks that create problems, Team Rocket really does not have any major motive like other villains in other Pokémon games.

So, what is my biggest problem with generation one?

Unfortunately, the first generation has not aged well. Generation one had several glitches and balancing issues. Apart from swift hitting every time regardless of accuracy, it had a 1/256 chance of missing. In game opponents also had unlimited PP. Psychic Pokémon were also broken in generation one. Ghost types were meant to be super-effective against psychic types; however, a suspected programming error made them completely ineffective against psychic types. Additionally, trainers were only allowed to carry twenty items in their bag.

While generation one did start the entire Pokémon video game franchise, the games have not aged well due to technical issues.

pokémon gold, silver, and crystal

Generation 2:

Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal are part of generation two and the story occurs three years after generation one. Generation two was a major improvement over generation one. It brought 100 new Pokémon, introduced 86 different moves, and added steel and dark types to balance out psychic types. Generation two allowed players to also explore both the Johto and Kanto regions. This added several hours of gameplay and allowed the player to battle 16 gym leaders. Seven Poké Ball types were also introduced, and genders were given to Pokémon.

Also, Pokémon Crystal greatly incorporated legendary Pokémon into the plot. Pokémon Crystal, being released after Gold and Silver, came with additions and improved on the great experience in Gold and Silver. A female option was available for the main character, a battle tower was introduced, and special music was given when encountering the legendary beasts in the wild.

I like generation two and the massive improvements Game Freak made from the previous games. However, graphically and mechanically these games are very weak when compared to recent Pokémon games. Also, just like generation one, generation two has not aged that well.

pokémon sun and moon

Generation 7:

Generation seven included 81 new Pokémon and brought Alolan forms to certain first-generation creatures. The 3D models introduced in Sun and Moon were beautiful and made the games stand out graphically. Generation seven also added other minor improvements, like bottle caps to maximize IVs (very helpful especially in the competitive scene), increasing base stats on certain Pokémon, and adding new forms for Pokémon like Zygarde and Greninja. generation seven probably is the best in terms of mechanics; however, the mechanics in generation seven are not my problem with the generation.

So, what is my problem with generation seven?

Sun and Moon had seven Trial Captains, eight Totem Pokémon, and then four island Kahuna’s. That’s a total of 19 major boss fights. The boss fights don’t seem as magical as fighting the gym leaders in other regions. I personally did not care for any of these boss fights due to how frequently they occurred. Also, the beginning of Sun and Moon felt extremely slow due to mandatory and longer than normal tutorials. Thus, it was hard for me to get into Sun and Moon. I don’t know if Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon fixed these problems because I didn’t play those games. These were some things I didn’t like in Sun and Moon, however, there was something I did like about Sun and Moon.

I thought the villains were solid in Sun and Moon.

Team Skull was an interesting organization that we later figure out works for the Aether foundation, an organization that believes in saving Pokémon. I liked Team Skull and the goofy dialogue and animations that each grunt had. They all felt important and simply were just trying to survive due to being rejected by society. The Aether Foundation revolved around an interesting plot involving Gladion, Lillie, and Lusamine, the mother of Gladion and Lillie. Also, Lusamine, the head of the Aether foundation, is obsessed with the “Ultra Beasts”. This obsession leads to Lusamine completely neglecting her kids, Gladion and Lillie. I won’t say to much more about the story for spoiler purposes; but, the plot is one of the stronger points of the seventh generation.

pokémon X and Y

Generation 6:

Generation six was the first generation that arrived on the Nintendo 3DS. Seventy-two new Pokémon were introduced in generation six which is the fewest ever introduced in a Pokémon game. generation six also introduced Mega Evolution. I liked Mega Evolution for the most part because it gave a competitive edge to certain weak Pokémon. X and Y looked pretty on the 3ds, however, despite the looks I found X and Y to be extremely underwhelming.

Why did I find X and Y disappointing?

My main problem with X and Y was how empty they felt in content. X and Y were weak in post-game content. The Looker quest was very short, and the Battle Maison felt underwhelming when comparing it to the Battle Frontier. The Battle Frontier had several gimmicky yet fun ways to battle and so much more variety that the Battle Chateau lacks. In the Battle Maison there are no gimmicks. Instead, players do regular battles that can be single, double, triple, and rotation battles. However, Pokémon X and Y have more disappointments outside of the lack of content.

Team Flare is meh.

Lysandre himself is a great villain. Lysandre is very dark and has means to create an ultimate weapon to destroy the world. He believes that the world is beyond saving and shares a strong disgust for the world that lacks beauty. Lysandre’s dark viewpoints make the player feel pity for the main villain and want to save the villain and make him see the beauty in society. Team Flare’s in-game presence is severely lacking and some of the admins don’t even have names. The lack of an in-game presence makes the villains seem like they’re just there. The best way to describe X and Y overall is the games are simply lacking, like Team Flare’s lack of an in-game presence. However, there were two games in generation six that were very fulfilling and satisfying.

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are great games.

I won’t go into too much details about Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire; nonetheless, these games are the highlight of generation six and are a must have for Nintendo 3DS owners. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are remakes of Ruby and Sapphire. The games added several mechanics and continued to use the new improvements introduced from X and Y. Several legendary Pokémon are also obtainable in game and a few new important characters are introduced. Zinnia, one of the new important characters, plays a huge role in the post-game. One of my favorite features of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is the delta episode, a huge portion of the post-game.

Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald

Generation 3:

Generation three was a great generation. I like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire a little more than Ruby and Sapphire; nevertheless, FireRed and LeafGreen were great remakes of Red and Blue. Generation three added 135 new Pokémon and improved upon other things, like the IV system now going up to 31 instead of 15. New villains were introduced in Team Aqua and Team Magma. Their motives were straight forward and involved either expanding the land or expanding the sea. I really like the dramatic changes that occurred in generation three, however, there are other things that make generation three stand out.

Why did generation three stand out for me?

The Pokémon in generation three were amazing. I don’t think I can live without the Hoenn starters, the Regi trio, the legendary weather trio, Aggron, Camerupt, Salamence, Claydol, Metagross, Gardevoir, Latios, and Latias. The creatures are only the beginning of the great things in generation three. While there was a fair bit of water sections, most of the land sections had incredibly memorable features. Cycling road can be found near Mauville city which also housed a Game Corner. There was the abandoned ship that can be found near Dewford Town. There were several great landmarks in Ruby and Sapphire, yet the best part of generation three is that Pokémon Emerald added more to the story and landmarks. Also, Pokémon Emerald is a fantastic remake of Ruby and Sapphire.

So, why is Pokémon Emerald a fantastic remake?

Pokémon Emerald featured both Team Aqua and Team Magma and gave them more appearances throughout the players journey. Rayquaza had a greater role in the plot and stops the chaotic clash between Groudon and Kyogre. Wallace also becomes the champion and Steven ends up wandering around obsessing over his rocks. The best thing about Pokémon Emerald was the Battle Frontier. The Hoenn Battle Frontier consisted of seven different facilities that had seven different styles of battling. There was the Battle Pyramid: a pyramid filled with several floors that tested player’s item management and survival skills, the Battle Factory: a rental facility where players rent and use different Pokémon, the Battle Palace: a facility that revolved around BS luck, and several other facilities. Each facility housed a frontier brain, a boss that you fight for a silver and gold symbol. Defeating a Frontier Brain was extremely satisfying and challenging. Frontier Brains had very well rounded teams that also sometimes included legendary Pokémon.

Defeating Frontier Brains was not the only thing satisfying in generation three.

FireRed and LeafGreen are simple, satisfying remakes done right. FireRed and LeafGreen fixed the bugs that were present in Red and Blue and implemented the updated mechanics in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. FireRed and LeafGreen also had a postgame that allowed players to explore all the Sevii islands. These were not ground-breaking changes; however, these changes make it easy for me to recommend playing FireRed and LeafGreen over Red and Blue any day.

Pokémon black and white

Generation 5:

Generation five is one of my favorite Pokémon generations of all time. This generation introduced 156 new Pokémon and there were a great handful of quality creatures introduced in generation five. Generation five introduced triple and rotation battles. Also, several features involving the Pokémon Dream World were introduced. This allowed players to transfer Pokémon from the Pokémon Global Link to their current copies of Pokémon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2. The Pokémon Dream World and Pokémon Dream Radar also let players obtain more Pokémon and gave players access to creatures with hidden abilities. Another perk of the Dream Radar was it that it let you get Landorus, Tornadus, and Thuderus’s therian forms. There are several other great features introduced in generation five, however, none of these features can top the beautifully complex story told in Black, White, Black 2, and White 2.

Team Plasma is great.

Team Plasma’s original goal is to “liberate” all Pokémon from their trainers. Players constantly face Team Plasma who is led by the Seven Sages, N, and Ghetsis. Players constantly encounter N who shares separate ideals from the player and believes that humans use Pokémon as tools. Eventually N awakens the legendary Pokémon Reshiram/Zekrom and defeats Alder, the Unova champion. It is then up to the player to awaken the other legendary Pokémon and defeat N. The constant interactions with N make the player feel sorry for him when they defeat him for the final time. Overall, Black and White have an amazing plot which is why generation five is my current second favorite Pokémon generation.

So, what are my thoughts on Black 2 and White 2?

Black 2 and White 2 are amazing games as well. They’re sequels that happen two years after the events of Black and White. Black 2 and White 2 added new towns, Pokéstar Studios, introduced a few new gym leaders, a new champion, and introduced the Pokémon World Tournament. The Pokémon World Tournament is revolutionary for the series by allowing players to fight champions and gym leaders in regions outside of Unova. Team Plasma is also separated into two groups. One group follows N and helps weakened Pokémon. The other group follow Ghetsis and is attempting to rule Unova. I won’t be going into much more detail about Black 2 and White 2, however, these games should be in any Pokémon fans library.

Pokémon diamond and pearl

Generation 4:

Generation four is my favorite Pokémon generation of all time. It introduced 107 new Pokémon. This generation also brought some helpful evolutions to forgotten Pokémon like Electabuzz and Magmar. Generation four was the first that allowed Pokémon to be traded through an online service. The underground service was introduced which allowed players to communicate with other player’s and steal flags from secret bases. While Pokémon Diamond and Pearl did have a few performance issues. The biggest issue was surfing on water which felt painfully slow and sluggish. Pokémon Platinum, the best remake for a mainstream Pokémon game, fixed these issues and added so much more. This generation helped competitive battling grow. There is a lot of things I love about generation four and Sinnoh.

I love the Pokémon introduced to Sinnoh.

As mentioned earlier, generation four brought several helpful evolutions to Pokémon in older generations. The helpful evolutions are:

  • Rhyperior
  • Weavile
  • Magnezone
  • Lickilicky
  • Tangrowth
  • Electivire
  • Magmortar
  • Togekiss
  • Yanmega
  • Leafeon
  • Glaceon
  • Gliscor
  • Mamoswine
  • Porygon-z
  • Gallade
  • Probopass
  • Dusknoir
  • Mismagius
  • Honchcrow
  • Froslass

These evolutions allowed irrelevant creatures to become relevant again and all these evolutions are based off Pokémon from generations one, two, and three. I personally think Sinnoh has the best Pokémon. The starters Turtwig, Piplup, and Chimchar, are my personal favorites. Each design sticks out and feels unique. I mean who doesn’t like a giant moving forest, a fire monkey, or a metallic emperor penguin. Some of my other favorite Pokémon in generation four are Bastiodon, Drifblim, Honchcrow, Garchomp, Mime Jr., Munchlax, Lucario, Drapion, Toxicroak, Electivire, Glaceon, Rhyperior, Gallade, Mamoswine, Rotom, and all the legendary Pokémon. If I had to pick my personal favorite legendary Pokémon in generation four are Mesprit, Dialga, Regigigas, and the dankest patch of flowers Shaymin. Shaymin, however, is not the only dank thing about generation four.

Pokémon Platinum is the dankest remake ever.

Pokémon Platinum is a masterpiece. The game took the problems in Diamond and Pearl and fixed those issues and improved the story. The Battle Frontier was brought back in Platinum. The game brought three new facilities being the Battle Castle, Battle Arcade, and the Battle Hall. The Frontier Brains are still a joy to fight. Players were also allowed to save battles on the VS Seeker and upload them to the internet. You can also rematch Gym leaders in the fight area in the post-game. The story also brought in a few new characters being Looker and Charon. Looker is an undercover agent tailing Team Galactic. Charon is a scientist working for Team Galactic who plays a role in the post-game as well.

So, what are my thoughts on Team Galactic?

Team Galactic is great. Cyrus is so cold and serious which makes him a credible villain. Cyrus wants to summon Palkia and Dialga in hopes of destroying the universe and starting it again. He believes that the world would be better without emotions and spirit. In Platinum after summoning Palkia and Dialga with the red chain, Giratina takes Cyrus to the distortion world where the player and Cynthia chase down Cyrus. After battling Giratina Cyrus stays in the distortion world still committed to create a perfect world without spirit. Cyrus’ motive of destroying the universe and removing the world of spirit and emotion is what makes him a memorable villain.

So, what about HeartGold and SoulSilver?

HeartGold and SoulSilver are great remakes that are better than Gold, Silver, and Crystal. These games are far more up-to-date and added a few cute features that were not in the original games. Walking with Pokémon and using the Poke Walker was a cool feature that I still like. Getting to interact with your Pokémon while traveling Johto and Kanto felt special. The player felt like they had a stronger connection with their Pokémon. Apricorn balls made a return and the Pokéathlon was introduced. The Pokéathlon is a stadium that allowed players to play mini games that were extremely fun. The mini games were the hurdle dash, ring drop, snow throw, lamp jump, relay run, block smash, circle push, disc catch, pennant capture, and the hardest one was the goal roll. The mini games were surprisingly addictive, and you can also play against other people with local co-op.

So, what is your favorite Pokémon generation? What are your thoughts about our list? Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter for more gaming news.

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