10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade, Ranked

From Detective Pikachu, to Pokemon Sword and Shield, to Pokemon Go, and more, here are the ten best Pokemon games of the 2010s.

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10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

There’s hardly anything more iconic in video games than Pokémon. Since 1996, Pokémon has captured the hearts of millions of people of all ages with its winning formula of traveling and catching Pokémon, training them, and battling them against other trainers.

The franchise has seen dozens of entries throughout the years, and this past decade saw some of the best games in the series. There are plenty of Pokémon games from the past 10 years to choose from, but let’s take a look at the best of the best from this decade. Here’s the 10 best Pokémon games of the decade, ranked.

10 Pokémon: Let’s Go

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

After the massive success of Pokémon GO, Nintendo wanted a way to introduce the fans of the mobile game who weren’t all that familiar with the franchise to the world of mainline Pokémon games. The result was Pokémon: Let’s Go.

Pokémon: Let’s Go is a mostly faithful remake of the classic Pokémon Yellow, enhanced for the modern age with 3D graphics. It has all the hallmarks of a typical Pokémon game like trainer battles, gym badges, and the Elite Four, but it completely revamped the catching elements. The mechanism for catching Pokémon in these games is heavily inspired by Pokémon GO’s catching mechanics.

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9 Pokémon Conquest

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

A Pokémon game set in feudal Japan? Yes please! While every other Pokémon game is set in the modern-day, Pokémon Conquest shook things up by traveling to the past and introducing players to the Ransei region, which is extremely similar to feudal Japan. The game is actually a crossover between Pokémon and the Nobunaga’s Ambition games.

Pokémon Conquest’s gameplay marks a departure from the main franchise. Instead of the typical gameplay fans have come to know, this game offers a turn-based strategy and tactical RPG gameplay experience.

8 Pokkén Tournament

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

Speaking of departures from typical gameplay, up next is Pokkén Tournament, a fighting game that uses gameplay elements from the Tekken series. While the game does have a story mode, the real fun is in the online play, going head-to-head against people in one-on-one battles.

Unlike traditional Pokémon games where players pick from a list of four moves in Pokémon battles, in Pokkén Tournament, players have to memorize combos and counters, like in a lot of other fighting games, resulting in a surprisingly technical fighting game.

7 Detective Pikachu

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

Detective Pikachu has really taken on a life of its own in the mainstream thanks to 2019’s live-action film adaptation, but it started out as a game for the Nintendo 3DS as an eShop title in 2016 only available in Japan before being released worldwide in 2018. In the game, players work with a talking Pikachu to solve mysteries.

Like a few other entries on this list, Detective Pikachu was a departure from the typical Pokémon gameplay experience. Instead of traveling around collecting Pokémon and battling them, this game focuses more on the narrative storytelling. It’s a lot of fun, even if it is a bit weird to hear a Pikachu talk.

6 Pokémon Sun and Moon

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

Pokémon goes tropical in Pokémon Sun and Moon! Set on a series of islands called the Alola region, Sun and Moon not only offered a brand new batch of Pokémon, but also included new evolutions to already existing Pokémon. Some were cool, others were less so (Alolan Exeggutor still haunts our dreams).

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Instead of progressing through the game by challenging Gym Leaders, players had to complete Island Challenges, which mostly involved traversing a dungeon before challenged an island’s Kahuna. Sun and Moon was a change of pace that breathed new life into the series.

5 Pokémon Black and White

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

Pokémon Black and White may very well be the pinnacle of what the Nintendo DS system has to offer, pushing the dual-screen handheld system to the max with its graphics and scope, including detailed Pokémon sprites and sprawling cities.

The plot of these two games is easily one of the best the entire franchise has to offer. The player has to go against Team Plasma, a Templar-like organization led by an enigmatic youth called N, who seeks to convince people to release their Pokémon for good, making Team Plasma much more complex than the one-dimensional villains of other entries.

4 Pokémon GO

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

Pokémon GO is probably the closest we’ll ever get to being actual real-life Pokémon trainers. This free to play, augmented reality, mobile game allowed players to use the GPS on their smartphones to locate, capture, train, and battle Pokémon in the real world.

Released in the summer of 2016, Pokémon GO became a massive cultural phenomenon, and for that summer, there was a taste of world peace as people from all over the world came together to catch Pokémon. There aren’t as many people playing it these days, but the cultural significance this game holds cannot be understated and it does continue to evolve.

3 Pokémon X and Y

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

Pokémon X and Y showed us that the franchise isn’t afraid to get dark every now and then, and dark it went. War, abused Pokémon, themes of dealing with loss and picking up the pieces, X and Y told a mature and complicated story that’s easily one of the best in the series and earns a high spot on this list.

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X and Y also introduced Mega Evolutions, a temporary evolution that boosts a Pokémon’s stats and also comes with a new transformation, making some of the older generation Pokémon relevant once more.

2 Pokémon Black 2 and White 2

10 Best Pokemon Games Of The Decade Ranked

Pokémon games don’t usually get direct sequels, but fans are very glad that Pokémon Black and White did. Black 2 and White 2 are set two years after their predecessors and improves on everything the previous games did while ramping the stakes up to 11.

In Black 2 and White 2, the player finds themselves teaming up with former antagonist N to bring down Team Plasma. Players get to revisit the same areas as the previous games, and while some criticized that aspect of the games, revisiting previous locations definitely gave us flashbacks of Pokémon Gold and Silver.

1 Pokémon Sword and Shield

Topping off this list are the most recent Pokémon releases, Sword and Shield. The first main Pokémon game to be released for the Nintendo Switch, Sword and Shield marked a huge step forward for the Pokémon series.

While many criticized its bland environments and limited Pokédex, because the games suffered from time constraints and holiday release schedules, Sword and Shield are can’t miss entries in the franchise. Despite its issues, Sword and Shield offer some of the best Pokémon has to offer, and hopefully, it’s the first in a long line of console Pokémon games.

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