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Rank the Pokemon Games

Bolt Strike

Bringing the Thunder
Mar 20, 2013
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So I found this Tiermaker list for the Pokemon games here.

How would you rank the games? Feel free to link or upload the image of your tiermaker list.

Here is mine:


As for why I ranked them the way I did:

The S tier games are all highly polished games with lots of varied content and few flaws. They're games I can play for weeks, maybe even months and not get bored with them. Platinum is near perfect and there's little I can think of that it would've needed at the time. HGSS added sooooo much to GSC, aside from expanding remakes in ways that they've never done before (such as throwing in entirely new families of Pokemon from newer generations or drastically overhauling the map design), there's little they could've done better. BW2 likewise was a massive expansion on BW that went above and beyond every other game in terms of how much they improved a previous region.

The A tier games have a bit more flaws, but are still polished games with tons of content. Emerald was highly polished, but the post game content and Pokemon selection left some things to be desired. FRLG added a massive amount of postgame content through the Sevii Islands but the main game was largely untouched. The OG DP had a large variety of content but a terrible regional dex. SwSh has a ton of content (especially with the Expansion Pass), but not quite as many Pokemon as other modern games and the region design tends to be a bit simplistic and linear outside of the Wild Area/IoA/CT.

The B tier games had some fun aspects to them, but tend to have a bit more significant flaws. GSC were massive games for their time but were a bit lacking in extra content. RS had a ton of extra content, but the dex wasn't varied and there was almost no postgame content. ORAS made a few improvements over RS (while ignoring Emerald), but aside from a postgame story arc and some short, daily evergreen content, didn't really fix what was wrong with RS.

The C tier games had some enjoyable aspects to them but felt lacking in many ways. BW had a good amount of extra and postgame content and a great story, but were heavily casualized in a lot of ways (namely region design, Pokemon selection, and difficulty). SM was kind of in the same boat as BW, but with less extra content. USUM added a few things from SM in terms of extra content, but regressed in others and didn't really fix its major flaws. XY was a great start for the 3D area but had almost nothing in terms of extra content.

Lastly there's the D tier games which all feel heavily outdated with few redeeming flaws. They all happen to be Kanto games for me, and that might not be a coincidence because Game Freak has displayed a general unwillingness to modernize Kanto. There's almost nothing in terms of Pokemon, story, and extra features, and the region design while mildly explorable is heavily outdated. LGPE also did more harm than good IMO by trying to integrate Go mechanics.
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New Member
Nov 17, 2021
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I actually really struggled to decide on this, and I'm still not sure I'm totally happy with it but this is about as best I can wrangle my thoughts and feelings.

To be fully honest, Red/Blue and Ruby/Sapphire are being lifted by generous nostalgia. Ruby in particular was a game I played to death and the music alone gives me a special feeling so I just had to put it up at the bottom of S Tier.

XY are at the bottom because I recently replayed them and there's so much that feels like either missed opportunity or a drastically less heartfelt approach to creating a Pokemon game.

Gens 4 and 5 reign supreme because they just feel so good to play.


Sep 6, 2020
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Mine's here

Screen Shot 2021-11-18 at 12.15.47 am.png
  • B2W2 are the peak imo, just in terms of content, story, characters, music, pokemon, gameplay, difficulty, etc
  • HGSS are a close second, albeit they've got some pacing issues and the story isn't that amazing
  • BW are great all things considered and probably still have my favourite villain climax to this day, but as a whole I don't think they're as good as the above ones
  • SM and their ultra counterparts are amazing (especially with characters) but are really hard to replay and can feel pretty linear at times which can take away from the exploration aspect

  • Platinum is definitely better than DP and a solid entry to the franchise, but I found the characters particularly to be forgettable for the most part
  • ORAS I think as a whole is more enjoyable than emerald, just the battle frontier is lacking but it has its own postgame at least, it helped flesh out more hoenn characters and more teambuilding options (so I enjoyed it more than RSE)
  • Emerald feels more well rounded than FRLG but it's close, only a few elements (battle frontier, catching all 3 legends, more condensed story) give it the leg-up on those games - otherwise I think they're better

  • SS has enjoyable characters and a distinct region+wild area, but it doesn't hold up gameplay wise imo (especially forced exp share, making it much easier than it should be), DLCs help with exploration and postgame content though but I think the base game could've been better
  • XY look great visually but I wasn't a huge fan of them, especially their difficulty, characters, plot, postgame, etc which I think were noticeably less lacking than their previous instalments
  • Let's go are alright I guess, they feel watered down but that's kinda the point since they're appealing to newcomers

  • These games aren't bad per say, just don't hold up to today's standards or to their remakes
  • GSC are of course better then RBY because of game mechanics, postgame, all that stuff really

^There's more to these rankings but these are the key things that stuck out to me


All shall be well
Nov 2, 2021
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So, let me open this by saying I'm a fairly old-school player, with tastes that lean more toward "retro", and I put a lot of emphasis on aesthetic and story. Also I'm not too into meta/competitive battling so battle facility availability is rarely something I put much thought into. (I'd just go to Showdown if I want to experiment with this, less dedication needed.)
  • As far as my tastes are concerned, Pokemon peaked in Gen5. Better story than your standard Pokemon fare, interesting combination between 3D and pixel (oh, pixel art, I will always miss you so). Also the story makes BW slightly superior in my eyes, but I think BW and BW2 are best enjoyed together anyway, so both get to be here.
  • Platinum gets to be in S-tier too because it's almost as pretty, I love Sinnoh, it has one of my favorite Pokemon soundtracks, and it fixed the various flaws that DP had.
A and A+
  • DP is in A-tier because, again, I love Sinnoh. But DP also had silly flaws like the limited dex and slow surf speed, among other things, so I can't really group it together with Platinum.
  • RSE... is largely here for nostalgia, honestly. I replayed them a lot. Much personal attachment here. ORAS is A+ because I felt it improved the Hoenn experience, but I haven't found myself wanting to return to it like I often did with the S-tier games. Maybe it's because I have less time to spare now, maybe it's just because I have less nostalgia for 3D era Pokemon.
  • FRLG is respectable. It's classic Kanto, but expanded with Sevii Islands. GBA visual also looked good for it. I'd play FRLG if I ever missed Kanto.
  • SM has a Reputation for how handhold-y it gets and I think it's deserved, but I enjoyed it and its story anyway. Its soundtrack was good too.
  • SwSh has neat environmental worldbuilding, and it's the first time I really felt "wow 3D in Pokemon looks nice" (which is ironic with people hating on the very same thing). The main story and the soundtrack left something to be desired though, so it couldn't quite rise to A-tier.
  • The classic Kanto games are too basic, as charming as the glitches may be. Makes sense since they were the very first games made, but I don't have much reason to return to them.
  • XY feels like a bucket of missed/wasted potentials to me with a villain team that didn't make much sense, and Lumiose was too dizzying for its own good (the first and only time I got motion sickness playing Pokemon). Its soundtrack slapped though.
  • USUM is... I just didn't care about the changes and additions it made, honestly.

I've never finished a single Johto game despite attempts to because I just don't gel with the level curve and map design. HGSS is very pretty though. I think they're okay despite my inability to finish them, but for that reason, they get their own tier.

Yellow and LGPE are self-explanatory in the chart.


'Chu can dance if you want to
Sep 27, 2007
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First off I rate them based off when they come out compared to other existing entries. R/B/Y would score way worse if they were released after Emerald.

*Platinum fixed DP's major design flaws, had a great postgame thanks to the Battle Frontier, and lots of side content with contests, the underground, the villa, and rematches.

*Emerald isn't quite Platinum-tier in content, but also came out years earlier. It has a better (IMHO) Battle Frontier but otherwise weaker post-game due. I think the main campaign is better, however, partly because Team Galactic went too hard on the meta jokes and the game was a bit easier in general.

*Heartgold/Soulsilver are even better in content than Platinum. They rank lower because of the inability to buy coins, the terrible level scale, and locking too many things behind limited time events.

*Red/Blue started it all (technically Red/Green did...). There were previous RPGs with enemy recruitment but I'm not aware of any where every single enemy is also a potential party member. They were buggy as heck and had some obvious design flaws in stats, moves, and availability that got smoothed away later.

*Yellow was a slightly refined Red/Blue and doesn't really deserve a separate tier, IMHO.

*FireRed/LeafGreen were modernized and fixed Red/Blue with a few additional features but the glaring issue of needing to reach the postgame to get later generation Pokémon, a mistake later remakes would avoid until BD/SP.
I think they're pretty overall superior to the originals but placed them at the same tier since I don't think they have the ambition to hit A.

*X/Y brought the games into 3D, introduced Mega Evolution (I'm not really fond of the battle gimmicks but I consider it the best one overall), had super convenient online trading, and was actually pretty content rich for a first generation game; it already included a ton of Gym Leader rematches with the Battle Chateau. Sadly they had a very lame post-game, are way too easy even by this series' standards, and have a poorly executed villain plot. even by Pokémon standards, at least in Y (I read they're better in X).

*Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby stood out as being less complete than the previous remakes. They didn't carry over all of XY's features and were missing things like Gym Leader rematches, and unlike HG/SS did not bring over Third Version content. I personally attribute this to the curse of 3D games. I'd actually like to drop them to C tier but fairness forces me to leave them here.

*Crystal is really kind of a slog thanks to the awful level curve. Kanto is interesting but the enemies are so low leveled none of them are remotely a threat until Blue, at which point you need to grind an absurd number of levels for Red. The G/S/C games did fix some of R/B/Y's flaws like Special or some of the useless moves or weird level up sets.

*Diamond/Pearl improved the base mechanics with the second special split but had a bunch of flaws in the base design such as an awful main game Pokédex. It also featured overly meme-ish villain they wanted you to take more seriously than warranted, was infamously slow, and annoying to navigate as they went crazy with the HMs.

*Sun/Moon had a more interesting story than most entries and a lot of battling content between a huge dex and two gimmicks, but was still super easy, had a tendency to stop progress with dull cutscenes, introduced a Fi-tier annoyance with Rotomdex, and wild encounters with overly drawn out with the SOS mechanic. Never finished them due to other games at the time being better so I can't comment on the postgame.

*Sword/Shield had some incredible QOL improvements but empty game worlds, the online trading is worse than gen 6 and 7 entries, had fewer Pokémon than the last few entries with nothing to show for the cuts, the story feels unfinished, they have the worst battle gimmick by far, contain repetitive and dull Max Raids relying on idiotic AI partners to grind for items and somehow made it worse in the DLC version, and are XY tiers of easy in the main game but the post-game facility was scrubbed of difficulty too. They didn't even bother coming up with a new post-game boss for it but just reused the champion in different clothes.
It feels like they focused almost entirely on multiplayer, and since I don't care about MP they're entries I have little fondness for and only hope gen 9 uses the good things as a building block for entries with more content. Probably would have dropped them like Sun/Moon if there were other games at the time I was playing or the story wasn't so short.

Notes on specific Insufficient Data games that need to be said:
*Ruby/Sapphire introduced Abilities, which is great, and Natures, which I consider a huge mistake, and replaced stat exp with the overly complicated EV system that took years and years to fix.

*I've read great things about gen 5 and wish I hadn't missed it but with the servers down it feels like it would be a waste to track down probably-expensive copies of them now.
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Can I steal this for our Twitter?
Jun 30, 2020
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Honestly, this exercise was both very easy and a little difficult - easy because I knew immediately what would populate by top and bottom tiers, but also difficult because so many Pokemon games offer fundamentally similar experiences, and because my own ranking criteria were extremely arbitrary and inconsistent.

S: Johto. The games I started with and one of the best glam-ups seen yet. There's certainly some nostalgia at play here but the scope of the Johto experience, the overworld colour palettes, music, and cultural vibe all feel legitimately excellent.

A: The best Kanto experience, which de facto means it has an incredibly strong roster - the colours and music are sweet, too. SM had by far and away the best story to date.

B: The middle of the pack, which is honestly unfair; all these are great games with great playthroughs.

C: The games I was just a little bit underwhelmed with when I first played them (ORAS were in the unfortunate position of releasing less than a month after an Emerald playthrough, which meant I was too familiar with Hoenn by the time they rolled around). Let's Go is saved from the bottom slot through art style and the novelty of follower/ride Pokemon.

D: XY suffered badly from an infantilising cast of characters and extremely easy playthrough. I would dearly love to give more credit to RBY (in hindsight I might have excluded them from the list entirely given the complications with evaluating the very first titles in the series), but the simple fact is that they're the games I would least want to start playing in this day and age, if I had to pick one.


Sep 10, 2019
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This is only out of the ones I've played. (Website is blocked for me, sorry)

1. Pokemon Y
2. Pokemon White
3. Pokemon Alpha Aapphire (first mainline game as a kid)
4. Pokemon Ultra Moon
5. Pokemon Moon
Honorable Mention: PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond (first Pokemon game as a kid)


Grand Master Of All Things Bad
May 12, 2018
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S: As close to perfection as the main series Pokémon games go.

A: Not perfect, not absolutely everything they could/should have been, but still fantastic games overall.

B: The solid ones. They all have one issue or another (lack of post-game content, awful Pokémon selection/not being able to evolve them, small/too linear region etc.), but they're still enjoyable enough.

C: The "meh" ones. There's not much reason to ever play them again because there's simply better options for the respective regions.

D: One pair of games is kind of a buggy mess (which I guess is somewhat understandable for the very first entry) and the other one is an unfinished, uninspired, and overpriced joke.


New Member
Jan 25, 2020
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S: These games are what I consider the definitive Pokemon experience. They all have a plethora of varied content to experience, whether it's something focused on Battling, interacting with your pokemon or a very involved story that you can choose to interact with at your leisure. I would 100% reccomend these games to people who are new to the franchise or are returning to it from a hiatus.
A: Everything in the A tier are games that I consider good games that have a flaw in them that pushes them from perfection. For BW2, it's the overly linear routes making it so that sense of exploration is a little lost. For SwSh, it's the fairly bland base game requiring you to buy the expansion pass to have a significantly better experience. And while FRLG are the solid improvements over the base Kanto experience, they suffer from being sort of uninteresting at times.
B: This tier is solely reserved for the games that I think are bog standard pokemon experiences. I think that they're perfectly fine, but nothing in them make me want to really consider playing these games over anything in the A or S tiers. BW has way too small of a regional dex, DP has a plot that is poorly written without the Lore made in Platinum and incredibly slow everything, SM has constant tutorials interrupting the flow of gameplay, ORAS rewards you often without you doing anything to justify a reward, and I had trouble staying invested in RS's entire plot.
C: Let's Go are beautiful games, that are well animated and have a bunch of really nice QoL features. The reason they're in C tier however, is that I really, really hate the Go catching mechanic. USUM is here because the story felt like a downgrade from SM's story, and if you're not interested in the story you have to deal with a ton of constant cutscenes, all the way into post game.
D: A combination of a uninteresting story, region, and difficulty curve are why I really don't like XY.
Too Old to Rank: Because of the fact they were among the first games to be released for the series, I can't judge them harshly for their mistakes and I can't downplay the things that I felt were really bad.


Sobble fan :3
Aug 11, 2017
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Seems like a fun discussion.

So first things first, I play games mostly for the plot and while Pokemon games don't usually have amazing ones, I still enjoy them. But I also think that the pokemon gameplay loop is really fun. So games that do that right or have a great plot are up higher. (BW and SM for plot while HGSS and B2W2 for the gameplay for example). I also don't really think any game deserves D ranking so far. Even the ones in C, I have more or less a positive outlook on. I also understand that gen I and II games were pretty good for their times and rating them through a modern lens might not be the best way to judge them but sadly I got into Pokemon around Gen 3 and played RBY/GSC on 3DS after their e-shop releases. So that's the only way I can judge them.


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Flowers for Vases
Jun 25, 2011
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I actually did this a while back, in January. Here's what I did:

Here's an updated version after replaying some games in the past year (Ruby/Sapphire, X/Y, Black & White):
my-image (8).png

S+ I had made in the original list specifically for BW to indicate that they were far and away my favorite games in the series. That's been removed in the new list.

S contains the pinnacle of where Pokemon has been so far in terms of story, polish, and gameplay. These games are 10/10s from me.

A+ was created to make the list look a little more Gaussian. It contains fantastic 9-9.5/10 games that do a great job implementing the Pokemon formula, are more fun to return to than those in A tier, have a lot of content, but aren't "as perfect" as the games in S tier.

A tier contains the rest of the Pokemon games that I would specifically characterize as great for one reason or another. They have a significant enough number of flaws to push them a little lower than the rest of the games in A+ tier, but not enough for me to put them into B. These are all 8-8.5/10s.

B tier contains good Pokemon games that are decent experiences to go back to today, I'd put these at a 7/10. They might have versions that are better to go back to, instead.

C tier contains the games that I think are too dated or otherwise not worth going back to today.

D tier I have the originals, they are just too unplayable for me to put them any higher than this. I understand the motivation for ranking them higher as a result of taking time into account in the list, but this is my list, so I can do what I want.

USUM get their own tier as the worst games, in my opinion. They felt like blatant cashgrabs that didn't really have a reason to exist, and they made literally everything I liked about SuMo's story worse.
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A Clown of Silksong (and ducks)
Nov 1, 2020
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You see, I’m biased.


Gen V was the peak.
Sep 11, 2018
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I don't really am the type to like to hyperscience nitpick and I rank stuff on my enjoyment as well as what I personally thought of them. SwSh for example, while I acknowledge could definitely have been a lot better, is something I enjoyedpurely because of how much importance was put on (Gym) battling and it all being pretty much a cultural phenomenon. I thought that was just really cool.

Nov 26, 2021
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within the tiers, the games are in no particular order. yes, i did just rank emerald below ruby and sapphire; its story is a jumbled mess, and the battle frontier has never interested me much