The best Pokémon games of the 2000s

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Since its inception in 1996, Pokemon has become a cultural icon that has remained important to this day. The 90s saw the franchise take hold with a blockbuster anime and a memorable Game Boy RPG, Red and blue. Yet the 2000s were a particularly busy and meaningful time for the series, as Pokemon continued to gain popularity and develop in various ways.

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Hordes of new monsters would join the initial generation of 150, and new elemental concepts and types would be introduced to the games, as well as canon in general. New regions would be explored in the main games, which got deeper and more extensive, while an increasing number of spinoffs would also be produced. There’s no shortage of great games, even limiting things to the fairly small but loaded 2000s snapshot. Pokemon. But which of these titles is the best?


ten
Pokémon Ranger (2006)

Pokémon-Ranger

HAL Laboratory has sought to give a new twist to Poke’s proven formula with this ARPG spin-off for DS. In this game, players take control of a Pokémon Ranger in Fiore, which temporarily catches Pokémon using the “capture styler” controlled by the stylus. These makeshift companions aid players on their journey by shooting fire, blowing water, and slicing objects to solve puzzles and progress.

With a fairly thin campaign and somewhat remote touch controls, Pokémon RangerS gameplay was like “style rather than substance” to many who played it. Still, this 12-hour adventure mostly turned out to be a welcome breath of fresh air for the few who bothered to take a look. In terms of action-based combat, at least, Pokémon Ranger partly looks like a Pokémon Go prototype.

9
Pokémon Colosseum (2004)

pokemon colosseum two on two battle in rocky field arena

While this obscure GameCube game tends to be overlooked and overshadowed my modern Poke-epics, the 2004s Coliseum was a bit ahead of its time. Often regarded as a simple Pokémon Stadium Following, this title is inspired by this formula while expanding the gameplay a little.

In fact, it adds a story mode that spans two dozen hours; which makes it one of the most content-rich games on the console. Players will explore the region of Orre, fighting and rescuing obscured “Shadow Pokemon” as they travel. While a bit rough around the edges, newcomers to the Genius Sonority franchise are entering the arena convincingly, bringing surprisingly rich 3D. Pokemon to live.

8
Pokémon Puzzle League (2000)

Ash vs Misty pokemon puzzle league with half screen filled with colorful blocks

The Pokemon the series is no stranger to adaptations and unique spinoffs. In 2000, however, a puzzle game bearing the Pokemon the brand was a fairly new concept. As a result, fans initially weren’t sure what to make of this. Pokemon party puzzler, which was in the vein of Tetris attack.

But to the delight of fans of the genre and franchise, Pokémon Puzzle League turned out to be an outstanding N64 board game and a nice little swan song for the console. This multiplayer game intelligently integrates PokemonThe elements (literal and figurative) with animated visuals and colorful pieces representing the types of monsters. At a time, League of puzzles brings a lot of engaging and fast-paced gameplay that newbies and veterans of the franchise can enjoy.

7
Pokémon Emerald (2004)

Screenshot of Faraway Island Pokemon Emerald

At the end of 2004, the GBA was exiting the scene while the DS was on the verge of taking center stage. But Game Freak’s emerald proven both Pokemon and the GBA were far from over. Being an upgraded version of a game that came just a few years before it, Game Freak takes the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach with this release.

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Critics and fans have pointed out Pokemon Emerald as a rather small evolutionary step overall. Still, that’s by no means a bad thing, as it takes inspiration from the fan favorite. Ruby and sapphire, and was, for some time, considered the Pokemon to live. In all fairness, the game is peppered with a few new features and improvements. These include more detailed animations, replayable Gym Battles, and new areas such as Battle Frontier.

6
Pokémon Crystal (2000)

Jasmine with Pokemon in Pokemon Crystal

Given its technological limitations which, even in 2000, were quite archaic …Crystal Pokémon Especially shines with its deep and engaging gameplay and rich content. The game builds on the already dense and solid foundation of Gold and silver. New elements like the Pokémon Stadium-esque Battle Tower, richer visuals, and new subplots are welcome additions to this epic journey.

While some have hit it for pretty marginal upgrades over its 99 predecessor, Crystal Pokémon remains a gem for the Game Boy Color and one of the most dynamic RPGs on handhelds. For those who naturally missed the boat and got wrapped up in Red and blue years later, this 2000 remake proved to be an appealing introduction to Gen 2 Pokemon.

5
Pokémon Ruby And Sapphire (2002)

Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire cinematic of stealing a legendary Pokemon on water

Game Freak had a difficult task ahead of them for their Pokemon debut on GBA. Not only did they seek to recover Pokemonmajesty and charm of a new generation of consoles, but they had to at least match the recent classics that were Gold, silver and crystal. Much to the relief of most fans, they delivered this memorable 2002 RPG, which featured a third generation of Pokemon for the first time in all its glory.

GBA’s more powerful hardware allowed for richer, more colorful, and more dynamic gameplay, which the studio used at least in part to its advantage. This more engaging presentation is complemented by additions such as double battles, Pokémon abilities, and 135 new monsters brought to the fold.

4
Pokemon Fire Red And Leaf Green (2004)

Entrance to the Pokemon Center in Pokemon FireRed

Take the established classics of Red Blue and erase one of its rare weaknesses – visual and presentation – and the result is this nostalgic gem for GBA. While far from graphically impressive, the game’s improved visuals do justice to the originals and allow these achievements to shine like never before.

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The games retain that unparalleled charm of the classics while embellishing them with a more modern twist and a smoother overall experience. Additions like the 30-player Union Room, the new Sevii Islands and compatibility with Coliseum further enhance this delicious trip down memory lane.

3
Pokémon Diamond And Pearl (2006)

Throw mud at Wooper during the safari.

Game Freak debuts fourth gen on DS, delivering two of the most powerful Pokemon efforts to date. Upgraded hardware, along with touchscreen and dual-screen capabilities, complete the experience and bring a smoother flow to the interface. At the same time, those bells and whistles are quite subtle, allowing gameplay to take center stage.

In addition to the lush Japanese-inspired region of Sinnoh, the game features 107 awesome new monsters, combat upgrades, and online play, the latter adding much more addicting gameplay to this 40-hour epic.

2
Pokémon Platinum (2009)

Pokemon Platinum Warp World Girl on the Platform

A little like Crystal and Red Light / Leaf Green years before, Pokémon Platinum takes inspiration from an established classic and adds more depth and appeal; with a neat presentation and additional features.

Despite being only two years apart, Game Freak manages to attract new players and fans from Diamond / Pearl the same with new inclusions. Items like the Wi-Fi Plaza minigame, Anonymous Online Exchanges, Recordable Battles, and Battle Frontier give vets a reason to come back. The flagship add-on, however, has to be the twisted variant of Sinnoh known as Distortion World, which adds tons of unique and trippy content.

1
Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver (2009)

Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold legendary pokemon

When it comes to the poke-heavy era of the 2000s, it’s hard to beat the definitive version of one of Game Freak’s best efforts, which brings even more content and a modern twist to Gold and silver.

This memorable remake uses the Diamond / Pearl engine to its advantage, masterfully combining the charm of Gold Silver with more dynamic visuals and the intuitive interface of DS.

This journey back to Johto and Kanto is more magical than ever, enhanced by additions such as touchscreen minigames and timed events that further integrate the game’s internal clock. Often considered the pinnacle of the series in the 2000s, HeartGold / SoulSilver is a delicious fusion of old and new Pokemon elements.

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