Which Pokémon Game Should You Start With? A Guide for New Players

Embarking on your Pokémon journey but not sure where to start? Dive into our comprehensive guide that helps new players pick the perfect Pokémon game to begin their adventure, tailored to preferences and play style.

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Create an illustration for a guide about choosing beginner-friendly video games. The image should consist of a variety of stylized, non-branded handheld gaming devices with a selection of whimsical, fictional creatures emerging from them. The creatures should have contrasting shapes, sizes and colors, and none should adhere to any copyrighted design. It's night, and the surroundings are filled with soft, blue light, adding a magical aura to the scenario. There are no logos, text, or people in the image. The whole scene evokes the sense of embarking on a fantastic gaming adventure.

Embarking on Your Pokémon Adventure

Deciding where to start in the vast world of Pokémon can be a daunting task for any new player.

With multiple generations and a variety of games available, it’s important to choose an entry point that offers both an engaging experience and a good introduction to the series overall.

Understanding Pokémon Game Generations

The Pokémon series is divided into generations, with each generation starting with new mainline games that introduce a new set of Pokémon, features, and sometimes a new region to explore.

Knowing which generation to start with can help you find a game that matches the latest in gameplay mechanics and graphics or one that gives you a taste of the series’ origins.

Starting with Pokémon Classics: Red, Blue, and Yellow

If you’re interested in seeing how it all began, Pokémon Red and Blue are the first games in the series.

Released for the Game Boy, these classics offer a simplistic yet charming introduction to the core mechanics of capturing and battling Pokémon.

For a slight twist on these games, Pokémon Yellow allows players to begin their journey with Pikachu, mirroring the popular Pokémon anime.

Advancements in Gameplay: Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal

Moving into the second generation, Pokémon Gold and Silver were celebrated for expanding the Pokémon world with the region of Johto and introducing a real-time clock system that affects gameplay.

Pokémon Crystal, the enhanced version, added further improvements, such as animated Pokémon sprites, making it an even more immersive experience.

Enjoying Modern Innovations: The Latest Generation

For those who prefer more modern graphics and features, starting with the latest generation of Pokémon games is a great choice.

With updated visuals, a streamlined gameplay experience, and fresh mechanics, these titles reflect the current state of the franchise.

Remakes and Remasters: Experiencing Classics with a Fresh Coat

For a blend of old and new, Pokémon remakes like FireRed and LeafGreen or HeartGold and SoulSilver revisit classic games with improved graphics and mechanics.

These remakes provide a nostalgic trip for long-time fans and an accessible entry point for newcomers who want to experience the older games without the dated feel.

The Allure of Pokémon Spin-off Games

Beyond the main series, the Pokémon universe has a variety of spin-off games that focus on different aspects of gameplay.

Titles like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series or Pokémon Ranger offer unique adventures and can be a fun side journey from the traditional catching and battling formula in the main series.

However, if you’re looking to understand the core Pokémon experience, it’s best to start with the mainline games.

Community and Compatibility: Playing with Others

Pokémon games also have a strong social component, encouraging players to trade and battle with friends.

Starting with a generation that your friends are playing can enhance the experience, as you’ll be able to participate in the community aspects of Pokémon from the get-go.

Compatibility between games, especially for trading and battling, is often limited to the same generation of games.

Choosing the Best Pokémon Game for You

When deciding on the best Pokémon game to start with, consider what appeals to you most.

Do the classic tales of Red and Blue intrigue you, or do the polished visuals and expansive worlds of the newer titles like Sword and Shield catch your eye?

Recommendations for New Players: Pokémon Sword and Shield

For many new players, Pokémon Sword and Shield offer a great starting point with their accessible gameplay, vibrant graphics, and introduction of the Wild Area – an open-world segment where players can catch a diverse array of Pokémon.

These games are set in the Galar region, inspired by the United Kingdom, which is full of charm and character.

Based on reviews, players have praised the engaging environments and the game’s ability to maintain the core aspects of Pokémon while introducing new features to freshen the experience.

With accessibility and modernity in mind, Sword and Shield might just be the perfect gateway into the Pokémon universe.

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Pokémon X and Y: Introducing the Beauty of the Kalos Region

Setting foot into the Kalos Region with Pokémon X and Y might also be a favorable start for newcomers thanks to the allure of its French-inspired setting.

This generation introduced the Fairy type and Mega Evolutions, adding a new layer of strategy to battles.

With a mix of new and classic Pokémon, X and Y strike a balance that caters to both seasoned players and those new to the series.

Reviews suggest that these games have done an excellent job of bridging the gap between the old and the new, making them another recommended starting point for your Pokémon journey.

Considering Handheld Consoles and Platforms

Your choice of Pokémon game might also be influenced by the consoles you own.

Each generation of Pokémon games is typically tied to a specific Nintendo handheld console, so consider which devices you have access to before making your decision.

Where to Find Pokémon Games

Ready to start your Pokémon journey but not sure where to grab a copy of the game?

You can find Pokémon titles at various retailers, both in-store and online, including digital versions on the Nintendo eShop.

Second-hand stores and online marketplaces like eBay can also be sources for finding games, especially the older titles that are no longer in production.

What Makes Each Pokémon Game Unique

Each Pokémon game brings something different to the table, whether it’s a new region to explore, fresh gameplay mechanics, or a unique cast of Pokémon.

Your preferences in story, setting, and the types of Pokémon you want to collect should influence your decision on where to start.

Knowledge Is Power: Further Reading

As you prepare for your Pokémon adventure, you might find it valuable to read up on strategies and game mechanics.

Online resources, strategy guides, and community forums can provide insights and tips that will help you navigate your chosen game.

To add some variety to your gaming experience, consider checking out board games that are fun for all ages or relaxing games for quiet evenings with friends – they could provide a welcome balance to your screen time.


In conclusion, there’s no wrong way to start your Pokémon journey.

Whether you choose a classic or modern game, a mainline or a spin-off title, what’s most important is that you enjoy the experience.

Pick a game that feels right to you, and get ready to embark on an adventure that millions around the world have enjoyed for decades – welcome to the world of Pokémon!

Exploring Handheld and Console Options: What’s Right for You?

Understanding the platforms for Pokémon games is essential for new players.

For a purely handheld experience, the Nintendo DS and 3DS systems offer a range of Pokémon titles, while the Nintendo Switch provides both handheld and console gameplay.

The Nostalgic Charm of the Nintendo DS Era

Pokémon games like Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, as well as Black and White, are part of the DS legacy that many players cherish.

These games introduced innovations such as Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing players worldwide to connect, trade, and battle.

The Revolutionary Transition to the Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS era brought us titles like Pokémon Sun and Moon and their Ultra versions, along with the aforementioned X and Y.

The 3D graphics and new gameplay features like Z-moves significantly evolved the Pokémon experience for many fans.

Experiencing Pokémon on the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch era has expanded the horizons of Pokémon gameplay with popular titles like Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, which combine elements from classic games with modern mechanics.

These titles also implemented a catching system similar to the one used in the mobile game, Pokémon GO, enticing both new and returning players.

Accessing Pokémon Games Digitally

If you prefer to go digital, many Pokémon games are available for download through the Nintendo eShop.

Having digital copies allows for convenient access and storage, without the need for physical cartridges.

Local Multiplayer and Trading: A Key Feature

Local multiplayer and trading have been foundational features in the Pokémon series since its inception.

The ability to connect with friends nearby and share the Pokémon experience is something to consider when choosing a game to start with.

Global Trading and Online Battles

For a more expansive multiplayer experience, recent Pokémon games offer global trading systems and online battles.

Participating in these global features will allow you to interact with players across the world, and this interactivity is supported best by the latest games on the Nintendo Switch.

Choosing a Game with Strong Community Support

A large, active community can greatly enhance your Pokémon journey.

Choosing a game that has strong community support means an abundance of resources, such as online guides, forums, and social media groups, can help you through your adventure.

If you’re curious about other communities centered around gaming, you might enjoy exploring the world of strategy games to challenge your mind or finding a group of friends to play some laugh-out-loud party games for large groups.

Focusing on Story and Setting: What Appeals to You?

Each Pokémon game encapsulates its own unique story and setting, which can be a determining factor in choosing your starting point.

Consider whether you are drawn to stories of legendary battles, like in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, or if the urban adventures of Pokémon Black and White resonate more with you.

Graphical Style and Artistic Direction

The graphical style and artistic direction are also aspects to consider.

While some players prefer the 2D sprites of the early generations, others might appreciate the 3D landscapes offered by the more recent entries in the series.

Game Mechanics and Evolution Over Time

Pokémon games have evolved significantly in terms of mechanics, from basic turn-based battles to incorporating features like Mega Evolutions and Dynamax.

If learning about complex battle strategies excites you, a newer title may be more suitable as your beachhead into the Pokémon universe.

Compatibility with Pokémon Home and Future Titles

Lastly, consider the compatibility of the game you choose with Pokémon Home, a cloud service that allows you to store and transfer Pokémon between compatible games.

Looking ahead to future titles and ensuring you can bring your Pokémon forward is something worth considering.

Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!: Bridging Generations

Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! represent a unique blending of the classic Pokémon gameplay with modern visuals and features.

The integration with Pokémon GO and the innovative Poké Ball Plus accessory, which can be used as a controller and carries a Pokémon around with you, creates an interactive experience unlike any other.

These games are praised for their ability to introduce new players to the Pokémon series while providing enough nostalgia to satisfy long-standing fans.

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The Impact of Pokémon on Pop Culture

Beyond being a successful game series, Pokémon has left an indelible mark on pop culture, influencing other media, fashion, and even language.

The phrase “Gotta catch ’em all!” has become synonymous with the pursuit of collecting within and outside the gaming world.

Pricing and Budget Considerations

When starting your Pokémon adventure, it’s also important to consider your budget.

Newer games may be more expensive, but they often offer the most up-to-date experience in terms of gameplay and community participation.

Getting the Best Deals on Pokémon Games

To find the best deals on Pokémon games, keep an eye out for sales, especially around holidays or when new games are released.

Shopping pre-owned copies or looking for bundle deals can also save you money.

Exploring Pokémon Merchandise and Accessories

Your Pokémon journey doesn’t have to end with the games.

There’s a treasure trove of Pokémon merchandise, from clothing and figures to trading cards and home decor, that can be part of your adventure.

Considerations for Parents Buying for Children

If you’re a parent choosing a Pokémon game for your child, consider the game’s complexity, content rating, and the level of reading involved.

Games suited for younger audiences will have simpler mechanics and are easy to understand.

The Value of Pokémon Tournaments and Competitive Play

For those aspiring to more competitive play, participating in Pokémon tournaments can be a thrilling experience.

Starting with a game that has an active competitive scene will enable you to learn, grow, and maybe even climb the ranks of Pokémon trainers worldwide.

Learning from Pokémon TCG: The Card Game Alternative

The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) is another avenue to explore within the Pokémon universe, offering a different style of strategic play.

For those not solely interested in video games, the TCG can provide a compelling experience, with its own community, tournaments, and collectible aspect.

Expanding Your Pokémon Experience Beyond Gaming

Aside from playing the games, becoming part of the Pokémon community can enrich your experience significantly.

Engaging with fan clubs, attending Pokémon-themed events, and sharing your experiences online can add depth to your journey and connect you with fellow enthusiasts.

Summing Up Your Start in the Pokémon World

Choosing the right Pokémon game as a starting point is a personal journey, and there’s a fit for everyone, from nostalgic classics to modern marvels.

Consider what you value most in a gaming experience and how you can expand your adventure beyond the screen, and you’re sure to find the perfect match in the world of Pokémon.

Embracing the Online Pokémon Community

One of the greatest assets you have as you start your Pokémon journey is the vast online community.

Joining forums, following YouTube channels dedicated to Pokémon, and interacting with other trainers on social media can provide you with a wealth of knowledge and camaraderie.

Utilizing Official Pokémon Resources

The official Pokémon website and Pokémon Center online store are also excellent resources for new trainers.

They not only offer news and updates on upcoming games and events but also sell official merchandise that can enhance your Pokémon lifestyle.

Exploring the Pokémon Mobile Gaming Scene

In addition to mainline series and spin-offs, there are Pokémon mobile games available that can give you a taste of Pokémon on the go.

Games like Pokémon GO and the strategy-focused Pokémon Masters EX allow for a more casual Pokémon experience which can be just as fulfilling.

How to Keep Up with Pokémon Game Releases

Staying informed about the latest game releases can be crucial, especially when considering community activity and game longevity.

Following Nintendo Direct presentations and subscribing to Pokémon newsletters are effective ways to stay updated.

The Educational Benefit of Pokémon Games

Pokémon games can be more than just entertainment; they can be educational, teaching critical thinking, reading, and problem-solving skills.

For younger players, Pokémon can be a fun gateway into more complex gaming mechanics and storytelling.

Should You Watch the Pokémon Anime First?

Some players may wonder if watching the Pokémon anime series could be a good introduction to the world of Pokémon.

While it offers a different perspective, it’s not necessary to enjoy or understand the games, but it can certainly increase your connection to the Pokémon universe.

Deciding Between Physical and Digital Game Copies

The decision between purchasing a physical game cart or a digital download can be based on personal preference.

While digital games offer convenience, physical copies can be resold or added to a collection.

The Joy of Collecting Pokémon Memorabilia

Collecting Pokémon memorabilia, such as figures, plushies, and special edition consoles, can be a delightful aspect of becoming a Pokémon fan.

It allows you to showcase your love for the series in a tangible way.

Understanding the Role of Pokémon Types

Becoming familiar with the different Pokémon types and their strengths and weaknesses is key to becoming successful in the games.

It will aid you in battles, capturing strategies, and team building.

Setting Athletic Goals with Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO promotes physical activity, as you have to walk to find and catch Pokémon in real-world locations.

It’s a game that’s not only fun but can also help you achieve fitness goals.

Connecting with Other Trainers at Events

Attending Pokémon events and conventions can be a fun way to meet other trainers and fans.

It’s a place where you can trade Pokémon, compete in battles, and make lasting friendships.

The Significance of Pokémon Gyms and Badges

Understanding the significance of gyms and collecting badges is crucial as they represent your progress and mastery over the Pokémon battles.

Each game will challenge you to improve and strategize to earn your badges.

Introducing Children to Pokémon: A Guide for Parents

When introducing children to Pokémon, consider games with easy-to-understand mechanics and those that foster creativity and learning through play.

Titles like the Let’s Go series can be ideal for younger audiences.

Pokémon as a Gateway to Greater Gaming Horizons

Starting with Pokémon might also lead you to discover other gaming genres that excite you.

It can be a stepping stone into the wider world of gaming, perhaps even piquing an interest in fantasy role-playing games or educational games that make learning fun.

Investing in a Quality Gaming Setup for the Best Experience

For the best Pokémon gaming experience, having a quality gaming setup that includes a comfortable playing area and the right equipment is beneficial.

This could mean a dedicated handheld console, a Nintendo Switch or even a gaming-specific mobile phone or tablet.

Maintaining Balance with Screen Time and Other Activities

While diving into the Pokémon world can be immersive, it’s important to maintain a balance with screen time.

Engaging in other activities like playing backgammon or learning poker basics could offer refreshing breaks.

What to Expect from Pokémon in the Future

The Pokémon series continues to grow and evolve, and fans can expect new innovations, stories, and Pokémon to capture in future games.

Being part of this journey means you’ll always have something exciting to look forward to as you grow with the franchise.

Summing Up Your Start in the Pokémon World

Choosing the right Pokémon game as a starting point is a personal journey, and there’s a fit for everyone, from nostalgic classics to modern marvels.

Consider what you value most in a gaming experience and how you can expand your adventure beyond the screen, and you’re sure to find the perfect match in the world of Pokémon.

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Avery Ingram

Avery Ingram


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