The 10 Best Pokémon Games to Buy in 2018

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Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise has been a worldwide phenomenon for decades — the first video games were released back in the '90s, and the fanbase has only continued to grow. People around the globe are enthralled with the universe of different characters and the strategy and adventure involved in capturing and battling with your collection of "pocket monsters."

Of course, Pokémon is a multimedia success, with popularity both online and off. You’ll walk through a store and see Pokémon plush toys, or flip through the TV channels and run across the animated show (which has been releasing new seasons since 1997). There is a whole world of Pokémon merchandise and media out there. But Pokémon’s success couldn’t have been possible without video games. Dozens of titles have been played by millions of fans across Nintendo consoles. And as time goes on, new Pokémon games continue to hit store shelves, attracting new generations to the franchise.

With all the Pokémon games that have come out in recent years, some are definitely better than others. We've compiled a list of the best Pokémon games that are currently available for a variety of Nintendo consoles.

Our Top Picks

Pokémon Ultra Sun for 3DS

Pokemon Ultra Sun

Courtesy of Amazon

Pokémon Ultra Sun is one of the most popular Pokémon games ever released on the Nintendo 3DS. It puts you in the role of a Pokémon Trainer who needs to find Pokémon and learn more about the world you’re in. Along the way, your goal is to “unravel the mystery” of the world. The game has a story mode and places you inside the Alola region inside the Pokémon universe.

According to Nintendo, the game features more than 400 Pokémon and gives you access to a variety of new moves and battle experiences you’ve never had before. It’s part of a dual game experience with Pokémon Ultra Moon.

Pokémon X for 3DS

Another Nintendo 3DS game, "Pokémon X" places you inside a 3D universe called Kalos. It’s shaped like a star and you can explore its forests, cities, and more. You'll also find many Pokémon that you never knew existed.

"Pokémon X" allows you to play with people around the world and engage in battle with them, pitting your Pokémon against theirs. There are sky battles as well, and just in case you’re bored by one-on-one competition, you can select "Horde Mode" for taking on a slew of enemies.

"Pokémon X" is part of a dual game release with "Pokémon Y."

PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond for Wii

"PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond" is a Pokémon game designed for the Nintendo Wii. The world you explore is filled with Pokémon that you will want to meet and befriend as you play the game. PokéPark is similar to a theme park, where you can check out a variety of attractions and see activities around the area. You can also engage in battles between Pokemon and add to your collection.

"PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond" includes a variety of bosses that will be a bit harder to beat — and a bit more fun to overcome when it’s all said and done. Be aware, however, that since it’s a console game, "PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond" is slightly more expensive than mobile alternatives.

Pokkén Tournament for Wii U

"Pokkén Tournament" is a Pokémon-themed game that’s available on the Nintendo Wii U, and is more affordable than some of the alternatives. You can play through "Pokkén Tournament" as a variety of characters including Pikachu, Charizard, Lucario, and many more. Along the way, you can see how they conduct battles and give you a must-have lesson on how to execute their strikes to give you the best chance of victory.

As you’re battling inside the game, you can call on other Pokémon to help you win. Along the way, you’ll be in a tournament, advancing further in the competition with every victory.

Pokémon Platinum for DS

"Pokémon Platinum" is a game designed for the Nintendo DS. And as the metal in its name might suggest, it’s an expensive game. "Pokémon Platinum" finds the franchise’s Team Galactic causing trouble. And they’re focused on targeting three titans: Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. Your goal will be to stop their efforts and ultimately save the Pokemon world.

As you might suspect, "Pokémon Platinum" is a story-driven game, but it still requires you to do battle around the world and explore to find new Pokémon. Best of all, with a Wi-Fi connection, you can play with up to 20 people at the same time.

Pokémon Ultra Moon for 3DS

"Pokémon Ultra Moon" is the other game in the dual-franchise with Pokémon Ultra Sun, and it’s a winner. When you boot up the game on your Nintendo 3DS, you’ll again find yourself in the Alola region. This time around, your goal will be to learn about the mystery surrounding the Dawn Wings Necrozma. You’ll need to do battle around the game and interact with more than 400 Pokemon, including some that have all-new forms for Pokémon Ultra Moon.

The game features classic Pokémon battle sequences and even offers insight into the Legendary Pokemon Solgaleo and Lunala’s Z-Moves. When you head over to Ultra Megalopolis, you’ll find a massive city that’s gone dark — what awaits is an exceedingly challenging battle experience that you won’t want to miss.

Pokémon Battle Revolution for Wii

"Pokémon Battle Revolution" is a Wii game that asks you to travel through Pokétopia and visit ten different stadiums. Along the way, you’ll do battle with Pokémon in a bid to win each Colosseum battle. If it all goes well, you’ll be crowned the Pokétopia champion.

"Pokémon Battle Revolution" allows you to battle one-on-one or two-on-two. You can play online as well with other Battle Revolution fans and see which one of you is really the best. Additionally, Nintendo said that "Pokémon Battle Revolution" offers a Wii-DS link so you can play with people both on the company’s game console as well as on the mobile platform. Compared to Pokémon games on older consoles, the graphics in "Pokémon Battle Revolution" will offer a major improvement over older titles.

Pokémon Y for 3DS

"Pokémon Y" is a popular franchise game you can get now on the Nintendo 3DS. This game puts you inside a world filled with Pokémon favorites from both the new and old Pokémon universes. You’ll play as a Pokémon Trainer who needs to catch, trade, and battle the characters. Compete with other players around the world and wage battles against them. You can also trade Pokémon with them, and more.

But if you’d rather spend some more quality time with your Pokémon, you can also pet, feed, and play with them throughout the game. Along the way, you’ll find a game that offers rich 3D graphics and intense battles that make the game both fun and challenging.

Pokémon Rumble U for Wii U

"Pokémon Rumble U" is a Wii U game that centers on toys that have gone awry. Your challenge is to uncover the mystery behind it, all while battling and trading Pokémon.

The storyline in "Pokémon Rumble U" begins with capsules filled with toy Pokémon falling into a river en route to a toy shop. As the toys try to make their way back to the shop, another Pokémon appears and challenges them to a battle. From there, things go awry.

The game includes traditional Pokémon battles and features solid graphics for a game on the Wii U. In addition to battling Pokémon, you’ll also want to form a bond with them and befriend them, so you can have more help from them as you play through the game. "Pokémon Rumble U" is available digitally, which keeps the game’s price down.

Pokémon Go for Android and iOS

Pokemon Go

Courtesy of Apple App Store

"Pokémon Go" took the mobile world by storm when it launched on iPhones and Android devices. It's an augmented-reality game built for smartphones that allows you to search for Pokémon in the world around you. They appear as digital characters overlaid on the real world that you can interact with and ultimately catch. This intriguing and highly-interactive concept immerses you inside the Pokémon world, letting you physically track down the creatures you want to catch.

"Pokémon Go" is available to both Android and iOS devices. The more powerful your smartphone, the better the experience.

Our Process

Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular Pokemon games on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different games overall, read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 3 of the games themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.