ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

20 years ago todayPokémon Red and Green hit Japanese store shelves, sparking an international phenomenon that continues to surge in popularity today. We now know what lies ahead for the series, with the official announcement of Sun and Moon made during yesterday's Nintendo Direct:

So, it only seems appropriate that on this momentous anniversary we delve into the Poké-past. To celebrate two decades of trading, training and blacking out, take a trip back in time through every generation to see just how far the core series of games has come.

Generation I - Red and Blue

Initial Release: February 27, 1996

Platform: Game Boy

This is where it all began. I still remember my unrestrained excitement as I tore off my copy's shrink wrap, popping in that innagural cartridge and never looking back.

Generation II - Silver and Gold

Initial Release: November 21, 1999

Platform: Game Boy Color

The second evolution added XP bars, a new roster of monsters to catch and, most importantly, a color palette!

Generation III - Ruby and Sapphire

Initial Release: November 21, 2002

Platform: Game Boy Advance

Though the gameplay remained mostly unchanged, the addition of double battles added a new dimension to encounters. Ruby and Sapphire also stick out in my mind for introducing reflective water puddles: a simple graphical trick that nevertheless blew my teenage mind.

Generation IV - Diamond and Pearl

Initial Release: September 28, 2006

Platform: Nintendo DS

107 new Pokémon were born in 2006, refreshing the familiar formular. The DS's bottom screen also helped things feel new, hosting features like a clock, a calculator, a map, a counter, and a drawing pad.

Generation V - Black and White

Initial Release: September 18, 2010

Platform: Nintendo DS

A seasonal cycle, rotation battles and fully animated Pokémon sprites joined the party in the fifth generation. Though Nintendo's hardware hadn't evolved, Game Freak found new ways to liven up the graphics with 3D city models that lended a greater sense of place than games past.

Generation VI - X and Y

Initial Release: October 12, 2013

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Two words: Mega Evolutions. The 3DS's increased graphical fidelty allowed for some truly stunning animations that made the Megas even the most impressive addition in years.

Generation VII - Sun and Moon

Very little is known about these upcming games, other than the fact they'll hit the 3DS later this year. How will Game Freak push things forward in 2016? One thing's for sure, I'll be there on day 1 to find out, just like I was 2 decades ago.

Share your Pokémon memories!


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