Worst Pokémon Games That Don’t Hold Up Years Later

Worst Pokémon Games That Don't Hold Up Years Later

There’s less worth in revisiting some Pokémon games than others, with some outings making for disappointing or at least baffling experiences today.

There’s less worth in playing or revisiting some Pokémon games than others, with some outings making for disappointing or at least baffling experiences today. The franchise has existed for twenty-six years and counting and has used its popularity and lucrative nature to provide players with dozens of different ways to engage with its world over its run. But with the time that the series has had to grow and its sheer output, it’s no real shock that some of its entries have aged poorly or were, in retrospect, never its most winning ideas.

Many of the roughest and least-acclaimed Pokémon games still have merit and charm in their interpretation of the series’ lore, gameplay hallmarks, and other distinguishing features. For example, while the Wii title Pokémon Rumble is an undeniably shallow and simplistic beat-’em-up, its version of Pokémon’s level-increase and creature-befriending grind is lively and can be addictive, especially for a player enjoying it with their friends. Pokémon Channel is a sim devoid of challenge, centered around watching Pokemon-themed TV shows with the player character’s pet Pikachu. But its slice-of-life nature and real-time progression give it a similar appeal factor to games like the Animal Crossing series. Even if a video game isn’t perfect, there’s value in any ability it might have to provide a player with unique memories.

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By contrast, not only is there little unique about Pokémon Puzzle League and Pokémon Trozei, but they’re also barely even Pokémon games. A recent arrival to Nintendo Switch Online, Pokémon Puzzle League has secret love messages which are charming to know about, but there’s little to say about it otherwise. It’s a block-clearing game that doubles as an installment of the series Panel de Pon. All its Pokémon-related elements, including the ability to choose which Pokémon Ash Ketchum uses for his puzzle “battles”, are purely cosmetic. Similarly, Pokémon Trozei is a perfectly serviceable tile-matching puzzle game wherein the tiles are Pokémon, the player has a Pokédex which they fill through their matches, and the story is Pokemon-related. Still, the Pokémon theming is so light and arbitrary that it calls into question what warranted it or Puzzle League’s existence – or why anyone would choose to play them over alternatives outside pure nostalgia.

Pokémon Red & Blue: Important Games You Don’t Need To Play

Pokemon Red Blue Cover Art

The original Pokémon Red and Blue also hold up poorly both as overall games and by today’s standards for Pokémon titles, although they still command respect for successfully kicking off a still-popular series. Some attacks that are useable in the modern series courtesy of later buffs were among the absolute worst moves in Pokémon Red and Blue due to having ill-considered pros and cons or to being broken by glitches – which are prevalent in Red and Blue. While it’s understandable, as monster-collecting wasn’t a particularly familiar genre before them, the games are notoriously unbalanced on levels beyond that ranging from type availability to stat use to how status effects functioned. Longtime series fans may still enjoy picking the installments up to revisit old memories, but newcomers and those used to the current series are better off experiencing Kanto through their FireRed and LeafGreen remakes.

Taste is diverse and personal, so every Pokémon game and version has likely ranked as someone’s favorite. Even so, it’s safe to say that most looking to sample what the series has offered in the past are better off investing their time elsewhere than on generic puzzlers and the roughest version of Pokémon mechanics.

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About The Author

Nigel Valentine
(15 Articles Published)

Nigel Valentine is a gaming features writer with Screen Rant whose past experience covers assorted freelance writing roles as well as quality assurance testing of virtual reality games, and he’s glad to marry two of his main fields and passions in his work for SR. Video games have been a fixture in his life ever since his childhood days of watching his gamer mother play titles ranging from Mario 64 to Resident Evil – and while his tastes are broad, Nintendo and horror titles remain personal favorites of his to this day. Niche, obscure, and oft-forgotten titles also hold a special place in his mind – ask him any day about Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, Chibi-Robo, Magic Pengel, or Space Channel 5 and not only will he talk, chances are that he’ll instantly want to be your best friend.

Nigel Valentine is based out of the California Bay Area, he is a cat dad, and his interests outside of gaming include music, art and art history, and general horror media.

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