The Highest-Grossing Pokémon Games Of All Time, Ranked
Since the first Pokémon game was published on a black and white Game Boy in 1996, the game franchise has evolved into one of the biggest game franchises in the world as it has recorded incredible commercial success and sold millions of units worldwide. The success of the first Pokémon game actually birthed a media franchise that is not limited to games alone but extends to movies, anime series, Mangas, toys, and various merchandise. In keeping the Pokémon memory alive, we examine the Pokémon game world and analyze the Highest-Grossing Pokémon games of all time, ranked by the numbers sold.
10 Pokémon Yellow ($14.64 Million)
Released in 1998, Pokémon Yellow is an enchanted Pokémon game that is based on the animated series of the original title. The only available Pokémon at the start of this game is Pikachu who has a voice and personality that follows the player throughout the whole game. The game has improved graphics from the previously released games and can also print Pokédex entries. This game received a lot of positive reviews and sold 14.64 million copies worldwide thereby increasing the sales of Game Boy and taking the total Gen 1 sales past the 45-million milestone.
9 Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl (14.79 Million)
Released in November 2021, this Gen 4 remake outsold Pokémon Yellow in just six months after its release. While it was criticized for lacking the Pokémon Platinum content, a lot of Pokémon fans are glad that the remakes were rolled out and actually turned out well. New areas were introduced such as Ramana’s Park, ensuring that the game doesn’t miss out on the legendary and mythical feel of Pokémon. The Grand Underground also made it easy to catch pre-Gen 4 Pokémon vibes even though players have to unlock the National Dex to get that. This game sold 14.79 million copies as of June 2022 but seeing as it was released in 2021, there’s a great probability that it will sell more copies.
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8 Pokémon Black & White (15.64 Million)
Pokémon Black and White were published in 2010 for Nintendo DS. This game is nascent of Gen 5 and its games are set in the Unova region which bears a striking resemblance to NYC with a landscape that features modern bridges, skyscrapers, and every other characteristic of an urban environment. Like previous Pokémon games, Pokémon Black & White games have linear storylines in which the player must strive to collect eight gym badges, challenge the Elite 4 of the Pokémon League, and beat the champion of the region. Despite incessant piracy stunting sales, PokémonBlack & White was still able to sell 15.64 copies to date.
7 Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire (16.22 Million)
Published in 2002, Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire introduced the third generation which is also known as the advanced generation of Pokémon to users. Games in this edition are set in Hoenn and do not feature every Pokémon from previous generations. While Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire didn’t sell as many copies as the two previous editions, it was still able to be the Game Boy Advance bestseller by selling 16.22 million copies.
6 Pokémon Sun & Moon (16.27 Million)
Published in 2016 for Nintendo 3DS to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, Pokémon Sun & Moon came with a new feel as they were set in Alola, a group of islands that reflect typical Hawaii. This edition introduced 81 new Pokémon to be captured with new moves called the Z-moves. Pokémon Sun & Moon was a success it sold 16.27 million copies worldwide.
5 Pokémon X & Y (16.58 Million)
Being the first Pokémon games to be published on Nintendo 3DS and published in 2013, Pokémon X & Y games featured Pokémon in 3D polygonal graphics, much to the admiration of players. X & Y also featured 72 new Pokémon and 30 Mega Evolutions for Pokémon that were already fully evolved. This game was able to sell 16.58 million copies worldwide and even won the Golden Joystick Award for the Best Handheld Game of the Year.
4 Pokémon Diamond & Pearl (17.67 Million)
This Nintendo DS Pokémon game was published in 2006 and is the fourth best-selling Pokémon game of all time. Set in the fictional region of Sinnoh and featuring a new player who aims to become the champion of the Pokémon League, the Pokémon Diamond & Pearl games aren’t so different from other Pokémon games in terms of gameplay. A new thing, however, is the introduction of the multiplayer feature that allows a player to battle other players. Selling 17.67 million units, Pokémon Diamond & Pearl received the Award for the Best Handheld Game at G-Phoria in 2007.
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3 Pokémon Gold & Silver (23.73 Million)
Published for the Game Boy Color in 1999 and adjudged to be among the best games in the series, Pokémon Gold & Silver were released almost immediately after the original games in the west. This edition was set in Johto and features 100 new Pokémon to be collected as well as the ability of the player to choose the character’s gender. That’s not all, new classes of Pokémon were also added alongside a new item called Pokégear. Pokémon Gold & Silver sold 23.73 million copies worldwide.
2 Pokémon Sword & Shield (24.27 Million)
Developed by Game Freak and published for the Nintendo Switch Console in 2019, Pokémon Sword & Shield came under criticism due to cuts to the Pokédex. Despite this, the games still enjoyed the patronage of users who liked the IP. Pokémon Sword & Shield comes with a lot of technological advancements that are seen in all the latest releases and if this proves anything, it is that the future of the franchise is still very bright. Pokémon Sword & Shield has sold 24.27 million copies so far.
1 Pokémon Red, Green, & Blue (31.38 Million)
Pokémon Red, Green, & Blue are the first ever Pokémon games dubbed The Original Pokémon Games. Published in 1996 for the Nintendo Game Boy. These games are nascent of what would later become a multibillion-dollar franchise. Upon release, Pokémon Red, Green, & Blue classics recorded instant success and have inspired a lot of sequels and spin-off games. 31.38 million copies of these games were sold worldwide.
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Sources: Game Rant, Statista, and Hackernoon.
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