This is the Pokemon Game You Should Always Start With

This is the Pokemon Game You Should Always Start With

A public service announcement for those who want to know.

One of the questions I often field from curious newcomers on Twitter is where they should start in Pokemon.

It's an understandable inquiry. Having been around for more than 20 years now, Pokemon is an absolutely massive series. It features a ton of games, many of which still sell at full price.

With Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon now available, it's fair for a newcomer to wonder if the latest game is where they should start. After all, you wouldn't necessarily want to start with Dark Souls 3, or even the latest Assassin's Creed.

But here's the key to understanding Pokemon: You should always start with the latest game in the series. It's the easiest way to maximize your enjoyment while connecting with the community at large.

The cycle begins anew.

Why You Should Always Start With the Latest Pokemon Release

As I've written elsewhere on this site, Pokemon is basically an MMORPG. It features persistent characters that carry over from game to game, with each new entry functioning as a sort of expansion pack. Features will come and go, but each new release builds on what has come before.

Moreover, Game Freak is always trying to hook in new players. They have long since perfected a cycle designed to entice young children into the series while also catering to hardcore fans. The main quest is a sort of extended tutorial for newcomers, everything that comes after is for the general community. Once a new game comes out, everyone moves on to the latest version. Right now, that's Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Older games have nostalgia value and unique monsters, but you can almost always find everything you need in the latest release.

There are, of course, reasons to pick up older Pokemon games. The original Game Boy games, which are now available on the eShop, stand on their own thanks to their nostalgic value. Even better, they also connect to the main series. Other games, like Pokemon X and Y, have unique monsters that are hard to find elsewhere.

Thanks to Pokemon Bank, it's easier than ever to transfer monsters from game to game, which makes it worthwhile to revisit older entries in the series. However, you will have to deal with outdated graphics, older mechanics, and fewer conveniences. Oh, and you'll have to play through the entire story, too. Older games also boast much smaller communities, making it harder to trade and otherwise take advantage of Pokemon's large array of social features.

So unless you're wanting to take a major nostalgia trip back to the days of the original 151, there's almost no reason not to start with the latest and greatest version in the series.

Think of it as your first step into a larger world.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a former freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and EGM. Her fondest memories as a journalist are at GamePro, where she hosted RolePlayer's Realm and had legal access to the term "Protip." She is USgamer's resident mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).

Related articles

A Fresh Look at New Super Mario Bros. U on Switch: Does it Measure Up to the Classics?

Where does New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe rank alongside Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World?

The State of Destiny 2 After Forsaken: A Game That Can't Shake Its Troubles

Forsaken was a solid start, but it wasn't enough to pull everyone back.

Sorry Pokemon Fans, Your Gold-Plated Cards from Burger King Aren't Worth Squat

Burger King's Pokemon cards from 1999 look kind of nice and they're fun to remember, but they're barely worth the cost of a milkshake.

You may also like

Unlike Arby's, Minecraft's Steve No Longer Has the Meat

Inside: More jokes about Steve's reproductive organ in the context of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Immortals Fenyx Rising Just Wants To Be an Enjoyable Romp Through Greek Mythology

Sometimes, you don't need to aim to shatter convention or establish a new genre.

The First Fire Emblem Is Coming to Nintendo Switch This December

Shadow Dragon, in its original form, but only for a limited time.

PS5 Will Support Netflix, Disney+, Twitch, and More on Day One [Update]

Sony's initial slate of supported entertainment apps has one big addition, Apple TV.