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Pokémon series

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Bulbapedia logo.png This article is a short summary of Pokémon series.
Bulbapedia features a more in-depth article.
Pokémon logo.png
Creator: Satoshi Tajiri
First game: Pokémon Red and Green (1996)
Best-selling game: Pokémon Sword and Shield (25.37 million[1] copies)
Latest game: Detective Pikachu Returns (2023)
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The Pokémon (Japanese: ポケットモンスター Pocket Monsters) series of games was created by Satoshi Tajiri and Game Freak with assistance from Creatures, Inc. and Nintendo for the Game Boy between 1990 and 1995. The series is titled after, and focuses on, Pokémon, creatures which exhibit extraordinary powers such as manipulation of electricity, fire, and psychic powers, among others.

Released initially in two versions, Pokémon Red and Green, Pokémon has since expanded into a multimedia franchise, including many spin-off series and games, an anime series, and a trading card game. To date, the Pokémon video games have shipped over 380 million copies worldwide.[2]


Pokémon began as Capsule Monsters, a short manga self-published by Satoshi Tajiri and his artist friend Ken Sugimori. Part of their small-time magazine Game Freak, Tajiri eventually was able to make the handwritten magazine into a professionally published piece. Soon, Tajiri got into game development, winning a contest with Sega, and came upon the Game Boy, Nintendo's handheld, and the game link cable that allowed two systems to communicate. This inspired him to turn his small manga into a game.

Initially pitching the idea of Capsule Monsters to Nintendo, Tajiri was nervous and quickly shot down. Shigeru Miyamoto, however, saw potential in the game and invited Tajiri to explain to him more about the idea. With Miyamoto's help, Capsule Monsters was given some funding to start production.

One of the first problem to befall the series was that Capsule Monsters, Tajiri's chosen name, was unable to be copyrighted. Thinking quickly, Tajiri rebranded the series "CapuMon", though this was also rejected. Finally, he struck gold with Pocket Monsters, allowing development to continue unhindered. Despite this, the five years of development were tough. Game Freak was not doing well, and funds and morale were low. Many left the company, opting for more lucrative jobs that would pay the bills, rather than working countless hours of unpaid overtime in the hope that this game would make enough to pay them back. Eventually, the game was quietly released in February of 1996 as the paired Red Version and Green Version for the Game Boy, the idea of splitting the game into two counterpart versions coming from Shigeru Miyamoto to encourage Tajiri's idea of trading Pokémon between players. Overnight, the games became a huge success, becoming a phenomenon in Japan and causing an anime series to begin production under Shogakukan.

When the series was greenlighted for translation into English and a release in North America, like in Japan, it encountered issues with copyright. A franchise known as Monster in my Pocket claimed that Pocket Monsters would be too close to their own name and cause confusion, leading to Nintendo choosing to anglicize the shortened wasei-ego name of the series into Pokémon, its former official romanization having been Pockemon. In Japan, Red and Green had been followed shortly after by a third version, Pokémon Blue, and Nintendo, making note of some of the harsher glitches present in the earlier pair that were removed in Blue, decided instead to translate the script and use the coding of Blue while using the wild Pokémon distributions present in Red and Green to create the English Pokémon Red and Blue.

Demand rose for a sequel to the games, and Game Freak was up to the task. With the success of Red, Green, and Blue and the US release of the games upcoming, development began on Pocket Monsters 2, which would follow directly from the plot of the first games. Despite this, the sequel was delayed time and again, and finally revealed to the public as a demo at SpaceWorld in 1997. This version differs greatly from the final games that would be released two years later, and is seen by many to be a lost history of the franchise, with many Pokémon and characters announced in magazines never being seen outside of this beta demo. With the arrival of the Game Boy Color upcoming, Game Freak quietly withdrew their sequel from the public eye, letting its previously-stated release date pass without a word, to revamp it for release on the new console. A fourth standalone game was created by Game Freak, Pokémon Yellow, which mimicked the anime by starting the player off with a Pikachu that would follow him throughout the world, rather than staying in a Poké Ball.

Eventually, with much hype, the sequels were finally released as Pokémon Gold and Silver, and quickly became fan favorites. While they had abandoned many of the aspects present in the beta, they follow closely after the plot of the first generation of games, and unlike later entries, focus just as much, if not more, on the 151 Pokémon introduced in the earlier games as the 100 introduced in the new games. The third version of the sequels, Pokémon Crystal, introduced more of a focus on Pokémon native to the Johto region, as well as, in Japan, the ability to link with other players across the country with a special adapter that connected to a person's mobile phone that was never released elsewhere. At this point in time, Pokémon's popularity began to decline, with many leaving the series for the next "big fad", with others staying with the series for the next games that would come.

A turning point for the series came with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, simply known as "Pokémon AGB" when the Game Boy Advance was still in development. Unlike the previous pair, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire cut players off from their older games, forcing them to use only Pokémon caught in this generation. This was seen by many to be a reboot of the series; combined with the loss of Misty from the anime and her replacement by May as main character Ash Ketchum set off for Hoenn, angered many fans. Despite this, Ruby and Sapphire proved to be good news for the series, bringing it forward in ways that could not have been possible if compatibility had been maintained, and within a year, remakes of the original pair of games in the form of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen were announced and released, bringing the story of Kanto into the third generation of the series. Like before, an enhanced third version was made for Ruby and Sapphire, dubbed Pokémon Emerald, was released, introducing a Battle Frontier for competitive battlers to test their mettle after the main storyline of the game had been completed, as well as addressing some of the issues players had with its predecessors.

Due to the release of FireRed and LeafGreen, many players hoped that remakes for the now-defunct sequels to Red and Green, Gold and Silver, would be on their way shortly. Despite this, another new generation was announced, with games titled Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and mascot Pokémon said to be lords over time and space itself. A third version to these games, Pokémon Platinum, was released after a two-year gap, causing many who had been hoping for the remakes of Gold and Silver to give up their hope that Johto would ever return to the spotlight. However, shortly after Platinum had been released in North America, an announcement was made that the variety show Pokémon Sunday would be making a special announcement of something that had been talked about by fans for a long time. Many renewed their hope that this would be the remakes, though others believed this would be the announcement of a fifth generation of Pokémon, which had been equally discussed. Finally, by way of the official Japanese website, the remakes everyone had been waiting for, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, were announced, and came to be released with great hype behind them.

In 2011, the fifth generation of Pokémon games were released, and like the third, features somewhat of a reset for the series, this time, however, with none of the Pokémon featured in the first four generations available in-game until much later. Pokémon Black and White send players to the Unova region, located far away from the regions the games previously took place in, and instead of being based on a part of Japan, Unova is based on New York City in the United States. With this generation, many hoped that the remake cycle will continue, with remakes of Ruby and Sapphire hoped by some to be on the horizon, and a third version to Black and White was already speculated to be in development. Just a year later, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 were released, with these games being direct sequels to the original games. The games once again take place in the Unova region, but the story is set two years after the story of Black and White.


The Pokémon series consists of more than 50 games, sometimes in pairs or trios, divided into several sub-series depending on their mechanics. Among these sub-series are the main series, consisting of the 19 games suffixed with "Version", which follow the standard plot and gameplay introduced in Red and Green, the Mystery Dungeon series, which makes the player into a Pokémon, the battle arena series, which connects to the main series games to show off Pokémon battling on Nintendo's home consoles in 3D, and the Ranger series, in which players act as a Pokémon Ranger, protecting Pokémon but not capturing them and using them for battle. What follows is a list of Pokémon games by their release date:

Game JP release NA release EU release AUS release KOR release Platform
Main games
Pokémon Red and Green 1996 N/A N/A N/A N/A Game Boy
Pokémon Blue 1996 N/A N/A N/A N/A Game Boy
Pokémon Red and Blue N/A 1998 1998 1998 N/A Game Boy
Pokémon Yellow 1998 1999 2000 2000 N/A Game Boy
Pokémon Gold and Silver 1999 2000 2000 2001 2002 Game Boy Color
Pokémon Crystal 2000 2001 2001 2001 N/A Game Boy Color
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire 2002 2003 2003 2003 N/A Game Boy Advance
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen 2004 2004 2004 2004 N/A Game Boy Advance
Pokémon Emerald 2004 2005 2005 2005 N/A Game Boy Advance
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl 2006 2007 2007 2007 2008 Nintendo DS
Pokémon Platinum 2008 2009 2009 2009 2009 Nintendo DS
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver 2009 2010 2010 2010 2010 Nintendo DS
Pokémon Black and White 2010 2011 2011 2011 2011 Nintendo DS
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 Nintendo DS
Pokémon X and Y 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Sun and Moon 2016 2016 2016 2016 2016 Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 Nintendo Switch
Pokémon Sword and Shield 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 Nintendo Switch
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl 2021 2021 2021 2021 201 Nintendo Switch
Pokémon Legends: Arceus 2021 2021 2021 2021 2021 Nintendo Switch
Arena games
Pocket Monsters Stadium 1998 N/A N/A N/A N/A Nintendo 64
Pokémon Stadium 1999 2000 2000 2000 N/A Nintendo 64
Pokémon Stadium 2 2000 2001 2001 2001 N/A Nintendo 64
Pokémon Colosseum 2003 2004 2004 2004 N/A Nintendo GameCube
Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness 2005 2005 2005 2005 N/A Nintendo GameCube
Pokémon Battle Revolution 2006 2007 2007 2007 N/A Wii
Storage games
Pokémon Box Ruby and Sapphire 2003 2004 2004 2004 N/A Nintendo GameCube
My Pokémon Ranch 2008 2008 2008 2008 N/A WiiWare
Pokémon Bank 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red and Blue Rescue Team 2005 2006 2006 2006 2007 Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness 2007 2008 2008 2008 2008 Nintendo DS
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky 2009 2009 2009 2009 N/A Nintendo DS
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (WiiWare) 2009 N/A N/A N/A N/A WiiWare
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity 2012 2013 2013 2013 N/A Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon 2015 2015 2016 2016 N/A Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Conquest Games
Pokémon Conquest 2012 2012 2012 2012 N/A Nintendo DS
Pokémon Ranger series
Pokémon Ranger 2006 2006 2006 2007 N/A Nintendo DS
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia 2008 2008 2008 2008 N/A Nintendo DS
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs 2010 2010 2010 2010 N/A Nintendo DS
Pokémon TCG games
Pokémon Trading Card Game 1998 2000 2000 2000 N/A Game Boy Color
Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR! 2001 N/A N/A N/A N/A Game Boy Color
Pokémon Card Game: How to Play DS 2011 N/A N/A N/A N/A Nintendo DS
Pokémon Trading Card Game Online N/A 2011 2011 2011 N/A PC
Pikachu games
Hey You, Pikachu! 1998 2000 N/A NA N/A Nintendo 64
Pokémon Channel 2003 2003 2004 2004 N/A Nintendo 64
PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure 2009 2010 2010 2010 N/A Wii
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond 2011 2012 2012 2012 N/A Wii
Pokémon Pinball games
Pokémon Pinball 1999 1999 1999 2000 N/A Game Boy Color
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire 2003 2003 2003 2003 N/A Game Boy Advance
Puzzle games
Picross NP Vol. 1 1999 N/A N/A N/A N/A Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Pokémon Puzzle League N/A 2000 2001 2001 N/A Nintendo 64
Pokémon Puzzle Challenge 2000 2000 2001 2001 N/A Game Boy Color
Pokémon Trozei! 2005 2006 2006 2006 2007 Nintendo DS
Pokémon Battle Trozei! 2014 2014 2014 2014 N/A Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Shuffle 2015 2015 2015 2015 2016 Nintendo 3DS, Mobile Phones
Pokémon Picross 2015 2015 2015 2015 N/A Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Rumble series
Pokémon Rumble 2009 2009 2009 2009 N/A Wii
Pokémon Rumble Blast 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Rumble U 2013 2013 2013 2013 N/A Wii U
Pokémon Rumble World 2015 2015 2015 2015 N/A Nintendo 3DS
Pokéland 2017 N/A N/A N/A N/A Mobile Phone
Arcade games
Pokémon Battrio 2007 N/A N/A N/A N/A Arcade
Pokémon Tretta 2012 N/A N/A N/A N/A Arcade
Pokkén Tournament 2015 2015 2015 2015 N/A Arcade / Wii U
Pokémon Ga-Olé 2016 N/A N/A N/A N/A Arcade
Pokkén Tournament DX 2017 2017 2017 2017 N/A Nintendo Switch
Other games
Pokémon Snap 1999 1999 1999 2000 N/A Nintendo 64
Pokémon Dash 2004 2005 2005 2005 2007 Nintendo DS
PokéPark: Fishing Rally DS 2005 N/A N/A N/A N/A Nintendo DS
Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure 2011 N/A 2012 2013 N/A Nintendo DS
Pokémon Tretta Lab ?? N/A N/A N/A N/A Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Art Academy 2014 2014 2014 2014 N/A Nintendo 3DS
Pokédex 3D 2011 2011 2011 2011 N/A Nintendo 3DS eShop
Pokédex 3D Pro 2012 2012 2012 2012 N/A Nintendo 3DS eShop
Pokémon Dream Radar 2012 2012 2012 2012 N/A Nintendo 3DS eShop
Poké Transporter 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 Nintendo 3DS eShop
The Thieves and 1000 Pokémon 2014 ?? ?? ?? ?? Nintendo 3DS eShop
Detective Pikachu 2016 2018 2018 N/A N/A Nintendo 3DS eShop
Pokémon Project Studio Red and Blue N/A 1999 N/A N/A N/A PC
PokéROM N/A 2000 N/A N/A N/A PC
Pokémon Play It! N/A 2000 1996 N/A N/A PC
Pokémon Play It! Version 2 N/A 2000 2000 ?? N/A PC
Pokémon Masters Arena N/A 2004 N/A N/A N/A PC
Pokémon PC Master 2006 N/A N/A N/A N/A PC
Pokémon Team Turbo N/A 2005 N/A N/A N/A PC
Pokémon Mobile System GB ?? N/A N/A N/A N/A Mobile Phone
Pokémate 2006 N/A N/A N/A N/A Mobile Phone
Pokémon Say Tap? 2011 N/A N/A N/A N/A Mobile Phone
Pokédex for iOS 2012 2012 2012 2012 N/A Mobile Phone
Pokémon Go 2016 2016 2016 2016 2017 Mobile Phone
Pokémon Duel 2016 2016 2016 2016 N/A Mobile Phone
Pokémon: Magikarp Jump 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 Mobile Phone
Pokémon Playhouse N/A 2016 2016 2016 N/A Mobile Phone
Pokémon: Catch the Numbers! 2002 N/A N/A N/A N/A Sega Pico
Pokémon Advanced Generation: I've Begun Hiragana and Katakana! ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Sega Pico
Pokémon Advanced Generation: Pico for Everyone Pokémon Loud Battle! ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Sega Pico
Pokémon Advanced Generation: Pokémon Number Battle! ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Advanced Pico Beena
Intellectual Training Drill Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Letter and Number Intelligence Game ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Advanced Pico Beena
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Search for Pokémon! Adventure in the Maze! ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Advanced Pico Beena
Pokémon Best Wishes: Intelligence Training Pokémon Big Sports Meet! 2010 N/A N/A N/A N/A Advanced Pico Beena
Pokémon Quest 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 Nintendo Switch
Pokémon Café ReMix 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Cancelled Games
Pokémon Picross N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Game Boy


  1. Top Selling Title Sales Units. Nintendo. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  2. Pokémon in Figures. The Pokémon Company. Retrieved June 3, 2021.

External Links

Pokémon series logo
Main series
Generation I

JP: Pokémon Red and Green • Pokémon Blue • Pokémon Pikachu
NA: Pokémon Red and Blue • Pokémon Yellow

Generation II

Pokémon Gold and Silver • Pokémon Crystal

Generation III

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire • Pokémon Emerald
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

Generation IV

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl • Pokémon Platinum
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (Pokéwalker)

Generation V

Pokémon Black and White • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (Poké Transfer • Pokémon Dream World)

Generation VI

Pokémon X and Y
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Generation VII

Pokémon Sun and Moon • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!

Generation VIII

Pokémon Sword and Shield
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl • Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Generation IX

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Side series
Arena games
Pokémon Snap series
Mystery Dungeon series Red Rescue Team / Blue Rescue Team (Rescue Team DX) • Explorers of Time / Explorers of Darkness / Explorers of Sky • Mystery Dungeon WiiWare • Gates to Infinity • Super Mystery Dungeon
Pokémon Ranger series Pokémon Ranger • Shadows of Almia • Guardian Signs
TCG games
Pokémon Battle Chess series Pokémon Battle Chess BW Version (Pokémon Battle Chess WEB demo)  • Pokémon Battle Chess  • Pokémon Battle Chess W
Pikachu games
Pokémon Pinball Pinball • Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
Puzzle games
Pokémon Rumble series Rumble • Rumble Blast • Rumble U • Rumble World • Rumble Rush
Other games
PC games Project Studio • PokéROM • Play It (Version 2) • Masters Arena • PC Master • Team Turbo
Pokémon mini Pokémon Party mini • Pokémon Pinball mini • Pokémon Puzzle Collection • Pokémon Zany Cards • Pokémon Tetris • Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2 • Pokémon Race mini • Pichu Bros. mini • Togepi no Daibouken • Pokémon Sodateyasan mini
PICO software
Self-contained (non-Pokémon mini) Pokémon Pikachu • Pokémon Pikachu 2 GS  • Pokémotion  • Eevee × Tamagotchi
e-Reader applications/games Berry Tree • Construction: Action • Construction: Melody Box • Ditto Leapfrog • Diving Corsola • Doki Doki Kakurenbo • Dream Eater • Fire Hoops • Flower Power • Fruit Daisakusen! • Flying Journey • Follow Hoothoot • GO, Poliwrath! • Gotcha! • Harvest Time • Here Comes Gloom • Hold Down Hoppip • Imakuni?'s Ball • Jumping Doduo • Kingler's Day • Leek Game • Lifesaver • Machop At Work • Magby and Magmar • Make A Dash! • Metronome • Mighty Tyranitar • Night Flight • Pika Pop • Punching Bags • Ride the Tuft • Rolling Voltorb • Sneak and Snatch • Sweet Scent • Time Travel • Tokotoko Truck • Watch Out! • Wooper's Juggling Game
Gekkan Coin Toss: Pokémon Card Magazine (via Satellaview) • Shin Game Design • Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon (book) • Game Freak Asobi no Sekai Hyoujun o Nurikaeru Creative Shuudan • Ken Sugimori Works • Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon (manga)
Related NIWA Wiki: English Bulbapedia icon • Italian Pokémon Central Wiki logo
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