Best Pokemon Games Ever: Ranked By Total Sales

Best Pokemon Game by Sales Pokemon Arceus
Image: Nintendo

The early history of Pokemon is truly fascinating and it is no wonder that it went on to become the huge game that it is today. Indeed, Pokemon recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary and there’s no doubt that it will easily do another 25 years. With the recent announcement of the next batch of games, now is a great time to have a look back at the best games in the series. However, there are hundreds of personal lists done by fans and therefore One Chilled Gamer will let the figures speak for themselves. Here we rank all the games by total sales to find the Best Pokemon Games Ever!

Best Pokemon Games Ever by Total Sales

Pokemon Red, Blue and Green

Japanese Pokemon Green Cover
Image: Nintendo

The games that started it all easily come in at number one on the list of Best Pokemon Games Ever by Total Sales. Since release, Pokemon Red, Blue and Green have sold an incredible 31.38 million units. None since have come anywhere near it in terms of sales. It was released in 1996 in Japan, as Red and Green, and then internationally in 1998, as Red and Blue. This game set the standard for all games after it. It really was a phenomenon of its time. Although there were only 151 Pokemon in the originals, this was considered very diverse for the time. Additionally, the ability to cable link with other Game Boys, for trading and battling, really captured the imagination of fans the world over. They were originally released in black and white for the Game Boy and then playable in colour once the Game Boy Color was released.

Pokemon Gold and Silver

Pokemon Gold Cover
Image: Nintendo

In at number 2 on the list of Best Pokemon Games Ever by Total Sales are Pokemon Gold and Silver. These were released in 1999 for the Game Boy Color and managed to sell a total of 23.1 million copies. It is no big surprise they did so well. Gold and Silver were the first releases in Generation II after the huge success of Generation I. These games modestly built on the success of the originals. They added a new region called Johto and also a further 100 Pokemon to catch. The player is also able to return to Kanto, marking a significant expansion to the game size. In 2009 these games were rereleased as Heart Gold and Soul Silver for the Nintendo 3DS. They introduced a feature allowing a player’s Pokemon to follow them in the overworld. Sales for the rerelease were 12.72 million.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield Cover
Image: Ninrendo

Pokemon Sword and Shield were released in 2019, for the Nintendo Switch, and have so far sold 20.35 million copies. This puts the 1st releases for Generation VIII firmly into 3rd place. Some may find this surprising given the widespread disappointment with them. However, they were released at a time when many people found themselves stuck at home, with not much to do, during the coranvirus pandemic. This no doubt helped boost sales. The games also introduced some interesting new modes such as raids and an open world area. Two expansions were also added for the games which added new areas and more Pokemon. The success of these is likely to mean further expansions in future games.

The Complete List

The below graphic shows the total sales for all titles in the series, including their release year. It is surprising to note that despite Gold and Silver being the 2nd biggest sellers, their companion release, Crystal, has been the worst performer with only 6.39 million sales. This is in stark contrast to Yellow which sold 14.64 million despite the success of Red, Blue and Green. In addition, Sword and Shield are now less than 3 million sales behind Gold and Silver. With the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl not expected until late 2021, it is possible that Sword and Shield could still take 2nd place.

Pokemon games ranked by sales

What are your thoughts on the sale numbers? Are you surprised by any of the places on the list of Best Pokemon Games by Total Sales? With the releases of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokemon Legends: Arceus not far away, it will be interesting to see how they stack up. You can head over to Nintendo to keep track of all their top selling games. Also check out all the best selling Nintendo consoles ever.