Despite being the originals, it’s hard to call the generation I games the best. They’re the first Pokémon games we played, and they’re great as an introduction to the series. When they were first released they tied into the anime, movies and merchandise extremely well. Now, though, it’s hard to deny that they’ve aged.
Don’t get us wrong – they’re still utterly fantastic, a gold mine of nostalgia and utterly essential to play, but we’re trying to tear off our rose-tinted glasses here. They’ll always hold the crown of being the originals, but next to later generations they look kind of dull. It’s hard to imagine that someone new to Pokémon in this day and age would be convinced to continue playing by these games alone.
For those of us who love them for the memories, however, we’re glad to say Nintendo has made Red, Blue and Yellow available on the virtual console.
Generation I will take you back to basics with a limited color palette, the original 150 Pokemon and the familiar region of Kanto. These are all good things, and bad things.
Though the overall Pokémon story and gameplay haven’t actually changed too much since these games, there have been many features added since that you may not even have realized dramatically improved gameplay.
There’s also the fact that though the original 150 are great Pokémon, there really are some great additions in the later generations, and going back, 150 can actually feel kind of limited. They’re not all gems, either. Ekans is a snake, and its name is snake backwards; let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the Pokémon series was at its creative peak here.
FireRed and LeafGreen are now probably the best way to experience this generation in terms of adding new features and improving visuals, but they’re not the easiest games to get your hands on for an affordable price.
However, you can pick up Red, Blue and Yellow on the Virtual Console for $9.99/£8.99. We recommend Yellow just to see Pikachu following you around.